How Poverty Ends? Still a question for the world

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By Lalit Garg

Poverty has increased due to the distressed economy and subsistence crisis due to the Corona epidemic. Poverty was a curse earlier too, but now this crisis has deepened. Poverty is a big problem not only in India but of the world. It was announced in the United Nations to celebrate October 17 every year in the year 1992 as Poverty Alleviation Day, to solve the spread of poverty. Poverty is like a fatal disease; it is a bad stain for any country. When the people of a nation lack the things like housing, food, clothes, medicines etc. which are necessary for living, then that nation comes under the category of a poor nation. Governments make extensive efforts to get rid of this poverty.

We hope to build an equitable balanced society in the country by following the paths and the schemes we implement, but the schemes are becoming heterogeneous and poisonous, everything seems to be acting, cheating, confusion and deceit.  How will Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s golden dream of ‘Lok Rajya’, ‘Swarajya’, ‘Surajya’, and ‘Ramrajya’ be realized on such a foundation? Because here all the political parties and all those who mock democracy are starting to build their own empire. Today the situation would have been very different if all the wealth of the world, all the resources were used to eradicate poverty, but the craving for power and the ambitions to establish an empire on the world created disruption. For this reason, the wealth, which was not used in the making of human life happy and prosperous; was engaged in the manufacture of weapons of destruction, in causing and spreading epidemics like terrorism and corona? One nation is spending its energy in keeping the other nation in fear, not in alleviating the poverty of the poor person.

Today’s physical mind says that life is surrounded between outside and inside the house. But the political mind believes that wherever there is poverty, that is life for politics, because politics gets energy from it. This is the reason why in this country, even after seventy years, poverty is increasing rather than decreasing, the more the poverty increases, the more political ground is strengthened. Because the way of occupying power comes from the path of poverty. Very big plans have been made to eradicate this poverty and are being done even today. But the poor were eradicated and poverty persists even today.

The inconsistencies in government schemes are that life in villages has stagnated. It is as if a sick, uneducated, poor man is carrying himself. The city has become a forest of cement and iron bars. Machines are all running. Not known to go ahead of him or to leave others behind. All these have been said – everyone else is a lie, the truth is just bread (food). Bread is not just a word, but it contains a very big definition within itself. Which today’s man defines at his convenience? Bread is saying – I am expensive, you are cheap. This is a gross insult to man. Bread is precious, life is cheap. Humans are cheap, and in this way the poor are being humiliated, this is the biggest danger. The National Human Rights Commission realized this danger, while those who stalk democracy should realize it first.

One day there was a debate as to what is the definition of poverty? Wealth less, characterless or insincere or who does not know behavior or who has no respect in society. All these parameters have not yet come into the human mind. He simply considers the poor who have less money than they need, or who cannot juggle bread for two times. Who cannot get his old mother treated? Who cannot pay the fees of his children? Poverty makes a person unable to live a better life. Due to poverty, one feels powerlessness and lack of independence in life. Poverty is like a situation which makes a person incapable of doing anything he wishes.

There are many faces of poverty which vary with person, place and time. Poverty is a tragedy and unfortunate situation that no one wants to experience. Mahatma Gandhi once said that poverty is not a divine curse but it is the biggest problem created by mankind. Poverty spreading like a drought in the world also signifies the failure of governance. Because poverty is not only related to the monthly or annual income of a particular individual but also to the health, political participation, culture of the country and the advancement of social organizations. The main reasons of poverty in India are increasing population, weak agriculture, corruption, conservative thinking, casteism, high and low among rich and poor, lack of jobs, illiteracy, disease etc. India is an agricultural country. Despite this, only the largest number of farmers present in India is forced to bear the brunt of this poverty.

Due to the wrong policies of the government, poor agriculture and unemployment, people have to face food shortage. This is why inflation has spread wings. At the same time, increasing population in India is also a major cause of poverty. More population means more food, money and home needs. Poverty has spread rapidly due to lack of basic amenities. The rich and the fierce have dug the gap between rich and poor. The government also considers such people as poor whose annual income is less than the government’s prescribed figures. But poverty is not only economic.

The philosopher believes a poor man is like; who is afraid, who is tired, and who cannot speak. The ordinary man considers the hut poor as the poor and the palace rich. Well! It is true that there is no universally accepted definition of poor. What is the poverty line then? Why the most important thing in ending poverty is removing inequality. If this does not happen then development will have no meaning for the poor. In an independent country, in a society without exploitation, in an egalitarian perspective and in a welfare socialist system, it should not be a poverty line.

This line is a line of shame for the masters, who should be ashamed of it. The question here is what is the government that cannot provide bread? How could the system that could not make? What society could not give respect and affection? Who could not tell the disciple the difference between good and bad how is that guru?

If we look at neutral eyes without putting on colored glasses, then we are all poor. Just as fear is not only in death, but also in life. Similarly, fear is not only in poverty, but also in the rich. This fear is from those who create terror, those who spread corona, those who have a war mentality, and those who abuse power. Gandhi and Vinoba spoke of ‘Sarvodaya’ for the rise of all and eradication of poverty. But the politicians made him a ‘Nijodaya’. J. P. gave the slogan of complete revolution ‘Sampurn kranti’ to get politics out of caste religion. This ended with a tribute paid to him. The poor moved away from ‘Garibi Hatao’. The situation has taken a rather new turn that those who can redeem the slogan of poverty can gain power. How will the golden dream of an equal and balanced society come true? How will Modi’s new India be built?    

(Lalit Garg is a Journalist, columnist, writer and member of Rajbhasha samiti, Ministry of Home Affairs. He can be reached at

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