Sadhu Prof. V. Rangarajan, Founder Trustee, SISTER NIVEDITA ACADEMY, Bharatamata Gurukula Ashram,
The New Indian Express dated November 29, 2017, reported:
‘Begging not crime if done in poverty’
Begging should not be a crime if it is done due to poverty, the Centre told the Delhi High Court, which wondered if anyone begs out of compulsion or by choice. The Centre’s stand came on two PILs seeking basic human and fundamental rights for beggars in Delhi, the national capital, and for decriminalizing begging.
The above view of the Government of India vindicates the call given out by H.H. Yogi Ramsuratkumar, Godchild, Tiruvannamalai, three decades ago. The Yogi was hailed as “A BEGGAR WHO OWNS THE WORLD” by HINDUISM TODAY, International Monthly for Hindu cause, published from Havaii, USA, in its edition for April 1990. Regina Sara Ryan, author of “ONLY GOD—A BIOGRAPHY OF YOGI RAMSURATKUMAR”, published by Hohm Press, Prescott, Arizona, USA, presents Yogiji’s passionate opposition to the harassment of beggars with a special reference to a touching incident that occurred in His life:
“Driving out beggars is not proper; they have a right to beg,” Yogiji spoke imploringly one day to Sadhu Rangarajan in 1988, urging him to write an editorial for his journal, Tattva Darsana, about the rights of beggars in India. At the time, the government was systematically rounding up beggars and prosecuting them. Ramsuratkumar, who was passionately opposed to this harassment, explained:
“In this land, begging has never been a crime. Sudhama was a beggar and he went to Krishna begging for alms. Krishna received him with all honours. All great saints have been beggars. My Master, Swami Ramdas, explains in his In Quest of God how he went around as beggar…. I am not speaking only of Sadhus, Brahmacharis and Brahmans who are enjoined to beg in this country. I am speaking for ordinary people who go out begging for alms when they find it difficult to make both ends meet. They are not criminals. They beg as there is no other [way to] go.”
Yogi Ramsuratkumar’s request for an editorial followed upon one incident that was both humorous and significant. Sometime in early 1988, Justice Venkatramaiah, a judge of the Supreme Court, came to Tiruvannamalai to see Yogi Ramsuratkumar, who on this day was sitting so