Poverty is the prime source of practically all evils, whether political, social or economic. A poverty-stricken land is easy prey to its greedy and jealous neighbors. Poverty has brought about political revolutions, moral degenerations, and economic upheavals. A nation of hungry and starving millions cannot preserve its integrity and independence for long. Political independence will have no meaning to the masses and the common man unless he 18 enabled to enjoy economic freedom.
The question is, in what manner and how soon we can remove poverty and usher in prosperity. The gap between the rich and the poor cannot be wished away. Narrowing it down involves, not only well-directed efforts but also the active cooperation of the rich as well as the poor. The former must be prepared to make sacrifices and reduce their consumer expenditure and the latter must be prepared to work hard for improving their lot.
In this connection, it may be worthwhile to find how some of the major countries of the world have succeeded in their attempts to end poverty. West Germany, Japan as well as Italy and France are among the democratic countries who have tacked this problem with astonishing success. Within a short period of two decades, these countries have risen to be the economic giants of the world. It is a system adopted by the governments and the spirit shown by its people which have accounted for t. great wonder. There was not the sorry spectacle of have hundreds of public sector undertakings running at heavy 10$ There was no question of industrial indiscipline, pulls and pushes by political parties owing extra-territorial loyalties, lock-outs, and ghettos.
The accompaniment of the Soviet Union and Communist China are equally astonishing and aspiring. Russia and China had been predominantly agricultural countries like India lagging in industrial development. And yet, within the same period of two decades, these countries also developed great economic strength and achieved the superiority by the iron will, firm device and single-minded determination of their great leaders. They have seen to it that people are not allowed to fritter away their energies and time in petty quarrels, demonstrations, lawsuits in the name of democracy and liberty.
We owe our sad plight of today to our unimaginative and unrealistic fads. We have been talking about democratic socialism, which is a myth and mental delusion. If we decide to stick to our democratic institutions, we should then give due recognition to the profit motives, free competition, and monetary incentives. If, on the other hand, we wish to progress on the Russian lines, we must then forget about our emphasis on individual freedom and fundamental rights. We must re-align our priorities if we want to banish poverty quickly and effectively. We should eradicate illiteracy and give proper education to our people. The Government should create the right atmosphere for industrial spurt and growth. They will automatically generate great scope for employment. The moment we are able to solve the problem of unemployment, we will also be able in end poverty to the country.
Removal of poverty is a timely and realistic policy, which should be followed with vigor and imagination. But we cannot ban poverty if we are going to continue with our outdated notions and confused ideas. Instead, we should be rational, realistic and dynamic. Let us, therefore, re-orient our policies. Let us have the way for greater production and more employment. We will find that poverty has abolished itself even before we may realize that fact.