Budget – Not a Stigma

Budget – Not a Stigma

by – Pamarty Venkataramana

There is much bewilderment at Union Budget.
 ‘Poll-pundits’ to ‘armchair tweet-handles’ have been mouthing big euphemisms and standard cliches both in support and against the speech read out by incumbent Finance Minister.
‘Public policy’ and ‘National-Income’ are concepts buried deep into sand and the sand-art of notional-belief has surfaced to lend beauty and wide-acclaim on ‘social-media’!
The single most used as well as abused word during the week has been the word -‘ tax’ .
There are those who feel that taxation is the sole cause for existence of a popularly elected Government of the People.
There are those who pat their own backs at the Government not having raised the tax-rates in vogue.
And,there are those who scratch each others’ backs appreciating and applauding a ‘national( if notional )’ exercise of presenting the Union Budget as an accomplishment of Himalayan proportions.
We even have a few wisecracks taking potshots at the critics of ‘deep-throat’ taxation which seeks to feast upon the very living souls of a Nation : these self-propelled heroes ( & heroines ) take pride as the stork in the heron’s baby-tale who loves those humans for crediting it with ‘dropping the babies’ for all those lovely mothers on the ground of this planet!
Well,this is not another discourse on ‘mass appeal’ nor a treatise about ‘ budgetary dole-outs’ . It isn’t at all about tax or taxation-blues in the least..
So,what then is all the banter about?
Stigma as in a capital lettered word -‘ STIGMA’.
What is a stigma? Is it traumatic or more of a therapeutic prescription to feel ‘one-with-the-majority’ ?
Let’s begin with a case-study of a live-example from Kerala (‘ God’s own country’).
Two brothers who haven’t attended school beyond third-standard at the village school for minority-religion of the population run a huge glass-supply business. They are believed to cater to almost half the glass-needs of the southernmost State of India. What is unique and remarkable about the duo is that they have a ‘nil-compliance’ record of statutory-compliances.
Tax and duties are unknown concepts for them. They have managed reportedly to build up an asset-base of over five hundred crores of rupees:they buy little properties from profit-base for they know not of sales-bills,invoices,taxes,statutory-compliance and the sort of legal pillars of Government systems. Although they live and cater to a most-advanced society in supposedly the first fully literate State of the country.
But,how do they deal with any demand-notice which gets issued by the concerned departments? They either discuss a compounding -settlement within the compounds of their little dwelling-places or they use extraneous methods which law-abiding & ‘educated’ citizenry would shudder to imagine!
And,their ilk lives on, happily from one generation to the next .
If per chance,a ‘na khawunga na khaney doonga ‘- Government assumes office and their faithful bureaucrats shut down their business, this duo has amassed ample ‘private wealth ‘ to cater to their ‘forced-retirement’ lives!
Shame? Shameful? Stigma?
Nay! There’s none attached to such respected members of the society we are blessed to be living in.
STIGMA,as dinosaurs are mere words for a vast majority of these lawless creatures who are all but creations of a faulty system of governance.
If only the budgets were viewed as tools to engineer national growth by fueling individual welfare rather than as a means to crucify hapless,hard-working Gentry that believe in hygiene,manners and poll manifestoes,all of India would have turned into the ‘RamaRajya’ which eludes the most ardent ‘nationalist’ and devout of the law-abiding country.
This is a ‘mental-block’ for the well-educated,literate population who fear a traffic-challan and go all out to borrow monies to pay a ‘nominal-tax’ for fear not only of reprisals by Demi-God like tax-inspectors but also a social-stigma to own up being ‘unemployed ‘ although good-medallists and self-employed but with no avenue for earnings in a cut-throat free-market society where a few leeches thrive under patronage of a bevy of sycophants and their masters ( or mistresses ) in seats of power.
This is by no means an extreme view of things that are happening around us.
The band of anonymously powerful trolls on social-media platforms form the core of ‘public-opinion’ as well as becoming crusaders of a ‘Government’ whose corridors hardly a handful of them might have ever been let into physically.
Stick to it!
Societal mores have changed. Moral decadence is the highlight of the ‘internet-century’ ( where bigwigs stash their ill-gotten loot in crypto currencies but pontificate over lack of State patronage for the uncertain mode which isn’t backed by law or bullion ).
This,as ‘Honor’,is apparently,an unholy word in this era of ‘Government exists for taxing the public and not as a guardian of all strata of the society.
No wonder,the deplorable leeches devour in shades of red,green and yellow on their caps.
There is even a most abhorrent political outfit which bandies about its clean image via the broomstick . The little State they govern is as an ancient city of ruin unearthed in a remote corner of the planet by use of laser-technology: environmental pollution and an impotent chief minister sans portfolio of ‘law & order’ .
Shameless? STIGMA?
The rich and wealthy little care about specialized knowledge or intellectual highs save knowing that ‘ModiJi’ is the Prime Minister of the country today.
A vast majority of their families would know more about the lanes of lake-city Venice than the total number of States in India! To them,the profits and lobbyists are the tools of Government.
Page-3 digs lend to their aura in an existential stare of vacuum.
To the utterly poor,they are the greatest beneficiaries of State ‘doles’ and patronage of Budgets: subsidies on gas,vehicles,dwelling units, and so on..
Of little consequence is the fact that these ‘beneficiaries ‘ seldom own or possess the gas-cylinder or a home or even a bicycle.
The in-between sections of society who comprise of agriculturist-families that ‘educated’ their two generations of children to migrate to the cities and settle down as doctors,lawyers,salaries class engineers and clerks and peons and tertiary-sector employees?
 Oh,the ‘middle ‘ classes ?
No pointing fingers at them.
That is not merely a taboo . But, a STIGMA!

In God we Trust!

And,we proudly say-‘ JAI HIND!’ 🇮🇳

Pamarty Venkataramana

Pamarty Venkataramana

Pamarty Venkataramana (PVR) is a distinguished and eminent international Jurist, Poet, Author, Speaker and Thinker based in India. His many books are published.
Pamarty Venkataramana

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