Sudha Murthy the well-known entrepreneur along with RaveenaTundon the Bollywood actress and Guneet Monga the Oscar-winning filmmaker of the documentary “The Elephant Whisperer”(2022), will be gracing the Kapil Sharma show as the guests in the upcoming episode going to be aired this weekend. They are three powerful women who are at the top of the game in their respective fields, In the promo clip of the episode released by Sony on their social media, Sudha Murthy opened up about one of the unpleasant experiences that she had at an airport a few years back.
While standing in the queue for the business class, a fellow passenger referred to her as belonging to the cattle class by judging her outfit, which was a salwar kameez. He considered it to be unfit for the business standards. Cattle class is the term used to refer to the cheapest seats on an airline. Sudha Murthy, the Infosys Foundation chairperson, is ranked amongst the top entrepreneur in the country. She is also the mother-in-law of the current UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak.
Despite her success and influence, she is being scrutinised for her outfit choice. Sudha went up to the passenger to ask what he meant by cattle class. Just based on her wearing a salwar kameez which is ordinary Indian wear, the co-passenger assumed that she must be belonging to the economy class or maybe she is not rich enough to afford a business class ticket and is standing in the wrong queue. She further commented on this incident by saying, “Class maane apni kaam mein shraddha rakhe aur accha kaam karte hai na woh class log hote hai. Paise mein nahi hai, ki economy class maane kam class. Class is not defined by your appearance or the assets you own but by your work.
She believes that those who are dedicated and loyal to their work and indulge in good work for the betterment of society are real high-class people. She quoted Mother Theresa’s example and argued that none refers to what she wore but we remember her by her actions and her selfless serving nature. Your actions determine your value and class.
The present generation claims to be modern and more egalitarian in their approach, but the ideals and big corporations they support are commodifying the upper-class identity. In the current world, where airport looks are trending, and paparazzi waiting outside airports and public spaces to capture celebrity attire, outfits have become reflective of your class. In such a world, Sudha Murthy’s experience is not a rarity. Rather it is a critique of the society that over-romanticises the elite culture and the immense value it attributes to material goods which leads to the commodification of the individual and class identity. This corporate culture is furthering the divide between the classes and castes in our country.