By : Ajay Shukla(India)
Akhilesh Gupta, a businessman along with his family, who hailed from Shajhanpur, being unable to repay their debts, UP committed suicide, while Mahesh Aggarwal, a flour mill worker from Lucknow depressed on losing his job, committed suicide. Our Country has rolled down to 94th spot in Global Hunger Index and our neighbours Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan faring better, makes the fall more humiliating. Seven years back India was holding 55th position. Government has decided to provide free rations to more than 80 crores deprived Indians. More than 2000 industries have shut down in the last one year, while more than 3000 industrialists have applied for insolvency and more than a thousand have been declared insolvent but he is leading a life of extravaganza. Unemployment rate has peaked to 12.2%. About 40 crore persons have been rendered jobless in the last two years. Qualified youth are begging their bread laboring in MNREGA. Indian Constitution renders us a welfare State, which is committed for equality of its citizens, despite which the common man is not allowed to close in on with the elite class. Billionaires receive the waiver of their 8,000/- crores of debts while the poor and the middle class is tormented in such a manner to recover the debts that thousands of them are committing suicide.
“Power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues, freebooters; all Indian leaders will be of low caliber & men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles. A day would come when even air and water would be taxed in India.”
Are the words uttered by Winston Churchill, the former British Premier a few months prior to our independence, which is proving true in the present time Inflation has crossed 12.9% mark in India. Whether it is petroleum products or the treatment of the patients struggling with Covid-19, all are facing the burden and blows of heavy taxes. GST has been imposed even on air and water. Ours is the public which is made to pay the heaviest of taxes in the world without there being any social or economic security, provided in return. The minute by minute expenditure incurred upon the members of the Central Cabinet equals the per capita income of our country, while other expenses are almost the same. Bureaucracy, known as Public servants under the definition provided by our Constitution, does not incur the expenditure less than our Ministers.
The promise of “Minimum Government and Maximum Governance” stands reversed. Common man is being crushed under the weight of the ever increasing bureaucracy.
Few years back when there was a huge uproar against corruption, India was at the 80th position in the Global Index of Corruption but now we have fallen down to 86th rank, which makes it evident that in the last few years corruption has increased so much that we have been forced to bow our heads in shame, before the world.
Government may claim itself to have purged of corruption and holds a clean image but the world is a witness to its corruption. Who is responsible for this? A bureaucrat friend of mine tells me that now the denomination of 500/- or 2,000/- is required for the purposes where earlier the denomination of 100/- used to be required. In our culture the utopian concept of governance is known as “Ram Rajya” but the corruption is visible in the purchases effected for the construction of his temple and the Government instead of curbing it is trying to cover it up. The erstwhile governments which face all the accusation of corruption, by this present incumbent political dispensation, have obtained clean chits in all those allegations and now this very political dispensation is not willing to have the allegations leveled on them investigated. Anyone who brings to light the factual truth, the political strategy of silencing him with humiliation is enforced. The fear of cases and imprisonment is writ large while stating or reporting the truth.
The burden of cess and taxes has increased on the citizens in such a manner that it is now a common phrase that “we do not earn for ourselves but we earn for the government”. Common man is mesmerized by the supporters of the ruling dispensation by lying that the taxpayers are only 1% of the entire population while the truth is that 1% is Income tax payer not tax payer. Whether it is the new born baby or the elderly old man lying on his deathbed or the persons below poverty line all of them pay all the cess and taxes, which is the backbone of the economy of the country. 58% is the average tax recovered from the tax payers who pay income tax and all other cess and taxes, while the non-income tax payers pays cess and taxes on an average of 32%. Government does not provide any social security or any aid to those who fill its coffers. Situation has turned so drastic that the government is rescinding away from its moral responsibilities and it has started privatizing dozens of PSUs, banks and corporations by handing those to private companies. Corporates are capturing the government companies at throwaway prices out of greed of wealth. Health and education are the two prime issues as of now and the government has privatized and handed over 70% of these sectors to the private companies. Around a thousand companies have been declared insolvent in the last two years and those holding their clout over those in power, availed loans from the government banks while already those companies were reeling under debts of thousands of crores.
It was expected in this era of calamity the government would deal with the facing perils and would ease off the burdens of taxes on the common man but it is engrossed battling Twitter and the alert and observant media. Peace has not nestled in Jammu and Kashmir even after two years of abrogation of Article 370 neither the conditions have normalized. The daily life and news both lie sprawled down under the sabers, while democracy lies immured. Demonetization, effected under the garb of fighting with black money and terrorism, has crippled the economy of the country while Indians have stashed black money worth 20,700/- crores in Swiss banks during Covid preceding last year. This has been revealed by the Central Swiss Bank. Swacchta abhiyan and kisan kalyan have metamorphosed into cess. The fight against corona has burdened the public. Cornoa is being fought with cessed vaccines. Communal clashes are rampant and crime is rising sharply and the government remains a mute spectator. It does not sympathize with victim but with the accused on the basis of race, creed, sex and region. Even the protesting girl students of college and universities are tortured like terrorists in jails. Constitutional Institutions are so scared of the government that they seldom agree to investigate and provide justice. The trespass of our borders by the enemies is no secret. What is happening is a blot on democracy. Country holds high hopes from its Prime Minister as he has attained his position because of a vibrant democracy and as such he should urgently initiate appropriate steps to save it. If nothing of this sort occurs even now then along with the country and its institutions, humanity would also wither away.
(Writer is the Chief Editor of ITV Network)