A letter is going viral regarding why one should not give up on the LPG subsidy. Of course, I agree to each and every word that is stated in the letter. But then, considering 2.8 lakh citizens have given up on this benefit, there must be some inherent value in this idea that has appealed to those people.
First of all the appeal has been made to people who are well-off and who can afford to give up the LPG subsidy. The advertisement is also aimed at evoking a moral obligation. And though the letter is aimed to show the defect that lies in such an appeal, with which the rational mind readily agrees, I might as well list a few points in favor of this appeal.
First as I said it is aimed to evoke a moral responsibility towards our fellow beings. Here is a golden chance for the common man to really put his virtues of sharing to practice which he has only heard about and never understood how to practice.
Then there are people who can really afford to give up the subsidy with little effect on their lifestyle. In fact in most cities, for many people working at prestigious positions, giving up this little benefit would only mean having to give up on a party or such other triviality. Surely, considering a minor reduction in the amount of liquor and goodies that we stuff ourselves with on weekends is certainly beneficial in the long run.
Third, just because there are callous politicians who refuse to think about our welfare, it does not follow that we do the same to our fellow beings (After all that is the main reason why NGOs exist in the first place). If one small act by one man is going to bring relief to another man, why not as well do it? Even if it is not our political or economic responsibility to do so? Do it just because you can.
Then there are social ills which perpetrate because of a lack of equal distribution of resources. Will not a man be tempted to steal less often because he can afford a meal easily? Giving a small share of your wealth to a poor man is going to let you enjoy the rest of your wealth without any worries.
Fifth, and the most important, charity begins at home. The little mind of the child will at once be influenced by this simple act of the parents. Telling him that you are doing your bit for others’ benefit is going to make him look at the social ills a bit more closely and responsibly.
However, the issue here is not whether one should give up on the subsidy or refuse to do so. The problem is that whether this act by the common man is really going to benefit the needy or whether there will be sly middlemen waiting like foxes in the bush ready to pounce upon the poor man’s bread.