X - " ... to see the villagers as individuals but generous,good and friendly people with many virtues. Here,in cities,we have stopped looking at such people as humans or equals. A little donation or charity here and there and complete ignorance about their lives-is the best we have been doing till now ! It's time,thanks to you, that we look at the so-called downtrodden or the less privileged as humans and equals first and not just a problem that needs to be solved !"
"Yes, thats what I learnt - the richness in the hearts of the 'deprived', the generosity, the grace and culture. As for us the privileged giving, it is what a friend said, 'where we are born is a lottery, and thereafter it is our duty to share'.When the mind is sometimes clear, one gets insight of the fact that water has to find its own level and flow from the tanks to the fields. it is not us doing anything and it is the law of nature. But most of the time all of us are trapped in the deep set habit of protecting the money for our and our family's real and imagined needs.
One small qualifier - I see the poor not as our equals, but as our moral superiors. What they are able to share as a fraction of their assets, is far greater than what we are able to share as a fraction of ours. They share when their next meal is uncertain, and we would never have the courage to do that. Their faith in god and goodness is far greater than that of us educated who are often the godless.
‘and not just a problem that needs to be solved.....!’. We, the privileged, are the problem that needs to be solved, not the ‘underprivileged’ ! 'There is enough for everyone's need, but not enough for anyone's greed' ... and we, the elite, are the greedy of the earth ..."
I - "Actually. from near complete irreligiosity, I have imbibed a little of my village people's sensibilities i think. They see a divinity in everything, in a very unstated manner."
RB - "You can see divinity without being religious!!"
I -" This is like the elite 'spirituality vs. religiousness'. I think the ordinary indian - who is all that really matters - is fundamentally and deeply religious. They have a living faith in a god."
RB - "There is no harm in being religious. But there is no harm in being non-religious also."
I- "It is permitted - as the village people permit me ! If I have not that faith, at least years have taught me to deeply respect them that have that faith."
RB - "Respect as you say is the key word. Respect each other and debate with an open mind. If you do not have an open mind then you will be an addict of some opium or other - religion or marxism."
I - "My people have the most open mind, while being deeply religious. My 'Marx friend' came and during Vinayaka Chaturthi started telling the people how gods should be beaten with slippers. they just smiled at him politely. True religion gives great catholocity in a very natural manner.
But that dharmam they believe in gives a community and a society a framework of goodness and ability to be deeply generous. I think that dharmam has aspects deeper than we the irreligious can perceive. They who have called it 'opium' of the masses - have only disdain and worse for the 'masses' .
RB - "One can appreciate religiosity even if one is irrelgious. Why do you draw a big black line between the two?"
I - "The line is because because that is the differance between 'being indian' and 'appreciating the indian'. You and I can at best fall in the latter category
"They have the grit and the faith and the prayer. You and i help a little, very little. The gram swaraj we dream of, and continue to speak of is a fast receding dream.
Ajay Shyam, "But for you I would have never known the village. Always a proponent of economic agendas. Now I have begun to just learn the implications"
"Yes, i have had the great fortune to see a village from very close. It is also my fortune that I am able to tell of what I have seen, People have to know of the goodness, the dharmam and the poverty. in that order only."
Ajay Shyam "It takes a lot to be you and one is humbled with that"
"No, no I have only been fortunate in seeing all that I have. In Eashwaramma i have seen that ability to share when one's next meal is uncertian. Only that counts.