- My plan for investment
There are many ways in which money could be usefully or uselessly employed. However, people usually do not have millions; they have not even thousands, nor even hundreds. One among a millions, perhaps, has a million. In Pakistan at any rate, it is rarity to become a millionaire. And when one is a millionaire one does not write essays, unless, the essays bring millions-which they do not. So, when a choice is given, we should gladly take it and proceed to say what we may and can do in the matter.
Here are a few ways in which millions could be used, misused and abused. If one is a millionaire, one usually becomes a bankrupt. Why? Just because money is like strong liquor. It intoxicates. Money brings power, and power easily degenerates most of us. Charles Lamb, a fine essayist, tells good story about a man who misused his money. It seems this man was born in a rich family. He inherited much but he spent more. And if your asked him to be careful, he would give you his philosophy. He would say, for example, that money kept for more than three days gives a bad smell, and therefore, he spent it away quickly. He even buried it on the bank of a river, and declared that this was the bank where he kept his money. Very god. A very wise fellow, you will say? He was, of course, wise.
Fancy and fun apart, there are ways of dealing with money that are not funny or fanciful. Let us see if there is meaning in money. There is, Money is a means to buy more. Now what are the things that are most worth perishable goods. They are goods, not good. But there are many really good things that can be had with money. And if ever I become a millionaire, I would invest in buying such really good goods.
I would, for example, invest part of my millions in building schools. I say schools were primary education is imparted to our poor millions. For I see that such schools are few in proportion to our population. I do not say that high schools, colleges and universities are not to be build. I am in fact pupil in a college. But I think that we should first increase the number of primary schools. They are the basis on which we have to build our national education. We should not, and cannot, build from the top. If we do so, it will topple down. That is why our educational system has broken down. We have begun wrongly-at the wrong end.
Look at the condition of our primary schools. First, about the teachers of the primary schools. They are supposed to be the shapers of the character and ability of our children. They are, of course. But how can they do their duty by their pupils if they cannot feed and clothe themselves decently? The salary they get is pitifully small. They have, therefore to supplement their salary with other means. And what are their means? Private tuitions. That is to say, they have to teach more and more children outside their schools. Now the law of life is that if you overdo a thing you undo it. If the teacher has to teach more and more, his pupils will learn less and less. And the teacher himself will lose all interest in his profession. If he has to teach and teach, inside the schools and outside, why, he will get confounded. His teaching will become confounded. It will no longer be teaching it will be cheating! I know this because my younger brothers are being privately tutored at home. When I see the poor primary school teacher trying to teach them I feel very sorry for him. I have at such times dreamt of millions. Now if I am a millionaire, and I will first start raising the salary of our primary schools teachers.
This will be the first installment of the investment of my millions. My second will be the setting up a hospitals in our rural areas. Our towns and cities are now better in point of medical service, though there is the best yet to be reached. But our villagers have to walk all the way to towns when they want medicines and treatment. My money will therefore go into the building of hospitals and maternity homes in the villages. I will also see if I can raise the salary of village doctors. They like the village school masters, are over-worked and under-paid. Besides, there are several thousand of qualified young physicians whose services may well be offered to the villagers. They usually practice in towns and cities, where they are getting overcrowded. Why don’t they settle in villages? Because village life is unattractive. Part of my millions will go to make it more attractive.
Thirdly, I would invest part of my millions in setting up a chain of permanent industrial exhibitions for a start, around a hundred villages. The function of these industrial shows would be to popularize new techniques of industry and agriculture. I know that our villagers are ignorant of such things as machines fertilizers, tools and implements which help to grow and produce more. The farmers and artisans and craftsmen in our villages work in the traditional manner, which does not yield good results. The problems of our agriculture and rural industries are very well known. New devices, tools and chemicals are now available, with the use of these, our production might be stepped up and the villagers might get the best results. In short, I would appoint several experts to demonstrate to our villagers the uses of modern agricultural and industrial inventions. These exhibitions will be a permanent feature of our rural educational facilities. I am sure that our villagers are not opposed to mechanization of agriculture and industries. All they are opposed to is the way in which the fruits of their labour are exploited by the rich investors. I, therefore, will see to it that villagers get all the modern devices for stepping up production, and that their labour is fruitful to them.
Fourthly, and finally, I would invest the rest of my millions in organizing the artistic and cultural activities of our villagers. My plan is to supplement agriculture with culture. That is to say, I hold that we must first feed and clothe and house our villagers, and then feed their minds and hearts and souls. For this purpose I will build theaters and gymnasiums in the hundred villages of my experiment with my millions. Our villages will be thus turned into decent, healthy and self helping centers of service. To feed our villagers is not enough, we must also develop in them a taste for cultural activities’ dramas, songs, dances and physical exercises to keep them fit.
I think that my millions will be exhausted in these investments for building up a better Pakistan. This is how I would proceed if and when I ever become a millionaire.