Interaction with Manoj Kumar


A few weeks ago, I took a taxi from terminal 3 of New Delhi airport to my home; as usual, I started interacting with the cab driver. Manoj Kumar[1], He was an interesting person, from Bihar working in the taxi business for more than a decade, he belongs to a socially agrarian family, and he has sufficient agricultural land, on which he & his getting crops, mainly paddy/wheat, and they are also able to get a modest yield of Dalhan/talhan[2] .

I have a particular interest in agriculture and agrarian society, so I had a deep talk with Manoj, and subsequently, both of us discuss politics & society. He was particularly upset about the freebie schemes of the Delhi provincial government, I can sense, his irritation and anguish, from where he was talking. He tried to explain to me that; government should not provide any things free of cost to people. 

I tried to offer my argument about the freebies, and why the government should take care of people's requirements. I shared my expires of taking education from a state-run school/college/university. In addition, I asked him about his education and his family's education. He shared; he too had his education at a government school, which was quite good in quality as per his version. However, he is sending his kids to a private school somewhere in Bihar, which is costing him money. He also agreed to better health facilities should be provided in our existing government hospitals, because the cost of health is increasing like anything.

Why this whole debate on the freebie are irrelevant? When it comes to state responsibilities to provide education, health, and other social welfare for people of their county. Yes, these things/ diabetes are becoming or being made irrelevant, when everything or anything is being handed over to the corporation. The unrealistic price of medicine or other essentials was skyrocketing or unreachable for the people.

Manoj Kumar now shared about his working conditions and the income from his job. On inflation, he tried the justified current dispensation, with the argument of the government has nothing to do with the rising price; he was citing the Russian- the Ukraine conflict. He also shared that, his income has thinned due to the high price of fuel and at the same time, the taxi fare in Delhi has not increased in propionate to the rise in fuel price. Here I strongly agreed with him. He reacted to me, Sir why are you agreeing to rise the fare of the taxi; this will cost you more for travel. I calmly responded to him, Manoj bhai, we should not think or act only for personal benefits, there are some things called vivek[3]. I explain to him, why we should not only think or advocate our self only. There are other people or groups, who need our support and solidarity, as you need to advocate your genuine voice for an increase in the fare of the taxi.

It was interesting and truthful interaction with Manoj, even though I did not agree with him on many points, I admire him for his honest interaction with me. He dropped me at my place safely. With Big thanks… I offered him to come for tea but he said he has to report quickly at Airport.

[1] This is a dummy name for the privacy of the driver

[2]  Oilseeds and lentils

[3] The freedom & power to make decisions by yourself without any influence


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