This is bizarre, but a new trend may start to attract public attention in this way by politicians. Datta Phuge, a politician who is looking forward to get ticket for contesting Lok Sabha elections the next year wore 3.5 kg gold shirt worth Rs. 1.25 crore. Not only this, but he also wore gold chains, bracelets and a gold belt at the whooping cost to Rs 7 crore. The sole purpose of wearing so much gold was to attract public attention. Surprisingly, he got success in his mission as many Marathi news channels have covered this story and that too during prime time. But this is not the only example of such an exhibit, as many politicians in Maharashtra are quiet wealthy and display wealth by wearing gold. Ramesh Wanjale laid the foundation of it by wearing gold chains and bracelets. Then there is another politician, Samrat Moze with a passion for jewellery since childhood. Then we have another set of politicians who directly do not display their wealth but posses that like Jaganmohan Reddy, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Jayalalithaa, K Karunanidhi, Sharad Pawar.
Going back into the history of India it is evident that such a flaunt of wealth is not a new trend. Emperors and kings used to wear lots of gold. But as compared to today’s India then as a whole, India was very rich and full of mineral resources and gems. So number of poor was also less and income gap was not that obvious
But today, to a large extent, wealth in India is unevenly distributed among its people as the income gap between rich and poor is increasing. According to the latest poverty estimates by the Planning Commission, there are 35.46 crore people in India who are living below poverty line. As per the number by the World Bank (2010) out of total, 32.7% people are living below the international poverty line. This means that they have daily income of less than US $1.25. Further UNICEF data shows more astonishing figures that all across the world one in three malnourished children are found in India.
Though exhibiting wealth is a personal choice and by not doing it there won’t be any change the poverty related problems in India. But it is the time to act wisely and if our home is under financial crisis then the money should be used to save and uplift it rather than using money for personal benefits. This responsibility is even more on the shoulders of our leaders who come out with plans and have team to act on these. There should be strict rules guiding these financial plans.
Apart from this, public should also understand the difference between gimmicks and reality. It is actually the work of a person that should speak and favor him or her rather than wealth. Introspect before casting the vote that why you are going to vote a particular party or candidate and why not other. Mere the display of what one wears and carries should not be the criteria. Make wise decision to bring the change.