In our modern history, our nation witnessed various masterful personalities who simply could not wait for someone else to take action against the wrongs. Bad things were happening and they had the intent to change that order. So, they took the charge and brought about the change they desired. In fact, at some times these peerless souls didn’t just bring about a necessary change, but a revolution. Gandhi and Vallabhbhai Patel are two names which achieved the above feat.
However today, things seem to be quite convoluted and doleful.
Every day when I go to the mess of my hostel, I see people castigating the government of not doing enough. They say that Swachh Bharat isn’t working and Make in India is not showing desired success. When I take an auto rickshaw for commute, the rickshaw drivers often say that the government is doing nothing to solve the pollution menace. And, of course, the society complains that there are very few parks and bus stands, and if any, then they are in a pathetic shape.
Well, I agree to all of them to some extent. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or Make in India et al- None have been able to emulate the success that PM Modi envisaged. The targets seem too far-fetched and unrealistic at the moment. And, all of us 1.27 Billion Indian citizens have a right to demand an explanation. Or, do we?
It was hard to digest the fact. But, the highest authority of the land, PM Narendra Modi confirmed the horror to me. When he overtly said that just over 24 Lakh Indian citizens report an annual income of over 10 Lakh Rupees, I was blown away! What about the rest of the India? In fact, a total of 2.87 crore individuals filed income tax returns for 2012-13, and 1.62 Crore of them did not pay any tax at all.
So, do all of the Indian citizens have the right to complain and question? Yes, they did vote and rose the parliamentarians to the seats of authority. But, the parliamentarians need a hell lot of money to run the nation and alleviate it of all the bugbears biting it in the present. And, voting someone to the power is in no way the same as giving money to the government. And, without the taxes, I don’t see how else the major chunk of money is going to come?
Just over one percent taxpayers can’t keep paying for running the nation and its operations. That’s is not just impossible, but also unjust! Yes, the Ambanis, Tatas and the Birlas have a lot of money in their pockets. Indeed, they can manage to shed out a huge lot of their money to contribute towards the nation. However, that would also be not at close to what’s needed in the present scenario. Also, the question is not about one’s capability out here. But, about one’s own sense of responsibility. Why someone should be paying for others at all!
A day before yesterday I met Mr R. K. Gupta who is a resident of Faridabad. He is 68 and had retired some years back from his service of over 30 years at Oriental Bank of Commerce. He turned out to be a very insightful and charismatic person. Guess what, at the age of 67, he applied for a PhD and is presently pursuing that. His elan and zeal to learn and keep up the movement imbued and inspired me like nothing else.
But, it was something else about him that left me wondering. He is retired from service and yet reports a taxable income of over 10 Lakhs! That is the sense of honesty and integrity that filled me with pride to have come across this flamboyant man. He is earning through various investments and from a book that he wrote on “Working Capital Finance.” I realized that a small chunk of those 24 Lakh individuals comprise of these older men and women as well.
Even people of his stature and age are paying the goddamn taxes and wish to contribute to India’s growth. But, what is the other India doing? The ones with gaudy cars and stuff!
I see all these Audis, BMWs, Hondas and Bullets. I see a sleuth of opulent Indians walking all around me. These people walk with iPhones in their palm and Levis jeans covering the legs. They live is flats or houses worth over a Crore. They spend several hundreds and sometimes thousand at the restaurants and hotels for dining. And, if the aforementioned statistics are to be believed- Most of these brand ambassadors of “The Shining India” are not paying taxes they are supposed to!
That’s a scathing piece of reality.
We blamed Manmohan and now many of us castigate Modi. But, how many of us actually deserve that prerogative to question them? After all, one man of integrity can not be the panacea to all our maladies!
Let’s do some simple mathematics. There are over 127 Cr of us. Maybe there are 70 Cr who are below 18 Years of age, which there are not. But, still, the count remains above 55 Cr. Maybe 15 Cr of them are old and not earning no more. Sure, bring down the left over count to almost 40 Cr. The onus is actually on these 40 Cr to do the justice and elevate our nation, pay taxes and be a part of the growth. But, a massive chunk of over 38 Cr of these have been running away from doing what is of utmost imperative at their part.
We need to realize that it’s do or die moment!
Our India is currently at a do or die phase. We are teeming with young citizens who are aspirational but also impatient. This Young force, which also includes me wishes to be the next big name in the list of millionaires and billionaires. Some of us wish to be The Prime Minister, or The President, the next Dr Kalam or maybe the next Ambani! And, for each one of those we need affordable education, internet, skill development and several other imperatives.
And, each one of those parameters need urgent attention and action. Why? Because if this gigantic young population won’t get the fair opportunities to excel in life and realize their dreams, a disaster won’t be much far away. If such an enormous chunk of our population won’t have jobs, businesses and quality education and life, they are going to take to the streets and the rest need not be explained. A dismal image won’t be a faraway affair anymore then.
And, thus we simply can’t wait and watch no more. We need to stand up and take some actions. And, the first and foremost action needed in this direction is for all of us to own up and pay our taxes. That way government will have more to spend and develop. I agree that there is hell-break corruption in the extant system which is a great bottleneck in our road to success.
I know that many of us citizens don’t believe that our money will be put to the right use. But, do we have the option to wait for the corruption to come down for that development to begin? No, we don’t! It’s an alarming moment. We have to work on both fronts in a parallel mechanism. The present may seem bright but the future is absolutely unpredictable. We may turn out in a great shape maybe ten years from now, but can we be sure about that?
So, let’s not just complain and impugn the governments. But, what is even more important is the realization that we don’t have an equal but even more important role to play out here. Let’s not anymore just see NDTV or Zee News and brood over how the nation is deteriorating. Once we know what’s wrong, let’s try to make amends and correct the wrongs. Let’s paint the blacks with the righteous whites and help India shine.
The reader may say that it’s easy to sit in a comfortable and warm room and type out a chunk of words. Well, if my post can charge even just one other person to own up, my purpose will be served. Further, if that one person would imbue someone else to own up as well, it will be a bliss! Many of the readers may already be paying their meant taxes, which is appreciable. Some may not yet be eligible to do that. But, the other remaining chunk of people- “you know who you are” – Please take notice of the gravity of our position as a nation.
“Let’s do our part by doing the needful. Let’s help India shine!”