Public sector companies: End of an era

Seven decades ago, India stepped into the path of progress by instituting a large number of public sector companies and factories. Namma Bengaluru has housed several of them. The coming of this sector ushered in a new pattern of work life in our city.

New secular communities, colonies and tenements sprouted like mushrooms all over the place. They thrived for a couple of decades lending a vibrant vigour to the ethos of our garden city. As in all things, change happens to be the only constant in life. It has not left the public sector untouched, too. Hence we see the phenomenon phasing out ever so quietly from our lives.

The only remnants of the public sector happen to be senior citizens who dot our city with their unique anecdotes. Though I have been privy to many of them, I wish to share with my readers the one which never ceases to fascinate me.

It is a well-known fact that Rama and Lakshmana, the protagonists of the Ramayana, availed help from Sugriva the monkey-king to fight their enemy Ravana and redeem Seeta. An army of monkeys famously known as the Vanara Sena was instituted to help Rama in his mission. The ocean was crossed and the battle was fought. Rama, the crown prince of Ayodhya, slew the ten-headed demon king Ravana and redeemed Seeta.

When it was time to return to Ayodhya with his wife Seeta and brother Lakshmana, he rewarded all the leaders like Hanuman, Sugriva, Vibhishana among the others but was at a loss as to how to return the favour of the members of the Vanara Sena. Then the lord said that the Dandakaranya forest would be abundant with fruits to take care of them during the Treta Yuga.

The simian army accepted their gift humbly but did not disperse as expected. So Rama told them that they could serve him as Yadava confederates when he re-incarnated as Krishna. Even as the Vanaras acknowledged the blessing gratefully, Rama felt that he had not been generous enough to see them through the wheel of time. So he said that in the Kali Yuga they would be absorbed as human resources by the public sector!

I have heard this tale regaled in jest, just to mark a merry moment. Of late, the elderly who recollect this tale do it with such a veneration that it leaves the listener baffled! If the stories do enough rounds in the new tone, it will probably enter the portals of our mythology by the next half of this millennium! Only time will tell!

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