Who is this enigma—the much pitied common man?
Is it the ‘plethos’, if we employ Greek word for ‘crowd’ which connotes the common people?
Or is it the International Worker in whose honour May Day is celebrated? (date varying from May 1 to any other as nations pay homage to the International Labour Movement)
If not those, then is it the shopkeeper, the crafts person – in a nut shell the skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled worker harking back to May 1, 1886 Haymarket, Chicago incident when the people struck work demanding regulating working hours from unlimited to 8 in one day shift leading to four casualties as Police opened fire after a bomb was hurled.
Whether be in popular culture, media, film industry or books, over the years the word ‘common man’ has had semantic make-over for someone low paid, subject of apathy and torture by the wealthy employer, target of exploitation by the prominent citizenry.
It’s almost a Shakespearean case a classic tragedy and contradiction: shopkeepers are a rich lot, the opulent business bigwigs with purse strings tightly held in their firm grip.
On the other hand, the skilled-unskilled workers in, for instance construction industry, often verge on the dicey tightrope as demand for their work increases or decreases.
Now instead of just May Day, how about introducing the focus to the millions of educated people, and the plethora of educational institutes, where they or their parents are subjected to paying abnormally high fee, where the pressure of deadlines and surviving in a workday exceeding endlessly can make a sure killing?
For instance, the statistics from the Non-Profit organisation called Suicides.org reveal that “Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students.”
It further goes on to add that “Going to college can be a difficult transition period in which students may feel lost, lonely, confused, anxious, inadequate, and stressed. And these problems may lead to depression. And again, untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.”
High time the world takes a lead to fix a Day in the Georgian Calendar to commemorate “Education-Factories-Day”, celebrating the really suppressed, subdued tortured segment of civilized society.
By Joseph Rana, Editor-in-chief, His Master’s Review