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Chapter 12: I Am the First World Citizen

But even in America, though they don’t talk about it, there are thirty million beggars. Their news media people come to India to photograph beggars, to propagate to the whole world that India is a beggar. But nobody knows that America has thirty million beggars - and by a very strange coincidence, thirty million people who have been eating too much, they are hospitalized. Thirty million are dying on the streets, and exactly thirty million are eating their food.and dying.

And on those thirty million who have become overfed, millions of dollars are wasted because doctors, nurses, medicines.and nobody is bothering about the thirty million people who don’t have food, who don’t have shelter, who don’t have anything, who can’t think that tomorrow will be any different. If tomorrow they can get some food to eat, they will be immensely happy.

Anybody who has a little intelligence can change this whole world within ten years, not more than that.

I provoked Ronald Reagan and his company, because I absorbed three hundred beggars into the commune. And those beggars were surprised and shocked because for the first time they were treated as human beings. Letters were written by beggars to me: “We had been treated almost like stray dogs. We had forgotten completely that we are human beings. You have revived our respect, our dignity; you have made us again human.”

Nothing was different for them, they were not treated in a different way; they mixed in the commune. That was my fault.and Ronald Reagan began a whole strategy to destroy this commune. Now three hundred, tomorrow three thousand.and these people will create a situation that the American government will not be able to cope with, although they have all the weapons. They can kill, but they cannot cope.

And their democracy - I have seen - is such a hypocrisy, so ugly, that everything against the commune and me has been done illegally, so obviously illegally that although I don’t know any law, even I could say to them, “This is absolutely illegal.”

I was asked in the jail not to write my name, but to write instead the name, David Washington. I said, “I don’t understand. That is not my name. You are forcing me into an illegal act. I will not write that name.. Do you think I am an idiot? Can’t I see your whole plan? I write David Washington and tomorrow you poison me, and the world will not be even able to trace where I have disappeared, because your register will not show that I ever entered, so the question does not arise that you have killed me.”

I said, “Forget all about it. You write whatever you want to write. If you want David Washington, write David Washington.” And that law-imposing authority they call marshal in America was asking me to do such an illegal act..

I said, “You should have at least removed your coat on which a great seal shows: Marshal, Department of Justice. Be ashamed, at least, of your coat. You write, I will sign.”

He thought that was a good compromise, so he wrote my name, David Washington - and I signed my name. He looked at it.and my signature is such that even a man who knows Hindi cannot understand it. He said, “What is it?”

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