PROUT – GUARANTEES MINIMUM REQUIREMENT
How PROUT will Guarantee Minimum Requirement?
Excerpts from Shrii Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar’s Social Philosophy
Date Unknown, INDIA
We know that human existence is trifarious – physical, mental and spiritual. Therefore, for the maintenance of these three strata oflife, things must be made available. If a particular man does not get proper environment for his Spiritual Sadhana, his personality remains undeveloped.
Likewise, the requirements for mental and physical progress must be given together. In brief, minimum requirements means the requirements which is dispensibly essential for maintaining the human existence in three spheres.
MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS IS NOT STATIC
Minimum requirements change with the change of the ages, because economy is always changing; best economic changes are for betterment. Therefore, when the country’s economy is progressing, the pattern of demand will also change.
Generally, in an undeveloped economy the demand of the stomach is the main problem — food, shelter, clothes, medicine, etc. But when the economy progresses, the demand of the stomach shifts to demand of emotion and sentiment.
Then they require something which is not needed for stomach but to get more comfort. For conveyance, the minimum necessity will be a bicycle in some age and then an aeroplane in other.
The minimum necessity must be provided according to the age one belong to.
Minimum requirements depend on three relative factors – time, place and person.
With the change of these factors, minimum requirements will also vary. People of cold countries require wollen clothes as minimum requirement, but people of hot countries may require silken clothes.
Therefore, it is not possible to have a Universal concept of minimum requirements. But, it should be always remembered that whatever may be the variety of conditions, things required for the trifarious growth of man must be provided.
5-9. Yugasya sarvanimnaprayojanaḿ sarveśáḿ vidheyam.
yugasya (6th case) = of an age;
sarvanimnaprayojanaḿ = minimum necessities;
sarveśáḿ = of all;
vidheyam = should be provided
[The minimum requirements of an age should be guaranteed to all.]
The YUGA has been derived from the Samskrta word: Yush+al.
Yush means a period of time.
According to the concept of PROUT, there are four classes – Shudra, Ksatriya, Vipra and Vaeshya. The eras are named according to the dominance of a particular socio-psychic group.
But in the Sutra, the word Yugasya does not stand for that concept of soico psychic era.
Because, one socio psychic era may change after remaining unchanged for a long period of time. The Hindu mythological concept of a period of twelve years is not applicable here.
In sutra, the Yuga means the economic era. That means, in one economic structure, people may require something. But due to invention, planning better production and various qualitative goods, the standard and the economy will change. The things which were used for the minimum requirements may become outdated. In that case, the new demands will have to have to be fulfilled as the minimum essentiality of life.
In one Yuga or Economic ear, bullock-cart was the minimum requirement but now a days bicycle may be the minimum requirement. Therefore, any specific period cannot be mentioned. In brief, the Yuga means a period indicating a way of life. When the way of life changes, the minimum requirements will also change.
How to calculate Minimum requirement?
Practically speaking man’s demands are infinite. Therefore, he can never be satisfied with one economic standard of living. He requires all things to consume, but it is not possible to gratify his all pervasive demands. So the collective body is to decide now how much can be provided to his satisfaction. This decision will be made according to the available collective wealth. Besides, the price-line is also to be considered. The requirements are to be categorized. In the beginning these will be five in number – food, shelter, education, clothes, and medical treatment. After that there may be a list of other things according to necessity. Now the collective body is to calculate the price of the first five items. For the facility of work a family unit is to be fixed; say with five persons. Then quantum of average consumption of the five persons in one country is to be calculated and then the price is to be multiplied with them. That amount should be the minimum income of one family consisting of five persons. Thus in PROUTIST structure the income will be determined on the basis of the purchasing capacity. If the price line rises, the income should be adjusted with it. This PROUT’s new concept of economy is to provide purchasing capacity for the minimum requirements. Mere high income or low price is not the measuring stick of a good economy. During the period of Sayestha Khan in Bengal rice was sold at the rate of 2 Annas per maund but people were starving. It was only because there was no purchasing capacity with the people.
When the economy will progress the number of minimum requirement will also increase, and will be provided according to the preference of order of necessity.
Inspite of the 5 years plan, the problem of poverty looms large on the economic horizon. The overall average per capita consumption expenditure in 1960-61, was Rs 271/- a year. For the poorest 5% , however , was only Rs.65/- a year. In July 1962, the standard of private consumption expenditure of Rs. 240/- per capita per year was recommended as bare minimum requirement. This was a kind of national poverty line.
In 1967-68 or 1970 however almost half of the population of India could not afford an expenditure of this line. In all the plans the national income has increased quite considerably in the last 24 years. But it is not at all enough to provide a minimum living standard to our population. Our per capita income is still among the lowest in the world. It is lower compared to a smaller country, like Libya and Ceylon. Vast millions are still living below the bread line.
Besides other aspects the rising prices have tended to erode increases in income, if any.
The fall in the real income has pinched the poor most. Thus we see in India there is acute economic problem and minimum requirements are far to reach the people.
PRICE and Income in PROUT
PROUTIST economy is a cooperative one. Therefore, price of a commodity can not be fixed by the government because cooperative may loose incentive. So the collective bodies will fix the percentage of profit in cooperative on the basis of first principle.
To supervise that the collective body’s direction is being followed a supervisor from and amongst the members of cooperatives will be appointed. This percentage of profit will give a check on the price fluctuation.
Income can not go below standard. Because every share in the cooperative will be fixed on the basis of total income from a cooperative. The return from the share will in no case be insufficient to provide him the purchasing capacity.
CASE for Disabled and Disfigured
As our PROUTIST system is based on the purchasing capacity naturally the conclusion may be drawn that everybody will have to be employed. Unlike Indian Constitution’s fundamental rights to property, in PROUTIST constitution right to work will be guaranteed. But what about the disabled and disfigured? For them collective body will arrange social institutions like Children’s Home, Sisters’ Home etc. To maintain them people will take the responsibility.
The word Sarvesam denotes all kinds of people. The importance of this word is that in PROUTIST structure nobody is insignificant, everybody has got the birthright to survive. Without minimum requirement survival is an impossibility. Therefore, essentialities of life should be provided to all without any discrimination of caste, creed, sex, religion or party members or anything of the sort. PROUT does not believe in the concept of survival of the fittest.
Nowhere in the world the entire population is judged equally in regard to the guarantee of essential living condition. In the practical aspect to provide the minimum requirements different plans will have to be chalked out. For the successful plannning of a particular country it will have to be divided into different economic zones.
Different economic zones will provide the minimum essentiality of the people belonging to it.
Here one thing should be remembered that the planning of a new economic zone will aim at guaranteeing the requirement of indigenous population.
The floating population will be considered in one economic zone.
For example if a man in Punjab comes to Bengal for a few days his essentialities should be guaranteed by the Punjab economic zone by providing sufficient purchasing capacity. For floating population no planning can be done unless and until it becomes inhabitant of that zone. PROUT will guard against the malpractices of transporting the wealth of one economic zone to other.
The root VIDHI and suffix SNEYA make the word. Vidhi means scriptural instructions. Vidheyam means scriptural instructions are to be followed. This is not mere an advice of a master to a student. It is a must for the social welfare. In PROUTIST structura guarantee of minimum requirement is a scriptural instruction.