The frustration of Indians by and large, and not just the politicians, at not being able to get a share of the pie of the black money dangled before them for so many years is getting so embarrassing!
This is because as of now there is not even a concrete estimate of the black money stashed abroad by Indians over the years, if indeed there is. All the main characters in this Theatre of the Absurd being played before us Baba Ramdev, Ram Jethmalani and Dr Subramaniam Swamy have their own calculations. Not too sure about the involvement of the last in this campaign but the brilliant professor- cum -lawyer- cum- politician has filed a petition on every controversial topic so one assumes he must have filed one for this as well.
As far as the Centre is concerned it has always maintained that it’s a national secret and any revelation of the names of the culprits would hamper investigations and it has stuck to it stand consistently, whatever the regime.
But why is the common Indian so angry with the recent developments? The reason is simple – almost every leader who was crying shrill about the black money stashed abroad had promised that a sizeable chunk of this money would be transferred directly into his account. And now they are feeling cheated and telling the BJP “Show me the money.”
Interestingly since this cash is already labeled Black Money it means it has no legal owner or even if it had he will not come out to own it.In other words, it is the proverbial ‘Woh’ of the Indian cinema and every one has a right to dream about her without feeling guilty.
I have always been of the view that we Indians by nature are more interested in what the other person is enjoying rather than trying to increase our own resources. And when these tamashawalas promised them that they would seize the money stashed abroad and distribute it among them, they willingly let themselves get carried away by the buffoons promising the food from someone else’s thali.
As said earlier, there is no exact estimate of the illegal money put away by Indians in Swiss and other banks.The moot point is ‘illegal’ money in foreign banks. As explained painstakingly by the ministers, just having a foreign bank account does not mean the account holder is a rogue. Why does he hire an array of Chartered Accountants if they can’t change the colour of their money?
But there certainly is an estimate of the amount of tax evaded by people like Baba Ramdev and other Babas in the country for setting Ashrams across the country, highly respected politicians for setting up educational institutions where admissions are through donations and to well connected doctors for setting up hospitals promising free treatment which never materialised.
If all this illegal money is accounted for and taxes paid honestly the government will not only have enough money for welfare schemes for the poor and it may not even need to impose so many taxes to break the back of the poor.
It is this money that should be targeted for recovery instead of going on a wild goose trail and Ulloo Banaoing.
By: Amitabh Srivastava
Image Source: 1