|29th November 2000 - Page 3|
I’d like to clear a few misconceptions...
|I was extremely impressed with the articles that I came out in the last issue. I too stand for most of the views expressed in those articles. I strongly believe in capitalism and I am convinced that it is the only solution to our economic and political problems. I too feel that selfishness is a virtue and selflessness is the biggest sin. Because the self of the centre of one's life and if the self does not matter then one does not deserve to live.
In spite of this, there were a few misconceptions that need to be cleared. A few thoughts expressed were not only preposterous, they were seriously disturbing. For example, I remember a young lady wrote, let me quote, "We are removed and sheltered from it (poverty) no doubt, but am I supposed to feel guilty that I get food and another child doesn't because my parents work harder than his parents do?"
No ma'am, please don't feel guilty but also enlighten yourself to the fact that the reason why this child does not get food and you do is not because his parents don't work hard. Certainly not. They probably work harder than we can imagine. Then what is the reason?
The reason is that they don't get what they deserve and our parents do.
Does a labourer deserve an empty stomach after hours of strenuous labour? Does he deserve to see faces of malnourished sons and daughters when he has just spent his entire day to fight their hunger?
Or let me put it this way, does a hungry child deserve to stay hungry? Can we blame him for his poverty? What is it that we have done and he/she hasn't, that there is such a drastic difference in our living conditions.
We should be thankful to our fate that it has bestowed upon us all the luxuries of this world and that we are born in privileged families. But is it right to just leave it at that?
No, I don't believe in equal distribution of wealth, or a society in which everyone is considered equal in terms of wealth, merit and status. But I do believe in equality in terms of opportunities. "Opportunity." The key word out here. Until and unless we do not get equal opportunities, who are we to decide who deserves what?
The problem of poverty in our country cannot be simply defined. "Those who are rich have worked hard and those who are poor haven't'" is not the reason. In fact the working class has been exploited severely in our country. The answer lies in giving equal opportunities to all. Or let me out it this way, opportunities to those who haven't got any and those who can do a lot with them.
|We can blame the government for not doing so, and surely it is to put to blame. But how can we leave the issue in its hands. The same government who we despise, the same government we do not trust?
No we will have to do something ourselves. I am not asking anyone to part with his or her wealth. But there are other ways, ways that won't hurt us, to give opportunities to those who are not privileged. For example spreading education. Educating those who can't afford it but yearn for it.
And let me tell you ladies and gentlemen, we shall be extremely selfish in doing so, because this task shall give us immense happiness. Because by doing so, we would be creating more producers, more leaders, more creators, who shall in turn give our children a brighter future by making the world a better place to live in.
Class XI - A
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