I often wonder if the kind of democracy the world practices now is just an experiment that aspires to legalize everyone’s thoughts: the rich can have rich thoughts and the poor can have poor, while the abyss between the two gets darker and deeper. Each year as I see more and more homeless in Delhi on roads, I also notice more Indian businessmen in the Forbes list of the super-rich, acquiring companies all over the globe.
Most people who are rich, I have observed, lack emotions, and for them success of the other is the only currency that matters. Yet they feel insecure with all the money and power they have at their command. You can see it in the high walls that surround their houses, in the large gates you can’t get past, in the ferocious barking of their imported dogs, in the forever scurrying retinue staff running errands and doing chores etc. The wealthy seem to be content that they have left the dispossessed in the good care of God, who kills them super quick. If being rich is legalised morality of a certain shade, that shade matches with those who are in the politics, running our democracies.
Madness, on the other hand, is a gift for the poor. And they have no intentions of losing it. For the poor, success is only half-truth and money a reality that is needed only for a day. I have imagined their arguments. At the traffic signals in Delhi where they beg. At the railways stations where they beg. At the big markets where they beg. I have heard them whisper wordlessly, ‘You can progress in the society, or you can progress in your minds. Take your pick.’ Seldom does a poor wants to be rich; all he wants is happiness. Have you noticed that the poor can laugh without a reason?