Indian people, in villages and elsewhere, have that immense courage to put 'dharmam' before 'annam'. If we do not factor that in, we are diminishing them. In this land, it is dharmam that takes the discourse to another plane.
... when Indira Gandhi proclaimed that “food is more important than freedom”, JP had thundered: “Freedom ... I shall not see it compromised for bread, for security, for prosperity, for the glory of the state or for anything else.”...
Similarly Eashwaramma and Chinapaapakka say," If we eat a meal less, its OK. Dharmam demands that we give to the hungry person who asks for food."
Freedom, daanam, dharmam have always been superior in the paradigm. Superior to food. A worthy leader, who himself lives by these virtues, who has called upon the people, has had full response on this land which accords food a tertiary position to some other more significant things.