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Mahesh Shantaram (msram) wrote,
@ 2001-02-06 02:05:00
Women in India are granted an income tax rebate of Rs. 5000. This came as a rude shock to me today. If this is meant to improve the plight of women and their quality of life, it certainly is a success. Come March (the end of the financial year), they will have Rs. 5000 more than men to splurge on life.


I fail to see the rationale behind this. Somebody, please explain. Even if there is a rationale, I doubt if there is any merit in extending such a benefit to urban Indian women who are not very different from men as far as socio-economic status is concerned. Perhaps the Government's idea was to free a part of the tax amount so that it goes into the woman's savings. Traditionally, women as seen as "savers" whereas men are the "spenders". Incongruous as it may sound, Government thinking can run on those lines. But in the case of urban women, I would expect that amount to be frittered away on clothes or entertainment or whatever. There isn't anything wrong with that. It's the discrimination that hurts.

The Government has imposed an additional surcharge of 2% on income tax to make up for the huge losses to the nation due to the Gujarat crisis. May I suggest waiving the special rebate for women instead?

When MTNL launched their cellular services on January 26th, 33% of the connections were reserved for women. Absolutely ridiculous.

When 33% reservation for women in political offices was introduced, some newsmagazines reported that some men made their wives stand for elections and then exercised political powers in proxy.

It happens only in India.

I am not totally against reservation for backward and underprivileged classes and sections of society. However, I strongly believe that if it must be introduced, there must be a conscious "phase-out" policy tagged to it. For example, 33% quota must be depreciated by 5% every 5 years and completely nullified in course of time. Otherwise, reservations and special privileges will only amount to discrimination.

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