Indonesia | Economics

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A begging strike

It's Ramadan. It's that month where each good deed will be rewarded abundantly in heaven. So, those who believe try to do as many good deeds as they can — among others, by giving alms to beggars.

Now, here's a paradox: In such a circumstance, who's realy doing the good deeds — those with money to give, or those willing to accept those gifts? Here is an interesting experience of KLR that she shared in this comment:
Now to put a spin on things, while I was in India, I experienced a Begging Strike. I'm not sure what the occasion was - but on this particular day, nearing Diwali festival, when people often give alms to the poor in order to build up good karma, one city's begging population went on strike. I saw locals trying to hand the poor money, and they refused to accept it - thereby, for that day, refusing the donor the potential for good karma earnings.

Which of the two parties deserves heavenly rewards, then?


  • I’m intrigued by what would trigger such happening, and wonder, will it ever happen in Indonesia? KLR, do you know why they went on strike?

    By Anonymous Dewi, at 9/28/2006 12:14:00 am  

  • Dewi -
    I'm not sure if it was a tradition or a spontaneous thing, but tend to lean toward it being a tradition, because I can't think of the logistics it would take to get the entire begging population of New Delhi to go along with this on the same day. I've heard at least one other traveler reference encountering this, but beyond that, the impetus is beyond me. Sounds like a potential research topic!

    By Blogger KLR, at 10/01/2006 05:44:00 pm  

  • i bet none of them. the rich is clearly deprived of good deeds, bringing no after-life rewards. the poor, by rejecting the charity, is 'punishing' the rich. but revenge, by definition, is a bad deed. so again, no after-life rewards.

    i'm a neophyte in game theory, but is this a suboptimal outcome?

    By Anonymous tirta, at 10/01/2006 06:16:00 pm  

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