Attention – Due To Allegations of Plagiarism, This Article Is Highly Suspect 

To say that one needs money to live is to but state the obvious , but even with inflation and all , I am wondering as to how much money does one really need to live on in today’s age. The cost of living must be going up faster than our comprehension and experience. How else can one explain that Rs 35,000 crores is the estimated size of what could be the biggest income tax evasion scam in this country. India does not have a very healthy record of tax compliance and tax evasion has been quite the norm among the non salaried classes almost since the days of independence. Several rounds of VDIS including a fairly recent one that the current finance minister in an earlier avatar had introduced have had a rather modest success.

The reasons for tax evasion have generally been explained away as that the tax rates are unreasonably high , although there has been a very definite effort made in recent years to reduce the tax slabs and make them comparable with the tax regimes of other progressive countries. The effort has been understood to be reasonably successful and  income tax collection has been increasing over the years.
But what occurs to me is not the semantics of whether our tax rates are high or low and whether therefore it is fine therefore to evade them. What occurs to me is the larger moral question. In a country where so many farmers are daily committing suicide , because they cannot even afford square meals a day for themselves and their family , we have people evading tax to the tune of 20 to 30,000 crores of Rupees and then taking their seats in the race courses watching their thorough bred horses run and win some more money.
The fact that all this money has been accumulated through illegal means and tax evasion compounds the fault but even if all that money were legitimately earned and accounted for , the question would still arise in my mind as to how much money does one need to live, all right, even to live a life of comparative luxury perhaps. The merchant princes of Bombay of the nineteenth century , the first entrepreneurs and industrialists of modern India like say Jamsetji Tata were driven by an ideology and a vision that the purpose of wealth creation was that after keeping behind a legitimate proportion of it, the rest of it should go back to the society from whose labor it was generated in the first place. Similar sentiments have been expressed by N.R. Narayana Murthy of Infosys.  On those foundations, modern Indian philanthropy was born and is sustained to this day

Today , reading these stories and others like it, I get the picture that for all the tall talk about Corporate Social Responsibility and all that blah by the various chambers of industry , our consciences are anesthetized and we are oblivious to any thing except our own advancement in life and the amoral pursuit of creature comforts. The Bible tells us plainly that we are called to be our brothers’ keepers and others like Jamsetji Tata have reflected the same thought in a different vocabulary but in today’s day and age , we are lost the ability to be the keepers of our own conscience , let alone think of our brother or our neighbor

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