The Real Chowkidar Speaks Up

WATCH – The Real Chowkidar Speaks Up

LokMarg went out on the streets of Delhi-NCR to engage with a number of real life chowkidars (security guards) to gauge the mood of the community after Prime Minister Narendra Modi put the focus on their profession by calling himself a chowkidar.

Out team spoke to Ratan Prasad in Loni, Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, Rajkumar in Delhi, Pramod Shukla from Ghaziabad and Jungbahadur from Pilibhit. They talk about their grueling work hours and the little that the government has done for them. However, their response to who they are going to vote for in the coming elections will surprise you no end. Do watch, comment and share.

For more such videos, go to our YouTube channel LokMarg here.

Security Gurad Ajit Speaks On BJP Campaign Main Bhi Chowkidar

RealChowkidar – ‘My Life Is Tough’

Ajit Bora, 49, who works as a security guard at a residential complex in Hyderabad, has heard of the BJP poll campaign but shrugs it off as a stunt. “The real ‘chowkidars’ have a difficult life,” he tells LokMarg.

The year 2014 was a turning point for both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and I. We both started our careers as ‘chowkidars’. While Modi guarded the nation, I ensured the safety of a residential colony in Hyderabad’s Gachi Bowli area. I am originally from Assam. Circumstances forced me to migrate hundreds of kilometers away from home. 

It could be a catchy slogan for political dividends, but being a chowkidar is not that easy. Be it rain or shine, we are expected to stand for long hours outside — 12 hours at a stretch in my case. The #MainBhiChowkidar campaign has indirectly brought us into the limelight. Through the campaign I hope, people, especially youngsters will learn to acknowledge and appreciate the work that we do.

As for me, the Hyderbadis have treated me with utmost respect. Irrespective of your class, the people in this city treat you well. The residential area I work is mostly inhabited by professionals from in the IT industry. We put in a lot of hard work in protecting people’s properties and a few kind words go a long way in encouraging us.

Before 2014, I was a farmer but the income wasn’t enough to support my family of four. The income is still not good but I do not have to borrow from others. I work around 12 hours a day (from 8 am-8 pm) and get paid around Rs 12,000 a month. Of this salary, I send Rs 8,000 home and manage with the rest of the money somehow, living in a small room and minimising all my expenses. I had tried looking for work in Assam itself. Not that there were no jobs but the wages were so low that I took a chance to come to a far-off Hyderabad.

If the government thought of giving us better facilities like pension etc. then probably the job would feel better. At my age not many people want to hire us because they think we might not be as agile as the young ones, so we don’t have the scope to put forward many demands. We make do with whatever has been given to us.

Life of a security guard is difficult; it is no mean feat to be on guard for the entire stretch. That is why I do not want my children to get into this profession.

Therefore, I feel it is important that we vote in a government that would work for its people. I take my voting rights seriously and had gone back home to Assam recently to vote for the Panchayat elections. Good leaders at least ensure that even if I am far away, my wife and children are being taken care of.

I like Modiji and his energy. He comes from a humble background and that is why perhaps talks about people like us. This campaign too has put the spotlight on workers from the unorganized sector. Let’s hope something good comes out of it.

BJP's New Lollypop

RealChowkidar – ‘BJP’s New Lollypop’

Mahender Singh, 72, is an ex-serviceman employed at a mid-size hotel in Gwalior. He believes the chowkidar slogan is a political lollypop. Having said that, he believes that Indian Air Force strikes inside Pakistan territory have turned the tide in favour of the BJP.

A few days back my grandson showed me a video clip on his phone. It showed people from all walks of society singing ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’, because they were inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling himself a chowkidar. Kuch jyada hi ho gaya (It was a bit over the top). Little do those hero-heroines in the video realise what it takes to be a security guard. Can anyone of them keep a watch for 12 hours every day, or work the whole night in rain and cold out in the open?

In the real world, outside political jumlebazi, people have little regard for a security guard. Have those men and women ever spoken to a guard politely? They merely expect us to open their car door and greet them with respect, without even bothering to return a smile. So there is little to get carried away by such videos; this is just advsertisement.

Like other governments, the Narendra Modi regime too has no great concern for people’s suffering. They work less but publicise big. I have faced tough times and training during my career in the Indian Army more than 35 years back. I am proud of the force and the way they have the welfare of its own people. That jazba (spirit) is missing in our political class.

But one thing has worked in favour of Narendra Modi – you can call it a stroke of luck if you want. Terrorists in Kashmir provided him an opportunity to prove his mettle to the country. After the Pulwama attack, the people were angry and Modi government sanctioned out brave Air Force to carry out strikes into Pakistan terror camps. This has had great effect on the voter’s mind. In our village and neighbouring areas, people says he is a strong leader and India needs him.

The large number of people who attended the last rites of CRPF jawans martyred in Kashmir is a point in case. The mahaul (atmosphere) of the nation wanted a counter attack on Pakistan and Modi delivered just that. You will see him return to power after 2019 Lok Sabha elections. But, let me tell you, little will change after that. Life for the common man will continue as ever. Sab aise hi chalegea.