My father always says that if all rich people in India would combine their wealth to fight poverty off the state, India might just feed all the empty stomachs in the country.
But as Arundhati Roy writes in An ordinary person’s guide to Empire, “…the rich get richer and the poor get poorer—not accidentally, but by design. By intention.”
It’s scary. But that’s the state of the world.
In a world where no man is an island, the increasing disparity between affluent ignorance and needs of the unfortunate have only grown when in reality they are so closely attached.
In a January 26, 2007 editorial in “The Telegraph,” it reads, “There is a distinction, not often recognized, between a poor nation and a nation of poor people.”
In simple logic, there is not much difference between the two because a nation of poor people creates a poor nation and a poor nation comprises of poor people.
While the editorial goes on to read that “India is no longer a poor nation,” one must also be aware of the fact that there are still many poor people in India today.
So, while the world erases India from its “third-world” title and Ratan Tata flies an F-16 for half-an-hour, the world is full of praise.
Perhaps India is a rich nation after all. With Tata and Mittal leading the pack—it is a nation of rich people.
But then, there are people in India, who according to the “most convenient” definition of poverty lack the “basic amenities of life—food, shelter, education and health.”
I don’t know where I am going with this… but many times, it is like what Arundhati says,
“But we continue sailing on our Titanic as it tilts slowly into the darkened sea. The deckhands panic. Those with cheaper tickets have begun to be washed away. But in the banquet halls, the music plays on. The only signs of trouble are slightly slanting waiters, the kebabs and canapés sliding to one side of their silver trays, the somewhat exaggerated sloshing of the wine in the crystal wineglasses. The rich are comforted by the knowledge that the lifeboats on the deck are reserved for club-class passengers. The tragedy is that they are probably right.”
And it all feels meaningless… “a chasing after the wind…”
But then, writers like Arundhati Roy comes along and phew! makes you feel guilty for being so damn complacent. You are disgusted at yourself…
It is the little observations she makes,
“A pair of dragonflies mated in the air. I caught myself wondering if it was rape…”