Prithvi Narayan Shah, in his lessons for his fellowmen once said “It is not an easily earned nation, let everyone know”. We have neither forgotten his teachings nor rested on our laurels, although what we have added to our list of achievements is a much more formidable and unique thing that we believe the world should appropriately envy us for―abject poverty and backwardness. Any citizen of the world on an average earns about $11,640 and people around the world are reeling under the pressure brought about by increasing wealth and prosperity. Whereas, it seems, we have laboriously worked to keep our income under $1300 and also keep any shreds of prosperity at bay. The world may wonder, how have we managed to achieve such poverty despite all the pressures but there are not many secrets for our success― although it does take an incredibly hard effort to do so. The world should learn from our efforts and follow us if it doesn't want to suffer the weight of choice, opportunity and prosperity.
The primary enemy of poverty is an individual. The ominous inbuilt impulse of every individual to seek ways to put oneself in a better position is the most formidable enemy for any seeker of poverty. Hence, letting individuals politically, socially and economically free is one of the surest ways of making them fall into the miserable pit of prosperity. Secure private property rights is the evil base for prosperity as the world has already realized.
We have been working hard to make people insecure about their lives and properties till date. In the past, we let the Kings own the whole nation and do as their whims pleased ,we had autocratic Ranas to shoulder the burden. Currently, our political leaders and some self-appointed masters of the country taken on themselves the task of bearing the burden of property and prosperity so that our mass can bask in the glory of poverty and backwardness. Anyone who dares to fall into the charm of prosperity is promptly brought out by our leaders who have aptly collaborated with criminals to strip these people of their properties and, in many instances, of their lives. Our political leaders and elites have been working hard to take away all the property of the mass and keep it to themselves so that they themselves suffer the evils of prosperity and save the rest of us. Some people question our leaders for amassing wealth while preaching about collective poverty. I find this unfortunate. People don't understand how hard the politicians and elites are suffering under the pressure of wealth so that we can enjoy our wretchedness.
Entrepreneurial instinct is another hurdle on our way to success. To counter this instinct and mitigate its impacts, we have made sure that our children grow up hating the concept of entrepreneurship and profit-making. State worship and cult of political leaders/kings are some of the concepts we instill in them. Ask any of our young people, if they know how nations around the world have fallen into the misery of prosperity and they will amaze you with their ignorance. Just utter a few words like economic freedom, free markets, capitalism in front of them and you will be taken aback by their hatred for these evils of prosperity even if they do not know what these really mean.
Despite our efforts to curb entrepreneurship, some people have eventually fallen into the trap. Enamored by this evil, they take risks, start ventures and many times convince enough people to buy their products and services and make enough wealth. But we have not been passive about this at all. Political interference and indoctrinated laborers have been our major tools for fighting against entrepreneurship. We have trained our workers enough and even equipped them with weapons to fight against any wealth creation. We want to be a nation of proletariats not of entrepreneurs. How could anyone undermine the importance of continuous labor agitations, industrial shutdowns, except that which stems out of sheer ignorance? Sometimes, our laborers are easily misled from their path of struggle by the shreds of wealth entrepreneurs throw at them. And that's a pity. In such cases, our leaders send their cadres to crush the enchantment and continue the agitations. But some people are really ungrateful. They complain of being jobless and curse the efforts of our labor unions. How ungrateful of them― instead of enjoying the new found poverty they question and curse our leaders' judgments. They and the world as well, should appreciate the way we have been tackling the problem. For e.g. If a business becomes well known or starts reaching out to too many people or starts spending a lot of money on advertising it products or tries to have an affiliation with the foreign prosperity, we promptly shut them down or ask them to depart with a significant portion of their wealth to feed the leaders so that they remain within our sphere of poverty. It definitely is a tough job, and the world should realize that.
You must be wondering how do our governments and politicians manage the wealth then. Well, that's not a tough job if you are well-skilled. Just look at our roads for an example, which have to be mended almost every month. If our government had built them properly and without careful strategy, we would have no place to pour our wealth and we would have accumulated wealth. Just imagine how disastrous that would have been. Take any instance of our government's work and you will find they have been carefully done in a way that we get a chance to pour wealth every once in a while. We have also taught the people that paying taxes to the government so that they can be poured into the aforementioned jobs is a very patriotic act. Just observe the success of our strategy through the hue and cry that arises when tax evasion by a person or company is found but not an utterance of protest when government (agencies, departments, officials, ministers) carefully mismanages and destroys that wealth.
Political interference in any task has been our overarching tool for achieving poverty and inefficiency across the sectors of economy and classes of people. From educational institutions to religious institutions, from a family to districts, we have virtually left no sector free from the loving embrace of politics. For, we are well aware of the fact that, political meddling is the sure shot way of making an economy kneel down. If a property is allowed to be mobilized by its owner, there is a high chance that it can be used to create prosperity so we have preached the virtues of collectivism and putting society above individual needs and rights to everyone. Just look at how every political party of ours’ talks about collective poverty but never of wealth creation. That is our secret.
Another very effective tool we have found for achieving our purpose is the blame game. Although, majority of our people have never seen or been to United States and is located on the other end of the world, we have made sure that everyone knows it is our primary enemy. Similarly, our political leaders have made it a condition that we all show our patriotism by cursing and blaming India. We know, if we people were to look within themselves and analyze, they might find that doors to prosperity lies within. It would be very unfortunate that if people stopped blaming foreigners and started self-analyzing. We could very well, bid our hard earned poverty good bye.
Despite all our efforts, we couldn't convince a portion of population about the virtues of poverty and backwardness. Lured by opportunities and prosperity in other countries, they have been quietly sneaking into those countries as laborers and workers. We did not put much thought to the trend at first because we were working hard to preserve our hard earned poverty here in home. But one day, to our horror, we realized that these people sneaking out of the country were responsible for a sudden decline in our poverty. We panicked, so did our international friends (organizations) who admire poverty. So we quickly adjusted the figure and have been thinking of ways to counter the trend. We have already countered the tendency of people going to foreign army through our effective tool of 'nationalism' and 'patriotism'. But we have been finding it difficult to counter rest of the emigrants. So we have been trying to make it harder for them to go abroad and making everyone aware that it is unpatriotic. These people should have enjoyed the poverty at home than going and laboring in the foreign country for the lure of prosperity, our argument goes.
We have been known in the world for our natural endowments rather than our achievements. That indeed saddens us. Hence, we intend to preserve our poverty and make it so unique in the world someday that we will be the only 'poverty blessed' nation on Earth. However, our achievements so far are equally appreciable. So, the world better know that our poverty is a hard-earned thing and it takes enormous efforts to do so.
(First published on www.bichardabali.com )