What makes a nation?

A tagline of the Central Board of Excise and Customs reads, “A nation is made, when taxes are paid”. I beg to differ. I strongly believe that a nation is made when taxes are genuinely spent. The question is, ‘Is the tax payers’ money well utilized?’The answer would be ‘NO’. Then why would someone want his or her hard earned money go down the drain? Result is evasion of taxes.

I asked one of my friends now living in UK, ‘Don’t you mind paying such heavy taxes?’ His candid answer was, ‘No, we don’t.’ He continued after a slight pause, ‘We are very well looked after so we don’t repent’. It is true, when you know and realize that you are getting what you are paying for then you don’t mind paying. Do we really get what we pay for here in India?

We honestly give our road taxes and get bad patches in return. We regularly pay our electricity bills and still have to bank on our own backup arrangement. We genuinely pay our mobile bills and get frequent call drops instead. We sincerely pay our municipal taxes, but are made to live in a filthy environment. We clear our bank debts on time only to find that the government has waived off the loans for those who did not pay. Should we still pay?

When the government fails to fulfil even some of its basic obligations like law and order, health and education, we have all cause to be disgruntled. Yet, the government being a government can obviously make you pay even if you don’t want to. It can make your life miserable in case you do not pay. So can an extortionist. You are compelled to pay an extortionist not for the services that he renders, but to keep him away from messing up your life. Aren’t we obliged to pay the government and its various agencies in a similar fashion?

No, I am not asking anyone to become an outlaw and confront the government. All we want is a perfect delivery system that would impel us to pay our taxes with a smile on our face. If the government is really concerned about ‘making of the nation’ it should dedicate itself to improve upon itself.


About Ranjan K Singh

An author-photographer with over 30 years of experience...
This entry was posted in Consumer Affairs, Democracy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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