I was born in a poor family and I will remain poor forever. While this may not be the universal truth, this certainly is true in India. They were ill treated before Independence and they were ill treated after Independence and will continue to be treated so.
It’s not like we don’t have the means to end the poverty, it’s not like we don’t have the system to create opportunities for the poor, it’s certainly not like it’s an unsolvable problem that the mankind has ever faced. But what is making poverty thrive in India. What is making it flourish ? What is making it sustain ? Well simple answer is, poverty is a business. Poverty creates opportunities that no other business plan, no harvard or no IIT graduate or no management expert can even attempt to create or even dream of creating it.
Here is why I think poverty is a business unlike any other business. So if there is a minister who is out there to exploit, he/she can take money to
- build schools, but never build them or do a bad job at it
- build roads, but never build them or do a bad job at it
- build hospitals, but never build them
- build water tanks, but never maintain them
The schools, roads, hospitals, water are basic necessities not luxuries. So as long as the minister(s) ensure there is no development, the minister(s) can get funds allocated year after year after year for his/her entire term and then walk away with tons of money. Since ours is a democracy on paper, people’s issues are hardly heard, their voices get shut out in the cacophony of the parliament proceedings, the minister(s) can continue the exploitation forever. The resources are there, the technology is there, the money is there, but there are no minister(s) with a heart.
What could have been easily a win win situation for both the minister and the poor man, the common man, the survivor, the fighter, has been reduced to pure exploitation.
Take the latest incident that’s shocking to read, disturbing to even see the images. 51 people standing in neck deep water in protest of the government’s decision to open the flood gates of dam without any prior notice, which when open will destroy the neighboring villages. These 51 people are not poor, are not marginalized, are not helpless, they are survivors, they are fighters, they are brave soldiers who have brave hearts, they have spines to stand up to the injustice done to them and taking the fight to the mighty, arrogant, indifferent and ruthless government.
I can hardly imagine myself walking in the rain for the fear of getting sick and here we have 51 people standing bare foot in the water, risking their health and in turn their lives for something that’s a creation of greed and irresponsibility of the minister(s). Their only fault is they are poor, they were born in poor families and this is their punishment for coming in the way of the so called ‘Development’.
Salute to the 51 people in the water and the people supporting them. Salute to their courage and their selfless attitude. I can only hope the authorities react and respond and show that they have some humanity left in them.
How low can our ministers go ? How irresponsible can they become ? How immoral can they get ? What does it take for the minister(s) to understand that poverty is not a business it’s simply an economic situation created due to lack of opportunities.