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Eulogizing Poverty, Encouraging Beggary
|by G Swaminathan|
There was a news item on begging racket in Chennai today. It may not be an exclusive crime limited to Chennai alone. Most of the Indian metropolises have enough of beggar population. This is because of the fact that for very unfathomable and strange reasons, India must be the only country in the entire globe, glorifying ‘poverty’ and patronizing ‘beggary’.
Every political party and their leaders always vow to eradicate poverty. Why after sixty six long years of independence India has to talk about poverty? One can attribute this to our ‘glorious culture’ only. We have always been projecting the media and otherwise as ‘poverty is a boon to realize God’ and our philosophy also advises us to ‘relinquish’ wealth and worldly pleasures to roam around in search of ‘truth’ and ‘peace’. Does this argument carry any sense? Or anyone really follows this type of ‘searching for peace’ including those who advocate them in a grand way?
None of us would have missed the ubiquitous array of beggars near the temples because one is bound to earn ‘the goodwill’ of ‘God’ if they provide alms for the poor. Once, an auto driver near the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam temple near T Nagar, Chennai had mentioned (who are also considered to be poor according to the media!) that one can easily get change for a thousand rupees from the beggars sitting near the temple and many of them have bank accounts also.
Is it not a sin to promote something which is worse than a virus? Beggars are pampered by the general public and Indian crooks who have the least qualms have converted that into business by exploiting women and children so that the public sympathy could be exploited. We never encourage hard work and hesitant to give the price the vegetable vendor or road side sales people (which is another bane in this country!) and bargain. But, with beggars we never argue. I hate giving money to women showing their children for taking alms because these women never had taken permission from me to have unprotected sex with a man. Then why should I do something for the byproduct of somebody’s lust?
Poverty is a curse; beggary is a shame. Unless, the common public and the media stop promoting them in the name of benevolence India will never develop. It is only this unfortunate Chennai Beggar racketeer is caught by the law (however, he will also come out unscathed from our long winding legal proceedings) but there are ‘many more’ in this holy land doing roaring business through beggary!
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