Friday, January 11, 2008

INDIAN COMMUNISTS - A SUGGESTION

Indian Communists have been attributed with the following slogans in the past few weeks, ‘Sensex shining, masses suffering’, ‘growing divide’, ‘not a single paisa of tax is paid by those who are earning huge unprecedented profits during this boom’, besides many others that primarily highlight the problems of our present economy. The Communist leaders also go onto offering solutions. The problems highlighted by the Communists are very real, and are also well known. However the solutions offered by Indian Communists go against the nature of humans and are thus not practical. It is a fact that the majority of human beings will do anything for the right incentive, as also for just rewards for the effort being put in. The high tax structures of our early years are evidence of hardly any incentive for hard work and innovation, leading to inadequate wealth generation and an abundance of good intentioned slogans like ‘Garibi Hatao’. Wealth is needed to 'hatao garibi', and also needs to be generated in the first place. Wealth can only be generated by converting natural resources to a form that is needed by humans, as also by providing some kind of service required by them. Our government has now adopted such practical measures that encourage the generation of wealth.

This generation of wealth will lead to the reduction of suffering for the masses. Of course, this will take time and will also increase the disparity between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. This is a natural by product of wealth generation. The government’s job in this scenario is to provide a safety net for the people at the lowest level of society, wherein schemes like the NREGS would help in bringing prosperity to the real ‘rural’ India. The government tax coffers are growing every year and money can now be invested in bringing up the infrastructure like roads, power, schools, hospitals etc. in our villages. It would be best if the communists could focus their energies on this aspect rather than start interfering with the system of generation of wealth. The major difference between the developed and developing world is the investment that these countries make in providing infrastructure to their rural communities and thus helping them in becoming productive members of society. Generating wealth and distributing the fruits of this growing abundance to everyone are two separate functions. Let the communists focus on the latter and force the government to be accountable to the people on this aspect. Nature provides us with great examples on how we humans should work.

A seed is needed to grow a tree. The seed demands fertile soil, water, sunlight and care to grow into a tree. It continues to demand all of these until one day it becomes self sufficient and then it grows on its own. Thereafter it takes in very little and gives out flowers, fruits, shade, oxygen etc. to every one. The same is the case with wealth generation. You need the seeds of capital, infrastructure, ideas, technology, customer focus etc. You need to nurture these seeds until they start producing wealth. It is said that the government’s job is to ‘tax and invest’ and not ‘tax and spend’. The Indian Communists would be doing the nation a great service by ensuring the proper investment of the ‘generated and taxed’ wealth, rather than waste their energies on the wealth generation part. Communism as per my understanding has the greatest philosophy of ‘everyone puts in as per his capability, and gets back as per his needs’. However, this philosophy has not been found to be practical with lesser mortals like us, and has thus lead to the collapse of Communism around the globe. It is a goal worth striving for, but at the same time human nature has to be understood to help in removing the suffering of the masses. Philosophy and practicality are both important in this world. The present and the former Communist Chief Ministers of West Bengal have understood this, having had the opportunity to sit on an important constitutional chair – a chair that gave them the authority and the responsibility towards the people who helped put them in the chair in the first place. The Indian Communists would do well to follow their ‘real’ leaders of their own ilk.

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