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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Common man

I always say serendipity is an invisible angel around us and balaji ramamoorthy here is an article that seems precisely meant for what I asked you for defining a common man? And who is this common man?

Common man is found in paradoxes
Sunday, 19 January 2014 | Pramod Pathak | in Spirituality

The common man is found in paradoxes, and empathizing with him will answer futuristic queries

The most talked about person today is the common man, aam aadmi. But who is this “common man”? Given the wide array of colours, shapes and sizes he comes in typifying, this common man cannot be contained within a single definition. He is both the autorickshaw-puller who is forced to bribe the police, as well as the policeman who takes the bribe. He is the buyer who tries to outsmart the seller and also the seller who always wants to outwit the buyer. He wants action but chooses inaction; wants change but is not willing to change. He can be located in a bundle of paradoxes, he himself being an oxymoron. We witness that his current trait is that he votes neither for the Congress nor for the BJP. And if we believe the ideodynamic view of psychologist Saul Rosezweig, there can be over one billion types of the common man in India. Where do you find the typical common man then? He could once be found in the cartoons of RK Laxman. But many think that he is now available on Facebook or similar social media sites where he expresses his views in bipolar terms — likes and dislikes.

All these apart, there is a million dollar question — What does he want? And the answer lies in empathizing with him as that may provide clues to many futuristic queries. The famous scientific management theory suggests that the common man is an economic rational. The well-known human relations approach suggests that he is emotional and, thus, irrational. Also, Theory X says that he is basically unreasonable, lazy and does not want to work. Its corollary, Theory Y, says that he is essentially good and loves work. They could be apt as well as erroneous. Because the common man may desire without deserving, dream without thinking, aspire without acting and fantasize without possessing. He normally would like to choose the path of least resistance or in terms of Game Theory, prefer the maximax strategy.

Can you fulfill his wishes? Certainly not in the long run. And what about the cost at which this fulfillment will come? More than awareness about rights it is the commitment towards duties that needs to be told. A Sanskrit shloka sums up our ancient wisdom: “Udyamen hi sidhyanti, karyaani na manorathaih/ Nahi suptasya singhasya, pravishanti mukhe mrigah (Action, and not the will alone, makes the wishes come true. The deer would not walk into the mouth of a lion asleep.)”

The writer is professor, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad

(Jharkhand). He can be reached at


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