Tightening Noose of Poverty
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Dec 28, 2015 - 348 pages
Many of us have seen this - walking through those shabby lanes, smelling of sewage and garbage dump, snotty kids clad in tattered knickers playing barefoot in the cold cloudy afternoon, women trying to burn the damp twigs to prepare a bowl of rice outside the makeshift house made of tin shades or cardboards - but how often have we stopped by and tried to understand, why some of us have to live a life so rotten and filthy, while some of us are on the Forbes list of billionaires? Why, when there is so much talk about growth and development, a huge section of our society is living in a world of perpetual poverty?
This bone-chilling narrative is not from a war-ravaged country or a refugee camp, it is a peacetime description of the unfortunate souls who, are at the bottom of the wealth pyramid. The book is themed around the prevalent corporate greed based on the philosophy which looks at the world purely as a marketplace, and the 'good business sense' that argues wealth maximisation of the shareholders is the sole purpose of the manager in a corporation. The author presents the current economic system, its genesis and its impact on the future of earth and its inhabitants in layman's language. The book is illustrated and a rather quick read. The author has successfully managed to do away with the jargons and has presented the subject in a lucid and impactful manner.
It is interspersed with powerful quotes and illustrations to give you a sense of what he is talking about. The image of a (dead?) naked man, his belongings, that I and you call trash, lying around him in the cold winter morning, tells the horrific story of the chilling night that we might have spent in the warm cosy bed, lost in the glitters of some reality TV show.
"But how low is the bottom of the pyramid? How low?" You don't have to read through the entire book to understand the imminence of this question, you just have to look at the images and you will get to know the answer for 'How low?'
The author suggests that either the world will perish with all its inhabitants or a minuscule fraction of the super rich will flee the earth to settle on some distant planet to evolve into a new species (Homo machiavellius) leaving behind the less fortunate majority (Homo gaius) to be exploited further. The author draws a parallel between such a future and the past exploitation of the Indian sub-continent by the East India Company and plundering of India's economy to maximise its own wealth.
You will be forced to think about who is responsible for the poverty that is so bizarrely and evidently spreading right under the glitters of showbiz culture that seems to have infected even the highest public offices and the ruthlessness with which the wealth and resources are being sucked up the pyramid and you will certainly hear these words echoing in your ears - Who is responsible for the present state of affairs?