GST through the eyes of a woman

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 05 Jul 2017 12:01:40


By biraj dixit,

They have often been accused of not seeing much. They have also been accused of understanding even less. So to look into serious issues of national good and complicated matters of finance, the eyes of a woman, can, by no means, be relied upon. But since looking is as much a matter of sight as it is of perspective, vision and insight, it would do little harm to view things from a woman’s eye.

So I take this opportunity to present my say in matters of utmost importance. Howsoever lacking in understanding, perceived or otherwise, a woman must have her say. She can’t keep too much to herself, can she?

At the very beginning, I must put on record my enormous sense of pride that I am living in a time that would be recorded in history as the one that brought a great reform in form of the GST. The Goods and Service Tax is going to benefit the nation in many more ways than just those that meet the eye. (It takes a rather visionless eye of a woman to look into these ways).

Of the un-acknowledgeable number of decades that I have lived in this land, I know for sure that ‘tax’ is among the most despised words here. People do anything to save themselves from it. More than half of India’s innovative skills usually get used-up in finding ways to avoid paying taxes. Now these skills can be put to better use. We can save time instead. The best and most lauded part about GST is that it promises to end corruption and bring about ease of doing business. Isn’t that wonderful? I mean no under-the-table transactions, passing your hands through cobwebs to get files cleared. No need to wax eloquent on powerful relations so that they help in hour of need. No unnecessary salams and duas. That is what I call ease of doing business.

But these are the stated benefits. Let us reflect on the unspoken ones. Through the GST, an attempt is being made to tax the very mindset that is the root cause of all evils in our land, the mindset that breeds contempt for the less-fortunate, the mindset that harps upon its own frailties and eulogises inequalities. GST hits at that very core of the perverse psychology of sacrificing fine human sentiment at the altar of greater good.

Take for example - the highest taxed commodities. In their astute wisdom the powers-that-be have rightfully taxed that absolutely horrid, tactless, thoughtless article of mass terror – the weighing machine. Climb on it and see the scales moving, you get the actual feel of paying all sorts of taxes and duties in one go. And in most cases it hardly has any good news to share. That pessimist must be taxed heavily. Soon people would be weaned away from it and all the paraphernalia surrounding it and the false sense of pride that it promises to nurture. For long, it has been a primary source of human suffering. Many sacrifices have been made for it.

But now, its hegemony stands challenged. So wisely have the soul-gratifying things like besan and onions been freed of taxation! No more sacrificing the fine sentiments that emanate from the whiff of bhajiyas and pakodas at the altar of weigh machines. It is this business of ‘looking picture perfect’ that has been the biggest bane of human civilisation. Humanity has not been so much divided between the rich and poor, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, the noblemen and the serfs, as it has been between the fair and not-fair, slim and the rotund, easy-on-eyes and what-more-do-I-do people. GST strikes at the very heart of such inequalities. The pattern in which the taxes have been levied underlines a nation’s commitment to rise above horrid classifications and provide an opportunity to all to gain some weight—eh---ground.

But even while doing so enormous wisdom has been used to place adequate checks and balance. The washing machines, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners have also been kept in high tax bracket to ensure that pretty waistlines are not left to fend for themselves. Placing butter, cheese, ghee, dry fruits, at 12 percent, are also part of Government’s balance theory. Pasta, ice-creams, instant food mixes, cakes and pastries at 18 percent, would also truly test the ‘balancing’ acts maneuvered in Indian kitchens, thereby not allowing the girths to gain further grounds.

Understanding well how its gullible subjects are taken for ride by sellers of dreams who create dreams, sell promises of fulfillment, create problems and sell solutions, the Government has taken due measures to curb follies. Why, they sell sunscreens to the denizens of the world that daily destroys its own ozone layer! At 28 percent GST, this symbol of human folly would come at a price.
So would deodorants that have unpardonably taught humanity that a dash of fragrance can hide any stink. The ‘deodorant’ principle has now found wider acceptance and is evident in individual behaviours, societal norms, world policies even religious matters.

Such and many more symbols of human frailties like hair dyes, after shaves, branded clothes have been taxed to keep humanity aware of its weaknesses. For the time-being the mega sales at malls may lose their charm but gradually people would realise that “clothes by any other name would look as wearable.”

Presently one can smell heartburns about eating out, (particularly when the burns are suffered by one’s own self). People would, in time, come to realise the motive behind the move. Away from dining out, away from pastries and pastas, away from quick-fixes, the Indian home makers would find their true potential and the lord of the house his lost affections for the home-cooked.

Very gradually the good-old days would return to India when neighbours would again knock doors to deliver their freshly cooked patodi, sarso ka saag or biryani, rather than the Pizza delivery boy; when people would truly bathe, when people would be more than ‘fair and handsome’ and ‘fair and lovely’; when rotund would be the tell-tale sign of a nation’s prosperity and when the people would bend under the table only to lift their pen caps. In one single stroke, the Government has put India back into being her honest self through this Good and Simple Tax. Bravo!!! l