Thursday, 19 March 2015

Who Created Beggars?

Who created beggars is a question authorities do not like to be asked and people generally do not like to listen to. Poverty which most often leads people to beg in the streets is a product of the shortsightedness, corruption and dereliction of duties of the Administration and Governance of the country. When policies fail, the streets receive more beggars. Wreck of life overnight won't leave people with options but compel them to beg. Newspaper archives will vouchsafe Wall Street Crash was the incident in history that sent the greatest number of people to either beg in the streets or jump from their balconies. It is no use turning faces away from bare truth. No mathematics proves that in share trading, accepted and taken for granted by governments as an instrument of definite economic progress, what money one makes is not exactly what another lost on the other side. Even the recent world economic crashes also did exactly the same thing-sent even more people to the streets. It is still continuing. Wars no more make beggars because they no more happen in a large scale. Unless this modern day system of raising capital through sale of shares is not done with, begging will continue, whether we give money to beggars or not. Approximately three fourth of the world is in poverty, distress and disease. It is the plight of people in these poverty-stricken areas leading people to begging that is to be discussed, not the occasional scene of begging for money for pot and ale in the economically rich nations. Dozens and dozens of countries in the continents of Asia, Africa and elsewhere are in the grip of poverty, sending hundreds and hundreds of their citizens to the streets each day to beg before fellow citizens. Gradual impoverishing and depleting of revenues will not send a man to the streets to beg. He will find means for a decent living during the long period it takes to lower him to nothingness. It is the sudden and unexpected twist and turn of things that send multitudes to the streets to beg. Those who are afraid to beg, jump from their balconies, simply suicide and vanish. Even in welfare states and in economically advanced countries, begging continues.

Pictures of Oil Paintings on wood by Ferdinand Georg Waldmuller, an Austrian Painter who lived during 1793-1865, tell us how the world happily helped the needy in the past. A travelling family of beggars being rewarded by poor peasants, a scene of charity from our bygone era and a scene of eviction are the most noted among his paintings. There are hundreds more of such scenes, carefully recorded in paintings by talented geniuses for the posterity to remind them that their fathers, grandfathers, forefathers and great ancestors all gave alms to those who needed or that they made their living out of begging. The forefathers of all of us either begged or they gave alms. Looking at these pictures, we can see how proud the sufferers were and how magnanimous and humane the givers were. The children depicted in these pictures are world citizens who shall not be deprived of their right to live. They are not peddlers or dope addicts. The loveliness and innocence of their faces forbid us to condemn the good practice of alms-giving on all days, without limiting it to one single day of Sakkaatth or Christmas according to our religious traditions. Tell the World and European Laws to go to Hell! The world, especially the poor peasant families, has always been kind to those needy poor people because the wise of the world always knew what produced beggars: diseases, attachment of properties, eviction from land and home, etc. It was people who saved money for building homes, for treating their beloved in hospitals and for sending daughters away in marriages who were robbed of everything they possessed by wrong economic policies of governments and sent to the streets. Board-Room Economics and War-Room Politics were what created millions of beggars. Nowhere does the poor man in the street come in this picture of power game. Governments wish to hide their crimes and follies, so they enact laws for forbidding begging in their beautiful streets, trains and parks and arrest beggars and remove them from the streets. Then through public relation media, they bark about the supposed existence of a business of organized begging, the beggars' inferior social standards, their uncleanliness, and the stench coming from them. It is when the administration of a country becomes thickly-packed and saturated with stealers, cheaters, and cut-throats that beggars appear in roads and trains. Because they are mostly uneducated, they do not know how to dethrone these drones from authority. So, suppressing the pangs of betrayal, with downcast eyes, and with shame humiliation and indignation, they beg in the streets, because life is such precious, and hope is still endeared. I really miss the human beings forcefully removed from my Trivandrum City Streets. There were sisters, mothers, kids, old men among them. I wonder where they all have gone, and what they are now doing, dead or living. I know the situation is the same all over the world. As long as there is one single person in distress there, no country in this world is humane, whatever ostentaceous pseudo welfare schemes they have devised. I also know, the uniformed officers who only are obeying orders from the blind brutes also are pining in their hearts for arresting beggars.

First reported on 8 April 2014

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