Thursday, October 1, 2009

Taxed mind

Taxpayer's money is something that is relished with much shamelessness.You and I are scared of asking for accountability. This is mainly because of lack of awareness, hesitation and laziness. We being lazy, makes someone else doubly so and starts snowballing, till the topguns are caught sleeping in the Loksabha. Where else one could find the best lullaby! Whatever it is, we should be happy that we are a democracy. There are rules and regulations written down, agreed British, but still existent and helpful. The problem is ignorance of these rules. Ignorance of rules makes us more vulnerable to the system. By system, I don't mean a mile-long red tape. It is nothing but the next person you meet, who tries to take advantage of your awareness. I say, be shameless and ask for the rules in fine print. You might not have time for this but you can go that extra inch. This would help in setting you up for deeper questioning that could be required in life.

Though Hugo Chavez is an elected dictator and silenced many of his opponents, I am appreciative of one thing about him. He got the constitution closer to the people. Though the constitution was anti-elite and played a Robin hood for the rich, the methods he employed in getting the people learn about the rules he made for them are appreciable. To achieve this, his government encouraged formation of groups in the neighborhood of each locality which read constitution as it meant to them. It was interpreted and then discussed in these groups. This increased people becoming more aware of their rights as well as duties. These readings happened every week like a Sunday Mass. We need something like that in every locality where people get together and try to understand their rights, wrongs and duties. I don't deny the existence of the co-operative societies, welfare associations for colonies, ward member committees...etc., These are mostly into having high tea and cream biscuits. Decentralization of powers which has to happen in its final form by giving more powers and funds to panchayats in the country is still under covers. Unless and until the authority flows from government to people we would be have a long way to go. Corruption is another issue. More elaborately on that in the next post.