--BY MADAN LAMSAL
This week, too, was chock-full of meetings - intraparty meetings, interparty meetings, all-party meetings, presidential meetings, prime ministerial meetings, opposition meetings etc. If you think all these meetings were held just for the sake of the political chair and good food, then you are terribly wrong. Because all these meetings must have been held to explore the ways to make things less expensive and uplift the poor. After all, the government and the parties belong to the poor. Don’t you believe this?
Truthfully speaking, governments are formed and toppled for the sake of the poor. The rich can survive on their own. The government, on its part, is doing all it can for the poor. For example, it has created the Poverty Alleviation Fund, Poverty Alleviation Programme, Landless Squatters’ Commission etc for the poor. Such commissions are in the dozens and even the government doesn’t know about many of them. The government has identified the poor and made their list public. It has also issued identity cards to the poor households. Has any other government in the world been able to pull off such a feat?
These days the great leaders of our country are greatly worried by the fate of the poor. That’s why they are holding marathon meetings aimed at uplifting the poor. Because it’s only the poor who are available for free in the country and for whom so many policies and programmes are made every year. And it is for the poor that so many ‘isms’ – Marxism, Leninism, Maoism, socialism, communism etc- have come about.
As this is a government of the poor, it depends upon the poor to function. Claiming to be working for the poor, political parties win elections and form governments. But while doing so, the political parties and politicians become rich while nothing changes for the poor. Those in the opposition, too, topple governments, claiming they are doing it for the poor. In any demonstration - whether it is to support the government or to protest against it – the poor are at the forefront. That’s why the poor are the most important beings in our country. Without the poor, in whose name will the politicians do politics?
Again, without them, in whose huts would the politicians spend their nights while campaigning for elections? Who would they flaunt while seeking votes or asking for bank notes from foreigners? How will they show off the selfies they’ve taken which show them dining with the poor that establish them as friends of the proletariat? Who would they feed meat, rice and beer to for free during elections if there were no poor? Also, it is an old habit of the politicians to eat up the food meant for the poor. The poor won’t be poor if they are not preserved and left hungry!
The poor are completely unaware of the great efforts the government has been making to alleviate poverty as they are always engrossed in the thoughts of making their ends meet, paying their kids’ school fees and arranging irrigation, seeds and fertilizers if they happen to get a piece of land. Yes, they are totally ignorant about the untiring efforts made for their upliftment by those who determine their destinies, drive air-conditioned cars and drink expensive imported bottled water. So much so that the poor don’t know at all about the free education, health care, drinking water etc mentioned in the political parties’ election manifestos and the government's periodic development plans. The poor know just one thing – that they are poor!
The poor are such that anyone can initiate a debate or pour their suppressed anger on them anytime, anywhere. You can organise symposiums, seminars, webinars about them. Similarly, side by side, you can force them to die of hunger or commit suicide or chase them away to foreign lands. You are free to do all this. They are not going to say or do anything.
To end their poverty, politicians pull off a feat from time to time. And in their place, they frame their servants or some of the other poor. However, the same politicians give lofty speeches about ending poverty in parliament, television channels and world forums. That purges them from all their sins and establishes them as the gods of the poor. They say you attain moksha or liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth in your next life, if you can please the gods. But if you can please the poor, you get moksha and get to live a wealthy and luxurious life in this life itself! You don’t have to go too far to find evidence for that – just look at the politicians!
One important thing to note here is only the people of certain castes can be poor in this country. The people of many other castes do not have the right to be poor. The poor however have the right to live in poverty. They spend most of their lives learning how to avoid death in poverty. On the other hand, politicians and those in the government accumulate massive wealth for themselves more than enough for their next seven generations while talking about feeding the poor two square meals a day.
We launch agitations if the price of milk rises by even a couple of rupees. Social media is full of outrage in a split second if the lights go out even for an instant. We run out of patience when our internet connection is disconnected even for a few seconds. But the poor are silently enduring everything – lack of food, clothes and shelter. But perhaps we don’t care. That’s why we say nothing.
But have you ever wondered what will happen if the poor decide to break their silence. I, for one, have been desperately waiting for that day.