I have more faith in the poor than the rich: Sudha Murthy

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 01 February 2016 23:55 IST

“I have more faith in the poor people than the rich”, says Sudha Murthy, a multi-millionaire chairperson of Infosys Foundation and a prolific English and Kannada writer.

“I am thankful to the Daridri Narayan of this country who taught me the real philosophy of life”, she said while delivering a maiden lecture at the 9th D D Kosambi Festival of Ideas today evening.

‘Circle of Life’ was a topic the outspoken writer had chosen and hundreds of children and youngsters had flocked to Kala Academy, listening to the extempore talk of their favourite writer sitting on the floor and even standing for two long hours.

Murthy did nothing but narrated her own life story, from middle class daughter of a doctor in Hubli to the wife of a struggling chairman of Infosys to the chairperson of Infosys Foundation in India and USA.  

“The poor people struggle but they are sincere. I learnt from them that you don’t need money to be happy in life but compassionate to fight for what you believe in.”

She narrated her over a decade long struggle to rehabilitate almost 3000 Devdasi women in Karnataka, each one of whom paid back the loan she supplied through the Foundation.

“Not a single woman defaulted”, she said, without uttering a word about the defaulters in the non-poor society of India.

Murthy also recalled a blind temple priest in a village of Tamil Nadu, who refused her help of Rs 25,000, stating that he had drawn his line and was happy with a Dakshina of Rs one.

“What is money? How much money you can earn and how much you can enjoy? Not beyond certain limit. Money is not everything. In fact it’s a curse and a burden which you need to unload”, said Murthy.

She appealed to the whole middle class and higher middle class crowd gathered in the Dinananth Mangeshkar auditorium to spend at least 20% money earned for the needy people in the world.


“The Real power is courage and not money and courage comes through compassion. And compassion is a flower with fragrance”, she said. 

She also told the audience how she was the only girl in the Hubli Engineering College and was rejected and humiliated by everybody, but fought it out to score a first rank and enter into computer engineering to do Masters against the set norms of engineering.

“You need courage within yourself to achieve your goals. You are your best friend and your ardent enemy. Difficulty lies in your mind, nowhere else. Things are never scary, they are made scary to you. Be master of yourself and you will achieve”, she said.

Murthy also told how she was initially rejected by the Devdasi women, who threw chappals at her in the first meeting and tomatoes in the second, but how she fought out the situation and convinced them to educate their children to get themselves freed from the exploitation.

“Failure is the most essential component of your success. Most of the successful people in the world had maximum failures in their lives. Repeated success in fact makes you arrogant. No matter what the society says, live with your opinion and work passionately”, she said.

Replying to a question, she also rejected the ancient theory of Karma that completes circle of your life.

“I don’t know whether I would be born again. Karma theory is like a dark room. I am born and raised for a cause and I need to fulfil it. Satisfaction is the real circle of life”, said Murthy, putting it bluntly with immense self-confidence and compassion.

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