Misplaced priorities - GulfToday

Misplaced priorities


Richard Branson with his team.

This is with reference to the news “Diehard optimist Branson pulls off incredible feat,” (July 14).

Well, we wish these types of news are different. Why can’t the three billionaires – Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk compete to be the first to eradicate homelessness, hunger, climate change effects? What value does one man’s flight to space add to the broken and struggling world?

In fact, Richard Branson’s flight to space seems like an old story, yawn. Several astronauts have already been to space for scientific reasons and their time out there lent to new studies or contribution to existing ones.

Richard Branson’s flight only shows the yawning gap between the haves and have-not’s and it’s not a flattering gap. It is a gap where one wonders why is power and money given in the hands of such men that will not use it for the betterment of the world. While millions die of hunger, a man pats himself on the back for an “achievement” – his space flight. But such achievements ring hollow, for, while he pats himself on the back, a child takes their last breath for want of food or medicine.

The other point to reckon is the news that people who have been underpaid in the organisation that is owned by Richard Branson. He is a billionaire and has gone to space by making money from the labour of low wage workers. He lays claims to be the first founder billionaire to travel to space but then reality is grim and is different and these billionaires are way out of touch with reality.

Shoab K Ali
By email

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