On Becoming A Second-Class (Train) Citizen

I was nine years old when I became a second-class citizen. At least as far as train travel was concerned. Before then, before another day of infamy that lay in December, the date of my father’s retirement from the air force, my family and I had always traveled by first-class on our train travels. MyContinue reading “On Becoming A Second-Class (Train) Citizen”

Matthew Arnold On Inequality

In his 1879 essay ‘Equality,’ Matthew Arnold wrote about inequality too: What the middle class sees is that splendid piece of materialism, the aristocratic class, with a wealth and luxury utterly out of their reach, with a standard of social life and manners, the offspring of that wealth and luxury , seeming out utterly outContinue reading “Matthew Arnold On Inequality”

The Beating in the Bus

Violence against a ‘lower order’–visible and tangible preferably–is a time-honored technique of social control. ┬áIt brings pain and humiliation together in a cruel package and issues a stinging reminder of difference and domination; it has not lost any of its effectiveness over the years. This is a brief note on one such public display ofContinue reading “The Beating in the Bus”