Human evolution took an important turn, when money entered the picture, till then barter system was very much in practice. In exchange of wheat, Jowar or rice was bartered or anything else. Money first came, in the form of gold then rupee, copper followed by paper note. In reality, a paper note is just like any other paper. It holds no meaning beyond paper. Unless, it has water mark of that particular country or recognized as its currency.
‘Money means what money does’ is economics first and last principle. Hence, money has significance. ‘Significance’ is a synonym for money and it’s beautiful. In Marathi, we call money, ‘arth’, ‘finance’ and it is apt. Money is imbibed with ‘arth’. What money does is ‘significant’; money is not significant in itself. Nowadays, it has wreaked havoc, is a different matter altogether. Money, has the power to either create or destroy.
This power is explained in Sanskrit as ‘Purosho dasan.’ Man is slave of money but to a certain limit. The main reason behind this, your limitless power to spend money, can last as long as the commodity you are going to buy, on the basis of the money is available before you. Take this for example, if a person is dying of brain hemorrhage and you have the money but no means to save him, what is the use of that money to you! It’s just a plain, simple paper.
Here, I would like to remind you, of a saying by Red Indians in context to American people. “Unto the death of last tree, unto the withering of last tree and unto the death of last fish people will never understand the futility of money which you can’t eat to stay alive”. There is a profound philosophy behind this proverb. The realm, of wealth is restricted within itself and those who recognize it become the king and the saint at the same time. They are called king of the saints or ascetic. Such Kings of deep understanding are Kings like Janak and Shivaji Maharaj. Or there are those rich and affluent, who are aware of the value of money and its worth in social context.
The picture coming across is very clear abroad as Warren Buffet, Ralph Felder or Bill and Melinda Gates after certain limit, form a foundation and help the needy and downtrodden worldwide. In India, the picture is different. Once our leaders and businessmen, come across lots of money, they hoard it up thinking only about themselves and their children’s future and worry, about means of creating more wealth for their grandchildren and their children. Slowly, it gives rise to unrest, taking the social system to dumps.
India went back to dependency, because of unequal distribution of wealth and efficient leadership. In foreign countries, we see rich people giving selflessly for social cause, assuming a role of trustee. Mahatma Gandhi always said, “The rich should be trustee of their country”. Gandhiji’s idea of trusteeship never took roots here but it was accepted and flourished in other countries.
Hence, I can mention names like Bill and Melinda foundation. The actors visit a developing country like Africa and adopt the children. We have seen Steve Waugh adopting a child from Kolkatta while Sachin Tendulkar worries about saving tax on his brand new imported car. Till today, we are not able to put a stop to this greedy attitude of our society.
This is the reason, behind India’s downfall in past and it will remain so in future. It is increasing day by day, as the affluent class is hoarding land and generating money. The day you die, understand one thing, the bank balance and the hard work that you put behind is futile and the stress uncalled for. The one who comprehends this, is wise while the other is foolish and this is my personal opinion. As far as trusteeship in India goes, I would like to mention here a commendable job by Parsi community in establishing trusts in India on large scale
Tata’s have built hospitals, education institutions, Tata Fundamental Research Institute in Mumbai, for they realized wealth has to be used for the betterment of the society and not just accumulate it. The money, belongs to the society as after a certain limit, I cannot wear more clothes then necessary, overeat, oversleep or indulge in copulation. This wealth, belongs to people and has to be utilized for the people. Tata’s understood this basic principle but Birla’s instead contented themselves by constructing temples, where nothing can be done except ring bells.
This is India’s misfortune. It is a simple example, of our economic principle. We can draw a line between India and western countries. What Gandhiji said or our religious texts tried to tell us about the material world, those people do not belong here. They were from some distant country. We think western world is addicted to drugs and promiscuity which is an utter sham. In fact, it is we who are constantly running after money, grabbing it from others, hoarding it up, in selfish way and exploiting the materialistic world.
To mask our guilt, we go to so called saints, listen to their preaching’s and try to detox ourselves. But they do not detox us but mislead us by talking half-baked things. It helps to lessen the guilt in our minds, letting us have the impression, that we are free. This leads to wrong interpretation of creation of wealth. Now, this is my opinion. It is high time India starts rethinking on the lines of wealth management and social obligations.
India, is slowly inching towards synthetic values. If India does not change its stand regarding financial policies, feudalism, fearlessness and independence, I don’t see anything positive happening in the next 30 years and soon India will disintegrate in to pieces. This, I am very much confident and would like to mention it here.
Time and again, I will clearly put down my views and add to it but for now this is true. India, ranks 23 from bottom up, in comparison with contemporary countries. Instead of creating a welfare state, we are busy finding ways to accumulate more wealth, more land which we will take with us after we die and spend it on so called celestial beauties. This is a new herd mentality we are giving birth to, who in next 30 years, disintegrate India to pieces.