Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Maids vs. Madams in India

Class warfare in Noida, India:
The madams in the luxury gated community went to yoga classes and toddler playgroups; the maids soundlessly whisked away dirty dishes and soiled laundry before retreating, at night, to a nearby shantytown of tin sheds and plastic tents.

This kind of arrangement has persisted across India for decades, in apparent harmony.

But early on Wednesday, at the Mahagun Moderne in Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India’s capital, the madams and the maids went to war.

A dispute between a maid and her employer erupted into a full-blown riot, as hundreds of the maid’s neighbors, armed with rocks and iron rods, forced their way into the complex and stormed her employer’s apartment. In response, thousands of families have locked their maids out, saying they can no longer trust them in their homes.
Every once in a while, the hostility that simmers beneath the smooth surface of human relations breaks out.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

So the maids took rather extreme action against an employer who in all likelihood was exploiting and abusing her employees, in order to drive them to such lengths.

So why, then, should that lead other employers to react as they did? If they're not also mistreating their own maids, why would they be afraid of them? Surely any of their own well treated maids would recognize that they've been treated well, if that is indeed the case, and having no grievances against them, they would pose no threat or concern to them?

It seems as though the madams feel solidarity not for their own maids who have apparently been mistreated, but rather for the other madams who have mistreated them. Although, who can truly say from such a distance and with such incomplete context?