Sunday, April 24, 2016

Insecurity, information age and unemployment: From Uber ride to assembly election

Kaleidoscope with his smartphone now a day often rides app based cabs to when he is in a hurry. He has several reasons for it, the most primary is the unwillingness of the yellow taxi drivers to take him home through 'country roads' - nothing of John Denver sort of romanticism though. Once, in such a ride the cab driver was playing FM radio. Wonderful songs in a romantic evening was disrupted by Ola cab advertisement which asked people to download Ola app and ride for Rs. 7 per km. Till then Uber was offering ride for Rs. 9 per km. The driver immediately turned the volume down.

Today Kaleidoscope encountered a similar event at one of the street side saloons where he goes once in every month to maintain his civilised look. The saloon has a television set and in the evening it becomes one of the nodes of popular public sphere meeting place. People come and talk about matters that affect their lives. (Kaleidoscope is fortunate that such space exists otherwise his thesis could not have been completed, but that's another story). Today while surfing the channels one of the local hero looking youngman stopped at a news channel and when the channel started speaking about failure of Trinamool Congress (TMC) government he immediately moved from it and ended up in some South Indian movie channel. He stopped there for quite sometime and no one dared to tell him to change the channel. Kaleidoscope could feel the uncomfortable moments which lasted for quite sometime until one of the saloon boys asked him to switch over to the IPL match which was about to begin.

Moments later he spoke about an encounter of the Central Reserve Police Force officials lead by local police with TMC's contesting candidate of the area and how she successfully drove them away from stopping her making a gathering. By the way, we need a short footnote here, tomorrow is the election  and today there is no way people can gather like this. An even small foot note is that the woman in question happens to be the law minister of the state!

A few questions that drives kaleidoscope at the moment, these are:
1. The insecurity of the Uber driver and TMC worker is similar in nature, with winning election becoming a source of employment to many, where are we heading?
2. With this extreme form of fear with information, aren't there going to be extreme form of defense vis a vis violence in the political process and election?
3. How long can the state deny the fact of the rising unemployment is driving youngsters to remain insecure and seek shelter under political banner?

(One of kaleidoscope's colleagues reports of theft of a very old wrist watch! Today one of the saloon attendee reports the theft of one of the rear view mirrors of his motorcycle! Think of the grave poverty on which we are sitting on and relaxing)


  1. A timely write up. Everydayness well captured.

  2. This insecurity is used by the political parties... for their benefits.

  3. Hope kaleidoscope is following events at north north dum dum...

  4. Insecurity and its usage... well done... well captured...