The Richness of Poverty

By Rakesh K Mittal IAS on 24-06-2017

Over the past few years, television has made tremendous progress in our country.  Not only has the number of programmes increased manifold, but the quality too has improved greatly. Some of the programmes are really good and have given useful messages to the viewers. Two serials from which I drew important messages are Nukkad and Junoon, messages which I would like to share. The serial Nukkad was on the life in a street corner of a small town.  All the characters of the serial were persons who could barely make their living.  Some were not even employed and depended on the help of their colleagues. Some had developed the habit of drinking due to frustration. They were, at times, also exploited by vested interests.  Overall, they were miserable people and had no apparent joy in their lives.On the other hand, junoon was a story of very rich people who had accumulated their lakhs of Rupees by dubious means. Many of them were engaged in underworld activities and had intense rivalries with each other.  Outwardly they displayed affluence and moved around in the upper class of society.  But inwardly, they too were frustrated, and often resorted to drinking as a result thereof.When we look at these two groups of people, some interesting observations can be made.  In Nukkad the group as a whole appears quite cheerful and contented.  They enjoy every moment of life despite all the problems they face. They try to help each other beyond their means. They happily accept the shortcomings of each other and genuinely try to help. There is no tension visible on their faces. Overall, the group, though beset by problems, is quite happy and enjoys life to the extent possible under the circumstances. The opposite is the case in the serial junoon.  In this group, the characters are so busy amassing wealth that they have no time to enjoy life.  The unfair, illegal means of making a fortune further adds to their worries.  Not only this, they are always fearful of the police or of a rival or of their own men. This makes their lives very tense, rendering it totally joyless.  Almost all of them have great tension in their family lives too. This made me think about the very definition of richness or poverty.  I feel these are not at all absolute terms but simply the states of mind.  I find it difficult to say which of the two groups is richer. If one is richer outwardly, it is very poor inwardly and vice versa. The first group, despite being poor, is happy, while the second group is miserable despite all the riches. And if we go by the ultimate aim of living, which is happiness, it is the first group which achieves the objective and not the latter. For true happiness there has to be a balance between the outer and the inner growth.  But I feel that bliss, even if out of ignorance, is better than misery of any kind.  From this point of view, the state of poverty has more richness.

About The Author

Rakesh K Mittal IAS

Sri Rakesh Kumar Mittal IAS (Retd.) had been an administrative officer in Uttar Pradesh state cadre for about 35 years. He is a spiritual man with high moral values and a selfless heart. He has founded 'Kabir Peace Mission'. He has also written several books on positive thinking.