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Swami Vivekananda on Poor and Poverty

Poverty and hunger are perennial issue throughout the globe. Poverty and population are increasing every moment because it is deeply rooted everywhere in this world. It would also undoubtedly be remained in the future whether it is the capitalist or the socialist country or developed, developing or underdeveloped nation. ‘Poor are neglected, and it is the generational and vicious cycle. So, poverty is their fate for which they are deprived of their basic needs for humanly living in the same society where upper classes live lavishly and waste resources deliberately because they call this as their own property/wealth. So, they have their own will and choice.’  It is the only syndrome of weakness or deprivation. ‘They are psychologically excluded and separated. They regularly blame their fate for their condition of living. They observe their fellow members have been separated them. From this psychological illness they prefer to be intoxicated and to be involved in gambling. Regularly they are ruined for which their families have to suffer and fall in the same cycle.’

Politicians, academicians and activists battle as usual for social and economic equity and justice. In practice, it is only an agenda for movement, struggle and agitation, etc.  All economic policies and strategies have failed to combat it. Needless to say, new economic theories have only been enlightening its’ theorists, Theorists analyse the magnitude of problems of poor in their theories. There is the wide gap between poor and rich and it is also in upward. Policies and programmes are only in relief nature. There is absence of effort for sustainable rehabilitation, or there is lack of initiative for removal of it.  Evidently it is due to mal-distribution of wealth in the society. In every society, wealth and relationship of an individual are basic foundation of individuality or “me”.

It is the driving force of individual existence with status, dignity, and honour. In our education, character building/ethics and morality and belonging-ness are no longer getting priority rather than making of wealth and self-centeredness. In India, poor, poverty and hunger, etc. are the hindrance of the country’s progress and development. Unfortunately, we are far away from the economic philosophy of Swami Vivekananda who tried to facilitate a bridge between age-old Indian moral and ethical approaches to life and modern economic needs of India.Swamiji guided “… we want that energy, that love of independence, that spirit of self-sacrifice, that immovable fortitude, that dexterity in action, that bond of unity of purpose, that thirst for improvement.”

‘Swamiji repeatedly warned about India’s materialism and abandonment of the ideal of voluntary poverty and asterism by the so-called higher classes who hypnotised the poor into slavery in order to capture the wealth of the country for their own consumption.’ Swamiji raised his voice against the unequal distribution of wealth. To add to it, rampant corruption and failure of government to tackle it is significant at present context. India’s multi-parties democracy has been failed to empower poor rather than improvement of the status of rich/elite and corporate. There is no significant change in poor’s condition. That’s why, Swamiji remarked, “the one thing that is at the root of all evils in India is the condition of the poor.” They are mostly not considered as human beings.

Poor has become the political slave in Indian democracy.  Our democratic government and their leaders deny Swamiji’s opinion ‘that freedom is the only condition for growth, and he emphasized on giving freedom to society to grow.’ Economic development of India might be accelerated through agricultural as well as industrial development (including small scale and cottage industries development).Unfortunately, our government has failed to create job opportunities for the vast majority of the people. It has no appropriate effort to rejuvenate agricultural and industrial sectors, while it is much more attentive to privatize public sectors. Hence, it is limiting the scope of a job at large.

India is in deeply crisis socially, economically, culturally and so forth. Our government is much concerned to making India a non-secular state through enactment of CAA and NRC.  Is it the idea of one Nation? Is it the concept of the eternal religion (Sanatan Hindu Dharma) of Swamiji? Our government should rethink about patriotism and nationalism. Harasankar Adhikari

The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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Written by Harasankar

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