What does it mean to be privileged?

Posted by Puneet Chauhan in Society
August 5, 2017

It hasn’t been many years since India got freedom from the British. The echoes of the time spent enslaved still rings in the older generation’s psyche. The division between people was mainly on the basis of caste in that era. But now, it’s safe to say that India has come a long way since then and is now considered a progressive nation.

A big part of this is the empowerment of the population through education that evolved people’s thinking in a way so that they can see that caste divisions are illogical. But now we see another kind of class division, it is the division of class on the basis of wealth.

Due to the advancement in technology, India suddenly saw itself being pushed into the modern era in a rather short period of time. Back when India was still in its stage of infancy as an independent state, the population mainly focused on survival. Agriculture at the time of independence contributed almost half of the total GDP. However, soon most people decided to opt for other high paying professions to secure themselves financially, which seems understandable for that time.

But now in 2017 we see, that people never got out of that insecure mentality of not having enough. It’s not greed as much as it’s lack of foresight. People are trapped in a stressed mindset where they believe that they have to earn more and more in order to guarantee comfort. 

Now coming back to the wealth gap, India’s richest 1% own 58% percent of the total wealth. Leaving the rest of 99% to divide the rest of 42%. The situation is even worse at the lower end of the spectrum where families survive on less than a dollar a day.

To have a roof over your head, getting 3 meals a day and access to basic amenities is considered a luxury in most parts of the India. If you are reading this right now I’m sure you most probably come in the privileged part of the population. 

For any nation to actually progress collectively, the citizens should also move on from outdated modalities and embrace new ways of living. What separates the rich from the poor is the difference in mentality regarding financial endeavors of both. A person who considers himself to be in a fragile condition financially would not take risks and rather stick to the old tested and tried methods of earning a living. Whereas, a person who feels financially stable can afford to experiment with their source of income.

The present generation has forgotten the duties of being an educated  and responsible citizen of the country. One needs to break free from the mentality of not having enough. People are judged on the amount of wealth they possess which puts social burden on people to fall into the same trap of insecurity. 

For a country to effectively grow, evolution should not just happen on a financial level but also on the mental level otherwise the people would fall into the same shortcoming their ancestors fell for. We should learn from developed nations about how their people broke old chains that hindered the progress of their respective countries.

The internet has been a great source of help in developing the nation’s collective mindset as a whole. With the help of the government, we see a new trend where young entrepreneurs are popping up all over the country in almost all fields. India is about to hit the sweet spot in globalization wave, if only we embrace this change instead of fighting it.