An incisive article by Harsh Mander on how the Indian middle-class relates to its domestic workers (aka servant, bai, aayah, bahadur, etc.):
Behind the walls of Indian middle-class houses, unequal India is produced and reproduced. This is where children of privilege learn early to accept and normalise inequality, lessons they carry for life. Domestic workers are the only elders they can command, call by their first names, and speak rudely to without being deterred. When a small boy of four is asked to touch the feet of all his elders, how does he know so early that he is expected to touch the feet of all older people — except the domestic help?
In the novel [The Help by Kathryn Stockett], one coloured help raises 17 white children in her lifetime of employment. She has to sacrifice the care-time she wanted for her own son so that she could earn the money to tend him. As babies, many white children love her more than their own mothers. Her heartbreak is that, when they grow up, most acquire the same prejudices as their mothers and treat her with the same casual disrespect and condescension. How many of us urban Indian middle-class adults have been similarly raised by women who neglected their own children, whom we have forgotten as we grow and they age?