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Luxuries vs Necessities

Monday December 20 2004 08:48 IST

By Karmayogi

An electric fan was a luxury in the 1950s, a two-wheeler was a pride of possession in the 1960s, telephone was then a status symbol. This is no longer so. They are the essentials of existence now.

Progress, civilisation, prosperity means the luxuries of today must become the necessities of on Sunday. I am somewhat sure of general consensus about this.

If one further step is taken and someone says that one lakh of rupees of monthly income is a necessity, a chorus of voices will speak, This is greed, It is unpardonable ambition, My God, people are moving to the worship of Mammon, Why in the name of God should one do all this? completely forgetting that these very people are making a beeline to those countries where $2000 is the monthly salary.

The present goal of prosperity is each member of the family should earn $2000 a month. One fifth of that goal is one lakh of rupees for each family. Let us disregard those who are accusing us of greed, money-mindedness, etc. and look at life four square in the face.

What does your patriotic emotion tell you? In the late 40s, a professor was invited to deliver a religious speech where they fed the poor after his speech. He saw each hungry man was eating a mountain of rice.

He was moved. I wish every Indian after Freedom has access to this amount of rice, said he. A Hyderabad lawyer married a doctor. She caught tuberculosis. Both were rich. She was cured of that fell disease.

It was a happy occasion that she could be cured. Nor did they bother about the Rs. 2000 they had incurred as expenses. He was an ardent patriot. Two thousands rupees was a fabulous sum in the 1960s. He declared, I wish everyone in India could afford to spend like this to save a life.

No one objects to a salary of Rs. 19,000 for a typist in the Reserve Bank. That is not the market rate for typists elsewhere. Should that change come about or not? India should become prosperous in every sense of the word.

An enormous amount of money is needed for a family to enjoy modern comforts. High grade education is expensive, you can say costly, from our point of view. Medical bills are astronomical.

Foreign travel educates. It is my ardent wish that the lowest member of society should enjoy all that the highest member now enjoys. I may be labelled a Dreamer. Was it not a dream that India could become free without an armed insurrection? How many of our dreams have come true.

In fact, what we have not dreamt of is being given to us by technology. Spirituality can give anyone in Truth, anything he deserves.

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