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CALCUTTA : THACKER, SPINK & Co.
TO MY DEAR
who first inspired me with a wish to
GREAT PROBLEM OF OUR NATIONAL POVERTY
The following pages are most affectionately
It is the universal conviction of the native Indian population that the country is growing poorer. If there is any foundation of truth in the conviction, no time ought to be lost in pushing the question to the front. It would appear prima facie that the people themselves are the best judges of their own condition, for it is only the wearer who knows if the shoe pinches. I have, nevertheless, attempted to examine in the following pages how far this popular impression is borne out by available facts and figures.
My work here is not confined to a mere examination of an idea. In this essay, I mainly concern myself in inquiring into the various reasons why the poverty is so intense and grinding, and what would likely prove as remedies to the existing state of things. The subject, from its manifold aspects, has not hitherto been approached from the standpoint of practical politics, though discussions of side-issues have frequently been indulged in in this quarter or that. Even the Indian National Congress, which pretends to be the highest exponent of our national claims, has done little more than pass vague and meaningless resolutions on this question. I have here taken the subject as a whole, discussed the several causes of this ever-yawning gulf of proverty from no visionary or doctrinaire point of view, and formulated to the best of iny light a series of remedies which might prove themselves effective.
Now a word of explanation. The main part of this book was written and printed off before October last.