Some Expenses the Human Race Does Not Need
Over the last few months we have all witnessed a drastic change in the financial world. Cost cutting has become the talk of the town in India Inc. and abroad. Economy class air travel in lieu of business class, train travel in lieu of economy class and video conferencing in lieu of train travel is what every second manager seems to be suggesting these days. The government seems to be taking considerable steps to ensure that the negative impact of the world financial crisis doesn’t push us into a depression which is already in place in various nations. In this modern day economics, like everything else, a loss in financial gains is globalised over the earth without seeking the border, colour, religion or caste. Add to this the crumbling security of the common man across the globe and what we have is a scenario which seems bleaker than the worst case of depression ever imagined. Irrespective of what the loss might be, irrespective of what the market trend might be – bull or bear, irrespective of how many MNC’s are on the verge of collapse, what matters in the end is where the common man stands today. Statistics regarding inflation, global crude oil prices, GDP, etc might speak whatever they are designed to speak but the fact remains that the common man is suffering in all of this. Here what remains to be seen are the areas where, in my personal view, we as human beings wasting our wealth – financial and human resources both.
What I say here might be totally unacceptable to many of you but so is the current world situation. No one wants to end up at a juncture where he has to bother about whether his savings would be safe enough so that when he retires, he doesn’t have to bother about his daily livelihood. No one wants to reach a point where he has the money to spend but can’t spend it because he is unsure of his tomorrow’s income. Because when we reach a situation like that and even beyond that, we sit defeated by our fate and regard most absurd ideas of today as totally logical then. But it becomes too late by then. What I am raising here are the issues which are not within a single person’s control. In fact, some of them are not even under the power of an individual nation but under the decree of the most powerful thing of earth – The Human Race.
Ever wondered what lies in that canvas of Mona Lisa other than a beautiful design? Many people use many words to describe it – art, culture, heritage, pride, tradition, etc. but let me ask one thing from all those who have played a role or wish to play one in the discriminate enhancement of prices and glory of the scores of art works lying around the world – Would it be make any difference if all of this work is copied and copied over again and made available to the world as it is? Why is it that they wish to hang onto those old memories at the cost of exorbitant prices and escalating security threats?
Heritage and culture lie in remembering them and following their morals and principles and not in keeping old statues within fire-proof safety deposits. If these paintings, statues, drawings, carvings, cost as much as they do in today’s world just for their security, wouldn’t it be prudent to just leave them in a corner and use the expenses in covering other costs? The sheer number of men and women and monetary expenses involved in the upkeep of each individual art-work is so large that it intimidates an average person. And remember that all of this is taking place in a world where money is being saved in every possible way and almost every nation is having a face-off with poor security conditions (with the exception of terrorist organizations who seem to have a never ending source of both – money and men.)
Landmarks in memories of Dead
In continuation of what I had to say about the ancient art-works, I have another idea to offer. Why do we go about building statues of the dead, painting pictures of them, changing names of the building and roads for some recently passed away figure? This problem seems to have taken a horrendous size in our country, India, where it is customary to see states changing names so often that even the officials of the state lose track of what the current name might be! Don’t we Indians realize the futile efforts and resources consumed in the process of building a huge statue in Uttar Pradesh for a dead leader or the wastage of tax-payers’ money, our money, in renaming Uttaranchal to Uttarakhand? Would it really matter to the dead leader if a statue was erected in his memory or would it matter to the common man if the name of the state he lives in is Uttaranchal or Uttarakhand when he realizes the amount of stationary that has gone down the drain for bringing about the change? The number of boards outside offices, on the roads, in the records which are needed to be changed? I am pretty sure the beggar sitting on the roads of Uttarakhand would agree to any name for the state if he is promised two meals a day in return. Similarly, I am also convinced that any leader, worthy of being remembered through statues and memorials , would rather be followed in his ideas and principles, instead of ending up a statue on a piece of land where people come twice a year – to celebrate his birthday and mourn his death.