The expression grin and bear it is attributed to a Hungarian pianist George Lichtenstein (1823-1893). The message in the expression is loud and clear: “You accept a different or unpleasant situation without complaining because you know there is nothing you can do to make things better” (in italics for emphasis). Readers of dailies, including this one, cannot miss reports of uncivil acts of fellow Indians with profiles in a wide range beyond one’s imagination. The acts of utter irresponsibility barring a few occasions, by functionaries in civic bodies such as Mysuru City Corporation by not responding to complaints by citizens relating to plethora of woes such as overflowing garbage bins emanating stench, clogged drains with sewage entering roadsides, roads not fit for even walking on them, street lights not functioning leaving open living spaces in pitch dark after sunset, not clearing building construction debris discarded by residents in residential areas, not taking measures to rid the city of pig menace and so on are being taken by Mysureans in their strides, whether they grin or not and bear it helplessly.
India’s commerce in selling crops and perishables to consumers directly by the farming fraternity has been figuring in debates and articles in dailies even as the menace of middlemen and commission agents is the order of the day. The manufacturing industry sector, despite the system of branding the products and sales through authorised dealers, too are bearing the brunt of unscrupulous elements busy counterfeiting the products and upsetting the apple cart of the various enterprises in a world of parallel economy.
Pondering over the current scenario in the land where one is never sure of the genuineness of any consumer product, including even life-saving medicines such as antibiotics with well-known brands, helplessness of people buying their needs in retail stores and not in outlets of authorised dealers merits attention. Mysuru is in august company of thousands of towns and cities across the country hosting retail trading dominated by a well-marked section of society. These traders, who are a law unto themselves, are having a field day with their clandestine methods in selling faked products of virtually every brand of manufactured consumer goods, including durables such as kitchen equipment, electronic goods and others, totally valued at an estimated 75 billion (7,500 crore) rupees produced annually.
The retail traders who speak the tongue of any region where they are carrying on their seemingly fair trading practices have given an honourable name to counterfeiting, faking, imitating by fraudulent means, namely ‘duplicate’. The catch in their unbounded success in business is that they offer the faked goods at irresistible discounts which the consumers obligingly accept. They are happy to grin and bear it.