To whomsoever concerned or not concerned,
I am yet another frustrated Indian and here are some of my frustrated thoughts.
Every week we have the media revealing 2-3 new large scams in this country. Just when the media took some time off the Delhi CWG Games Scam, we now have the Mumbai Adarsh Society Scam. Then we have the inquiry into the large 2G spectrum allocation Scandal, and now that the 3G spectrum allocation is over, guess soon there will be another 3G Scandal. Some scams are though so large that, multiple scams are given a single name, like the Delhi CWG Scam which has multiple multi-crore scandals woven into it, to name a few like the CWG Broadcast Scandal, overpaid CWG purchase or overpaid CWG rental scams.
Image Courtesy: Corruption in slum rehabilitation
Gone are the days when there used to be one or two multi-crore scams like Harshad Mehta’s Hawala scandal or Lalloo’s fodder scam. Nowadays every scandal that gets unrevealed is so huge that media terms each new scam as the Mother of all Scams! One can only imagine how so many mother scams co-exist so peacefully in our society. Nowadays it is a rule of thumb for a scandal to be present in any public or private, corporate or government business deal. Forget business deals, even government programs meant to uplift the poor and needy like the schemes under NREGA, relief funds, government subsidies all are filled with tonnes of scams.
And obviously in the world’s largest democracy, democracy itself is the biggest business too. If one looks at the multi-crore buying and selling of MLA’s in Bangalore by both the opposition parties and the ruling party, one can only imagine at what low level Indian democracy is functioning today. In this case of bribing MLAs, the sting operations were carried out not by journalists or the media on the political parties, but by the political parties themselves who carried sting operations on each other. And to prove what? That it’s not just me who is corrupt, even the other one is corrupt too, so please allow me to continue to be corrupt.
Image Courtesy: Corruption Free India
Now my worry is much more deeper. If these are the scandals that come into the limelight everyday, just imagine how much more is going on behind the scenes which never comes to light. Assuming general statistics I guess what comes into lime light is just 5-10% of the scandals. Without any doubts, India is the richest country in the world with poorest people.
Ok, fine, to hell with political and administrative corruption. I can’t help it. Shall I at least be allowed to earn my money honestly and live happily with it? Well, not possible in a democracy. Because the democratic rule is that, the more you earn honestly, the bigger crime you are committing and the more you have to pay as a fine in the form of – what else – INCOME TAX! More important, this thing called INCOME TAX is not applicable if you earn illegally be it by political or administrative corruption or by plundering natural resources via your political nexus. And the more you earn illegally the more you will be protected from having to pay any INCOME TAX or any other form of FINE.
Image Courtesy: India among most corrupt nations
Somebody once said, and very rightly in the Indian Context – I was born free, but I have pay tax to live. Why do I object to paying tax? Well, look at the tax rates first, on income you pay upto 30% tax, and does it end there? No. You buy something outside, you have to pay VAT – and if you don’t want the receipt, then you can skip VAT – again I am forced into this web of corruption. You go to a good restaurant to have a nice dinner, pay service tax there. You have saved good amount and want to put it in a Fixed Deposit, and remember this is the amount you saved after already having paid 30% Income Tax, and in spite of that the interest on the Deposit will be taxed. You pay tax when you buy petrol for your vehicle. I mean one can go on and on and on. One sometimes feels like giving out all the money to the Income Tax department and then ask them to take care about all our expenditures. It is so frustrating.
But isn’t it our duty to pay taxes? Yes. But that is when you are getting the benefits for paying the tax, like:
- When you are getting uninterrupted power supply so that you don’t get frustrated when the power simply goes off every alternate day for hours.
- When you are getting good supply of drinking water everyday.
- When the roads you drive are tarred adequately with no potholes so that your everyday travel doesn’t become an expedition on some lunar surface full of craters.
- When there are no drainage pits lying open on a rainy night and you don’t have to be scared about falling in some open ditch while driving.
- When you are assured that the tax you are paying is utilized properly to help the poor and needy in the country without getting swallowed by corrupt politicians and administrators.
- When the children studying government schools are getting quality education. When the poor are getting good quality ration and regularly instead of having the grains rotting in government granaries.
- When the government hospitals are giving quality treatment to the poor patients without they having to bribe each and every pillar in the hospital.
- When the government officials in all the government departments respond to your queries with a smiling face instead of staring at you with a paralyzed look and a frowned face as if they are doing some great favor to you, while the fact being that they are being paid using the tax money I pay and they are there to serve the people of this country.
- When the government institutions ensure that politicians are not able to swindle crores of rupees of public money converting it into their private assets and stacking them up in secret swiss bank account.
When none of these things are happening, why on earth should I pay my task, and to serve what purpose? Is the government and the politicians some mafia raj that can loot a percentage of my income? Instead of paying tax to the government can’t I use the same tax money to get two or three poor brilliant students good quality education? I thought I will at least go and petition the government to compensate for the taxes I have paid, by naming the street where my house is, after my name – “Frustrated Indian Street“, but then after seeing the plight of that road, well there was no road actually, just a few patches of tar here and there – I gave up on that thought too.
Image Courtesy: Corruption and Reforms
And in spite of all these frustrated feelings of an Indian wanting desperate changes in this self-proclaimed vibrant democracy
- I continue to pay my tax
- I continue to watch news channels show breaking news on new corruption scandals
- I continue to approach government offices to get my work done even though they don’t like me and they frown and yell at me
- I continue to pen down my thoughts like this with a hope that our future generation who read this article will laugh at me saying “This guy must be joking”, because the India they live in will be an India that I WANTED to live in.
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First we should adhear Dharma. Once we are in the Path of Dharma we can talk or criticize about the aharma or all the scams. Instead of that since he is looting i am also looting is not the right way Then there is no difference between the politician and us. Many drops of water makes rain water similar way all the good dharma people join together will create a wave of dharma, other wise it will create a country of Adharma thats what happening now. So now we can decide need to pay income tax or not to pay.
you are not the only frustrated indian,iam here too not only me but crores of people are there.definitely “why should i pay tax when i don’t get any benefits of paying a tax” is an excellent question.millions of people think about cricket finals,movie release and other useless things but very few care about the nation,about the country’s economy,about common people and about our largest democracy in the world,this is the greatest shame of all.
You must pay your tax because that’s the contract that you have entered into with the govt. HOw the govt spends its share of the money is no body’s business just as how you spend your share of the money is not the government’s business
What on earth? When did I or anybody for that matter enter into a contract with the govt? And what is the content of the contract?
We do not live in a dictatorship or a king’s rule to pay some hafta. The Tax a citizen pays is his hard earned money and he has every right to question and know how it is spent. Government is not some don who collects hafta for nobody to question it. The government is there to properly utilize the paid tax to build good infrastructure and do social welfare.
Our Constitution starts with “WE THE PEOPLE”. It is we who have created a government. The tax paid is meant to be used by the government to spend on social good, not to loot it into the personal wealth of ministers.
You hit the nail on its head brother. Kudos to your writing.
I have been wondering about the same deal for ages. And what kind of a BS deal is this? We have taxation all the way from (legitimate) income to spending. We have taxes on value addition. Taxes on service. Taxes to use the roads that were built. Taxes on sales. Taxes on Petrol. Taxes for education. And guess what is not taxed? Capital Gains. Pointless capital gains from the stock market that do nothing to produce value in the economy, are not taxed.
All of this seems like a grand scheme to make the rich richer. And this does not even include inflation. Unlike a tax that’s explicitly levied, inflation actually fills the coffers of the government without ANY legislation. Make no mistake. The government benefits from inflation, and at most times, causes it with quantitative easing (an elaborate euphemism for printing of money).
It seems all this is a grand scheme to make the rich richer. The only thing you can do? Get out of this hell hole before the economy implodes to the point where the government can no longer afford to let you settle abroad. End of story.
Most of the communities in the entire Indian sub-continent(such as Bengali) succumbed in ‘Culture of Poverty'(Oscar Lewis), irrespective of class or economic strata, lives in pavement or apartment. Nobody is at all feel regret ed or ashamed of the deep-rooted corruption, decaying general quality of life, worst Politico-administrative system, weak mother language, continuous absorption of common social space (mental as well as physical, both). We are becoming fathers & mothers only by self-procreation, mindlessly & blindfold(supported by some lame excuses). Simply depriving their(the children) fundamental rights of a decent, caring society, fearless & dignified living. Do not ever look for any other positive alternative behaviour(values) to perform human way of parenthood, i.e. deliberately co-parenting children those are born out of ignorance, extreme poverty. It seems that all of us are being driven only by the very animal instinct. If the Bengali people ever be able to bring that genuine freedom (from vicious cycle of ‘poverty’) in their own life/attitude, involve themselves in ‘Production of (social) Space’ (Henri Lefebvre), initiate a movement by heart, decent & dedicated Politics will definitely come up. – Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay, 16/4, Girish Banerjee Lane, Howrah-711101, India.
Most of the communities in India (such as Bengali), are succumbed in ‘Culture of Poverty'(a theory introduced by an American anthropologist Oscar Lewis), irrespective of class or economic strata, lives in pavement or apartment. Nobody is at all ashamed of the deep-rooted corruption, decaying general quality of life, worst Politico-administrative system, weak mother language, continuous absorption of common space (mental as well as physical, both). We are becoming fathers & mothers only by self-procreation, mindlessly & blindfold. Simply depriving their(the children) fundamental rights of a decent, caring society, fearless & dignified living. Do not ever look for any other positive alternative behaviour (values) to perform human way of parenthood, i.e. deliberately co-parenting of those children those are born out of ignorance, real poverty. All of us are being driven only by the very animal instinct. If the Bengali people ever be able to bring that genuine freedom (from vicious cycle of ‘poverty’) in their own life/attitude, involve themselves in ‘Production of Space’(Henri Lefebvre), at least initiate a movement by heart, decent & dedicated Politics will definitely come up.
– Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay, 16/4, Girish Banerjee Lane, Howrah-711101.
Western countries are checking corruption better because of laws which punish the corrupt and reward the honest quickly.This creates a culture of non corruption where people emulate the honest ones in society.For this to happen the law enforcement i.e the police and the judiciary have to be honest and fast in dispensing justice so that the crooks get punished fast.However in India this system itself is corrupt and lazy.In Vedic India due to the education provided in gurukuls people naturally controlled their animal propensities of lust,anger and greed.Today the education is purely materialistic devoid of Vedic science.A holistic education will help in the creation of better people and if they get into high positions of police and judiciary then I think India will have a non corrupt culture.
Very true Prashanth, we have 100 times more laws and rules than in the west, and a thousand times lesser implementation of laws than in the west. As you rightly said about the vedic society, it is very important to have morals and social duties an integral part of the education system, which is again lacking today because of the extreme commercialization of education where in opening a school or college has become a feasible way of making quick money, just like politics.
30% tax. :O Really ? Well, I don’t earn, but I asked my mom, and came to know that paying taxes is not an issue, because taxes are divided into slabs or blocks. And many of them ‘invest’ their money into properties and funds, paying even less tax. So the actual tax comes to be very low. This was the situation of middle classes, the poor ‘can’t’ pay taxes and the rich ‘don’t’ pay tax.
Infact the Govt. should incur heavy taxes so as to let people become more aware of the value of what they are earning.
Well, if you sit and calculate you are paying much more than that, every item you buy, the petrol for your vehicle, the air fare, a dinner at some nice hotel, every damn thing is taxed, and the question is simple – for what on earth? First of all why are there taxes in any country? So that government can use that money to serve the poor, build better infrastructure, maintain the army – in all – its for the budget to be used for a planned development of the nation. Now what is happening instead? Have you had a look at the crores of rupees the so called government is swindling in different scams – every day the news starts with a new scam – and where does all the money come from? From the taxes you and I pay. You pay road tax – and where are the roads? You pay property tax for your house – and how many days you get water and electricity uninterrupted? The tax you pay is to meant to provide good medical facilities at government hostpitals, and good education in government schools – but why do instead everybody have to go to private institutions for these? Only the poor who cannot afford have no other way but to go to government schools and hospitals – wasn’t the tax money meant for better facilities there? Long back had read in some weekly magazine that if every single paisa of tax was used properly with no corruptions and scams in the country, then India would have been a developed nation decades back.
The people who are earning money know its value, money doesn’t come just like that unless and until you are doing some scam or illegal activity. Its the government babus and politicians who dont know the value of money and I am surprised that you want people to be taxed more – for what? – so that their hard earned money can create more scams, so that more politicians and bureacrats make money. It is the corrupt people in power who cant earn a single paisa by working in any company – and yet they are making crores from our tax money and by looting natural resources of the country – and so it is THEY who dont know the value of money, not the ones who are being taxed.
What you said is correct, poor cant pay and rich dont pay taxes – I am not talking about them – I am talking about the salaried middle class – just take the Form 16 of any salaried person at the end of the financial year and see the amount of tax he has paid – beyond a 4-5 years experienced person’s salary slabs hardly matter – there is a maximum limit on the investment you can make – and even the types of investments are just to lock your money with government or private parties – and by the time you get back that money a couple of years later inflation would have reduced its value to nothing – and again when you reclaim back your investments later – you are again taxed on that investment. Does it make any sense? Income tax is not the only tax we pay. There is sales tax, service tax, VAT, import duties, petrol tax, etc etc.
The petrol we buy is taxes so that the tax money can be used to subsidise kerosene given to the poor – but how many poor people really get the amount of kerosense they require to lead a decent life? All the cheap kerosene is used to adulterate the same petrol and diesel for which we pay tax to buy! The petrol tax is used to subsidise diesel so that transporting vegetables and essential commodities becomes cheaper which in turn helps poor – but where do the diesel subsidies go? In the pockets of rich transport houses who run their luxury buses and cars on this subsidized diesel!
Just look at this situation – I earn money by my salary, I get it after the tax is deducted at its source – and I save that money in my Savings account – which gives very little interest – so to prevent inflation from reducing the value of money in the account I decide to keep it in a fixed account which offers a higher interest – but then I come to know that on maturity even the higher interest you earn in the FD will again be taxed! Come on give me a break please. We have successive governments which have never been able to contain inflation in this country – we have corruption all around us – the taxed money which is meant for development is being used by politicians to provide useless freebies for the sake of votes – poverty in the country remains as is – infrastructure is pathetic – cant use any government facilities unless and until I am a poor person with no other option – the good quality food grains and necessities like kerosene meant for the poor are looted by the political-businessmen nexus and instead poor are left with low quality grains and even those are not available when required – I have to spend extra money on vehicle maintenance and fuel because of the pathetic roads – and we should pay more tax? For what purpose? Guess you haven’t seen the facilities provided by the government to its citizens in other countries.
Government pays its employees using OUR tax – and there is not even an iota of customer service in these government offices – almost every government employee has a frowned face and talks impatiently, does not come to work on time, always delays our works, and demands bribe for the work to be done! Have you ever tried to register a property without paying a bribe? We pay tax to these government employees to do our work, and then again have to bribe them to get the work done. Great rules!
Government is not a hafta wasool agency to collect taxes – taxes are meant to develop the nation – my hard earned money by slogging weekends and late nights is not meant to go unaccounted for – every citizen who pays even one rupee tax has the right to know where his money is being used and how – else taxes become simply hafta wasooling in the name of democracy – which is what is happening today. And for those who are unaware – Indians have the highest amount of illegally earned money in the swiss bank which is around 1.5 trillion dollars – all of which is illegal money looted from the taxes we pay – and if that money is brought back to India then we can have tax free budget in the country for the next 30 YEARS
If you still believe that Govt should incur more taxes – well that’s your democratic right to express your thoughts in a country where once in every five years a new looter squad comes to power in the name of democracy. Well yes, we need to be taxed more so that our politicians can get more opportunities to SERVER US BETTER :)
Well said Gurudev
Well every country have theor own problems to deal with and we too have ours, please note despite all this we are a fast developing country, things will change with time and we need to see what best we can do to contribute our best and make a differce …..
Well, our problem has prevented our country from reaching its true potential. The loss of India has been gains of US and Europe in terms of scientific talent. And with the current trend of voting population in this country and the available political options, I dont see any significant changes in the near future. Yes as you said, we just need to keep doing our best.
Nice quote of Arun Shourie, Gurudev.
Why doesn’t the government consider inflation when talking about taxes. When the prices of products are increasing, we should be paying lesser tax because we are not left with much money. Suppose we have 100 rupee out of which we are paying 10 rupee as tax, now with inflation the value of the remaining 90 rupees we have is just 60 rupees because we are paying 5 rupees for a product that had costed 3 rupees when the inflation was low. But still the government wants 10 rupees as tax. Moreover, when there is inflation the government gets more money because the prices of goods have increased so the government’s percentage in tax also increases.Ex: when a price of a product increases from say Rs.50 to Rs.100, then amount of tax collected on that product also increases. So, inflation is actually a feast time for Government and its corrupt employees.
Anil while you are perfectly right in your thoughts, the tax system is already very complex and to pay your taxes you need to hire a tax consultant and pay him from your own pocket, so adding something as volatile as inflation will simply make it impossible to accurately calculate taxes. So what government needs to do is make sure that income increases on par with inflation for all its citizens. Which is why there are minimum salary payments decided in developed countries bases on required minimum sustainable income for each person in that country. That makes sure no employed people are poor. On the other hand in India there is no such control, you find people go to work for salary as low as 500 rupees! The current BPL (Below Poverty Line) rules in India are also very absurd. Any person with an income of less than around 600 rupees in urban areas and less than around 400 rupees in rural areas is considered to be living below poverty line. What does that mean, somebody earning say just a 1000 rupees per month is said to be living ABOVE poverty line ?! What can one get for a thousand rupees per month? So even though you are poor at that income, yet you are said to be living above poverty line ?! Unscientific and outdated criteria like these is what cause corruption with people forging their annual income certificates and so on.
Very nice ending..
Isn’t Income tax more like robbing, zabardasti taking away the money as an hafta. Isn’t taxing another name for extortion. There isn’t much difference from the way the mafia works. At least mafia targets only the well to do, but the government doesn’t even leave the middle class.
If you don’t pay your hafta to the government, they kidnap you and put you in their torture chambers “jails”. Isn’t putting the citizens of one’s own country in jail for not paying his hard earned money something that is wrong. Is there really much difference between the robbers and the government? both zabardasti taking away its target’s money. Why did we fight for independence if we still have to pay to live in our own country. Are we living in the illusion of it being our country?
There can’t be any justification to income tax, and absolutely not in a country like india, where we don’t get a crap in the name of facilities for paying the taxes.
Government has enuf sources of income, there is absolutely no need to charge income tax. There is service tax, exicse, goods, sales and all damn taxes and on top of it why shud we pay more taxes. Every person in this country is already paying more than 20% of his earning while purchasing products and service and on top of that they want another big chunk of income.
And what does the government doing with all this money, i cant see anything happening around. Are they charging for roads? we are paying road tax for that. plus taxes on vehicles and fuels, isn’t that enuf to build roads? and most highways are tolled, so we need to pay toll plus all these taxes, is this a joke or what.
Isn’t it total dadagiri on part of the government to zabardastily extract money from its citizens. They charge extra education cess on service tax since some years, has it improved the condition of education in our country? The question here is does the government really need to charge income tax on top of all the taxes that its charging already.
We pay for electricity, water, shelter, and every damn thing we are paying in cash, then why is the government charging us extra, to run elections? What does the government produce? nothing. It neither provides any infrastructure for free, we are already paying for that infrastructure in the form of fee, so taxing for infrastructure is not justified, and infrastructure is anyway a joke here in this country.
People are going to private hospitals for health issues, private schools for education, then what the hell is government providing here. And the state of these schools and hospitals are such that it wouldn’t make any difference if it weren’t there in the first place.
Actually, the government doesn’t really earn anything from income tax. It just gets chillar after deducting the expense it incurrs to collect those taxes… 60% of the tax money that government collects goes into administrative expense to collect these taxes, and if one counts the amount of money and productive time spent by corporates and individuals on paying these taxes then there isn’t anything left, all these money is just going into waste.
Instead if these amount is kept with the people and companies, it could be of tremendous utility and they will all go directly to the market, instead going to the government and then to the market. The more the money travels the more its lost, and knowing how corrupt the government is in india, nothing really happens of that money, all of those goes in politicians and government officials pocket.
The more important point is the trouble people go through to pay these taxes. Taxes are not simple and a simple person cant understand how is it calculated. Are they supposed to get trained for that, now they need to pay tax consultants to pay the taxes. Fill the forms, stand in lines to pay money that is just going to disappear. Nonsense..
How can we call ourselves citizens of a free country when we are paying hafta? how are we free? what sense does it make to be a citizen of an independent country? how can we call it our country? how can we say the government is for us when all they are doing is bullying us and looting our hard earned money? they are literally extorting money and they call it taxes…
Very well said Anil. There is absolutely NOTHING we are getting in return for the taxes we pay, not even the peace of mind that our taxes are being used properly to help the needy, the infrastructure is pathetic, whatever development is happening in the country is because of private companies. While China is what it is today BECAUSE of its government, India is what it is today INSPITE of its government. Compared to the kind of benefits people get in other countries for paying taxes, in India we get NOTHING. Roads are not motorable, trains are not clean, cannot get our kids admitted into government schools, can never go to government hospitals for health issues, government services are pathetic, electricity and water come and go without any notice, nothing ever happens to those involved in scams, natural resources are looted with absolutely no future planning, no security in the cities and there is always the terror threats, most MPs have no idea about international and foreign policies and spend tax payer’s money fighting in the parliaments and assemblies shouting and screaming without any manners, its simply frustrating enough to say GO TO HELL. Well, we are already in HELL. We need to privatize the entire government I guess and bring in competition like between private companies :)
Just imagine the pathetic state of BSNL owned telecommunications in this country where to just get a telephone connection one had to wait for months, and see how things turned around after the NDA government privatized telecom allowing private telephone companies! Now who cares for BSNL, just go and get another good private connection within a matter of hours. The same should happen to railways, roads, electricity, water, etc. Like Arun Shourie said Government has no business to be in business, its only business is to monitor business.
We can only pen down our frustations here but nothing is going to change unless some drastic steps should be brought down. But, there is no hope for that also.
One funny thing is, apart from looting, politicians will also get “Salary”. These salaries are decided by themselves! And absolutely, there is no criteria for deciding the salaries. I had written about this in my website (http://www.sureshc.com/2010/08/salary-hikes-for-mps-what-are-criterion.html) and asked Ananth Kumar from BJP to comment on that. I requested him in his website section “HeLi-KeLi” (http://ananth.org/heli-keli/). After few days, my message was deleted from their site! I only got the answer!
Its no use asking questions to these politicians, its just a waste of our precious time. Hopefully one day there will be some aparichit or anniyan or hindustani or Indian of real life in India.
Winston Churchill, just before independence, said the following:
“Power will go to the hands of rascals, rouges, freebooters; all India leaders will be of low calibre & men of straw.
They will have sweet tongues & silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power &India will be lost in political squabbles.
A day would come when even air and water would be taxed in India.”-
This is exactly what is happenning right now.
Very true Anil. Harsh but a reality what Churchill said, the situation today is no different than British except that our own people are looting the country every second today.
This is the story of every individual like me who pays income tax though he knows its just a loot of his money…
His life goes in thinking whethere i should pay the tax or not since it is just a loot.. but finally he pays it since he thinks who knows he might the person who if gets caught would be disasterous… he knows that real thing is changing the government or wait till the dooms day so that new life begins… but he thinks Krishna says you keep on doing whatever comes in your way don’t think of good or bad… but then he thinks then actually why is he here in this world for… or is it that all whatever is said is just to make people stay away from doing bad deeds nothing good really exists… sine actually there is nothing bad or good… its just perception… since all told stories / scriptures speak of things which no individual currently living is experincing or has experinced by himself its all listening that someone says i have experinced this that….
is this the only way or realization that don’t get frustrated by any dam thing going around and try be at peace / happy with whatever life gives you… becasue as swami vevekananda mentioned “Attachment brings pain and Happiness” which is true as we expeirence it every moment… you be unattached and you will be at peace… but then is this the life one wants to live .. what is the purpose of such life with no heart in it .. what is the use of such peace/bliss if achieved ???
Very true Still Thinking. God fearing and law fearing citizens, citizens those who want their country and society to progress with a hope of doing their duty continue to pay taxes, and I guess it is right, because two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because politicians are swindling our money which is wrong, we cant say that I will become corrupt too which is again wrong. But frustration does occur when we see the corruption news each and every second of the day.
Well what both Krishna and Vivekanada said is very true and extremely practical in helping us reaching our goals – attachment brings emotional problems which prevent us from thinking truly more practical solutions – being detached doesnt mean not enjoying the worldly life, being detached means not allowing human emotional factors to influence our work, which was what was happening when Arjuna refused to fight with Drona and Bhishmacharya. Karmanye Vadhikaraste – we only have to perform our actions and to understand the morality of our actions not allow emotional attachments to come in place – like would Arjuna have hesitated to fight Drona if he were not his teacher? Definitely no. Then how is it right for Arjuna not to fight Drona even when Drona is on the wrong side with the Kauravas just because Drona is my teacher. Isn’t this similar to how politicians or influential celebrities today protect their children or relatives who kill people by say rash driving? And this was what krishna was against. And moreover performing our actions without getting attached to it, gives us more concentration in performing actions and the chances of success are more in this case. It is like how a robot and an emotional doctor perform a difficult surgery if the patient was a relative of the surgeon – the robot would probably have more chances of succeeding (assuming it has same knowledge and expertise as the doctor) because it is detached while performing the operation. Krishna wants the doctor (ie us) to be like the robot (detached) without worrying about the consequences of our action).
yes Gurudev rightly said… but thats why i am still thinking since do we want to be like robots in our thinking and behaviour ??, what will it give us ??? or is it better to think ourselves as robots made by god as we are preparing machine robots and if these machine robots start thinking like us we as creators of them ( like krishna) will tell them dont get attached and do whatever comes in front of you and you will reach me ???? where they will reach ??? :) … still thinking……
No not like that. It does not mean that we have to be like robots in all our thinking and behaviour. It is not that we should not have any emotions at all. It only means that we have emotions only where required so that your emotions do not become a road block for your achievements or work. Because generally having emotions in our profession will spoil our professional life. As simple as that. Emotions are meant for our family friends interactions, not at our professional or work places, not atleast when we are doing our work. Well, robots can only simulate intelligence and with great difficulty simulate emotions to some extent. But they can never feel those emotions even if they simulate it or pretend to be emotional. That is what keeps us apart from robots. Our emotions are not just because our brain chemical secretes some chemical hormones, the truth is our brain secretes those emotional hormones to express physically in our body the emotions we have in our mind aka soul. It is the mind/soul that has emotions, not the brain. Robots can have only brains not mind or soul :)
No Gurudev, what i am trying to say or stil thinnk is what is there next after we remain unattached with every thing which might give us peace or bliss.. but then what?? nobody can tell since it is about self realization at that stage… and hence life will always be some sort of a struggle till then with whatever we do… work / family…
and i was talking about ultimate robots(probably thay won’t be called Robots then) like us and not vice-versa…
i am thinking about the next level if it is there…
Nothing next, the moment you self realize you become GOD :)
That is what happened to Buddha and other enlightened beings.
Aham Brahmasmi say the vedas meaning “I am the God”, and self realization is truly understanding and experiencing that. Being God is described as Nrivikar, Nirguna, Niarakara Sacchidananda which is opinionless, attributeless, formless with eternal happiness. So I guess the what next question is only experienced by us humans who are always timebound, wanting something for the future, attachments more happiness, etc but when you are timeless in nature, know everything or know that there is nothing, so guess there wont be anything at that level. From our perspective it might look bored, but who knows at that level it might be a different experience altogether!!
For a baby getting milk on time and finding its mother is all that matters in the world, for school going kids their exams, home work, play is all that matters in the world, for a teenager its all about love life, romance and partner, for parents all that matters is their children and their future, and so on. So guess the same way at a level of humanity we just think within the bounds of what we know, and there are so many things which not just we dont know, but even dont know that such things can exist!!!
yes gurudev now we are on the same boat :)
but still thinking … then whether paying or not paying taxes is dharma or adharma… since these tax paying rules have been set by mere humans … so not following them should not be a sin or adharma… since i feel dharma is much more than this.. but we human tend to follow the rules set by a higher body of humans and get entangled in thinking whether it (paying and not paying or so) is dharma or adharma i feel….
since if we look at birds / animals they can go anywhere and eat anything any where and do anything they want and that is no sin or adharma … only we humans beat them …. but they follow the natural cycle automatically (may be this is part of dharma)
if we go by the broader definition of dharma then paying taxes is adharma, because it is like paying tax in the kingdom of kamsa or kauravas which is what our corrupt politicians are today. Dharma would be to use that money to help the needy or donate to a true charity house or use it to provide education for poor students. Well even birds animals follow their natural dharma much more religiously than humans, a tiger will not hunt a deer unless it is hungry, a crocodile will not eat a bird which is cleansing its mouth and so on. The other day on discovery saw a documentary where a tiger was looking after a baby deer which got separated from its mother. But in humans we read about numerous cases where mother abandons the child in dustbins and so on. We should pay tax in the current context only because it is illegal as per Indian law to avoid tax or to narrow the definition of dharma as we cannot do much about the misuse of our tax money we can follow our praja dharma (like drona and bhishma did) by paying our tax or think it to be a hafta forced on us by the political class.
Good article. It reminded me of the days when I used to write at my wide angle view of india blog. I am glad you are writing such posts. We need posts like this.
When it comes to corruption, what we see is the tip of the iceberg. When prominent people commit crimes the news is highlighted by the media for various reasons. There are a lot of people who are not in prominent positions but powerful nonetheless who are thieves. There are scams and scams and 99.99% of them are yet unknown. One person (on tv) said that the people responsible for the Adarsh scam should be punished or defense land will be misused all the time. I felt like laughing because I already know of a piece of defense land which has been wrongly used. And I can bet my life on the fact that there are many cases of defense land being misused.
Yes, if every person in this country reveals his real wealth and fortunes, then all those currently in the top 100 richest people of India like Tatas and Ambanis and Premjis will be replaced by Mayawatis and Mulayams and Lalloos. Yes, as you said most of the corruption and scams in defense and judiciary might never come to light at all.
Somehow I feel India is the biggest Joke on Democracy…every Indian I meet swears on the politicians.. but they are still the people’s representative in this country.
Well the whole fabric is stained…in that case the only way to adorn is it by calling it fashion.
As I say, I love my Country India…but it is the people which I don’t like. But is this what not every one of us does…crib endlessly but swim with the flow?
Everyone encourages me to go and vote…to vote for someone is a little less corrupt then the other. And I dont vote…they say I dont love my country!!
Somehow, I feel India is the biggest Joke on democracy…
Well, if we dont vote then it is the failure of democracy because it means that even if I vote my voice will not be heard, simply because none of the candidates I see seem to represent my voice. There are no democratic voices in India, it is just democratic noise. We have thousands of laws many of them over a century and a half old, and we come up with new laws every other day, yet no laws are made which make politicians more accountable except for one or two like RTI (which result in RTI activists getting killed) or anti-defection law (which is again misused by party in power to mean anti-party law). We have laws in place, but there is no protection for those who seek to implement that law to punish the culprits. Mere books of rules and laws cant make a functioning democracy, even if you have just 10 laws in place, it is the strict implementation of that law that creates a true democracy, and this is required because democracy can also become a mob rule where 51% of the voters rule over all other 49% voters, and in the Indian case with multi-party and multiple candidates and electoral malpractices we can have even just 15-20% of population rule over remaining population.
I’m wondering if Aamir Khan can make LAGAAN 2. The first part of Lagaan was to fight the British Tax System and Cricket won the battle. Now Part-2 also deals with the taxes 100 times more than what Britishers might have levied.
Which game would you suggest and which teams should play???
Very true Fayaz, the only difference between British rule and our own rule is that today our own people are looting the country, while during the British rule it was the Britishers who looted this country. Britishers taxed Indians to promote their goods and industries, and today our politicians in nexus with MNCs are doing the same to wipe out local and small scale industries. Well, in Lagaan-2 I would suggest that Aamir and team play hockey with our politicians, let the sticks be strong :)