By Lalit Garg
A global organization named Oxfam is working to reduce the imbalance between poverty & rich ratio. In its latest economic inequality report, has given a factually effective presentation of new attitudes growing in the name of prosperity, anomalous economic structure and the growing gap between rich and poor. Today the prosperity of the country and the world has been concentrated on a few people; in India too such a picture is being seen more intensely than in the world. Human values and economic equality have been marginalized in the country and earning wealth is becoming the biggest goal. Why did this happen? Has the seeds of this trend been in our traditions or is it the result of market pressure? Are the government systems giving incentives to the rich by giving the slogan of eradicating poverty? Where will this kind of mind-set take the nation? These few questions are important in the context of Oxfam’s economic inequality report, before the general budget, it is necessary to come to this report and brainstorm on its facts.
The shocking facts of the latest report are that despite the Corona epidemic, the wealth of rich people has increased rapidly across the world. Although the income of 84 percent of the households in India has decreased due to the pandemic, the number of billionaires has increased from 102 to 142. Not only this, between March 2020 and November 30, 2021, the income of billionaires has increased by about Rs 30 lakh crore and has increased from Rs 23.14 lakh crore to Rs 53.16 lakh crore, while in 2020 more than 46 million.
This report clearly states that economic inequality is spreading very fast all over the world. The rich are getting richer very fast. Capitalism riding on the back of imperialism has increased the wealth on one hand and poverty has also increased on the other hand. This gap of rich and poverty is increasing instead of decreasing, as a result of which we can see terrorism, naxalism, communalism, provincialism, whose results are violence, hatred, malice, greed and unethical competition in the society It can be seen in the form of cracks in the relationship. The biggest impact has emerged in the form of environmental imbalance and pollution. Due to the prosperity confined in a few hands, not only the big and so-called rich people, but a large section of the country has become a victim of this unethical culture. The growing gap between the rich and the poor will not reduce until concrete steps are taken by the government in this regard. To remove inequality, the government has to implement special policies for the poor.
Oxfam wants to issue such a report around the annual conference of the World Economic Forum and the general budget of India, that although the World Economic Forum advocates the capitalists, its main objective should also be to remove the increasing economic inequality in the world. It is also necessary to bridge the growing gap between rich and poor because for the last two years we are going through an epidemic and it was expected that at least in the Corona period, more help would be given to the poor and their income would be kept safe. But it didn’t happen. The figures are telling that the class which benefited the most in the epidemic is the wealthy class. Their wealth and income have increased, while the living of the poor has become more difficult. For this, the governments will have to try to increase the income of the lower class and collect fair tax from the rich.
The only way to reduce economic inequality is that the workers should get their fair wages, the cultivators should get the fair price for their produce, the laborers should get their blood and sweat, and no human being should take advantage of the system and fill his vault more than necessary. Due to this, a rebellion will develop in the society, which will lead to violent revolution. Government policies in India pretend to remove the poor. In reality, the government only benefits the rich. In the year 2019, the Central Government gave an exemption of two lakh crore rupees to the capitalist class of the country by giving tax exemption. Help was needed not for the rich, but for the poor. There were people in the unorganized sector, which should have gotten help. The truth is that the real income of the people has not increased for the last five years. The wages of MGNREGA, which the government decides itself, are also less than the wages available in the market. Whereas against this the stock market has started showing new heights. Naturally, the gap between rich and poor is widening.
The need in our country is not that a lot of capital should be accumulated in the hands of a few people; the distribution of capital should be such that it is easily available to lakhs of villages of the vast country. But what is the reason that the leadership of the ruling leader who worships Mahatma Gandhi has cleverly kept his principle of trusteeship aside. This is the reason why on one hand there are high ceilings of the rich and on the other hand poverty creeps on the footpaths. On the one hand, splendor gave luxury to the person and luxury aroused cruelty in the person, on the other hand the tragedy of poverty and deprivation ignited the fire of rebellion within him. He started burning in vengeance, many evils came home uninvited. The blind race of meaning associated the individual with collection, convenience, pleasure, luxury and selfishness.
The new economic process was further strengthened after independence in two respects. For one, the goal of our nation remained economic development instead of overall human development. Second, the race for achieving a higher level of consumption has begun all over the country. In this process the whole society has become economic.
Society has to be made life-oriented, not self oriented. For this governments have to make plans for both the long term and short term. In short-term programs, where it is very important to support the unorganized sector, direct cash to it, it is also necessary to increase the budget of schemes like MGNREGA, so that cash reaches the working class. A large section of our villages is still based on agriculture. To increase the income of those people, it is necessary that their cost should be reduced and income should be increased. Long term plans need to be spent on education, health, nutrition and employment. Whereas governments are handing over these life-related services to the private sector instead of keeping them in their hands, due to which these services have now become a business. In this process, keeping all the social beliefs, human values, dignity and collecting money, whatever is considered the standard of success, due to which politics, literature, art, religion have all been weighed on the scales of money. There are dangerous consequences of this trend. The economic policies and development of the country so far have been aimed at adding to the prosperity of a few people. The dream of making India a superpower is also being seen by concentrating prosperity in the hands of a few people. Perhaps this is a so-called attempt to push us forward as a weak nation instead of making it a superpower.
(Lalit Garg is a Journalist, columnist, writer and member of Rajbhasa samiti, Ministry of Home Affairs. The views expressed are personal opinion of the author. He can be reached at email@example.com)