The Indian society is plagued by many practices which unfortunately segments the society into many class divisions. This has been practiced since centuries. Even the coming of newer religions while absorbing many into its fold has not resulted in these segregating practices loosening their hold on our psyche. However it is observed that technology can act as a leveller and help eliminate the artificial class divisions.

One such product of technology is the mobile phone. Its invention and subsequent spread throughout the world has brought in a unparalled revolution in the field of communication. Today mobile sets are available at prices ranging from a few hundred to thousands of rupees and include features that are about to elminate the PC and laptops.

Today in India there are nearly 80 crore mobile sets and it is predicted that by end-2013 India might overtake China as the counrty with the largest number of mobile phones in the world.

The mobile phone has given the power of staying connected to the weaker sections of our society. It is no longer a product that they can only stare at and wonder but they can go to the market and buy it and start using it. It has also given them respect in the sense, they can be now contacted and can give appointment for rendering their services at their conveniene. It is common to see plumbers advertise their mobile numbers. Many autorickshaws also advertise their mobile numbers and have now a regular clientale especially for odd hours.

The mobile sets have also brought music into the lives of the weaker sections and now one can see them listening to their sets after or even during their work hours. We have all heard how the farmers in rural areas now first find the price at the mundi market and only if it suits them they offload their produce. It has given the poor a tool to acquire knowledge and then take data based decisions. 

The other day while I was admonishing the sweeper of our soceity's roads for remaining absent without prior information, he looked at me sheepishly and also with a bit of cunningness asked me my mobile number. I knew then the rules of the game had changed. We exchanged our mobile numbers like two businessmen would have done. While he must have felt empowered and upgraded I also felt happy for him and thanked the creators of the mobile technology.

The other day my fuming wife asked me to give her our mobile number in writing. Upon my asaking the reason she said it is for giving it to the maid servant,who says she will now inform us when she is going to remain absent. I promised to buy my wife a separate mobile.

The mobile phones have achieved what many social reformists have been trying since long but with limited success.The weaker and segregated sections of our society have now access to a modern product which they can not only own but effectively use it and help upgrade themselves and integrate with the existing work culture. For them it truly is a liberating experience in many ways.


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