Living for a crumb
What do these beggars exist for?
AJAZ UL HAQUE
There is something seriously wrong when you see a cluster of beggars everywhere around (traffic signals being the latest begging beats). We are not discussing as to whether these beggars should be banished from practicing their ‘profession’. We are not even investigating into the realm of crime to which, as is the general impression, this class of people has fallen a prey. We are even staying away from the anxiety of how this phenomenon of large number of outsiders pouring into our valley has come about. Our political condition must not make us too xenophobic that we hate anything outside. Though because of the very volatile character of Kashmir as a case every move looks motivated and anything that sounds India in Kashmir is held under suspicion. This is not for nothing. From the debates on Gandhi to rebates on Bihari labour, a conscious Kashmiri has a right to question. The point here is about a human condition we all know as abject poverty. And this poverty has no distinction of Kashmiri and non- Kashmiri, when looked from a human plane.
Beggary, like every other social deviation, is a norm. A poor lot whose poverty is a direct consequence of others’ affluence can only be sympathized with. Their misery is not their own. In a developed world where wealth is the right of wealthier making poor poorer, a man starving in a slum is a liability on those who revel in gluttony. Children born of them are born to die like maggots for no fault of theirs. Scavenging for a bare meal in the junk heaps, one can’t help but sigh; what have they been created for!! Are they damned to live a life like this? We have no answers as we leave the whole affair as yet another unsolved riddle of destiny. But here we don’t mean philosophy of creation, but the politics of subjugation and for that the plane is not abstract, but real.
Destitution, as a phenomenon, may not always be territorialized or politicized. When the matter is human, solution also must come forth from human sensibilities. A home grown beggar - poverty within - pinches as much as does an outsider beggar – poverty without. Yes, when looked from human perspective, their problem is essentially same, so how can the solutions be different?
Beggars are beggars whether they are from us or outside us.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 13 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 13 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 14 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST
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