Don’t beg for me, I have a mother

In most big cities in India traffic signals are quite crowded, and in that crowd it’s not difficult to find beggars. All kinds of beggars, those who have lost their limbs, those who are partially blind, people affected with leprosy and the most disturbing kind - a woman with a crying baby. I don’t think the baby cries because it’s hungry or because it cannot take the heat, but because she’s begging on its behalf. It cries in shame, it cries because its voice is continuously ignored, it cries because it doesn’t have the choice to end its suffering.
I saw (see) something similar to that in TV. I’m not saying this to attack a particular religion (though I don’t have any problem in doing that), but to analyze one of the most irritating elements of televangelism. This woman named Joyce Meyer gets on TV and shows footages shot in India. Yes, she was showing poor people who supposedly did not have anything to eat, had no school to go to, just begging for help. Then she goes “their lives depend on you, each and every dollar you pay will feed and ensure a safe livelihood for all the helpless families here. Your kindness saves lives”. Who is she? Is there anything I can do to stop people like her begging for my fellow countrymen? My country’s prime minister sure made me proud by politely declining all the [official] foreign aid that came rushing in after the tsunami, but does that even reflect on the western societies? I don’t think so. What shapes people’s mind is what mainstream media say and show constantly. And what to do they say? - We are a country full of poor and needy people whose lives depend on the paltry sums of money they donate (Yes they do talk about our ‘booming’ economy and what not, but I think they are just patronizing. They want to us to have our silly little dream of becoming the next super-power, but they also want us to keep sleeping)

You know what? I’m going to take my camcorder, shoot all the homeless that I see here, put them all together and start talking in Tamil “en pin irukkum elai pichai kaarargalukku udhavungal, ivargal vaalkai ungal kaiyil”; they wouldn’t understand what I’m saying in Tamil. And then telecast those footages in Indian television, seeking aid for them. Would the people here approve of something like that? Actually am really confused with the whole thing. Why do my fellow countrymen not seem to have any problem whatsoever, in appearing in televangelical campaigns hosted by some white woman? Is it because they are totally oblivious to the ramifications of what they are doing? Or Are they just tired of waiting for the government to do something about their plight? Am sure some of them wish we had an earthquake every other day, so that someone will feed them, invariably.

All those questions aside, let’s get back to our dear Joyce Meyer, looks like she doesn’t have any poor or homeless person to “save” in the whole of America. As she has run out of people to “save” in her own country she has come to India looking for people who are desperately in need of her help. In my opinion she’s no better than the woman we saw above. Our people are trapped between her greedy arms, as she goes around the around world begging for them(us).

Don’t beg for me, I have a mother.


The Individualist said...

True. Very true. The job that I am in, I undergo the rigour of talking to these "developed" people residing in their so called "developed" countries. Most of them are extremely curious about the snake charmers, the corrupt government and the homeless out here. The impression they seem to have of us, ah most of them, if painted, will present a skinny snake coiling around the neck of the Indian map, waiting to sink its fangs on some nearby country for ... what else... money. Some of them are astounded when they hear me mention that we DO have electricity. I wish I had the right to add... yeah we have electricity and that's how you have all those Indians working for you in MicroSoft and every other god damn profitable company over there. Dismal. I wonder what is more pathetic. Begging for oneself. Or begging for someone else. Or using the pretense of begging for someone else to make money for oneself. Lurid ideas for an equally lurid purpose. Or in other words, the lurid means to, I hope, a lurid end.

Ananthoo said...

hi suresh!(englishtamil!)
good to see ur blog and to know u r in Canada..good luck..
ur writing - typical suresh..
have fun..keep blogging..lets bump on each other in that arena often..

Crystal said...

Great post, though a bit harsh on poor people, but yeah I agree that Westerners can only help up to a point. And I feel conflicted about helping the homeless by giving money/food because that is such a short-term approach. You've gotta get to the root causes to solve the problem.

Mridula said...

I have problems with both, seing only poverty in India and choosing not to see it all!

Ramakrishnan said...

They are begging not to help, but to use those funds to convert. Didn't you know people who convert others are paid money? It is a full-blown undercover business. Maybe we can videotape such nefarious undercover activities and show it to the western world by publishing them online... and in christian forums and on orkut communities, apart from TV? That would knock some sense into the gullible west.

Suresh said...

{{though a bit harsh on poor people}} - I think you're referring to this "Am sure some of them wish we had an earthquake every other day, so that someone will feed them, invariably". It wasn't meant to be harsh on the 'poor', but an expression of their frustration. My anger and indignation towards the government and our social system which rushes to help the homeless and the needy only when a calamity strikes.

{{They are begging not to help, but to use those funds to convert.}}- Of course and most of us know that. What's surprising though is that a lot of people here know that too, they are not all that gullible. May be they are gullible in believing that Jesus will "save" all the so called backward caste people; but a lot of them do know that most of the funds goes in to conversion. They are not gullible but plainly prejudiced and cocky.

vi said...

well said....have you shot the video yet?
(came to your blog via priya sivan's...fellow canuk i see!)


Hannah said...

I'm aware I'm typing on something that's FIVE years old...but couldn't stop myself from asking you something..
Do you think people from around the globe are going to help the poor in India if you show them the richer side of India?
IMHO there's no wrong in her efforts to feed the poor!
Have a nice day.

Suresh said...


No, they won't. Thanks the whiteness of you and Ms. Meyer. What would the world -- especially the 'third world' -- do without you?

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