The upper class comprises of people from the upper strata of the caste hierarchy such as the Brahmins and also people who own considerable amount of wealth such as the Brahmins. Here wealth would mean wet land, education level, house type, whether they have jobs or businesses, number of vehicles owned by them, irrigation facilities, health condition, etc. The middle class comprises of the middle strata of the caste hierarchy and people who have marginal land holdings, and vehicles such as motorbike or bicycles, such as the Sidars, Rathiyas, Yadavs, Chouhans and Nais in the village.
The lower class comprises of people who don’t own any land, have to do daily wage labour for their livelihood such as the Manjhis and Uraons. After the sales of land during an industrialisation drive by Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL), this scenario changed. People who sold their land to JSPL are now rich and so have money to spend on commodities which are other than the basics. People who were power centres before are now facing reduction in their power. But this power shift is not without any flipside.
The village is a predominantly Scheduled Tribe (ST) village and hence their old habits of liquor consumption doesn’t give way to the new prospects of a better standard of life. People now are consuming more liquor than ever before. And due to this there is an increase in the incidences of drunken escapades such as accidents and domestic violence. During the festivities of the election of a new Sarpanch one Mrs Ramkunwar Chouhan was brutally beaten up by her husband as he was drunk and this landed her with a ruptured lip, a broken elbow and a swollen forehead.
Along with the violence and accidents there is also a danger of children falling in the traps of these habits. Though children are starting to educate themselves yet there is a lack of motivation from their family to quit these habits. One of the children I interacted told me that he liked to drink liquor. I was shocked to hear this as this child I’m talking about is just 6 years old. Many children consume tobacco too. Family members don’t give any attention to this trend and ignore it. Children generally drop from the school when they are in class VIII or IX.
Rarely have I seen children above the matriculation level of education. There is a need for this to stop but who will take the initiative as the generation on which it depends is already in the grip of these bad habits. People may think how is industrialisation related to all this. Well, it is. With the extra amount of money in their hands, they have become careless about the way it should be utilised. The way it has changed the village dynamics can be seen by the village interactions between people and the way their future generation is going to bear the burden of these advancements.