Since this parable (it can be titled: "World According to Ants") has been doing rounds on the net (as chainmails, blog postings, etc.... and one of the avid - and disagreeing - reader of this blog, added this story to his comments on the last post :) - I thought it worth blogging about what this story (propaganda!!?) actually means - (at least to me!)...
but first the story/parable
(if you have already read it, skip it and go to the end of the post):
The ant works hard in the withering heat all long building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.
NDTV, BBC, CNN show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.
The World is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be that this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so? Arundhati Roy stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house. Medha Patkar goes on a fast along with other grasshoppers demanding that grasshoppers be relocated to warmer climates during winter. Amnesty International and Koffi Annan criticize the Indian Government for not upholding the fundamental rights of the grasshopper.
The Internet is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the grasshopper (many promising Heaven and Everlasting Peace for prompt support as against the wrath of God for non-compliance). Opposition MP's stage a walkout. Left parties call for "Bharat Bandh" in West Bengal and Kerala demanding a Judicial Enquiry. CPM in Kerala immediately passes a law preventing Ants from working hard in the heat so as to bring about equality of poverty among ants and grasshoppers. Lalu Prasad allocates one free coach to Grasshoppers on all Indian Railway Trains, aptly named as the 'Grasshopper Rath'.
Finally, the Judicial Committee drafts the "Prevention of Terrorism Against Grasshoppers Act [POTAGA]", with effect from the beginning of the winter. Arjun Singh makes Special Reservation for Grass Hopper in educational Institutions & in Govt offices.
The ant is fined for failing to comply with POTAGA and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Government and handed over to the grasshopper in a ceremony covered by NDTV.
Arundhati Roy calls it "a triumph of justice". Lalu calls it 'Socialistic Justice'. CPM calls it the 'revolutionary resurgence of the downtrodden' Koffi Annan invites the grasshopper to address the UN General Assembly.
Many years later... The ant has since migrated to the US and set up a multi billion dollar company in Silicon Valley. 100s of grasshoppers still die of starvation despite reservation somewhere in India...
As a result losing lot of hard working ants and feeding the grasshoppers, India is still a developing country.....
This modern urban-India parable says 2 things:
- 60% of Net Domestic Product
- 68% of income
- 60% of savings
- 31% of agricultural exports
- 41% of manufactured exports
(and, therefore, contribute just as much to the "number-driven Self-Esteem" of the "globally emergent"/"shining" Indian Ants :)
In nature/ real world, this is how it happens !!!