May 19, 2014

Open Letter V to Shri Narendra Modi: India at crossroads, green-shoots in social equity

Shri Narendra Modi
Prime Minister designate

Dear Modi Ji, 

Your slogan that you wish to create an India where every Muslim youth will have a computer in the other hand while holding the Holy Quran in one hand has inspired a new metric of thought around the dimension of social equity. 

Reservations, whether for Muslims or for any other community, caste or religion have only caused crippling of mind-sets and dirty politics in the long term, despite having some merit for the short term. 

I urge an open-minded examination of the following simple ideas, for all under-privileged communities including Muslims, for a period of 20 years from the day this policy is announced such as any future governments will have the courage to tinker with them at the cost of the overwhelming derision of the populace on one hand and for ensuring continued Human Capital Development across at least one full generation if not two: 

1) Grant of exempt from Income Tax status for each male child / youth undertaking accredited education (say from a school affiliated to CBSE or ICSE) of at least 2000 INR per month, up to higher secondary education level.  

2) Grant of exempt from Income Tax status be double for girl / female children at 3000 INR per month, up to higher secondary education level. 

3) For college and higher level education and restricted up to the age of 25 years these numbers for boys and girls respectively have to be 50% higher, i.e. 3000 INR and 4500 INR respetively, per month. 

4) These exemptions must be Inflation Indexed so that there is no need to tinker with the continuity of this policy for a period of two decades. Each future year, the exemption level will be the next higher 100 Rupee round figure for ease of computations. 

5) For students at Graduation & Post Graduation level, the State must guarantee Scholarships at these equivalent rates to any student who is able to produce proof of lack of familial income and if that applicant has an academic achievement score that is greater than 1 standard deviation of the results of all participants in the immediately prior public examination (such as that of a University or an Educational Board). This must be kept at par for even students of non-OBC, non-reservation communities. Talent, hard-work must be guaranteed a pathway to progress irrespective of the familial financial competency. That truly was the goal of the thinking on social equity and distorted in vote bank politics of reservations and appeasements. 

6) Not just the State, but the financially well-endowed and concerned citizens including corporates and big business, anyone who donates to Prime Minister's Social Equity Endowment for Education (lets establish one such now) receives at least a 100% exemption of this amount from taxable income. Section 80G is ineffective as it only grants 50% exemption and that is a point for another letter to you, in the future. The concept of Gupt-Daan, wherein anyone can donate totally anonymously without any details of the donor being captured in the system or any questions being asked must be made truly effective. Every Bank Branch in India should have the facility for anyone to walk in with cash earnt by whatsoever means to donate anonymously and to ensure that such funds indeed reach the Endowment, a receipt must be issued by such bank counters with unique serial numbers which when punched on the website of the PMSEEE produce confirmation details of the amount, time, place at which donation was made. 

7) I urge, you deploy your charisma to convey across a point to every stake-holder of our civilization that India will have endless Akhadas for helping create Mohammad Alis. So what if as Cassius Clay he was famished, under-nourished and deprived, if he could find his way through to the training, the hard work he put up he indeed became the Champion. No dole-outs or distributions merely because one was purportedly unlucky to be born a Muslim or an Adivasi but has therefore become entitled to live a life of dependence and mind and soul crippling reservations. The point must become absolutely clear to the psuedo-secularists, the clergy and the entire population of India, that we are that civilization where every Cassius Clay has the opportunity to be a Mohammad Ali. 

8) Reservations on one hand only provided a temporary relief to certain types of people but has been endlessly diluting our competitive and performance DNA as a nation. We have to become a nation of Mohammad Alis and that too grateful and happy Alis! So far, the political class has in the post-Independence India never focused on making Mohammad Alis, but only keeping the challenged Cassius Clays as challenged and dependent, permanently. I need you to empower every driven, motivated Champion to reach the goal of his destiny, that is to be the Champion that Allah / God / Bhagwan wanted him to be. 

9) If education is the fore-bearer of all social equity, creation of ability and thus handling the un-levelled fields of opportunity, then we cannot leave behind the acknowledgement much more desperately due for the profession of teaching in India. Compared to any other profession, our teachers earn the least. A Guru has one of the noblest respnosibilities of inculcating values and create much better human beings than just teach medicine, engineering, management, mathematics, statistics, accountancy, geography or history. It is well understood in the Indian Civilization that "Bhookhe Pet Bhajan na honhi Gopala". So, until the competitive synergies sweep our nation into a state of much higher excellence, I urge you to consider a 20 year policy for having Income Tax Slabs that are at least twice at each rate of taxation for anyone who is a full time teacher with an accredited Educational Body, right from nursery education to the post graduate level education. Let the Governance of this nation eventually and now bestow the credit, respect and care that has always been undertaken by every admirable Raj-purush in our Ancient Civilization on the Gurus, the Rishis and the Sadhus. Our teachers are likely the true Gurus, Rishis and Sadhus by their karma. If we are indeed keen on a varn-vyavastha that is based on Karma and not Janma then I am very hopeful that your Government will make early moves in according the rightful economic upliftment as well as the moral and emotional respect for the entire teaching force in our country. 

Vande Mataram, Jai Hind
Sushil kedia

No comments: