Brands break caste driven class differences

The other day we went to this 'pricey' restaurant. After our meal, we stepped out and spent a few minutes chatting. The valet was kind enough to bring my Hyundai Santro to the restaurant's doorstep. What happened next was interesting to behold. Another valet walked up to me and asked me if it was okay to move my car to the side so they could bring up a Ford Endeavour and park it at the doorstep. I agreed. Soon my lowly Santro made way for a Ford with the valets bending over backwards to ensure they were at the beck and call of the Ford owner.

I was amused. Not surprised.

Certain classes in society get preferential treatment over others. In India, the caste that you are born into can dictate that treatment. The lower the class, the lousier the treatment. The more the chance of you being asked to make way. Just like my Santro. Even now. Caste based differential treatment is something I abhor. In fact I constantly mull over how this unfair equation can be neutralised.

The Santro and the Ford differential treatment confirmed to me the answer I always knew.

Brands. That's the answer.

For a lower class citizen to move up levels, all he has to do is sport the high end brand. That is, he has to drive the Endeavour. The Santro will keep him down. When I hear the Supreme Court order on English language in schools in Karnataka, I am pleased. the only hope I see for people to break out of discriminatory equations is their participation in the spoils of Capitalism. That is, participating in businesses that create successful solutions for global consumers. That participation requires the understanding and use of the global language of business, English. Participating in the process of value creation as seen in Capitalistic societies is what creates personal wealth. And personal wealth is what's behind the Ford Endeavour. Its what helps you sport the brand that will take you higher up the class hierarchy.

For the discriminated classes in India, breaking out of the vicious caste equation that keeps them grounded is difficult. The only way out is education and their mastery over the global language of business, English. That will get them the jobs and the salary that can buy premium brands. And premium brands are their ticket to upward social class mobility.

One question remains. Why am I with a Santro?

Oh, that! Ever heard of 'Self Actualisation'? :)

Comments

Kunal Vaswani said…
The answer is very simple. Santro is an economical and value for money car. Furthermore the depreciation and insurance of your car would be minimal compared to those expensive cars.

I too had experienced the same differential treatment last week when I had gone to one of the pricey hotels in Bangalore. I was ahead of a sparkling white Volkswagen car (www.vw.com) and when it came to parking, valet told me to park my car in the basement, when there was a vacant place near the entrance of the hotel. That vacant place was given to the Volkswagen car though he was behind me as this car would attract people and would increase the image of that particular hotel as rightly said by you Brand counts here.
The tip given by you to own those brands must be considered by all.
Respected sir,
m in total agreement with ur point on the existent of discriminatry attitue in the indian society...yeeaahh the only difference between the past and the present way of discrimination is...that in past the criteria was the social cast...and present its all about MONEY... the more the richer u r...the more respect and the preference Indian society will give u...
just for an instance...if a son of billionaire walk in with a tore jeans and shabby hairs with a faded sleeve less and speaking in slang english..people call it FASHION...STYLE SIGNATURE etc..etc..etc.. but on the other side of it...if a poor guy walk in with the same dress up speaking manageable english but with native accent people look at him as a untouchable...
so in nut shell in todays society its all about...MONEY.. and..ENGLISH Speaking capability...
and i feel its...STRANGE...!!!

thanking u

yours obediently
Vipul Rai

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