LAST week after the Karnataka victory by the Congress, Rahul flew to Bengaluru to meet his victorious team. He addressed a press conference. He was brief, but what he said was what he’s been telling you and me for some time now, ‘Love won against anger and hate!’
Who were the people to whom he felt he’d shown love? The answer is the poor and the downtrodden. And those poor and downtrodden people are all around us, being bullied by the strong and powerful. And they need love and compassion! Just open your eyes, look around and rescue them.
Over ten years back I was invited onto the board of a religious trust that ran a monthly magazine. I soon became the Honorary Secretary. In my first meeting with the staff, I heard them voice grievances of being harshly underpaid, even after putting decades of service. I decided at first I would give myself time before handling the issue, till I found the chairman of the trust, a man who’d decorated himself with an aura of respectability, had actually cut the Christmas bonuses of these same poor people, even though he had the same year published his own book with money from the organization.
“Why did you cut their bonuses?” I asked mildly at the next board meet. “Because they don’t deserve that much!” ranted the same worthwhile gentleman. He had deducted a thousand rupees from each of their salary slips, and given them a measly two thousand rupees. “I think that you should have been more considerate!” I said and found the board agreeing with me, angering the same man.
A few years later as the Vice President of one of the oldest trusts in the country, I found the general secretary bullying a simple branch head and stepped in. It was a tough fight, but I managed to get the poor man back his respectability and the money which the general secretary had tried to cut. Just open your eyes and look. You don’t need a Bharat Jodo Yatra to hear the cries of the poverty stricken. You can hear their cries everywhere and it’s time you and I stepped in.
They’re all over, even at our doorsteps; our maids, drivers, gardeners, watchmen, all crying out to you and me. That same religious organization with the self-publishing chairman, had to shut it’s doors within a few years, and discontinue even the magazine, though sadly the chairmen and others roam free. The other trust now has the head of it, a bishop in jail. But most of these bullies get away scot-free, it’s for you and me to rescue the bullied! May this be your prayer, not just to win elections, but to win God’s approval: Lord open my eyes that I may be. A saviour to the bulled in village and city…!
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