Touria Prayag's Blog

L’express Weekly, 24 June 2011

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on June 27, 2011

Weekly 24 Juin

A war of perceptions

We are not insensitive to Rehana Ameer’s plight. Losing
one’s job has to be one of the most traumatic experiences
one can go through. It could happen to anyone
and it could happen in a variety of ways. You could be
given notice and, therefore, time to fi nd alternative employment
or you could simply walk into your offi ce and fi nd out that you are
unable to log onto your computer. More than the loss of income, it is
perhaps seeing your self-esteem crash through a trapdoor which is
more devastating.
From the emotional point of view, we fi nd it easy to sympathize
with Rehana Ameer, a girl who has become almost like a member of
our family. She happily reveals to us who she would like us to believe
she is. She tells us about her favourite dishes, the man without whom
she cannot live, the faratas she likes to cook, a coy wink to the one she
calls “the man of my life,” who, we learn, likes to eat them. We equally
learn about her pets etc. etc. etc. And, before we know it, Rehana is a
heroine, fi ghting for laudable causes. As a result, Dan Callikan turns
into public enemy number one. In this respect, it is easy to allow our
emotions to run away with us. The man is a harsh disciplinarian, he
is close to power, heading an institution many love to hate and is impervious
to criticism. He is, therefore, guilty as charged.
However, if we put our emotions aside for a little while and examine
this whole saga rationally, we are left with quite a few unanswered
questions, the fi rst one being: Exactly what cause is Rehana
Ameer fi ghting for? She was dismissed from her job and seems to be
genuinely convinced that her dismissal is unjustifi ed. We do not know
the truth. We are not a court of law. However, the most logical thing
one would expect someone who has been unjustly dismissed to do
is to seek redress in the only forum available, the industrial court. If
the MBC is found guilty, Rehana Ameer, I am given to understand,
could walk away with a few million rupees cash and the MBC could
be put to shame! That would be fi ghting for justice!
The second question is: Without giving up on any of her rights,
why doesn’t Mrs. Ameer look for another job? There is an acute shortage
of talent in marketing and working is more dignifying than the
handouts she claims to be living off.
The answer is that Mrs. Ameer wants only one thing, for which
she is prepared to die: her job back! I am sorry but there is no country
in the world where jobs belong to people. When your employer does
not want you any more, you no longer have a job. If the dismissal is
unjustifi ed, it will cost him enough to perhaps make him regret his
decision. The other side of the coin is: when you no longer want to
work for an employer, you walk out. You don’t have to spend the rest
of your life sticking it out in a job you hate. When the relationship
between the employee and the employer is damaged, it is not in
anyone’s interest to work together. Emotions should not get in the
way of rationality. Without checks and balances, no system can function.
The Fact Finding Committee set up this week in this connection
will not change that.


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