Sudha Murty - When She was humiliated as Cattle Class

Sudha murthy’s Three Thousand Stitches

India is the land of cultural heritage where transmission of cultural values passing from one generation to another generation.  Since the day of Socialisation, We were taught to respect the elders, and we have shown respect towards the elders by touching their feet.

Article about Sudha Murthy

When Sudha Murty - the chairperson of Infosys foundation attended the Television show “Kaun Banega Crorepati”.  She tried to touch the feet of Amitabh Bachan who is a decade older than her.  But he stopped her and showed his respect towards her by touching her feet for the contribution she has made to society.

When the most respected Sudha Murty called as Cattle Class :

There was an incident at Heathrow Airport in London, Sudha Murty was called “Cattle class”.

She dressed in typical Indian apparel and joined the queue after the boarding announcement.  The lady in front of her was well-groomed in an Indo Western Silk outfit, a Gucci handbag, and high heels.  Suddenly, the lady turned her sideways towards Sudha Murty and informed her that this line is meant for business class travellers. The lady asked Sudhamurty to follow the economy class queue. 

She wanted to know why the lady had a thought why she wasn’t worthy of business class.  She asked the lady ‘Why should I stand there?’

The lady explained the difference between Business class and Economy class tickets.  The cost of the ticket is three times more than the latter.  We are allowed to bring two bags with priority checks to the facility but you can take only one.  We can board the flight from a less crowded queue.  We are provided with better meals, television screens and four washrooms for small passengers.  After explaining the differences, the lady asked Sudha Murty to use the economy line.  She refused and stayed there in the Business class queue.  The lady turned to her friend and said ‘ it is hard to argue with these cattle class’.

Sudha Murty showed her Business class ticket to the attendant and walked a few steps ahead of the woman.  She came back to the lady and asked “What made you think that I couldn’t afford a Business class and refer me as Cattle class”

Sudha Murty pointed out rightly to the lady that Class does not mean possession of a huge amount of money.  You may be rich enough to buy luxuries but that doesn’t mean that you can gain class by acquiring money.  It is an outdated thought process of defining class based on wealth.  She left the place without waiting for a reply from the lady.

Next day. She had to spend multiple meetings. In the last meeting of the day, she saw the same lady from the airport present in the conference room.  The lady acknowledged her presence and continued the presentation as if nothing had happened.  The Presentation is about requesting the Infosys Foundation for infrastructure development for government schools which will be beneficial for the children of their estate workers.

She replied to their request, that the Infosys foundation helps those people who don’t have anybody to take care of.  It is your duty to help the estate workers who help your business prosper.  The internal policy of Infosys foundation is to work for the most disadvantaged section of society.  This concept is beyond the understanding of the cattle class.

She finished the meeting with a story on George Bernard Shaw - a great thinker. 

One day, a dinner was arranged at a British club. The rule of the club was that that man wears a suit and tie.  It was probably the definition of class in those days.

George Bernard Shaw walked into the club in his casual attire.  The doorman at the club was not allowing him to enter the club for not following the dress code of the club.

He returned to his house and changed into appropriate clothes for entering the club.  The doorman allowed him to enter the club this time.  The room was full inside the club to listen to his speech.  Before addressing the audience, he removed his coat and tie and placed them on a chair. He announced, “I am not going to talk today”. 

The audience was confused and personally asked about the reason for his action.  He narrated the entire incident and said “ My mind is in no way affected by clothes I wear”.  For this club, Clothes are more important than my brain.  So let the coat and tie take my place instead and he walked out of the room.

After completing this story, she stood up and said ‘ The meeting is over ‘

Judging the person based on Materialistic possession intrudes into the society at large.  This kind of behavior sown the seeds of discrimination and stereotyping. The quality of a person depends on their right thought and right action but not by cozy clothes. 

Sustainable lifestyle is Simple Living and High thinking!

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