When will the ‘mango man’ get his share of the nation’s wealth?


While the world moves on, change is the only thing that appears constant. However, there are some things which seem timeless. While I was casually browsing through some YouTube videos, I happened to stumble upon a video song from the old Tollywood movie “Ramudu Bheemudu”, which was made in the year 1964. It starts with the lyric “Vundile Manchikaalam Mundumunduna…Andaru Sukhapadali Nandanandanaa…”. You may wonder why I’m discussing it now though it has been around for long and many people, who fondly remember the good old days of Tollywood, are well familiar with it. Well, as I have already stated, the song has a timeless message and moreover, I did not watch the video to derive any entertainment from it. I was actually pondering over the social, economic and political philosophies that were embedded in it. The writer of the lyrics, Sri Sri, who inspired a generation of youth, did an exceptionally good job in putting things in perspective.

The video song, which is laden with a lot of message, is unlike a duet or an item song which we usually find in our present day Indian cinema, in which an excessively clad man dances with a skimpily clad woman even while a group of side dancers do aerobics like dance movements in the background. It raises optimism for the future and advocates the establishment of a socialistic pattern of society, and prods the common man to not only look forward to a glorious future but also claim his share in the prosperity that is impending. It even predicts that the day is not far away when the country’s wealth would increase and each and every citizen of the nation would lead a life of dignity.

Midway the song, the common man asks a question enthusiastically as to how we can bring about such a just society. One of the protagonists answers him saying, “people should set aside rich-poor distinctions and cultivate cooperation among themselves by following the principle one for all and all for one“. The song finally ends with a profound optimism that the lives of all Indians would change for the better and everybody will get an opportunity to lead a comfortable life, which will propel India to claim its true place in the League of Nations.

The song attains significance in the backdrop of the ongoing struggle between the evil forces who amass wealth at the expense of the common man, and the toiling masses who struggle to find two square meals a day. These evil forces criminalize the society by stashing all that wealth and thereby depriving the common people a life of dignity. The big question is will the forces of evil get defeated and will the common man, whom the wealthy elite derisively call ‘mango man or cattle class’, regain his self-esteem? Yes. I’m optimistic that the ‘mango people’, who stood in serpentine queues with utmost patience in the expectation that they will get their share of the nation’s wealth, will eventually emerge victorious.

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