Saturday, September 18, 2021
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Tolerance and nationalism

A huge debate about intolerance had already taken place in Parliament with many MP’s expressing their views about the topic. The parliament had been stalled many times due to the intolerance debate. As a result of this the tax payers hard earned money is being wasted. The focus has shifted from work to frivolous issues. This is very unfortunate and will hamper the progress of the nation and society. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah and cabinet ministers have distanced themselves from the people and anyone even slightly criticizing the policies of the government is branded as anti-national. Prior to Lok Sabha elections, I poured my heart out in support of Modi and Amit Shah.

Even though more than a decade has passed ever since Ishrat Jahan was killed in a fake encounter but political parties are trying to politicize this incident. The investigation into the encounter soon ran into a cloud of suspicion, and a High Court-appointed Special Investigation Team and the CBI found it to be ‘fake’. Along with the Gujarat Police, the CBI implicated the IB in the alleged murders. Earlier David Headley had told the special court that Ishrat was working for LeT. The 19-year-old college girl and three others were killed in 2004 in an encounter by police in Gujarat. The four were accused of being involved in a plot to assassinate the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The government has taken a right decision to withdraw the proposal to tax Employees Provident Fund. Stiff opposition from salaried class and trade unions had forced the government to rethink its decision. The proposal had sought to make up to 60 per cent of savers’ corpus withdrawn from the EPF tax-free if invested in annuity, according to the statement Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made in the Lok Sabha. The period return on the annuity was to be taxable. The 40% rebate proposed for the NPS will however continue. NPS is at present fully taxed on withdrawal. This is a relief for NPS subscribers. Jaitley informed Lok Sabha that the objective of the Employees Provident Fund tax proposal was only to “encourage more private sector employees to go for pension security after retirement.”

The government must try to reduce gap between super rich and very poor. Such a gap can never be eliminated but surely be narrowed down. Citizens must try to reduce conspicuous consumption. Why should women wear a saree which costs more than Rs 5000 and men wear expensive suits? Why a family should own 4-5 big cars? Why the government is hiking salaries of MPs everytime and ignoring the problems of farmers? Why can’t they take steps to control the rising population? On the positive side, BEST is offering reliable bus service and citizens should opt for public transport instead of using private vehicles.

 

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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