(The writer is a journalist and columnist. He can be reached at email@example.com)
Every year on October 30, World Thrift Day is celebrated all over the world. This day is also celebrated in other names like World Savings Day or World Austerity Day in all over the world. If we talk about savings, thrift and austerity; these all are same but the main soul or basis of this day is to encourage the savings of money or encourage to people towards low expenses and want a nation to be economically satisfied. Thrift Day does not only give a view of savings but it expresses a controlled desire, need and need for consumption. In life simplicity, restraint, control over unnecessary expenses, renunciation and ostentation-pretence give priority to life. Here's the solution to many problems of the world and in this we have found the path of freedom from the corona epidemic. In fact, the corona epidemic has created conditions to re-create life, the basis of which is frugality and moderation. One who has limited desires will never be sad. Because he knows the truth that desire can never be fulfilled.
That is why Mahatma Gandhi said - true civilization is that which teaches man to live on minimum things.Thrift has been the dominant model of Indian culture. It has great importance for a happy and healthy life. In today's consumerist and conveniences life stream, as the outlook of frugality is getting blurred, the corona epidemic, climate change, pollution, nature exploitation, terrorism, war, conflict situations are increasing. If the sacrament of savings is imbibed in folk life, then there can be control over the prevailing performance, pretence and extravagance in the society, nation and the world. Benjamin Franklin has also said that if you earn more and spend less then you have a philosopher's stone.
The first International Thrift Conference was held in Milan, Italy in the year 1924, and it was decided to unanimously pass a resolution to celebrate the World Thrift Day. Since then, this day is celebrated to encourage savings worldwide. In my view, it is not only the savings day, but it is a day to adopt a positive attitude towards meaning and a moderate lifestyle. While uncontrolled desires are being stressed in the world, what will be the result? For wilfulness, violence becomes necessary to increase the need and fulfill it. The new consumerism is in a way a venture of new violence i.e. corona epidemics.
Violence, competition, power race and economic empire have got a brutal shape. Because the blind race of meaning has connected a person with collection, convenience, pleasure, enjoyment and selfishness. The problem was revealed - less material, more consumers. Individualistic attitude has been awakened. Injustice, exploitation and immorality started in the struggle for selfishness. On the one hand money gave luxury to the person and luxury created cruelty within the person, on the other hand the tragedy of poverty and scarcity ignited the rebellion within him. He started burning in vengeance, began to heat up, came home calling many evils. Man-to-man relationship has become insecure.
The French thinker Jean-Bodin, while criticizing modern consumerism, has said that when the first thing comes, it seems to give pleasure. At the end, it leaves with sorrow. At first it looks good, but at the end it turns out to be bad. Savings is necessary to remove economic anomalies and disparities. The Narendra Modi government has imposed a control on VIP culture only for savings. The meaningless additional enjoyment of social and national wealth and on the other hand many people also earn for the fulfillment of the basic and essential expectations of life. On one side, high-heeled skyscrapers keep coming, and on the other, poverty creeps in on the pavements. This economic disparity certainly leads to social inequality. Where there is asymmetry, there is definite violence.
Economic-centererd world system is becoming frightening for the entire human race. Therefore, events like World Thrift Day have more utility relevance today.
The importance of thrift is not only in terms of governance, but also in terms of individuals and society. In our ancient society, the importance of thrift was accepted. No goods were wasted and delivered to the appropriate place. Money was not spent in the enjoyment of luxury, but there was a practice of charity and fulfill the needs of needy one. Right from the greed of virtue, but feeding the poor, giving the orphans a place to live, helping the needy was the kind of work people used to do. But today's era is full of selfishness, wearing beautiful expensive clothes, riding in flight, spending time and money in indulgence luxury has become the story of today's youth.
In the name of helping others, they come in trouble, do not want to take responsibility even to their parents, are reluctant to give money to midwives and staff, but do not know how much money is wasted in their hobbies. They have no need for savings in their own affairs, but in reducing the expenses of the company and in the case of others. Is this the true meaning of savings?
There is a lot of emphasis on frugality in the lifestyle of the ideal householder in Jainism, but today there are very few who follow it with awareness. Lord Mahavira gave both philosophies of personal ownership and demarcation of consumption. This is why the society has lived a happy, healthy and quiet life. Mahavir and Jainism also had a profound influence on the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi. He followed the restraint ideals of Jainism with great devotion.
Unless the people will not be given systematic training of the frugal lifestyle, then such errors will not be rectified. The present economists and consumerists should interview this truth, do not just go into hypnosis. Today's consumerist approach has become a kind of hypnosis, a disease of hysteria. As the hypnotist will dance, the consumer will dance, how will savings be possible? This is possible only when our attitude towards our meaning will change and the attitude of individual and society towards money will be appropriate.