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By Karmayogi

The more prosperous the nation, the greater is the self-respect of the Individual. In poorer nations, the population is ignorant, illiterate, docile, submissive, and abject. People do not value themselves as something to be counted upon. Poor people are satisfied with poor meals, poor clothes, poor housing, etc. Times change. No longer is man content with one meal, one dhoti and no schooling for his children. The middle class man now aspires for a good education for his children. An MBA course costs Rs. 95,000 per year in the best of colleges. All this cannot be met from the salaries prevalent in the market, including the government, where pay scales are higher than the private sector. Good food, good clothes and good shelter for the whole family is self-respect at the physical level. Higher education is partly mental self-respect, partly vital self-respect.

Self-respect in the Individual is a welcome sign. When the whole population comes to assert their self-respect, a huge demand for clothes, paper, pens, food grains, etc. is created as if the population had been doubled or trebled. The population since 1947 has trebled by itself and man is coming into his own. That creates a new market of extensive services apart from consumer goods. This market produces MONEY, as land and factories produce money. The newfound prosperity seen in the metros and somewhat in all other places is one expression of Man coming into his own. This aspect of the Indian economy has done more for the development of India than the Five Year Plans of the government. Self-respect creates Prosperity; Prosperity generates self-respect. Thus it becomes the opposite of a vicious cycle - a virtuous cycle.

If India should hold its head high in the community of nations, the lone Individual at home must respect himself. He must be Prosperous. The world does not respect poverty or poor men. It may take pity on them and offer charity. The age-old ideal of not being money-minded will not hold good now in a money economy. That ideal was fashioned in the days when life could go on for months or years without man handling money. It was a non-money economy where people lived hand to mouth and stayed in the village. There was no money and there was no need for money. To uphold the ideal of 1920 in 2003 is at best not wise.

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