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The Politics of Below Poverty Line

Arvind Kejriwal- Swaraj
We have heaps of schemes in the name of poverty eradication and for the poor. All these Government schemes are responsible for turning the people into beggars. One interesting scheme goes under the name “Below the Poverty Line” (BPL). We will have to understand the political implications of this policy. BPL policies that are hatched by the centre are made with an ulterior motive of collecting votes for the ruling party. It is advertised and much publicized, projecting the government as pro poor. The politicians who make these policies in the name of the poor know from day one that this money will never reach the poor. But they show case and highlight these schemes to make everyone believe that this is actually for the very poor. Why are the villagers not free to plan their budget? Why are the villages not given the right to decide what they want for their development? Why our leaders sitting miles away at the Centre should be given this prerogative and not the villagers themselves? When we put these questions to a prominent political leader he was candid enough to admit that the existence of a successful government, coalition or otherwise, depends to a great extent on such schemes, especially the big money involved therein. That said it all. We always knew it but now we had it straight from the horse’s mouth as to why the politicians made big money and why the villagers were left with just a mouthful. The need for making grandiose development plans for the village without consulting the people now fell into place. The neta wants to show that the government is for the people, to garner votes but makes sure all the while that the money came back into his pocket. The BPL scheme of the government has been very successful in as much as it has attracted the villager, and hordes of them who are willing to be called BEGGARS, provided they get the monetary benefits from the government without doing any work. Living below the poverty line indicates that a person is incapable of earning a decent living for whatever reasons and he needs financial help from the government and the society. The paradox here is that everyone wants to be declared a beggar so that he can avail of the dole. This cacophonic clamour for becoming a beggar is the biggest deterrent to the progress of the country. How can you expect a policy to be pro poor or pro nation if that policy is laying the foundation of a regressive mental state in the people? How can the nation then move forward on the path of prosperity and progress? I have yet to meet a person who has voluntarily left the BPL and gone back to earning a livelihood. All I see are masses who are making a beeline to partake of the government’s charity program. This scheme of BPL is having regressive psychological implications on the poor of the country.