Monday, 25 May 2015


"Garibi hatao, “ was a famous slogan of a political leader. It was spoken with the intention of obliterating poverty.  Of course it failed, and since then it has changed the nature of poverty.

There is the so called upgraded standard of living, where we observe that earlier the poor had no phones, now they can afford  cell phones, television in houses of the poor was unheard of now we can see television discs even in slum areas.    The poor today have at least  two-wheelers .  Children residing in slums are  commonly seen wearing western clothes. People have things but do they have wealth?

In getting things, people have lost their lands, in getting education, people have lost their connections, in getting jobs, people have lost relationships.  In getting fast  food, people have lost food cooked by their mother or wife. In getting money people have lost wealth. In being privileged people have lost their inner self, in being smart  people have lost common sense.  In trying to remove poverty, we have ended up removing a satisfied life.  We have lost wealth and gained things. We have lost culture but have got fashion We have lost aeasthetic sense and got machines. We are losing out on the beautiful nature, and getting screen savers of the alps.  We have lost cooperation but increased competition.  We have gained independence at the cost of interdependence.  We get to have girl/boy friends and express our affection openel. Free life at the cost of a loving and meaningful relationship.  We have clubs but not community, we have big bazaars but have  lost our village market, we exist but have stopped living.  Valour has gone violence has increased, heroism is exitinct but screen heroes are abundant.  Beautiful women with a depressed heart are in abundance. Beauty earlier was always unexposed from those who were exploitative however now those who want to provoke are called hot and beautiful.  Do we have solutions or only woes?

Dharmik culture talks about inspired poverty rather than imposed poverty.  Inspired poverty is the poverty of things for oneself at the cost of being available to others. The teacher was poor so that less time would be needed for oneself and more time could be given to those who were comptent to lead the society.  The Rishis or sadhus would live with  less so that they could make others live a meaningful life.  Sanyasis and Vanaprasthas, were out of competition to help people cooperate.  Saintly devoteees taught the “art of keeping God in the centre.” so that the real wealth was always experienced in good times or bad times.  Such saintly people were poor by choice so that  others could be wealthy, prosperious  and satisfied .

Unless we have such a class of people, the mission to remove poverty will continue to haunt us and trouble us.

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