Tag Archives: Taxes

Better Roads… Better Humans… Better Taxation…

Last week I became a part of an interesting debate in on of the online groups I am a member of.

The group was started by a set of well meaning gentleman who were thoroughly fed-up with the state of roads (or lack of them) in Pune, India. The news about the group spread like wildfire and soon if grew into a sizable social-organization. It kept going from strength to strength organizing meetings, public gatherings and even petitions in court. I am not an active part of those happenings and I admit I am NOT proud of that bit. I would really like to get over my ‘intertia/lethargy’ whatever you call it. I really really hope to contribute more to it. Given my lack of contribution to the group I kept from criticizing or patronizing.

The group from time to time would have enthusiastic people post about other social malises in the city/country and that when things would get more interesting. Some time back a similar post came to my notice. A well meaning gentleman laid his heart out about loss of values and moral in todays’ citizens of the country vis-a-vis days of Gandhian glory. Personally I am not the biggest fan of Gandhian philosophy where you are supposed to present the second cheek if slapped in one. I am more of a ‘fight-or-flight’ guy depending on secnarios and under no circumstance will take physical violence lying down. Nevertheless the loss of moral and and values has hit me time an time again ever since I ‘hit-the-road’ trying to make it on my own. I’ve tried to live up to certain self laid rules of acceptable civil behaviour that’s somewhere between Gandhian Non-Violence and Subhash Chandra Bose’s ‘give me your blood and I’ll give you freedom’. Leaning more towards the later.
Coming back to this gentleman’s post about his feelings, without doubt it invoked sharp responses. One gentleman pointed out that since only about 15% of the popluation paid taxes (he meant Income Taxes levied on your earnings) they were entitled to have materialistic dreams and had rights to ‘sit-back’ and enjoy them. He also cribbed about how the farming community never paid any taxes and hence didn’t ‘deserve’ the comforts the ‘tax-payers’ could afford. Though he had his facts slightly misplaced (only 2% of the earning population in India pays Income Taxes, the rest are all ‘farmers’, pun intended), it was a stark revelation of how modern India’s neo-rich and successful think. More importantly the huge bridge in thinking and doing. The gentleman was a part of the group which was essentially doing social work. So his reason of being there can be percieved to be well intentioned but his statement points at the growing arrogance of the neo-rich and their shallow knowledge of deeper social malice in the complex country. It is extremely sad to even think that non-tax-paying farmers did not deserve a better life.
If one looks deeper, its not the farmers who don’t pay taxes. Heck most of them don’t even make enought to afford 3 square meals for 365 days a year. Thousands of them have taken their lives because they couldn’t repay loans of loan sharks. These loan sharks are leechs who systematically rob the farmer of his rightful earning and bleeds the government of taxes. Add to that group the lot of politicians who thrive on the un-employment and un-educated. They are the most un-accountable/blood sucking group of ********* out there.  Next, the biggest grossers in terms of money are the best when it comes to avioding taxes they suddenly turn farmers. And then there are us, the ‘educated-illiterates’. We prefer to live in our false cocoon of safety… our false sense of success… our false belief of achievements. We thumb a few keys on a keyboard 16-20 hours a day and belive we work hard enough to consider ourselves insulated from all social responsibilities, including foregoing our right to vote. Yes, the election day is NOT a public holiday. We even dare to be armchair specialists of all the social malices in the world and cock a snook at anything that brings us closer to reality…

Get real guys… Better Roads would definitely be nice… but being better humans is the starting point… so make a start… after all we live in a democracy… Better taxation will follow…

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