I had written a post about a couple seeking mercy killing for his 12 year-old terminally ill son, because parents don’t have enough money for the treatment. I get an encouraging response from Himanshu:
Hi, somehow I landed up on ur blog while searching in goggle.
I must say it looks so Proâ€¦
U have expressed ur thought and views very neatly in this blog..
I am linking u on my blog so that techie guyz can know watz is happening apart from SDLC in this world.
And thankz for the address, Iâ€™ll b making a contribution towards treatment of Vijay.
Himanshu, thank you so much for everything.
But I received these comments too.
[â€¦] Alka Dwivedi questions Amitabhâ€™s decision to donate money to the Balaji temple when they are other worthy causes (she mentions one) [hat tip: Mridula]. Personally, I have found such questions troubling because it infringes on the individualâ€™s right to handle his wealth. [â€¦]
Its not a question of who needs it more bu a question of whom Amitabh wants to give it to.
Sorry, I don’t think anyone has the right to question what do I do with my own
Can any argument be presented in isolation? Can we lift any sentence from any country’s literature or constitution and apply it as such in entirely different environment? I think, even when multinationals come to India they mold their products and ads according to Indian circumstances and reality. When we use these words , freedom of expression, freedom of choice, sometimes we tend to go overboard. I was listening to a talk show where one person was advocating freedom to use drugs. When it was explained to him how drug addicts end up helping terrorism ultimately, that fellow was not listening. I remember a similar case where one was defending his right to smoke. But what about our right to have a clean environment? He has nothing to say to that.
When I was reading those comments and was very much tempted to figure out how to make a table in wordpress and give statistics about India and USA or any other progressive country.
What is their poverty line and what is ours? It is estimated that India’s progress lags behind 250 years
than that of USA. If each and every Indian have to attain theirs’ living standard and consumption level we have to wait (work hard for)250 years. We all know the infrastructure, medical support system, unemployment benefits, people living on welfare, old age benefits, Social Security, Life expectancy , infant mortality rate…in USA.
Then I stumbled upon this,
â€œHow â€œPoor are America’s Poor.â€? It states some interesting facts :
* 38 percent of the persons whom the Census Bureau identifies as "poor" own their own homes with a median value of $39,200.
* 62 percent of "poor" households own a car; 14 percent own two or more cars.
* Nearly half of all "poor" households have air-conditioning; 31 percent have microwave ovens.
* Nationwide, some 22,000 "poor" households have heated swimming pools or Jacuzzis.
In the light of such glaring contrasts, can we conveniently say things like â€œIts his money, he can spend it the way he wants.â€? Can we comfortably make statement like these commentators? Does we have a support system like USA? Therefore when we try to follow individualism like developed countries, it sounds odd.
What Amitabh’s PR was doing? That news was beamed all day and night long on NDTV. He might have earned a lifetime goodwill of that family, instead he had chosen to waste that HUGE amount of money to a jeweler. ( No wonder rich are becoming richer.) That too when Amitabh is admired and respected around the world by most of the Indians. THAT amount of money have changed the fortune of a villege. Generations could have been lifted to another living standard by that amount of money.
It might sound old fashioned but we have forgotten community feeling and a sense of responsibility towards less fortunates. I am not saying that we should give up all the fun and turn into philanthropists. But once in a while we can do something for our people. It necessarily shouldn’t be in the form of money. Even if Amitabh might have come out and asked people to donate money for Vijay, it would have been collected in days. Even Bill Gates is going to devote all his time to charity, and that to third world countries. Why should he be feeling responsible for third world countries while we are BUSY BEING MORE AMERICANS THAN AMERICANS THEMSELVES.