From the annals of history, it is clearly evident that the phenomenon of exploitation is as old as the existence of mankind itself. In every society, capitalists have exploited the workers, haves have exploited the have-nots and big landlords and money lenders have exploited the serfs as well as small and the marginal farmers. Almost all the lands and geographical regions that witnessed the colonial and imperial footprints bored the indelible impressions of exploitation without any criteria of religion, caste, color, sex or place of birth. The significance of colonial exploitation lied in its nature. It was undertaken overtly and with proper planning that too mostly by the people from foreign lands. Unfortunately, the culture of exploitation has encroached in the socio-economic set-up of our society at present and attained a gigantic size.
However, it is clandestine in nature and performed not by the foreigners but by our own people in one form or the other. From cradle to grave most of our fellow beings experience and feel it. Children get exploited at the hands of their parents even before their birth. Their gender determines whether they will be allowed to open eyes in the world or unwelcomed. For most of us, exploitation has become a daily routine. We witness and experience it individually as well as collectively. Every primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary or quinary sector of economy exhibits an element of exploitation in it. Our governmental or non governmental offices, public or private institutions, trade organizations, business units, insurance companies, hospitals and health centers, local and national markets, weaker and backward sections, press, police, courts and even bureaucrats are the prime witness to this social evil.
We have seen our bosses exploiting the subordinates, professors exploiting research scholars, managers and chairmen exploiting the junior staff (especially females), permanent employees exploiting the contractual or ad-hocs, big and strong players exploiting the market, upper caste people exploiting the lower ones, men in uniform at the helm exploiting the petty officers and the steel brass at the top dictating the terms to the lower ranks and making them to dance as per their whims.
What breeds Exploitation? At the center of this widespread and complex social evil is the idea of either the satisfaction of an individual or collective ego or the attainment of some sort or power, prestige and wealth or maintenance of status quo. An individual exploits another individual to satisfy his/her ego at any cost. One may also be exploited when it is a matter of another’s power, prestige or attainment of petty gains. As man is selfish by nature. He can do this. Likewise exploitation may also breed, if one wants to maintain one’s dominance or decorum over others by status quo. Consequences and Remedy. The consequences of exploitation are widespread and multi-dimensional in nature. Those who exploit may enjoy for the time being or in the long run. But, those who get exploited are the worst sufferers. They face mental, psychological and emotional breakdown. This is associated with moral turpitude. It may also result in their non-contribution for the development and progress of their society. They may lack interest in their daily life which in extreme cases may end up by suicides or social delinquencies. All this makes the process of social control more complex.
What is the remedy of this social Ill is a million dollar question. The remedy lies in providing the basic moral, ethical, cultural and religious values to our children and guiding them to live by those etiquettes. Not only this, but also the ideas of universal brotherhood, cooperation, coordination, mutual respect, live and to let live should be inculcated in every being at every stage. Government of the day should also come up with a suitable policy framework wherein exploitative culture as well as the culture of ‘might is rights should be discouraged and penalized. Instead, the honest, dedicated, laborious, cooperative and submissive beings should be encouraged and honored. Then and only then we would be able to get rid of this menace and dream of a free and fair society.
Author is a columnist and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org