Motivational enterprises can be very rewarding. Gaur
Gopal Das is a monk and a motivational guru. That’s double dhamaka. If you wear
saffron robes, you get to make a lot of money in India. On top of that, you are
a motivational guru! Then you are possibly sitting on a gold mine or riding
your Rolls-Royce laughing all the way to the bank. I’m not saying this. Gaur
Gopal Das is.
In one of his
infinite motivational speeches, the Guru said something which I remember
as: If you work as a teacher in India for ten years, you save about one or
two lakh rupees. If you are a software engineer, you may earn 30-40 lakh. A
politician in India can earn something like 30-40 crore in that period. And
someone like me, wearing the saffron, can rake in 300 to 400 crore rupees in
that period pretty easily.
Gaur Gopal Das was not just employing
some hyperbole. His cult, ISKCON, earns millions of dollars every year.
Religion sells more than anything else in India. If it is able to masquerade as
motivational stuff, it will earn billions. Swamy Nithyananda, Baba Ramadev,
Mata Amritanandamayi, Sri Sri Ravishankar, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev… That’s an
endless list of motivational ascetics in India each of whose wealth can buy up the
wealthiest capitalists of the Forbes lists.
The annual Forbes list of the
wealthiest people in the world has many Indians too in it every year. According
to the 2023 list, there are 169 billionaires in India. And there are 80 crore poor
Indians, according the Prime Minister.
Yesterday [4 Nov 2023], the Prime
Minister declared in his poll rally speech In Madhya Pradesh that his
government will continue to provide 5 kg of free foodgrains every month to 80
crore poor Indians for another five years.
80 crore poor people who deserve free
rations from the central government in a country that is all set to be a
five-trillion-dollar economy. The total population of India is 140 crore. More
than half of that population is so poor that they have to be given free
foodgrains. But the same country has 169 billionaires, a few thousand
millionaires, and fabulously wealthy ascetics who will make the country a
five-trillion-dollar economy next year, soon after the general elections.
The problem with people like me is
that we don’t trust the electoral promises of politicians. So I need some
motivation to get on in this country now. Otherwise I will have to join the
millions of Indians who are quitting their own country and settling down abroad
in spite of all the racism and other forms of discrimination they may have to
face there. In spite of their own country being the world’s messiah, Viswaguru.
I did try to get out of the national
borders. Then I realised that I am aging mercilessly. So I tried to write a
motivational post to start with – dealing with aging, I mean. And this is what
came out. No good. That’s why I remain a humble school teacher.
|Gaur Gopal Das