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481. The Neo-Rich

The neo-rich, the filthy rich are current phrases in India. They are usually obese people who squander money, waste scarce resources, corrupt the officials and are described as a curse on the society. This is more than true. Many of them are erstwhile shop assistants, orphans, or street children. Tons of money has come into their possession, often by efficient, resourceful hard work, and often by dubious methods. Their families constantly go on tour or pilgrimage, to all kinds of places in India and outside. When they return home after a long tour, they find in their houses that lights are on and fans are running. They are a source of unpardonable waste. At least in a few such families all kinds of vices have come to stay. They do not honour traffic rules. They know the traffic police will victimise the sufferer and they can go scot free.

With the government, they can accomplish anything by the strength of their money, bypassing rules and procedures. Files from offices in North India come to their houses for them to scrutinise. No department including the venerable judiciary is immune to their influence. People from earlier generations of austerity and high idealistic values cannot afford to countenance these practices. If this is the seamy side of modern life, we do not now see hungry faces clad in rags. Indira commented that she saw people better fed and better dressed, but the statistics did not reflect those developments. As these improvements, at least most of them, come through government expenditure, the change is not reflected in the individual income. Education, medical facilities, road transport and such other things are done by the government.

Those who were young at the advent of Freedom and saw the hungry, famished faces in rags and rickety frames are happy to see that the rags have vanished and stomachs are full. Any new positive development will have its own negative symptoms, very ugly ones. They are eyesores. When we know all countries have passed through these stages and this is only a temporary phenomenon, it is still a poor consolation. This may be the general truth. For those who invoke the Spirit, especially middle class people, life opens avenues through which all these ugly expressions can be totally escaped. The Spirit's protection is total to those who are utterly truthful.

story | by Dr. Radut