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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

economic inequality ~ kakka muttai ~ and occurrence in East London

The  foundation of the hospitality industry remains the service that is provided to every guest who walks into the hotel or the restaurant. …. ..yet,  one could see the notice at entrance that the right to admission and service to every guest rests with the hotel. Though it is a service industry, it involves transaction between two parties and one of them has the right to decide on the presence of whom they want [rather whom they do not want] says sources. Every hotel has its own set of codes of conduct that the guests need to adhere to. These might range from the appropriate attire of the guests to their behaviour.  Some do  deny admission to guests not wearing shoes.

Years ago, a respected journalist representing an English daily was denied entry in a hotel for not wearing shoes and similar thing happened in famous club – this time to a Judge as he reportedly was wearing a dhoti…. then there was this outrageous incident of pushing out a child in McDonald  Pune outlet.  Facebook and other media were ripe with reports that a child was literally pushed out by the employees as it stood in a line along with a woman when the child came to buy a drink.  The media reported  the employee as stating “such people are not allowed in the restaurant”.  After being roundly criticised for its actions and blatant discrimination, McDonalds India said that appropriate action would be taken in case of any act of breach.  To them destitute street children are strictly ‘no’ even if somebody else is prepared to spend on them !

When the incident was reported, a security was quoted as stating that such kids linger around malls, cause unnecessary chaos, which is a disturbance to other customers.   There were further reports that an NGO subsequently  took 15 underprivileged children to the fast food chain's outlet in Kolkata and treated them to burgers and fries.

Economic inequality – the  gap between rich and poor has existed all along.  The gulf between rich and poor and contrast between rich and poor, refers to how economic metrics are distributed among individuals in a group, among groups in a population, or among countries. Economists generally think of three metrics of economic disparity: wealth, income, and consumption. The issue of economic inequality can implicate notions of equity, equality of outcome, and equality of opportunity. Some studies have emphasized inequality as a growing social problem. Too much inequality can be destructive.

Economic inequality varies between societies, historical periods, economic structures and systems. The gap between the rich and the poor keeps widening, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says.

In its 34 member states, the richest 10% of the population earn 9.6 times the income of the poorest 10%.There is no standard measure of inequality, but most indicators suggest it slowed or fell during the financial crisis and is now growing again.The OECD warns that such inequality is a threat to economic growth.The report says this is partly because there is a wider gap in education in the most unequal countries, which leads to a less effective workforce.OECD member states include most of the European Union as well as developed economies such as the US, Canada, Australia and Japan.

One of the factors that the OECD blames for growing inequality is the growth in what it calls non-standard work, which includes temporary contracts and self-employment.The OECD says that since the mid-1990s more than half of all job creation in its member states has been in non-standard work. It says that households dependent on such work have higher poverty rates than other households and that this has led to greater inequality.It also says that tax and benefit systems have become less effective at redistributing income.On the other hand it says that one of the factors limiting the growth in inequality has been the increasing number of women working.The report says that one of the few areas where inequality has not been growing in the last 30 years has been Latin America, although levels of inequality were much higher there to start with.

In East London, a sign saying 'sorry no poor people' outside a trendy coffee shop in Shoreditch has caused outrage on social media.Some people branded the sign 'disgusting' after it was  posted  on Facebook and Twitter by a person who saw them firsthand. But some believe the sign, in trendy Shoreditch, was supposed to be 'ironic', attacking Loiacono who posted them on the media  for being 'a bad grass' who doesn't understand humour !

The Goswell Road store caused controversy earlier this year after writing a sign saying 'please don't feed the crackies,' referring to drug addicts.However, the owner, Adrian Jones, claims the sign this week was a prank by 'anti-gentrification protesters' who object to the transformation it has seen in recent years.He claims that someone it was an act of graffiti and speculated that it may have been done by the same group who vandalised the Ceral Killer cafe, a trendy breakfast bar that only serves cereal.

Loiacono, from London, is Italian and admits that sometimes he does not get British humour, hoping that some people could help him understand when he posted the picture.The sign angered a number of his friends, with one, Darcy Spoon, writing: 'So do we need to have last bank statement and payslip to go be allowed in shops now?'Other users attacked the man who posted it for not understanding the humour behind the sign; to some others,  the sign touched upon was one that shouldn't be joked about

KaakaMuttai (The Crow's Egg)  directedM Manikandan; jointly produced by Dhanush and Vetrimaaran – released in 2014 was a hit.  The story revolves around two slum children of Chennai, whose desire is to taste a pizza. It went on to win two National Film Awards at the 2015 ceremony - Best Children's Film and Best Child Artist (Ramesh and Vignesh).

The 2 young brothers from a tiny concrete-and-tin Chennai home [with their father in prison for unknown reasons and with an ageing mother-in-law] - mother struggling to keep kitchen fire burning, yearn for toys and other things that they cannot afford.  With the Govt gifted free TV, they  see a pizza commercial whose steaming, slow-motion images make the unfamiliar food look like manna from heaven. A  new pizzeria comes up in the neighbourhood, actor Simbu comes to its opening. Remembering the looks of enjoyment on actor’s  face when tasting pizza, their desire becomes burning.  When they collect some money in hard way, they are shooed away by the watchman of the pizza shop due to their poor dress.  They get humiliated again; some try to make money of the unsavoury episode caught on video………….and when the boys finally taste the pizza, they are not amused and tell that the dosa offered by their grandmother tasted better !

The photo at the start is from this movie !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

13th Oct 2o15.

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