Let’s us now take a look at the farmers. The farmers risk their hard work, money, lands and everything with hopes of satisfactory if not bumper crops. Bad monsoon, poor yield, unseasonal rains and several factors can destroy the crops and the lives of farmers. Even farmers create jobs like the manual labour and other jobs. They produce what we eat. They risk a lot more compared to the salaried middle-class people.
This is why I believe, the salaried middle class has no moral right to crib about getting nothing, while pointing fingers at farmers, corporates and business houses. The risk takers, the investors, the innovators and the job providers should and must get higher stakes and higher benefits for an economy to flourish. A salaried middle-class person demands jobs from the nation while the risk taker entrepreneur provides the jobs on behalf of the nation.
A farmer is taking a risk. A corporate body is taking risks. A business house is taking risks. The daily wages workers have their own insecurities and risks. Unorganised labour force faces hardships. Of all the classes of people, the salaried middle-class is the least risk facing class. They know the cheque or RTGS will be ready by the end of the month. They know exactly what will be their income and have that advantage to plan their expenses, savings and holidays accordingly.
The salaried class believes that Arun Jaitley has hit them hard. But the reality is that most governments have treated the salaried class with kid gloves because they have unions and they are vote banks. Those who change cars every 5 years, smartphones every year and can afford flying to different destinations as part of corporate meetings forget the simple fact that someone sitting at the top of the organisation is funding the journey, air-conditioned comforts, the alcohol, the five-star dinners and even the taxi fare.
It is time people need to wake up to the reality. The salaried middle-class must grow up. They get their jobs, salaries, perks, food, shelter and everything else because the corporates, business houses, farmers and workers are taking the risks. Unless a system doesn’t reward the risk takers and entrepreneurs, the economy will never flourish. For the first time, we have a government that is taking the middle class bull by the horn. The bull has to understand it isn’t a cow and can’t produce milk.
A Pakoda seller is creating jobs. A barber who rents a shop and starts a saloon with 3 or 4 chairs is creating jobs. Pakodanomics is used as a derogatory term by the left and the Congress camps. These are the same people who talk about dignity of labour and quote Amitabh Bachchan’s “Koi Kaam Chhota Nahin Hota”. They know nothing about entrepreneurship and that is why they talk about jobs, jobs and jobs. There will be no jobs for the less imaginative, risk-fearing and job seeking people if the entrepreneurial Pakodanomists don’t take risks.
Yes, the tax net has to widen. High end agricultural income too should be brought under tax net. But that can be done only after making the life of the average farmers a lot safer than what it has been. Reforms are a continuous process. If we want to be a developed nation with world class amenities, we must stop being selfish. The other option before us is the Mai-Baap governance that throws a few crumbs in the form of subsidies and sops and robs us from the backdoor. We will continue to live with corruption, poor infrastructure, pathetic services and bad roads. I know my choice. It is up to each and everyone of us to decide what we want.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)