Forget the past

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Ray, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    FORGET THE PAST

    Malvika Singh

    Pranab Mukherjee, along with his Cabinet colleagues led by an economist prime minister, and aided by a bunch of babus in various ministries, is getting the budget fine-tuned for the ‘grand presentation’ in Parliament following months of scams, loot of funds preventing large sums from entering the exchequer, illegalities by the dozen, breaking of rules by lawmakers, with enforcers of the law showing the way. It has been the most shameful period that modern, aspiring India has had to endure as the political class, abetted by its ‘operatives’, openly ‘raped’ the State. India is desperate, disillusioned and looking for some means to restore dignity and good sense.

    Once again, the high hand of an arrogant government wants to introduce an utterly mindless tax on what it sees as ‘inheritance and luxury’, the definition of which varies depending on background, education, experience, sensibility, cultural commitment and more. The government wants to impose a one per cent tax. So, if your grandfather has a watch he bought at the turn of the last century, and you inherited it, the long arm of the law will hit you, usually because the envy of the ‘inspector’ will dominate everything else. A bribe will be enough to get the chap off your back, as has been happening in this benighted nation for decades. The only difference this time is that the rate will be higher, in proportion to the rate of inflation bequeathed upon us by the ruling dispensation. This ridiculous law will apply to everything most people have inherited, or bought with clean money through cheques. The crooks and smugglers, who have always had a free run, will be laughing all the way to their illegal bhandars, protected by the servants of the State who allow them their free run. Occasionally, someone is caught. But when the press forgets to carry the ‘news’, the crooks walk free, no matter whether they have committed a monetary crime, a rape or a murder.

    Lost inheritance

    For a scam-ridden government, with former cabinet ministers in jail for ‘fiddling’ with national resource, and with the State Bank of India bailing out a failed private airline — a non-performing asset — and the liquor baron, Vijay Mallya, who has the luxury of boats and yachts, inheritance and more, the proposed one per cent tax is yet another scandal of sorts. Do those who came up with this ridiculous initiative want Indians to lie and bribe or shun Indian culture and all aesthetic sensibilities manifested in art, in its broadest sense, that make India a great civilization? The uninitiated and intellectually limited waste their time and energy adding absurd taxes instead of addressing the rampant corruption in the income tax and other tax departments that have debilitated and killed the Indian ethos, more over the last two decades than ever before.

    Everyone in India knows who is on the take. It is no secret. And everyone is fully aware of the rates required to skip paying their taxes. It is black money that goes into the pockets of the servants of the State. Cabinet ministers and senior bureaucrats admit that this is true. And therefore, since they are all aware of the truth, the priority must be to sanitize the tax collection department before they create yet another ambiguous space for more corruption. We should give tax rebates to those who nurture, protect and conserve their inheritance with care, thus keeping the symbols of our great history and tradition alive when the so-called museums have lost much and ill-treat that which remains. We should celebrate such people.

    Our ‘inheritances’ lie in foreign homes and museums because we do not know how to respect them. We have lost ours and become tacky. Encourage people to buy the best. Discourage mediocrity. The government has its VAT and sales tax on all goods. Why is it so envious and greedy?

    Forget the past
     
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