Does death not count if it isn’t due to terrorism?

SUGGI RAJ writes from Bangalore: As Karnataka shows an almost pornographic interest in the Brothers Ahmed, and their Glasgow plot that went phut, here’s a bomb that should blow a small hole in our skulls.

More farmers have committed suicide in our State in the last 14 months than the number of people who have died due to acts of terrorism in the entire country last year.

# Why aren’t we talking as much about those deaths?

# Why is all our attention focussed on a failed terror bid?

# And is death worth taking note of only if it is attained at the hands of an unknown, unseen terrorist?

The numbers are revealing:

# As many as 11,500 farmers have ended their lives in India in the last six years. Of these, 5,980 are from Karnataka alone. That means every other farmer who has walked into a death trap was from Karnataka.

# In the last 14 months, around 350 farmers have committed suicide in Karnataka.

# The number of those died due to terror in all of India in 2006 was around 280.

These are not numbers pulled out thin air. These are some of the findings of National Social Watch Coalition, a Delhi-based conglomerate of voluntary groups, released on June 30. Yet while we collectively beat our breasts over what didn’t kill anybody in faraway Glasgow, we think little of what happens in our own backyard.

Equally disturbingly, our media, including this website, has no inclination to go behind these numbers. In the Glasgow plot which killed nobody, they are hysterically probing the background of the perpetrators, their motives, etc.

Why isn’t the media expending even an ounce of the same energy in finding out who is dying, why, and how we could stop the flood?

Our political and administrative masters have no time except to mouth the usual cliches and platitudes. And when the humble son of the soil from Holenarsipur, H.D. Deve Gowda, opens his mouth, it is not to offer commiserations, but to berate a debt-ridden farmer who tried to end his life in his residence: “If farmers want to commit suicide, let them do so.

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, it appears, is more worried about the form of the Indian cricketers on the field than the farms of the poor farmers. And in the State, the men in power seem more worried about the outcome of the game of musical chairs, which is scheduled in October.

So, who has time for the poor farmer in the time of sexy Glasgow?

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52 Responses to “Does death not count if it isn’t due to terrorism?”

  1. Bhaskar Chattrjee Says:

    Its weired, rather blasphemous logic that failed terror act being equated with farmers suicide.

    Those who tried to perpetrate terror before a night club because its symbol of ‘decadent west’ are from families whose annual income is 10s of Lakhs of Rupees. Even after being from these very well to do families, being highly educated, they planned terror, which these poor farmers are taking their lives for a crop failure.

    People will sympatheize with these farmers but will never accept terrorism from these educated, well-to-do folks. As far as the commentor who posted this, his head must be checked as he is comparing apples with oranges.

    3000 people died in 911, but 12 times that number die in US alone per year because of no healthcare. In every country, more people die out of road accident than killed in terror. While safety, health or peasants well being a continued process, terror is a completely different beast altogether which has far reaching political, economic, social, cultural consequences.

  2. Alok Says:

    Actually, the rulers of the day are about as disinterested about terrorism as they are about farmer suicides. Whether it is Naxalites or Al Qaeda, the Government, Central or State, have perfected a strategy combining lethargy, incompetence and bluster, ensuring that perpetrators get away, the victims are left uncared for, and some random people are arrested/tortured….

    If only KPS Gill gave up his obsession with Indian Hockey, and instead went back to hunting terrorists….

  3. koppal haida Says:

    This looks a typical ‘The Hindu’ kinda of secularist red-herring argument.Probably more people die in India due to weather extremes than any terror attack.And may be even more by way of fires due to short circuits due to negligence. Farmer suicide is an important question before the nation but how on earth can you equate that to wilful massacre of innocent people?This is skewed logic

  4. Rustyvagabond Says:

    mr koppal haida: first, what is so wrong with ‘secularist red-herring’ argument? you make it sound like a terrorist. people who are secularist, will make securalist arguments. every time you disagree with someone, what is the point in stating the obvious?
    secondly, the logic is not so skewed, if you start getting into the reasons behind farmer suicide and the utter apathy towards their condition. in fact, it is worse than wilful massacre.
    mr chatterjee, how pompous can you be? where is it ever written that crimes of passion or terrorism was meant only for slum dwellers or poverty stricken people? ‘educated’ doctors cannot indulge in these crimes? or any crimes for that matter? you name the crime and you will find more educated people breaking that law than the poor man in your backyard, except stealing food to survive, perhaps.

  5. Raviraj Valalmbe Gowda Says:

    Farmers are the pampered lot! (NON TAX PAYERS)
    +free land: acquired from landlords during land rforms act
    +free electricity/ subsidy
    +subsidized fertilizer/ seed
    +lower loan interest (which later gets waived!)
    with all this, if there is bumper crops…
    -ask for support price from govt…
    if no crops/ drought…
    =loans waived
    If ther is even a natural death of a farmer/ or due to excessive alcohol intake===label it as “suicide” and get government compensation, by staging drama along with friendly media…which is happy to report “farmer suicide”
    AT THE BLOODY COST OF TAXPAYERS MONEY!!!

  6. HSR Says:

    Probably, this is the best example how the seriousness of an issue can be diluted and diverted with irrelevant outbursts. Here, the crux of the matter is not the comparison, but the continued farmers’ suicides. It seems precious time and energy has been wasted on making much noise on non-issues.
    It appears writer had used the comparison just to impress upon the readers about the grave and stupendous nature of the crisis, India is facing.
    The discussion would have been more fruitful, if some light is thrown on how the poor farmer has been taken for a ride by policy makers, scientists, bureaucracy and media –jointly and severally. I really wonder, why and how the clichés and jargons like secular, communal and alike can be dragged into the issue. This is nothing but missing the wood for the tree.
    Whoever may be in power, whether secularist Congress or communal BJP, the farmer suicides has continued unabated. And probably this is the reason why, all the political parties are keeping their mouths tight shut.
    Bureaucracy is one and the same, whatever may be the shade of the party — secular or otherwise; that hardly matters to it. Bureaucracy, in very broad and general sense, neither understands nor appreciates any principles. It discharges the duty assigned and if allowed, exploits the situation. Media and concerned citizen’s forums should push the bureaucracy and policy makers to think and act in the right direction. One can eternally discuss about secularism, communalism, Hindu secularists, Jehadi secularists and the sect and sub sect-wise secularists, principle of politicking etc. and that is nothing short of pounding the rice husk (‘Towdu Kuttodu Ashte….’)

  7. Rajeev Says:

    Mr. Rustyvagabond

    You ask “what is so wrong with ’secularist red-herring’ argument?” – I say the very basic intention. The intention of pseudo-secularists in supporting every act of Islam or not condemning any act of Islam itself is replete with enough wrongs and provides these pan-islamic forces with enough teeth to do and act what they want to do?

  8. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Rightly said Rajeev!

    Rustyveggie is trying to pass the proverbial secular camel through the eye of the ‘minority’ needle!

    From the long and never-ending-assembly line of ‘secular’ writers–Suggi Raj is a delight to read. Unfortunately though the sum of the ‘wholes’ in his argument is equal to the hole in his head!:) Suggi Raj please write more–on a hard day like Monday you bring mirth to our lives!

  9. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Nice one, HSR. Very restrained and cogently argued…
    Are you from Hassan or nearby districts? I haven’t heard towdu for quite some time now!

  10. Bhaskar Chattrjee Says:

    Rustyvagabond>>“what is so wrong with ’secularist red-herring’ argument?”

    EVen Prof S Gopal, close friend of Nehru , son of President Radhakrishnan and leading Indian liberal said: Its te secularists who rallied Muslims religious in the name of secularism and divided Hindus politicaly along caste.

    Madhu Kishwar, leading liberal and author/ativist wrote: “”The preference of large sections of the Muslim leadership and westernised Muslim intelligentsia for a Nehruvian brand of secularism has proved to be very harmful for Muslims in the long run. In the process they have rejected & ridiculed Gandhi’s approach to inter-community harmony largely because they are uneasy with his use of certain Hindu symbols. This has strengthened the feeling that the Muslim leadership is innately hostile to the Hindus who are rooted in their own faith and is comfortable only with westernised Hindus like Nehru who are contemptuous if their own culture, religion and people.”

    What these psuedos are :

    1. Absolute hate towards anything Hindu, indigeneous.

    2. Politically divide Hindus along caste.

    3. rally Muslims religiously.

    ALL THESE ARE RECIPE OF DISASTER WHICH INDIA IS WITNESSING NOW.

  11. Bhaskar Chattrjee Says:

    I would say this much: Its the anti-Hindu stand of psuedos which make them acceptable to large section of Indian Muslims, both elite and mullahs.

    This is a simple truth.

  12. Bhaskar Chattrjee Says:

    Why not a single movie has been made by psuedos or Indian Muslims (who are at leading position in ALL levels of Indian Movie industry) on SHAHBANU, GUDIA?

    Huh?

  13. Rustyvagabond Says:

    someone has to explain to me what the term ‘pseudo secularism’ means, to me. so is your problem with the ‘secularists’? or ‘pseudo secularists’, assuming you find a difference between the two? is there a psuedo fundamentalist among us? i should like to meet them too…

    rajeev, an act of violence, to a real secularist, is an act of violence, perpetrated by whichever group, community etc. the secularist will not distinguish it and give it prefixes which are fashionably borrowed from western media. terrorists in various parts of our country were always called ‘terrorists’ before 9/11, not islamic or hindu or christian. if you kept your mind open, you would hear the voices of those who are secular, never commending a violent act or giving it currency.

    it is fashionable among fundamentalists, and there are no pseudos among them, to make blanket generlisations and incite anger and even violence. there are bad apples everywhere which need to weeded out, and fast.

  14. Bhaskar Chattrjee Says:

    Psuedo means which is not real. When Shri Advani says Psuedo-Secularism of Present political class, he MEANS THAT THERE IS SOME REAL SECULARISM WHICH IS BELIEVED BY BJP.

    Its not me, but stated by Partha Chatterjee, one of the finest historian of recent times.

    Psuedos are have done greatest damagae to once ‘principled secularism’ (though not without its critics) of say Nehru.

  15. Bhaskar Chattrjee Says:

    >>rajeev, an act of violence, to a real secularist, is an act of violence, perpetrated by whichever group, community etc. the secularist will not distinguish it and give it prefixes which are fashionably borrowed from western media.

    You are an apologist for the Jihadis. India is biggest victim of Islamic terror, in the name of Islam. Why are you trying to whitewash that fact?

    Huh?

    Islamism is here to stay and not something which came up after 911 or that structure demolished at Ayodhya.

    Its a legacy of Islam whose roots can be traced back to 100s of years, even in India.

  16. Bhaskar Chattrjee Says:

    And why this ‘secularism’ crap?

    Is there any Islamic country which is Secular?

    Is there any Islamic country which treats its minorities as EQUAL?

    There are none.

    Now, Muslims in India, at least a great section of it demands, MUSLIMS MUST BE GIVEN MORE RIGHTS :)-

    hehe..what could be more double standard than this.

  17. Rustyvagabond Says:

    mr chatterjee, i am speechless. advaniji and ‘real’ secularism? fantastic!

  18. Bhaskar Chattrjee Says:

    yes Mr. Rustyvagabond ! Thankfully, Partha Chatterjee has more credibility than Irphan Habibs and Teesta Javed Khan Seetalvad.

    Keep on abusing Hindus, their culture and rationalize Islamists , Islamism, Jihadism. All in the name of secularism.

    And our future generation will pay you by the same coin.

  19. Doddi Buddi Says:

    RustyVague!

    Secular by name and specious by nature
    Malliah’s pet aren’t you?

    We can extend your logic further: A kill is a kill; whether you kill Veerappan the great Tamil Vanniyar Conservationist or whether you kill the notorious brigand Veerappan. Yeah how convenient? To the Secularist one more loss of ‘precious’ human life and shame on all fundamentalists like Ranga, BC, and myself:)

    Next you will say, the Bangalore Doctor’s folk make lovely biriyani…

  20. vsesh Says:

    Valambe gowdare, I am sure you have not been to the rural Karnataka that too drought ridden areas for the past three or

    four decades.
    Your sweeping remarks may be the out come of lack of first hand knowledge of rural agricultural community and the way

    the government schemes are implemented .The feed back on farmers from films or fiction is mostly misleading. Gentleman

    ,it is cruel of you to say they are pampered lot.
    Do you know ? , ninety percent of subsidies of the welfare measure that you have enumerated does not reach the really

    deserving farmer.Dear sir , if all government money spent on agriculture sector so far , is distributed judiciously among the real needy farmers , they would have been definitely be in possession of lakhs. But it does not reach them . It is the failure of government machinery and the corruption at all levels that is responsible for this malady. I do not say farmers are paragons of virtues . They too indulge in wasteful expenditures. some may drink arrack , others may be lathargic , a few may gamble but That can not be generalised and cited as cause of suicde

    They are also human beeings like you and me with one weakness or other . They spend money on special occasions like

    marriages , funerals, festivals and some other occasion also, borrowing recklessly. Of course what they spend in their life

    time is no where near what our elite brethren give as tips in a month at star hotels.
    I definitely think you have heard of various lobbies having stakes in agriculture sector to the tune of billions . seed

    production companies, pesticide companies , producers of agriculture implements ,fertiliser companies, sugar factories,

    Market yards , co-operative sectors , Bankers and the like. All want to pass off their product to the rural farmers in

    the guise of government subsidy , of course the cash benefits go to politicians and concerned officials who pave way for

    the smooth deal. They are dumped on farmers whether they are really in need or not and several hundred crores allottment in

    the budget to farm sector is spent as per records.
    Life is very precious . No body wants to throw it away that easily. There is saying in kannada ‘ Halu kudidu saayi andre ,

    illa helu aadru thindu badukuve ‘ ( one prefers to live even eating human waste than end the life with a drink of

    milk). such being the love of life , no one but desperate man commits suicide. It is inhuman to talk very lightly of such

    deaths. There is a provision in Cr. P.C to put the accused to trail for the attempted suicide .But as far as farmers suicide

    is concerned , the government and society should be put to trail. They should be the first accused in the case of farmers

    suicide. please try to know and understand the reality before jumping to any such conclusion on farm issues

  21. Raviraj Valalmbe Gowda Says:

    vsesh- nice articulated comment!

    At least you agree with me that, lot of taxpayers money is spent on the agri sector!
    how it is spent…is beyond my control…
    but, my blood boils, when politicians announce lakhs and lakhs of rupees as compensation to these, media hyped “farmer suicide” victims families.

  22. verybleedingheart Says:

    Doddi Buddi Amen!!

  23. vsesh Says:

    Gowdre,
    I very much appreciate your rage at what you consider the wastage of whopping amount of money on farm sectors. Amount is huge no doubt but all that amount is not spent to compensate the family of the farmers who have committed suicide.

    It is not the fault of the farmers that they commit suicide. They are not doing it willingly. It is their helplessness that drives them towards such drastic decision. They are driven to death by circumstances beyond their control. Please view the problem in that light.

    Otherwise, it is as good as cutting off the nose to put an end to frequent sneezes. Farming is not merely job like any other professional field offers which can be taken up or abandoned at will. It is almost a away of life. He strives hard not only to earn his bread but also contributes to granary of the nation that can provide food to satiate the hunger of millions who work in other fields.

    Automation has come in all the fields to cut the cost and enhance the productivity. The same cannot be extended to replace the farmer with a robot how ever profitable it may be, in view of billions of people engaged in farm sector. Their hands go with out work and stomachs can not remain empty for long. We can not say it is their problem, can any one imagine what would be the situation in a society where billions of working hands are idle?
    It is very much our own problem and problem of every body in the country if we are prudent enough to realize the consequences in the long run.

    Our rage should not be misdirected. It is the planners, politicians and public who have landed the farm sector in such a mess. Nothing short of a mass movement is the need of the hour. The first and fore most step should be to enlighten the dejected framer and boost his morale. Institutions with public interest, NGOs religious heads, community leaders and all the radicals can take up the task of educating the farmers.

    Scientists, technocrats, politicians, planners should join their hand to evolve corruption free mechanism that ushers in a new era where farming can be a self sustaining profession. Last but most important task is that of media. They can go all out to mould public opinion and create such an atmosphere where working against the interest of farmers should become a potential risk that no one dares to take.
    More over, one should not apply the principle of quid pro quo the payment tax.

  24. Raviraj Valalmbe Gowda Says:

    1. tax money should be well spent, not on freebies
    2. please keep NGO`s out of any discussion, they function only to get foreign grants, by writing/ producing documentaries on farmers…
    3. learn from countries like Israel, where they have converted deserts into farms, export farm produce to rest of the world (not waiting for government support/ subsidy/ loan waiver)
    4. when farmer in Kolar throws the tomatoes on the road, farmer in turkey converts tomatoes into puree/ powder, for later sale…when punjab farmer throws potatoes to canals, chinese farmer converts potatoes into powder and sells it to potato wafer manufactureres like Pringles…and Lays…check out new lays potato wafer, it is even packed in China! Please do not tell me that farmers in these countries don not have problems…in spite of that they make profits & PAY TAX!!!
    please do not assume that I am unaware of farmers problems…but it is hard to believe that people take up a profession, inspite of knowing that it is not profitable!!!

  25. Gaby Says:

    Gowdre wake up- for heaven’s sake I can only assume you are being facetious when you make these absurd statements. Its not just Vidharbha, warrangal and Karnataka my friend. Farming has always been a difficult thing and if you were to read things with greater weight than the inanities of the Shouries and their ilk you would be familiar with some of the following:
    The high rates of suicide in farmers and farm workers, which in the UK account for the largest number of suicides in any occupational group and the 4th highest rate among any occupational group ( Occupational Medicine 52:471-476, 2002) and the suicide rate for farmers is about four times the National average in Australia (International Journal of Social Psychiatry.51: 340-349 , 2005).

    There are similar things quoted for farmers in the USA, Sweden, Eastern Europe, the Baltic States, New Zealand, Phillipines. The whole situation seems to be constructed on a complex matrix of deprivation, mental ill health, changing social circumstances and the latest trouble is the ‘ Agri-business’.

    There seems to be consolation in the form of the whole thing having a fluctuating pattern in the past and relatively spared communities like those in Canada, Ukraine etc and a response to serious interventions. These are issues that need the understanding and efforts of all thinking humans- at least those that realise that all of us have to eat food and cant survive on mobile telephones and taxes.

    While its understandable to rage against pallid interventions of the State ( that is after all the fav habit of the urban middle classes ) please dont be dismissive of what is perhaps one of the most serious social crises we face today.

  26. Raviraj Valalmbe Gowda Says:

    If some order can be brought in, and profits can be made= which in turn may bring down the “suicide of farmers”, why not go for Agri Business instead of asking for subsidies and waivers???
    afterall making mioney is not a sin!

  27. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Gaby

    RVG makes a valid argument and substantiates with positive actions farmers can take. Please don’t be only a bleeding heart liberal–“lets all hold hands and die with farmers on a beautiful land” sentiment. Be a little hard nosed and see how ignorance is propagated by “well-meaning” activists like Medha Patkar over the Narmada dam, for example. Why because a few tribals and their trinkets would get submerged or washed away when the dam gets built. You made a great point–we don’t live by cell phones and taxes–we need to grow more food. So big dams like Narmada are a necessity to state which is profoundly inefficient in collecting taxes from non-professional people. These dams make farming sustainable. BTW I do know a bit of farming. OK take my word for it–RVG makes sterling sense!

  28. gaby Says:

    The only substantive suggestion Gowdru makes is for farmers to make tomato puree and potato powder- perhaps a tie up with Nestle and Proctor & Gamble ( Maggie ketchup and pringles for you Gowdre)- perhaps even L’Oréal- I am sure you have read of Iycopene and anti aging etc.

    The rest is a fair mixture of Urban whining and Middle class Patronising and that lil bit of I know best of the literate/professional.

    Listen pal I am not being a dumb wit lib- all I am asking for is that people look at this as a complex problem and not as a result of not following these simplistic solutions you offer-for example having not enough dams ( interestingly enough that is the Nehruvian appendages in your brains talking).

    I am sure you know about farming DB and that is why youve decided ( like my dad) that it wasnt your cup of tea- the industrialised West is and therefore you are where you are – far away from the real world of agriculture.

    This is about food security and food sovereignity my friend and the agri-business is exactly the opposite of that. These corporate entities have loyalties only for the selfish bank balances of their CEOs not even their stock holders- forget farmers. I have no fondness for the Patkars and vandana Shivas but even you cant deny the reality of Corporate f*** ups.

    BTW whats the diff between you and the other guys u are always whining about- you dont mind a few tribals ( and their trinkets ) being swept away for what u see as advancement while those fools dont mind a few hundred infidels being torn to bits- both are equally reprehensible thoughts- what say you.

    Just a string of thots pal and as JFK said – The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways.

    Cheers

  29. gaby Says:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-na-briefs18.2jul18,1,2893053.story?coll=la-news-a_section&ctrack=4&cset=true

    The link is of a related topic – of hope in a bygone era- pioneers and naivete and what have you- and of a reasonably happy ending.

  30. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Gaby

    What is the real you? You don’t like Medha Patkars and the likes of her. You don’t agree we need bigger dams. You are aware of MNC cockups. My head is spinning here–like a whirling dervish. Like you say, I agree tribals need to be ‘preserved’ so that we can promote eco-tourism. But you know what, I would rather have drinking water than enjoy a tribal’s performance of dancing to the tune of castanets or tribals in cod pieces jigging away or women wearing their fine jewelry made of monkey’s tooth dancing bobbing and weaving–you get the pciture. I have heard cases where after a furious dance performance for the nature lovers like you, many tribals go quietly and die backstage unable to slake their thirst…:)

  31. koppal haida Says:

    @DB
    >>Why because a few tribals and their trinkets would get submerged or washed away when the dam gets built.
    This is a horrifying statement. I expected u to be more sensitive. Why shud the tribals always pay so that u can flash ur cellphone and sit cosily in a artificially lit a/c builiding even when there is broad sunlight outside?Why should they always fall into ur mould of thought about ‘development’. Are the urbans not opposing the chamalapura plant because its proposed close to where they dwell? Why should the tribal always be evicted of his homeland for generations with no compensation just because civilised urbans may lead a more material western consumerist developed life?
    The only good series of articles that I read in The China Post were that of P Sainath, who did an extensive research on the plight of farmers post liberalisation era.
    I personally dont think that farmers are a pampered lot. The agricultural loans come with probably the highest rates of interest. Double the interest rate for software engineers planning their second homes, not to live, but as investment.Subsidies are needed but have to be more targeted. If NRN buys a gas cylinder, he also gets a subsidy of 50 odd Rupees. What purpose does this serve? Why should the homes of Nouveau riches of bangalore deserve tax subsidy, when the majority are investing from an ‘investment’ angle rather than the shelter angle?

  32. koppal haida Says:

    @DB,
    >>>>Like you say, I agree tribals need to be ‘preserved’ so that we can promote eco-tourism. But you know what, I would rather have drinking water than enjoy a tribal’s performance of dancing to the tune of castanets or tribals in cod pieces jigging away or women wearing their fine jewelry made of monkey’s tooth dancing bobbing and weaving–you get the pciture.

    I cant even comment on this. This is disgusting and unconscionable DB. Tribals are required but for ‘eco-toursim’.. Ramachandra!..nodappa nin civilised makkalaatava!!

  33. gaby Says:

    Go Haida Go :)

  34. koppal haida Says:

    DB,
    >>>>Like you say, I agree tribals need to be ‘preserved’ so that we can >>>>promote eco-tourism.

    Seeing ur utter disregard, nay haughty contempt for where we all have evolved from(tribal culture), I hope that some ‘advanced’ creatures from some distant galaxy invade us, kill all other but ‘preserve’ a few stone age DBs such that their fellow creatures may have a relaxing trip of eco-tourism.

  35. Doddi Buddi Says:

    KH and Gaby,

    You should go together and be our brand ambassadors! :)
    KH
    Ohh I am sooo insensitive!

    Gaby
    Looks like I made a point here…:)

  36. Raviraj Valalmbe Gowda Says:

    Remember….
    that in spite of a non level playing field (reservation etc), the software professionals have made it big…(without digging into others pockets like begging for loan waiver/ subsidy etc)…and to top it all, THEY HAVE BEEN PAYING TAX REGULARLY! (why are you worried, even if it is his 2/3 or Nth house?)
    unlike the lot you are justifying, who have enjoyed…
    subsidies/ waivers/ regularization of illegal settlement/ reservations for education-job-promotions what not…and getting away WITHOUT TAX!

    HOW THE DEVELOPMENTAL ACTIVITIES (USING TAXPAYERS MONEY) CAN BE DECIDED BY NON TAX PAYERS?

  37. Doddi Buddi Says:

    KH and Gaby

    Dr. Kevorkian did some pioneering work with people wanting to do it. My humble appeal is can you two team up and start a mission to save these farmers? Starting a soup kitchen, Ragi Ambli would be good for starters. Then you can deliver Chennai China Daily to these rural souls and educate them about how they can better their lot…While you are doing this please hug a tree every now and then…:)

  38. koppal haida Says:

    Gowdre,
    I agree with you on software engineers coz Im one among the system software builder community :). And also I dont agree that we have not benefiited from tax payers money. I passed out in 2002 and for the whole 4 yrs of my Engg from, I paid only around 23K as fee. I probably would have opted out of engg if I had to bear the real cost of my graduation.
    My point of disagreement is on farm subsidies. Most of the farmers are small and marginal. They need societal/institutional support to come out of their poverty cycles.The implementation of schemes in this direction may have been faulty but you can fault the intention behind those.The wealthy farmers should of course be brought under the tax net.
    Tax payers monies have to be spent on non taxpayers such as to enable to become tax payers. we finally want to build egalitarian society,however utopian that may be. Not spending may lead to unrest in the society.Kereya neeranu kerege chellale beku!

  39. Nari Swabhav Says:

    Koppal, so you had “passed out in 2002.”

    Poor you!!

    Were smelling salts used to revive you, or was it brandy? ;)

  40. koppal haida Says:

    Ya Nari, I haunt you all the time..google states it as the reason why you and ur kin keep howling all the night in mortal fear.
    suspicions were raised about quislings on the joint rolls of ISI and china post infiltrating the blogosphere. doddi laddi,with his tsunami of balderdash, seems the al zawahiri of that pack. mysoreans beware!!

  41. Doddi Buddi Says:

    KH

    If so just just don a pair of “Aaney butti cheddi” and collect this tsunami of balderdash–that is assuming you have recovered from the ‘Big Sleep’ you suffered since 2002:)

  42. vsesh Says:

    So called misuse of tax payers money on farm sector has become the prime concern of so many of our friends. Congratulations, Koppal Haida for bravely admitting what the society has done for you till you became a tax payer. I want to ascertain first whether all the IT guys have directly descended from the sky with the PAN card along with IT cheque in their hand and owe nothing to society. All the strength of the so called new economy lies with the weak Rupee. If the Rupee grows stronger against USD, which already is evident in the Ist Qrt results of leading companies , one can imagine the fate of much celebrated sector.

    If the same logic is extended money spent on more than 90 percent of Indian population is wastage. Nation is not only the exclusive property of the high income group that pays the taxes. This line of thinking is sure to trigger off serious consequence like washing hands off the responsibility of taking care of senior citizens, health care , free education, national security and all other essential services . I would like to draw attention of tax conscious friends to the house tax laws of England that were in vouge a few centuries ago when tax was to be paid on the basis of size and number of windows and doors of the building that allowed sunlight and air .No wonder such draconian laws may be ushered in if the government also thinks of tax payment alone . Persons other than income tax payee could not be allowed to breath air , drink public water ,use public services, relax in the public park and walk on street if tax money is to be spent for the benefit of tax payers only.
    Swamy, we are living in India, a country with a heritage of several thousand years which expected every citizen to meet three obligations, Deva runa, Pitru runa and Samaja runa. (Obligation towards God, ancestors and society).

    In a secular society the first obligation need not be taken literally , I it is a matter of individual choice . But any off spring Who is worthy of his salt , is sure to strive hard for fulfilling the second obligation in one way or other. The third obligation is also met directly by a few philanthropists Who have lots of concern for the poor and down trodden even others are also participants in that as they pay money in the name of taxes that is spent on several welfare measure. After all ours is a welfare state. I want some body with brain for statistics to enlighten about the percentage of income tax payers and the percentage of IT guys in India so that discussion would be more meaningful.

  43. koppal haida Says:

    Nice one vsesh. Some of us soft engg who feed on the drivel doled out by TOI tend to believe that we are the best thing to have happened to Karnataka, may be after krishnadevaraya..As you have rightly pointed out, murthy angadi and other export angadis have already voiced their ‘concerns’ against stronger rupee. It seems that it is none of their concern if the rupee app benefits the ordinary people by reducing the import bill of the country, where more than 2/3rd of the oil is imported. An appreciating rupee may infact rev up the domestic trade and business. Probably some of us shudder at the plausibilty of the loss of respect/prestige that we command for earning more than the rest of the society (that we have achieved singularly all by ourselves without crutches!).
    Taking ur runa premise forward, I have a scenario to present. There are two colleagues of mine, let me call them X & Y (to circumvent DB calling them haneef and Kabeel ). Both Mr X and Mr Y earn the same salary. Mr X has a working wife, both his parents and younger brother are employed and draw handsome salaries. But Mr Y’s father lost his job in some textile mill and is for all practical purposes unemployed, his mom is a home maker and has a younger sister who is still studying. But per the rules of the state, the ‘samaja runa’ in the form of tax is same for both. Isnt that unfair for Mr Y, when the burden of social security(call it pitru runa or even putra runa) actually rests with the society? Shouldnt Mr Y be having a lesser tax liability than X?

  44. vsesh Says:

    Koppal Haida,
    Good one from your side too. I appreciate your view point. However I look at your scenario in a different perspective. Samaja Runa is a bit more complex and abstract concept. That is the obligation towards the society and that can not just be contained or restricted to the payment of tax. That Runa can be repaid through any kind of service towards the society as well as by abiding laws of the land. This is exactly reflected in one of celebrated US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s statement “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.”

    It may not be out of context to quote Plato too who said “Where there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income.”

    In the scenario cited, it seems you argue that Y needs to be given some relief as he has more personal commitments at home. Interestingly, the income tax is the tax, being levied on the income generated by an individual irrespective of his other commitments not mentioned in law for exemption.

    There is one more school of thought, which promotes the idea of levying tax on income is just a tool at the hands of power to crush and contain its opponents, if needed.. One may see the abuse of this law too very frequently. Noted journalist late YNK was a great fan of this theory. He used to argue that revenue to the government through Income Tax is meager amounting to some 4- 6 per cent of the total revenue (to be checked for present figures). The revenue from other sources like Excise, wealth, sales etc. is really significant.

    Doing away with Income tax can also be justified on the ground of double taxation. Every one, from a billionaire to the beggar is paying tax in one or the other form. The least example is, even for a purchase of match box, tax has to be paid. So why tax to be paid once again?

    To counter this theory, social scientists argue that Income Tax is a tool to bring equity among the society. Otherwise, the gulf between have and have-nots may widen so much that it may lead to social conflict.

    The payment of income tax pinches as it is a direct tax, where as all other taxes is paid without knowingly. It is popular misconception that government is running on the Income tax alone and most of the times, high-salary fellows think and pose that they have more legitimate right to question the government policies over others which is far from reality.

  45. Raviraj Valalmbe Gowda Says:

    oooh, all these make a very tiring reading…but no thousand words can justify the following…
    when someone, who does not pay any tax gets illogical “compensations/subsidies” not once, many times in his chosen career of agriculture…or even when he becomes non productive/ non useful by committing suicide!

    tell me which other profession, they pamper you this way?

  46. Rajesh Says:

    Agriculture a profession… ! that too in India…! A fantastic perception.

  47. Halli Huduga Says:

    I would like to encourage our talented youngsters to take up agriculture as a profession rather than working in the concrete jungle. A few things are to be made clear before they take the final plunge. Financial aspects and service conditions should be comparable to that of any other normal profession. Handsome pay packet with raises at regular interval, rest and recreation facilities, medical reimbursement, Insurance, L TC and HTC a must. Time bound promotions , Provident Fund, gratuity and other benefits are acceptable at normal rates. Incentives, bonus and holidays should be regulated. I am sure, agriculture sector will be a coveted destination even for the creamy layer of talent and out come of such venture is unimaginable. One and only draw back in this sector is location of work .One has to work in sun and shine , soil the hand and live in rural places sans many facilities, but special allowance may offset this draw back also . This will open flood gates of job opportunities to billions of skilled, semiskilled and unskilled unemployed youths in the country. Lo! government can kill two birds with a single stone . Unemployment problem is rooted out and all are brought under the tax net , boosting income tax revenue to the extent of hitting the sky. Only the thing is, government should declare and treat agriculture job, a profession officially.

  48. Raviraj Valalmbe Gowda Says:

    Halli Hudugas comment is laced with sarcasm, but that is what has been achieved by Israel…In the development of Negev desert…all they offered to youngsters was, free land, 24 hours of water and electricity…and now they export agricultural produce to most countries of the world…
    and also pay regular tax!

    check for more info

    http://www.negev.org/index.htm

    http://www.kkl.org.il/kkl/english/main_subject/latestupdates/2006/%E2%80%93%20modern%20miracles%20in%20the%20negev%20desert.x#topOfTemplate

  49. Raviraj Valalmbe Gowda Says:

    clarification: only land was free, water & electricity were supplied for a price!

  50. halli huduga Says:

    Achievement of an infant nation like Israel in agriculture sector is really worth emulating The developing countries have to take a leaf out of that saga of success. I think it is time to introspect where exactly the things have gone wrong with Indian farming. We are all aware , land reforms act has bestowed the ownership of the land to the tiller. The Government has gone all out to help the farmers in every way; still we are back to square one. Geographical and demographical, environmental and political factors may also be the reasons for the pathetic figures of agrarian economy. This issue can not be dismissed as an outcome of under performance or non performance of farmers only. Issue is to be tackled keeping all the factors in view to evolve our own methodology to bring back the farm sector on track to restore its glory of being the self sustaining age old profession of majority of Indians .

  51. Raviraj Valalmbe Gowda Says:

    Accountability is the key!
    see whether the subsidies/ grants are utilized…make the beneficiary repay…
    sadly in India, subsidies/ loans are availed with full knowledge of not repaying! (it is either drought or floods…as the cause for crop failure!)
    as long as there is “Saala Mannaa” or Baddi Manna…one can not expect any positive results…
    Jai Janardan Poojari!

  52. Mrignayani Says:

    Raviraj Valalambe Gowda,
    plse come to Bangalore we will get your head examined. The way you are going on and on and on about tax payers and susidies and what not… why should only the rich be pamppered? Let the farmers also be pampered. I dont mind one single bit if my tax money is utilised to pay subsidies to farmers. Not one bit if it can stop farmers from committing suyicide. Not one bit if it can be utilised to give the moral support, strength and awareness to farmers. If there is a problem its in the administration. DONT grudge the farmers. I recommend more subsidies, more rebates and more free whatever to their community so that we can keep the global ghosts at bay.

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