Ceiling on Private Wealth be the New Mission this New Year

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The New Year 2016 has come to us. Let us not make it barren.

The new year has come uniformly to all of us, who live in human society. Nobody has been left behind in 2015 and nobody has been conveyed over anybody into 2017. So, 2016 has come for the equal time span to all of us in this world.

This time span equally available to all of us must also be viewed as an opportunity to wipe out inequality – financial and social – to establish that all of us are not only born equal, but also are born to equality.

The last year like preceding ones was lost to 99% of the members of human society as only 1% that comprise the machine owners, mines owners, money hijackers, land-grabbers, weapon manufacturers and monopoly traders kept the world under their pernicious grip, with their commission agents ruling the roost.

We all that constitute the 99% should wake up to destroy this grip and save our society from the greedy and inhuman 1%, so that the time span that has uniformly come to us does not go barren.

To ensure this, some may recommend a violent class war. But, averse to violence, I stand for leash on avarice.

New Theory of Political Economy

India’s emancipator Mahatma Gandhi, because of whom mostly, the world has been saved from political imperialism, had advanced a new theory of political economy. That is, Theory of Trusteeship.

Wealth accumulators should consider themselves as trustees of the people but for whom their wealth could not have been generated, was the essence of this theory.

He was murdered by the agents of the rich, because this theory was anathema to their avarice.

Gandhiji gave birth to a new world order where independence of the nations became essence of existence. But, the Political Economy of Trusteeship, which he had advanced as against Political Economy of Capitalism and Political Economy of Socialism, has not gained ground after his assassination. This is now threatening the world with a class war between the affluent 1% and the rest 99%, which, unless Gandhiji’s idea is heeded to, will certainly be violent and wipe out the 1% along with their associates and acolytes from the world in their entirety.

Violent Class War in Scriptural economy

We have seen this in Mahabharata, where Muni Vyasa had told in the mouth of his hero SriKrushna that, occupiers of upper strata should always act partners of the people in the lower strata and vice versa in order to avoid class war and prosper. The verse is:

Devan Bhavayatanena Te Deva Bhabayantu Bah / Parasparam Bhavayantah Shreyah Paramabapsyatha //( Srimad Bhagavat Gita, 3/11).

Kauravas did not study its significance and got extinguished in the class war where the clarion call of Krushna was to wipe out completely the avaricious occupiers of power, despite them being close relations. Death to the greedy – is what Krushna had said.

We see this in the concept of Mahakali too. A corpse (Shava) was lying on the way of advancing revolution (Mahakali) and that Shava became Shiva when a foot of that Mahakali touched its chest. This simple episode suggests that the dormant society was in slumber when Mahakali symbolizing the mass revolution kick-started it into action and that collective force wiped out the gene of the exploiter Raktavirjya, as so emphatically shown in Devi Mahatmya.

So, complete extermination of the exploiters is what scriptures also provide for.

But, should we resort to this?

When this question haunts, and both the political economies – capitalism and socialism – have failed to stop concentration of wealth in the hands of only 1%, the alternative to these two theories – Theory of Trusteeship that Gandhiji had advanced – seems the only alternative.

Gandhi the Only Alternative

Gandhi’s Theory of Trusteeship is the only refuse available to the world at present to save the earth from possible blood bath.

To bring the avaricious rich to this theory, they are required to be dragged into the habit of staying satisfied with limited wealth, so that they can tame their unlimited greed.

And, therefore, the commission agents of the rich that are in power with the help of the rich and running the administration for benefit of the rich, in order to save their masters from physical extermination, should impose ceiling on private wealth of the rich and their associates, before the tortured and exploited 99% respond to SriKrushna’s call: Hato Ba Prapsyasi Swargam, Jitva Ba Bhokshase Mahim / Tasmaduttistha Kaunteya Yuddhaya Krutanishchayah // (If you die in the battle, heaven would be yours, if you win the battle, yours shall be the land. Hence, Arjuna, decide to fight. And, fight.) (Srimad Bhagavat Gita, 2/37)

So, if life is not to be lost in a fight, for whosoever love the people, and love the earth, and love universal brotherhood, love peace and harmony, and love the future generation, should wake up to demand for ceiling on private wealth to make the aggressive runners after wealth habituated with limited wealth; so that Gandhiji’s Theory of Trusteeship could emerge as the alternative political economy, which may forestall a catastrophic class war.

Hence, dear friends, ceiling on private wealth be the new mission this new year.

The Best of all the New Year’s Messages I have received

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Amongst all the New Year’s messages I received this year, the first one was from Power and Information Minister Mr. Arun Kumar Sahoo, which, like the previous year, bears in poetic form his dialectic sojourn between the village and the Town.

When Orissa played host to the 74th session of Indian History Congress in 2013, the Card from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, with his wishes for 2014, has come with a picture of a stone sculpture from Orissa’s historic Buddhist monument, the Konark Temple, befitting to the occasion.

Yet, better than the many is the Card from my dear friend and elder brother, Journalist Barendra Krushna Dhal. Receiving his New Year’s Greetings every year has become a part of my life. In that, included are wishes from Bhauja, his beloved wife Snehalata Dhal (and the family). He makes it special by writing in his own hand my name, despite the nice printing. And, to tell the truth, every year I wait anxiously for his Card to arrive.

But the ‘Best’ amongst all that I have received this year, is the one from my son Saswat Pattanayak. Like all other years, his message is in his poetry written for the entire mankind. I share it here with the esteemed visitors to this site.

Unlock the New Year: Let Ourselves Prevail

“Where the mind is without fear”
and whistleblowers roam free
Prisons abolished; die with them,
values all reactionary

Where the world exults in differences, 
amidst sheer diversity
Supremacism ends; cease with it,
any collective adversity

Where ideas spring from 
challenged truths, broken promises
Perfection wound up; sought after 
no more are divine images

Where faith is exposed as 
a hopeless quest, of oppressed states
Reason, power and strength too 
seen as elite privileged quests     

Where rape no longer a metaphor, 
nor millionaires act commoners
Celebrities awaken the conscience, 
not as profiteers, accumulators 

Where the admired do not endorse wars, 
nor dwell in charities 
Corporate czars get caught 
faking empathies, moralist vanities

Where the homeless are not recruited
to clean nuclear mess
Working class emphatically organizes,
not rescued under duress

Where marginalized empowered, 
seeking no solace in a pope
Into such a year of radical possibilities,
immense in its scope

To undo, to unlearn, to find right here – 
both heaven and the hell
To end holy patriarchies and capitalism, 
let ourselves prevail.

– Saswat Pattanayak, peoples’ poet.

(the above verse is inspired by Tagore’s poem from Gitanjali ).

The sooner it was extinguished the better

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Who could have liked a year of scams, of treachery against the motherland?

The sooner it was extinguished the better, I thought.

I consigned 2013 to fire in the last cold night, with my German Shepherd Dog, more faithful than the political leaders of my country, sleeping peacefully on watching it.

Putting 2013 to fire

Let us hope, 2014 be a year when a political sophomore does not call our Prime Minister “nonsense”, by virtue of being the son of the ruling party boss.