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Are India's rich not philanthropic enough?

Soutik Biswas | 15:25 UK time, Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Azim Premji

He has been called India's reluctant billionaire. There are many stories of publicity-shy software tycoon Azim Premji's frugal habits - flying economy class; taking an auto-rickshaw from the airport after not finding his car; borrowing magazines from the company library and living on its campus.


So it was not surprising when Mr Premji announced last week that he would donate nearly $2bn (£1.3bn) to fund rural education and development programmes in India. He may be - as Forbes magazine reckons - the third richest Indian and the 28th richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of more than $17bn (£11bn). But he has also been seen as a model of a businessman of great rectitude. His Bangalore-based Wipro employs almost 100,000 people worldwide, and is one of India's most respected companies.

Mr Premji remains an exception in the world of Indian business. India has some 60 billionaires. The wealth of its top 10 billionaires equals 12% of its GDP, compared to just 1% in China, 5% in Brazil and 9% in Russia. The combined net worth of India's 100 wealthiest people is about a quarter of its GDP. But the philanthropic record of India's rich is patchy.

A few like the Tatas - who built and run the city of Jamshedpur and have a decent record in what is called corporate social responsibility - appear to have been more generous than the others. In recent years, India's billionaires have given away money to their alma mater, mostly foreign universities. A mobile phone giant has set up a foundation for underprivileged children; a tyre company has invested in containing HIV/Aids. The chairman of a leading software company has said he would set aside 10% of his wealth for philanthropy. A tea company has adopted several hundred villages. But one suspects that it all does not add up to much, considering the enormous concentration of wealth in the hands of India's rich and the power they wield.

Are Indians then too greedy to be philanthropic? Americans, for example, are known to be generous, giving away some $300bn - or 2% of the nation's GDP - to charity. There are no figures available for India - a much poorer country - but I am sure they will not be anywhere close.

I don't think some people are hardwired for altruism and others aren't - an act of charity is often spurred by an incentive of publicity and media coverage. Readers always responded handsomely whenever a magazine I used to work with launched a donation drive following a devastating flood or an earthquake. "You give not only because you want to help but because it makes you look good, or feel good, or perhaps feel less bad," write economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner in SuperFreakonomics. So, traditionally, India's businessmen have felt that they have contributed enough to society by giving away a lot of money towards building temples.

Many believe that India's rich are not generous enough and flaunt their wealth vulgarly in a country where the majority are poor. One reason could be that most Indian businesses are run by families and have mercantile origins. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh once appealed to businessmen to share their profits with the common man, maximise profits "within levels of decency" and refrain from ostentatious displays of wealth because such "vulgarity insults the poor". Gurcharan Das, a writer and management guru who has worked with some of India's top companies, believes that Indian capitalism has begun to flower in the past few decades and wealth is "now being created" in plenty. He believes that the rich will begin to contribute to social causes in a big way soon, and Mr Premji's $2bn charity for education sets an "important" precedent. Time will tell whether Mr Das is being too optimistic.

Comments

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  • 1. At 09:57am on 08 Dec 2010, BakedBeans wrote:

    Nothing should be free in this world.It will create more benefit scroungers.There are mns of people in Britian who never went to work because of benefits (a charity of kind) ...

    In Britian people dodge tax one day and do charity appeal in TV next day/

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  • 2. At 10:29am on 08 Dec 2010, John wrote:

    "Mr Premji remains an exception in the world of Indian business. India has some 60 billionaires. The wealth of its top 10 billionaires equals 12% of its GDP, compared to just 1% in China, 5% in Brazil and 9% in Russia. The combined net worth of India's 100 wealthiest people is about a quarter of its GDP. But the philanthropic record of India's rich is spotty."

    This is a common "journalistic fallacy" I frequently read on the Internet. Simply counting billionaires is not a measure of inequality (ex. 100 billionaires with a worth of $1 billion is not the same as 1 billionaire with a worth of $100 billion). Gini coefficients are the best measures of inequality, consider the following:

    "Brazil's Gini coefficient is .57 (1.0 is perfect inequality, with one person receiving all income), compared to .45 for the United States, .42 for China, .37 for India and .42 for Russia."
    [http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2010-08/23/content_11190604.htm]

    This would seem to contradict your initial thesis.

    "Are Indians then too greedy to be philanthropic? Americans, for example, are known to be generous, giving away some $300bn - or 2% of the nation's GDP - to charity. There are no figures available for India - a much poorer country - but I am sure they will not be anywhere close. "

    Again, very misleading and inaccurate. The US has had over a century to develop it's charity industry, India is just starting out. There simply aren't enough professional organizations to give to. If there were, more people in India would give. In 20-30 years India will start to develop a charity industry that will be comparable to the West, can absorb wealth and redistribute it effectively. But these things take time, it won't happen overnight.

    "Time will tell whether Mr Das is being too optimistic. "

    My money's on Mr. Das.

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  • 3. At 11:54am on 08 Dec 2010, indus wrote:

    Indian millionaires and billionaire are just a vulgar corrupt bunch, just like nouveau riche in Asia. "Make as much as you can and give as much you are able" is something that does not sink into their thick heads.

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  • 4. At 12:45pm on 08 Dec 2010, silverbeacon wrote:

    Forget charity at least let the rich (including our politicians) pay the income tax...
    How many actually pay the correct income tax is quiet questionable!

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  • 5. At 3:43pm on 08 Dec 2010, mohandoss wrote:

    if half of the rich people in india follow premji poverty will be abolished in india

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  • 6. At 06:47am on 09 Dec 2010, spiffza wrote:

    Comparing philantrophy of Indian and American billionaires isn't fair. I believe giving the poor person a job by which he/she can earn is much more beneficial than giving him/her money to buy food. Charity is needed, but investing in the Indian market to create jobs is needed the most.

    If India's billionaires give away billions to charity, who will invest to create jobs ?

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  • 7. At 06:50am on 09 Dec 2010, spiffza wrote:

    Poverty is not abolished by giving away billions to the poor. You think the billionaires keep their billion dollars stashed away in a bank or at home under the bed ? All of the money is invested somewhere, creating infrastructure, industries and jobs which ultimately benefits the people of India.

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  • 8. At 08:35am on 09 Dec 2010, Sam wrote:

    "mohandoss wrote:
    if half of the rich people in india follow premji poverty will be abolished in india"

    I am of Indian origin and visit India often. I agree with the basic idea of your statement. However, a major problem that shackles India from reaching her true potential is corruption and so if half of the rich people in India follow premji's example, sadly it will hardly result in any improvement of the quality of life of the poor..... it will just make a lot of politicians and petty administrators very rich.

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  • 9. At 10:31am on 09 Dec 2010, jaytirth wrote:

    Indians donate a lot. No doubt about it. Go to any temple and you will find it out yourself. Tirupati is the richest temple in the world. There are several other temples in the country which get huge donations. These temples feed the poor and have also undertaken infrastructure development projects around them.
    There should be some awareness programs about charity. Affluent and middle class Indians use and discard many things which might be useful to the not so fortunate people. The 'Donate Bicycle Project' is an example. People will readily donate many things only if there is someone asking for it.

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  • 10. At 11:24am on 09 Dec 2010, A Rahman wrote:

    It is nice to hear that Wipro owner has donated $2.0bn to charity in India. But can he put his hand on his heart and say that he had not done anything to cut corners to avoid tax? Donating money is quite often a publicity stunt or an act with payback to come. When none of these ulterior motives is in action, then and only then a donation is to be hailed as truly magnanimous.

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  • 11. At 12:08pm on 09 Dec 2010, jaytirth wrote:

    One does not have to be a millionaire to get involved in charitable causes. We can donate our old clothes, books, bicycles to the needy. We can teach kids instead of watching TV and roaming in malls. Why not start by teaching computer to our parents? Why not buy for a kid a book he/she would like to read? It will make our lives meaningful.

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  • 12. At 1:26pm on 09 Dec 2010, intruder2010 wrote:

    India desperately needs lots of charities. Charities can make huge differences to millions of people’s lives. Few people believe charity means just helping the poor with food and clothing, including our politicians. There are lots of charities around the world that do researches in the medical area like Cancer, Aids, Diabetes, Heart disease etc.

    India is a land of diabetics and heart diseases and I am sure if we have charities like British Heart foundation (BHF), Cancer Research in India it will make a huge difference for millions of Indians including the rich and poor.

    Let not forget in India we do have lots of charities but unfortunately their works are not well known to the public and the media should make the public aware of these charities . There are charities that are run by few like-minded people but sadly they lack the support from the people and the government to grow further.

    We need more charities in India and people should donate more for the good cause. Let’s hope Mr Mr Premji's charity work is just the beginning.

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  • 13. At 1:46pm on 09 Dec 2010, Phew wrote:

    "India's businessmen have felt that they have contributed enough to society by giving away a lot of money towards building temples."

    Please dont get relegious, are you saying the missionaries who bribe the poor with food/money for relegious conversion are better than donating his own money to building temples for the persons relegious satisfaction(various Indian temples give free food, donate/run schools, donate/run hospitals without requiring you to change relegion).
    In India there is enough and more ways to honestly earn money and make a living without donations. Poor should do it and earn a living and know that they will suffer if they dont do it.
    Stopping corruption to help this is another topic.

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  • 14. At 1:47pm on 09 Dec 2010, JackTheLad29 wrote:

    Handing out money to the poor’s won’t be a good idea and won't get them anywhere. What Premji has done is quite genius – invest in education make them stand on their feet.
    There is an old saying, “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime"

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  • 15. At 2:05pm on 09 Dec 2010, Jay wrote:

    Yes, I agree that charity is not the answer to poverty or correcting any system failure. We must teach the poor how to catch a fish than donating fishes to feed them. Donation and charity only works when it does that (as proved by microFinance pioneer, Md Yunus of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh). It is widely believed that foreign aid is hurting Africa more than doing much good (online.wsj.com/article/SB123758895999200083.html).
    US has the highest philanthropy in the world yet the (social and economic) situation in US is deteriorating fast. Current consolidation of wealth in at its worst in US history (www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6A26DT20101103). Charity in US happens mainly due to many factors- mainly tax breaks, avoidance of industrialists/employers to pay even the minimum to its employees etc. Many so-called charity are not at all any charity. For example, those big private for-profit universities founded by many American billionaires (www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124655777). Of course there are few (e.g Bill-Melinda Gates foundation type) which are truly great. Many American NGOs are as corrupt as in any developed country. Oh. don't worry about India in this regard. More than 90% of Indian NGOs are simply fraud and cheaters, just like another typical Indian business story.

    Wealthy Indians give to charity mainly due to fear and superstition. Otherwise they generally do not give a penny to anyone. They prefer to donate millions to temples (than to raise the salary of their very poor paid general workers in their industries), mainly because of fear (from religion/God); fear for doing something wrong (illegal and/or immoral) and then trying to satisfy their beloved God to forgive them for their costly donations. Higher the gravity of the crime, bigger will be the donations. Just check the reports by industrialists, ministers and many other public figures, like Ambanis (business.ezinemark.com/mukesh-ambani-donates-rs.-6-crores-to-tirupati-31b85bf721c.html), Reddi (timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Karnataka-minister-donates-Rs450-million-gold-crown-to-Tirupati/articleshow/4645544.cms), and Amitabh Bacchan (chennai365.com/news/amitabh-visits-tirupati-before-sons-marriage/) type personalities. Such public figures have enough money to donate to Gods but hardly have any money for public good without having any personal financial or political goal attached to that. They are not only corrupt but also ignorant in their own faith about God; they also equate God with government babus :).

    We did not have a tradition to so much wealth as we are having now in post-independent India. As we get habituated with billionaires and as more money goes to the hand of truly educated Indians (No, I am not talking about purchased education as many Indian rich are accustomed with), we will see a slow rise of real charity work in India, as done by Premji.

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  • 16. At 2:13pm on 09 Dec 2010, Jay wrote:

    @ intruder2010 (#12).
    If if you give billions to Indian "research" organizations, it will NOT do anything good. Our research capability is good for nothing, and it is deteriorating fast (as per published report).
    The best possible way to develop India is through reforming its primary education. Forget about so-called higher education and "research" at this time in India. For more you can check this article: Primary and secondary education reform should be India's top priority (http://jaychatterjee.blogspot.com/2009/04/primary-and-secondary-education-reform.html).

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  • 17. At 3:24pm on 09 Dec 2010, Rahul wrote:

    Another useless article Mr Fearfull Jounrnalist, there is the FOOD GRAIN scam going on in UP, possibly the worlds largest, so large that after it ever completes it will be in Guiness book of records. There is lot of charity happening at various levels in India the problem is people like Biswas who stay in India aspire to be rich have no time for it. I feel it's even useless to comment on a journalist, who inspite of having the backing of BBC cant get crusadic, in India's fight against inequality in the country simply brought about by corruption.

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  • 18. At 4:00pm on 09 Dec 2010, intruder2010 wrote:

    @ Jay # 16 - Jay even though I agree with you that the best possible way to develop India is through reforming its primary education, but I still believe we need charities focussing on other sectors as well. We also need charities that educate the general public on health issues. In India public awareness on health issues are way too low. Some people are just ignorant that’s because they lack the awareness that’s required from the right source. There are millions of bread winners in India who are not aware of their heart disease, diabetics or BP and when they do become aware it’s too late for their families. Charities can make a difference in people’s health issues.

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  • 19. At 5:43pm on 09 Dec 2010, satwik wrote:

    ICHANGE LIVES"

    Morningstar Chief Executive Joe Mansueto, businessman Nicolas Berggruen and private investor Ted Forstmann also are among the new billionaires to take the pledges.

    "In just a few short months we've made good progress," said Buffett, who made his fortune with insurance and investment company Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

    "The Giving Pledge has re-energized people thinking about philanthropy and doing things in philanthropy and I look forward to many more conversations with families who are truly fortunate and whose generosity can and will change lives," he said.

    Along with speaking to about a quarter of the wealthiest people in the United States about The Giving Pledge, Gates and Buffett hosted a dinner with Chinese billionaires in Beijing in September in a bid to promote a culture of philanthropy in China. The pair plan to visit India in March.

    Forbes magazine said the United States is home to more than 400 billionaires, the most of any country.

    Individual Americans gave more than $227 billion in 2009, according to the Giving USA report by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, down just 0.4 percent from the previous year despite the U.S. recession.

    Buffett pledged in 2006 to give away 99 percent of his wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and family charities. Bill and Melinda Gates have so far donated more than $28 billion of their fortune to their foundation.

    The full list of billionaires and their letters can be seen at www.thegivingpledge.org.

    (Editing by Bill Trott)

    Copyright 2010 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

    guess Indian welathy are not there yet. Read below the news.

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  • 20. At 5:55pm on 09 Dec 2010, Jay wrote:

    @ intruder2010 (#18). Yes I agree with you broadly. Yes, there is need for public awareness in almost any aspect of civil lives in India (be it public health-hygiene issue, or religious-caste based superstition and conflicts, or high corruption in public lives (BTW, India is among the worst corrupted countries in the World, in the same row of countries like Afghanistan, Nigeria, Iraq. It seems that the situation is deteriorating worldwide and faster in India: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-11954667).

    Illiteracy, ignorance among general public and totally dysfunctional up-bringing (of young Indians, even from privileged/rich background) are the root cause for present status of our country. In a broad sense very few Indians have a true sense of education and any sense of justice. I have seen many established Indians abroad (who are professors in famous US universities or in high positions in private companies) who have almost no sense of justice and morality.

    I (or anyone) can not take part in all the issues. If I have to prioritize my/our resources and focus my personal abilities and time, I will target basic education. Because that is THE key issue which can have huge impact on any society, having far reaching influence beyond education or job creation. Many of the problems we see (e.g deforestation, social inequality, extremism, racial and religious hatred, unplanned urbanization, destructive model of "development" etc) are only few symptoms for this lack of education (in a broad sense).
    It is said that if we can teach a child at least one good thing that they can love, about this world, then there will be very less chance for that kid to do crime. Our current education system miserably fails in that. Blindly following american education will do more harm than good.
    You can read the following if you are interested to know more about it:
    "India must not follow the failed model of education of US":http://network.nature.com/groups/natureindia/forum/topics/6892
    and "The Great Dilemma of the Life Sciences":http://jaychatterjee.blogspot.com/2010/12/great-dilema-of-life-sciences.html

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  • 21. At 6:14pm on 09 Dec 2010, Prakash Kashwan wrote:

    Mr. Biswas, Please be careful in how you use words. Investing in building human capacities is not charity, but a much more powerful way of contributing to SOCIAL development. While the traditional hindu way of thinking privileges charity, we have a far more nuanced modern literature on "civil society", and that is different from "charity" as you put it. Western notion of philanthropy is devoid of these nuanced differences and I wish BBC does not contribute to de-nuanced discussions on these important issues.

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  • 22. At 6:57pm on 09 Dec 2010, skayptic wrote:

    ‘Indian rich’ is a problematic term to define. It simply means that public figure whose personal wealth data is publically available. These so called rich have ‘white money’ and they already contribute via tax system as they can't escape it. Several wealthy countries have inheritance tax but India does not.
    Inheritance tax encourages wealthy individual to spend their extra cash on their preferred charities, instead of passing it to government’s big pot, they don’t control. In absence of inheritance, any charity is due to individual own goodwill or personal calling. It is evident that a lot of money is donated in religious places in India.
    As media highlights more worthy causes, I am sure individuals will get inspired to get involved in philanthropic activities of their liking.

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  • 23. At 7:13pm on 09 Dec 2010, Jay wrote:

    There is a basic difference in attitude among two different types of billionaires. 1- Self-made billionaires: these people have established themselves and then became financially strong. 2- inherited billionaire.
    The tendency to donate is far greater for the first group of rich people (self-made ones) and doing that from an internal urge to help less privileged people. There are many reasons for that the important ones are: they feel more confident to earn by themselves and also feel a sense of similarity when they observe less-privileged people (probably reminds them of their younger days). On the other hand the "inherited billionaires" are like spoiled brats of rich parents. They are far less confident and try to accumulate wealth for themselves, mainly to flaunt. They were born with golden spoon and then sent to US-EU to buy some degrees. Even there they did not mix up with common people much ( like a typical Karan Johar Movie). Such group of rich people are less enthusiastic about philanthropy. They sometimes are forced to do some (because of peer pressure from people like Premji and to promote their business interest), but they do not associate with the general society and people whom they exploit to maintain their fortune. They do not feel the urge to do something for the society in general. It will be foolish to expect much philanthropy from the Lala-type industrialists/businessman. They have enough money to build the most expensive building in the world but probably can not see the slum around his tall building and cannot focus on the people living there from that great height!

    A feudal and hierarchical society as we have in India have less chance to produce self-made billionaires. It is not a surprise that those who could manage that exceptional feat (e.g Premji, Narayan Murthy) are now leading the way of private and corporate philanthropy.
    Indian billionaires are mostly "inherited" ones.

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  • 24. At 7:18pm on 09 Dec 2010, Jay wrote:

    @ skayptic (#22). Indian rich people hardly contribute to the tax money in proportion to their income. The combined black money and default on bank loans are the highest among such people. It is estimated/believed that a parallel economy of black money worth about 53% of Indian GDP is running these days. Indian tax base mainly depends on salaried people, NOT on those who do private business (that include doctors, lawyers etc) or run industry.

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  • 25. At 7:26pm on 09 Dec 2010, Jay wrote:

    Till a few years ago a Delhi based lottery businessman was the highest tax payer. Now probably the film stars occupy the position (http://www.chennaispider.com/resources/2961-Highest-Tax-payers-India.aspx). Probably due to high focus from media and government tax inspectors (for easy money) this group of people are forced to pay decent tax returns.
    Not a single high profile industrialist whose personal (NOT corporate) income runs in billions were ever in that list of highest tax payers.

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  • 26. At 7:32pm on 09 Dec 2010, LaserJet wrote:

    One thing that is unique regarding many of the Indian billionaires is that they grew in and around poverty. Even if they were not poor themselves, they have seen it up and close. This can lead to a level of disconnect between the billionaires and the society they live in.

    Let us hope this donation is one of many to follow.

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  • 27. At 7:33pm on 09 Dec 2010, Jay wrote:

    Moreover, when you do philanthropy for substantial amount of money, you better have that from a decent, legal source. If you have huge wealth from not so legal way, then you will not like to attract attention by donating in a big way, even if you like to! That is one of the reasons why many of our politicians, bureaucrats, media barons and some other wealthy professionals, besides businessmen and industrialists do not join the philanthropy bandwagon.

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  • 28. At 8:15pm on 09 Dec 2010, Userid123456 wrote:

    The Ignorant are so because they know not.
    Then what to expect from them?
    They do that whichever is deemed is correct by them.
    They are correct whence they stand.
    To expect Wisdom from them,
    and to expect Wisdom from Children.

    Let Us persevere to do what We must,
    if, truly, We 'know' that whichever ought to be done.

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  • 29. At 05:12am on 10 Dec 2010, kv wrote:

    After reading the article and the comments, the following is my rating.

    1. John's excellent analysis (comment) of the article including the Gini index from Brazil. I hope to see such excellence in analysis from Soutik Biswas in the future.
    2. Soutik Biswas's article is placed second because it is more filled with opinions based on insinuations and possibilities of ignorance.
    3. Most of the readers comments, which are nothing more than opinions that do not commit to any comprehension of reality or attempt at such comprehension.

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  • 30. At 05:23am on 10 Dec 2010, New_Indian wrote:

    "Are India's rich not philanthropic enough?" Oh please.... its high time that we stopped judging other people's actions! We know how Indians are. Its a huge mix of people with their own likes and dislikes. Also if one has earned money by his hardwork, he does have the right to decide how to spend it. Its also high time that we stopped expecting that things will just fall from heaven! In India, if someone indulges in philanthropic activities, some will just say its show-off, some will say it's to save taxes. Hardly anyone will respect the persons' decision. Its better to motivate people to stop enjoying life at the cost of others.

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  • 31. At 08:46am on 10 Dec 2010, Jitendra wrote:

    Indian laws have syatematically subverted the sense of charity.
    Following are some of the reasons:
    1. India has extreme laws that polarise the society.
    e.g., the reserved constituencies for backward classes based on
    social status.
    2. The Reservations every where from government jobs, educational
    institutions, etc.
    3. India also did a huge exercise in land distribution essentially
    snatching land from those who had, to the landless. This was done
    irrespective of looking case by case how the land owners owned
    the land originally !!
    4. Indians have different personal laws based on religion. That means,
    Indian constitution does not recognise all the people equal.
    5. In India, most income tax receipts essentially earned by the people
    of Mumbai in Maharashtra have been re-distributed for the wellfare
    of Bihar (and other BIMARU economically/politically mishandled
    states) where most of the poor live. Such is the proportion of that
    imbalance that out of Rs.100 tax given by the Bombay residents it
    would be a great exercise how much percent comes back to the
    development of Bombay. Compare that with U.S. or any other
    developoed country !!
    This would be great example in the history of world how an
    industrious state is forced to pay for the sins of a lazy and
    backward state !!

    6. If I have to donate my personal money, I would not donate a single
    Indian rupee for these corrupt practises. It will be put to great
    use if I donate to a country like Sweeden where transperancy and
    corrupt practices are least !!

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  • 32. At 10:46am on 10 Dec 2010, Jitendra wrote:

    Charity is not just money.

    Charity is *ANY* resource earned by the rightful way and means
    and then spent in a rightfull way and cause.

    In any other way it does not constitute an act of charity
    at least to my eyes.

    There are huge number of people in my own extremely small
    community in india, that has produced astoundingly large number of
    freedom fighters and scholars !!

    When they fought against Islamic fundamentalist Indian rulers and
    then against BRitish Empirialists, it was a grestest act of charity.
    and ... they did not beat their chest while doing so.

    One of them was Lokamanya Tilak.
    Another was Gopal Krishna Gokhale, political mentor to Gandhi.
    (It's a matter of research how much the later was really able to
    learn from him)
    Yet another was Savarkar.
    Yet another ** Bharat Ratna ** Vinoba Bhave.
    Yet another ** Bharat Ratna ** P.V.Kane.
    Yet another ** Bharat Ratna ** D.K. Karve.
    Yet another were * all * Peshwas ...

    The first Peshwa was so austere that while controlling a third of
    India, many foreigners could not even belive that he was the prime
    minister looking at his his simple appearence and habits.

    I can not list thousand and thousands of them here ...

    That is charity. Something given and forgot, without a left hand
    not knowing when the right gave.

    Rest is history.

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  • 33. At 1:16pm on 10 Dec 2010, jaytirth wrote:

    32. At 10:46am on 10 Dec 2010, jjoshi2008 wrote:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    I am sure every community(read religion, caste) in India can list down a number of people who have distinguished themselves in various fields. A google search for any community will throw up hundreds of names. Does it really matter where they come from? It is the deeds that make a man/woman great not his origins. Listing down names of great achievers from your community not only diminishes their achievement( Tilak fought for India not for his community) but also shows your ignorance about other communities.

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  • 34. At 2:38pm on 10 Dec 2010, Shilpy wrote:

    are the indian rich not philanthropic enough?
    this question is usually asked by socialists and communists - the class that produces nearly all journalists in india, btw - who always have an eye on other people's money.

    the overwhelming problem in india is not charity but the ungodly amount of govt corruption that deprives the common people of development resources. this class of journalists never bother to persue this line of thinking. beause the corrupt politicians in india too are socialists and communists who buy off their sympathetic journalists.

    btw, the premise that the rich don't do charity in india is as false and phoney as the indian what passes for indian journalism.

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  • 35. At 4:38pm on 10 Dec 2010, desitipu wrote:

    32. jjoshi2008 wrote:
    "There are huge number of people in my own extremely small
    community in india, that has produced astoundingly large number of
    freedom fighters and scholars !!I can not list thousand and thousands of them here ..."
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    No need to list the thousands, mate! You have made your case. I hope your community has not run out of steam and you too are doing something charitable to be worthy of it! Are there any poor people left, not just in terms of money, in your community?

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