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Rediff.com  » Business » Why do we pay taxes, Mr Modi?

Why do we pay taxes, Mr Modi?

July 19, 2017 11:41 IST

'If governments choose to spend our money on cow meat detection kits or hugely expensive statues, it is also a form of corruption.'
'A betrayal of our hopes and aspirations,' says Amit Mehra.
Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com

Are we paying taxes for the development that is shown in this news?

For meat detection units for our police force?

Cow ambulances?

Cow shelters?

And every thing else to develop the cow Universe?

In my opinion, only Bharatiya Janata Party/Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh supporters should pay for this. They voted for this government, for such policies.

Why should the country suffer?

For vote bank appeasement, all elected governments, politicians spend our hard earned money given to them via our taxes, on statues, and to spread their own personal political ideologies or those of their supporters.

At any given point of time a government is elected, even in cases when they win with huge majority like the current one at the Centre, with only 30 to 35 per cent of our voting population. The data is available for anyone to verify this.

Seldom this percentage increases and even if it does, that is still just a percentage of the voting population.

The entire voting population is far less than the living citizens at any given point of time.

However many citizens, voters or otherwise, pay taxes, not just for their own selves, but also for others who are either not able to, not required to or do not wish to pay.

There is this famous ultra rich businessman.

It seems, though yet to be proven, that he drove his expensive cars on the roads that you and I paid for, not him.

If he doesn't pay back the money he owes our 'innocent' lending banks, and if these loans turn to non-performing assets, then he will surely be driving on Indian roads paid by us, not him.

If the law and our government allows him to.

However, he or people like him will never stop being a role model for many among us.

We are a developing, evolving, nation.

We have diverse people, diverse minds, diverse choices.

There are many Indians who still are cheerleaders for this businessman, publicly.

We have to co-exist with such Indians as well. They have a mind of their own, just like us.

From their perspective, perhaps this businessman-cum-ex-politician (he was a member of the Rajya Sabha) is well within his rights to contest the claims of the banks, the government, and the finance ministry, and he can do so living in a foreign country using its courts.

He left our country as he did not believe that he will get a fair trial in a country which gave a fair trial to the biggest terrorist we ever caught, especially in recent times.

We are this kind of a proud, thriving democracy with a robust justice system.

Our laws, most of them are fair and factor in most aspects of victims and criminals.

Some laws need updating and scrapping and we should do that, but with the same pragmatism as shown by the drafters of the best of our laws.

Anyway, this businessman left our country to seek justice in a foreign land with the help of some other Indians who felt that he was within his rights to do so.

We may never know who these Indians are who cheer and help and respect people like this businessman.

We may never agree with these Indians and never accept their outlook, but we will fight for their right to be heard and say and believe in whatever they have chosen to believe.

The courts will decide who is right or wrong. That should be the end of it.

We can't judge each other. We have to co-exist.

This is India. The idea of India. The vastness of India. Unity in Diversity.

I read that in school.

Our country already has laws from the days of the United Progressive Alliance government where in many parts of the country or all of it, not sure, cow meat is banned and it is a criminal offence.

All one had to, if one has special love for cows and it is a matter of his faith, is implement the law strictly.

We have a police force. We have a judiciary. We have laws.

We have an elected government in every state and the Centre.

We are not a banana republic. Where was the need to make private citizens' army of gau rakshaks and anti-Romeos?

Is that not demoralising for our forces? When mobs are allowed to lynch in the name of cow protection or any other issue from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, does it not demoralise our judiciary?

And does it not horrify and demoralise the entire nation that some citizens who have no respect for our laws, judiciary, governments, the Constitution and our flag, are being allowed to be the investigator, judge and executioner?

Do you want a New India of such demoralised citizens and departments and pillars of our democracy?

Do you want to lead a nation like this to development and prosperity and peace? I don't think so.

But I also think you are not thinking hard enough and correctly. You need to go back to the drawing board and reflect what you want.

And when you do that, do remember that this is a nation when in its weakest, poorest, enslaved days, threw out the most powerful imperial power. Largely, peacefully.

We are neither that uneducated, nor that disconnected, nor that enslaved, nor that weak, nor that poor.

We are a nation of strong, educated, liberated minds. Yes we have a mind. Do keep that in your mind.

We expect you to lead the nation to fullfill the aspirations of all Indians, not just voters and definitely not just your voters.

You are a service provider for all Indians. I understand that was your election call and part of your manifesto.

Let's get working on that and I am sure you will be able to achieve many more objectives of your manifesto as far as they are within our Constitution and acceptable to our judiciary.

Let's leave the political messaging and posturing to election days. Let's reach a good balance.

We need the government and politicians. Just stand up and be counted guys.

You are also first and foremost citizens, just like us.

You are not God. Never forget that.

Citizens should demand that taxation is made transparent.

Treat the tax bill like any other goods or service bill. Demand detailed itemised billing.

Governance today is being a goods and services provider. Not being our parents.

Indians are not orphans. Taxes are paid by adults.

We can tell them how we want them used.

Their political manifesto is also supposed to reflect our needs, not their political party or leaders' needs. Correct?

Most of us work 8 to 12 hours a day, 2 to 4 hours out of that is spent on pot-holed roads, and if governments choose to spend our money on cow meat detection kits, or hugely expensive statues, it is also a form of corruption.

A betrayal of our hopes and aspirations.

History and pride in our past is important and should be adopted to a certain degree, but to do it at the cost of better lives for the present and future generations is stupid and a criminal waste of our hard earned money.

Life in a developing nation is tough as it is and by such wasteful decisions, the government is only making it worse.

We can't ape far richer developed nations blindly.

We have to adapt every aspect we create that is inspired by the West, to suit our Indian reality.

The large multinational companies have realised the hard way and many are succeeding after adapting to our diversity and the ethos that is India.

Somehow Indian governments don't seem to understand their own population.

Amit Mehra