The two question in one, though posing a paradox and kindling dormant emotion of empathy is in fact a combination of two different planes that have no visible intersecting point.
First the main question of philosophy: The simple 'diya' is not a value-added product but a value in itself, because of the sentiment attached to it. It is at once a useful phenomenon of providing visibility and a symbolism of the inner urge of attaining light from darkness on the lines of the Upanishadic declaration "Tamaso maa jyotirgamaya'. Also it has a secondary value of chain reaction with a sociological content, of spread of finer sentiments, by lighting one diya by another. "Hai deep deep se jaltaa, hai prem prem par nirbhar- Sumitranandan Pant.
All these finer aspects are of cheering and enthusing nature to the users.
Now the secondary question in the field of economics:
For the producers of commodities and providers of service, the venture itself is economics as well as a way of life based on their own professional skills. In the crass commercialisation of economics in the world today, innumerable intermediary forces that operate in packaging, warehousing, transport and distribution, etc.,each propelled by own economic compulsions, take away the sizeable chunk of the final value paid by the ultimate consumer. The original producer, service-provider or the artisan is unable to dictate or even determine or even participate in the determination of the pricing mechanism as there is no power block of pressure established by them. This is the reality of economics.
The world is caught between two diametrically opposite forces of economics. The one that in the name of free enterprise and market economy, places by design, the producer of wealth at the lowest bottom of the share in wealth and the one that is an autocracy of a combination of a self-styled progressives, that swears in the name of people but keeps people in continual deprivation. Though the latter has weakened considerably in the past couple of decades, the former has grown into monstrous proportion and has led to the lethal blow that has been dealt to the world economy, in recent months, from which the bottom end nations would not recover for decades, while the exploiter would recover in a short time by further engagement in the looting of wealth of (other) nations.
What is the solution ? The value-system of integrated economy of villages in India, that existed before the British colonial rule that has gradually dwindled, is the real economic model. In this system, every producer of commodity of necessity as well as provider of service was taken care of, by sharing of wealth with a community based integral social care approach. A shorter version was the Gandhian model, propounded by J.C.Kumarappa with the political philosophy of Total Revolution, propounded by Jayaprakash Narayan. Still capsule model would be the one adopted by Morarji Desai in 1977-79, with just two key basis points: (1) Commodities of necessity are to flow freely, to obviate a situation of an ocean of scarcity and an island of plenty. (2) Input cost shall be kept low to ensure output cost low and affordable. Coupled with the empowerment of people by strategies for enhancement of purchasing power, a model adopted by Atal Behari Vajpayee, by launching massive projects that would last for decades and provide sustainanble job opportunities for generations of unskilled and semi-skilled people, ( the economic model of Chola, Pandya and Pallava dynasties, whose efforts are still visible in the gigantic temples of Tamilnadu), this will provide a solution to the economic paradox.
Answered By: kcsadvocate - 4/17/2009