Writing a guest post on this fantastic blog. The recent announcement by PM Modi, focusin on tacking corruption through taxation and demonitization of 1000 and 500 rupee notes have caused quite a lot of people to voice their opinions. I thought to reply to one such that I stumbled across: A middle class mans honest open letter to PM

Social Responsibility
The above article is one of the most pathetic rationalisations, and sadly this is one, that almost everyone in this country gives to purport corruption. The government is a representation of us, the citizens of India. Understand what a democracy is. As long as we are corrupt, the government is going to be corrupt. And the accented “SIRs” do not show respect, it shows arrogance.

And no, you are not fulfilling your social responsibility by just donating to an orphanage. While you might be offering some solace to the beneficiaries of the orphanage, the millions of financially displaced of India are still suffering because of your tax evasion. A dominant reason why inflation had touched double digits and the next generation is going to suffer it’s wrath is because of our tax evasion.

Taxation
So there is a strong social responsibility as citizens for us to pay our taxes (all it’s forms) so they go into the government’s reserves. These reserves are then be used to further many of the government’s aids and schemes that help the poor and the needy. From rations to petrol to education; subsidiaries comes from taxation. The best example I can give is to play a city building sim, and you’ll realise just how important taxation is to running even a small town. For a country as big as India, taxation is literally the economic backbone.

Bribes
Did you know that there are many ways bribes can be reported and are being addressed? Have you ever reported the 10K that you are forced to pay every month? Why not? Because it is convenient for us. And more often than not, the bribe that we need to pay is less than the fee that we should have paid (especially in the case of Electricity, traffic fines, etc…). So we do it, because it’s financially better for us and the government officer. Not saying that there aren’t cases where without a bribe, nothing moves. In all of these¬†cases, it’s again our social responsibility to report them.

The above mentioned organisations especially (I paid a Bribe) have good records of taking strong action against the system that encourages bribery. Notice that they take action against the system and not the individuals (because it’s the system that’s needs refinement here).

Instant Gratification
I’m at least happy that the author has finished with a positive note that he is now willing to do his duty. But that suddenly seems to entitle him to expect instant gratification. Unfortunately, the country as a whole needs to change and that takes time. He finishes off with a doomsday prediction, that black money will be back in another 10 years.

Of course it’s going to be back, because people expect things to change instantly. It wont! Rest assured, it wont! This is a long haul effort from all of us. It’s going to take decades of patience and a persistent push towards cashless economy for us to achieve a clean white India. Expecting that things will change instantly (which most of the folk currently do), will result in disappointment shortly. And that disappointment will cause things to revert back to the way they were. And the cycle repeats.

The future
The fact that this is proudly presented as an open letter, and that it’s being shared across as a “brilliant” point says how long we still have to go to achieve financial equality in our country. What we need is financial education in our country. If someone can share a write up on the ill effects of tax evasion, etc… it’ll be great.

Trust me, if we as a nation become honest, the leaders will automatically become honest (because guess what, they are chosen from amongst us).

While I’ve issues with BJP’s philosophies, I cannot argue with Modi’s financial moves so far. And the results speaks for itself. If he can move against foreign assets, we might just hit a golden age again.

@mohankarthik

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