Breast tax,Jizya Tax,Petrol Tax of new India and the Yellow vest movement of France

Satyabrata Dwibedy

Petroleum Minister of India has recently admitted the pressure of Oil price in India to the middle class and poor but he defended the move claiming it necessary to bear the burden of Rs 35000 crorers towards Covid vaccination and the Modi government is   advocating welfare schemes the cause of increasing fuel price in India. It is an incorrect defense. The inroad of Pandemic appeared in India just in 2020 but the intention of Modi Government to collect excessive tax from oil has been started since its inception in 2014.No need to mention here the detail statistics. It is a vague argument to defend excessive fuel price almost 80% of the base price to implement useless welfare schemes like Ujwala, Swaschha Bharat Mission,Ganga rejuvenation mission and the most useless Statue mission including Patel Statue and Sivaji Statue.We know the massive failures of all the above programs at the cost of taxing the Indian middle class.

There is a much talked about proverb, Cut your coat according to your cloth. This is how the developing countries like India should plan its welfare programs.To get political gain a government must not go beyond limit to impose disproportionate tax to its subjects to create its poor vote bank.It is not only fuel tax but the GST is designed in such a cruel manner that only the super rich could feel comfortable to do business in India.

Let us have a look at our history and know two heinous tax regime of India which have been an example of oppressive tax as a model for the next generation of rulers to avoid.One is the infamous breast tax and another is the Jizya Tax.The breast tax was a tax imposed on the lower caste and untouchable Hindu women by the kingdom of Travancore if they wanted to cover their breasts  in public, until 1924. This is a  very ugly tale and not to be elaborated in detail. In a very unfortunate development  the mutiny of a single woman Nangeli who cutoff her breasts to revolt against this discriminatory tax regime and rest is history.

Next is Jizya tax which was payable by Islamic ruler Qutb-ud-din Aibak on non-Muslim subjects which was abolished by Akbar in the 16th Century and was reimposed  by  Aurangzeb in the 17th Century.It was basically a protection tax imposed on Hindus.

Now the modern days untouchable community is the middle class in India those who are the vulnerable community to bear the welfare burden  of  India. This burden has multiplied during Modi rule as the he has a ambition to rule India for a long term.

The appropriate answer to this cruel ambition of a ruler is the Yellow Vest movement of France which is in the limelight since October 2018.It is a grass route protest movement for economic justice. Like India this movement was also initially motivated by rising fuel price and high cost of living.The cost of edible oil and other food items have sky rocked since the Modi government ascended power in 2014 but to a utter disappointment no one is revolting as the whole country is miraculously tranquilized with a sense of pseudo-nationalism.

The yellow vest   movement strongly dismissed the disproportionate burden    of government‘s tax reform like the Indian GST of Modi government which are falling on the working and middle classes. This movement has been spread to almost 32 countries mainly to the European Countries.  The lessons from yellow vest movement is substantial for India.The middle class can’t take the entire burden of the increasing poor class of India.To be poor has been a luxury in India.Many people pay bribe to get a poverty certificate in India which was once a disgrace in the society. The term of poor has to be redefined in India.A family having youth members are not to be considered as poor and no welfare assistance like free food grain and other freebies should be given to them. Making of a prosper nation is a collective task.Rather government to invest more on universal health,education, skill development and financing startups to make the vast number of population self reliant.The economic strength of Indian middle class has been exposed during Covid crisis and Modi government should not be living in the myth that Indian middle class can take infinite burden.

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