Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, July 20th, 2018

The Quagmire of Poverty

Poverty is one of the meanest menaces in human society. It is responsible for myriads of social evils and disturbances. It is a quagmire that not only grasps the society from its legs but also clasps an individual from his throat.      
A poor person does not only suffer from aching of starvation but also from the discriminating behavior of the society. The society treats a poor person just like an orphan. People try to avoid his company and thus isolate him in the worst possible manner. He does not seem to have any dignity and respect even among his close relatives.
All a poor person goes through during destitution is the agony of poverty. In that agony there is hunger, disease, grief and lengthy days and nights. Hunger is the worst of them. It engulfs human senses and thinking. A hungry person does not seem to be thinking about anything else other than food to eat. All his thoughts, his attention and feelings are bound to be searching food. Luxurious aesthetic sense, praise for beauty and work of art, social responsibility and religious obligations all seem to be negligible as compared to the agony of the hunger he is suffering from. If you talk of a beautiful night with a full moon and even share some poetry about it to a hungry man he would not be able to understand anything and would see the full moon to be a bread that he would wish to eat.
And then a country suffering from poetry tends to have more social problems. Consider the example of Afghanistan – there are many social problems that have their roots in poverty. Corruption, theft, drug addiction and even terrorism, in some or other, are connected to poverty. There are thieves who steal in order to feed their families who are suffering from starvation. There are youngsters, who having found no job and having no sources of income join terrorists who promise them some money. There are many others of the youngsters who have become suicide bombers and can be bought for some hundreds of dollar. And then there are the ones who have given up struggling against the cruel poverty and opted for drugs – at least addiction minimizes their pain and make them more forgetful of their miserable lives.  
However, these facts are never pondered upon. Corruption, theft and drug addiction are now being related to ‘Criminal Genes’ and ‘Filthy Blood’. It is said that thieves, addicts and terrorists are so because of their nature. However the actual fact is being covered. The social circumstances and the irresponsible human attitude that are basically responsible for most of the poverty are not being discussed. It can be easily observed that there are many people in our society who work from dawn till dusk, with all the energies they have and still they are poor and their families do not have rudimentary requirements of life and then there are few others who are born in rich families, do nothing and still have all the luxuries of life. This is not even fortune or luck, it is the socio-economic setup that has made such a tragic reality possible. It is supporting the rich to become richer and pushing the poor deeper in the abyss of destitution.
We, human beings, require to change our consideration. It is difficult to imagine how we are not able to see the suffering of the millions whom we experience every day, but we are able to focus our attentions towards the things that are less important and more destructive. We are ready to exert our energy for weapons, wars and ways of annihilating others but never concentrate on how we can help a poor person who is living from hand to mouth in our immediate neighborhood. This is, in fact, the biggest injustice that we are doing to our own specie. Dwight D. Eisenhower beautifully clarifies this fact, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”

Our country Afghanistan also requires to fight the menace of poverty seriously as more than 20 million people live below the poverty line. All the other fights relating to insecurity, terrorism, corruption and crimes must be dealt as secondary and all the efforts must be diverted for slaying the giant of poverty; otherwise, all the efforts would end up in smoke and the giant of poverty would stand victorious over the corpses of the poor!