September 22, 2005

15 and 20

Too rushed for posting substantially here over the last few days, so this will have to suffice until I'm less tied up (someone cut thru these knots, please...). Two bits off the newswires:

First: News last Sunday that many people I met in Chennai remarked on: Relief cheques worth Rs 15 crore bounce.

Makes you feel good, doesn't it? Tsunami happens. People (including a Tamil film star) think, let me send in a cheque to the CM's Relief Fund and (hey, just by the way) get a 100% Section 80-G deduction on my taxes. Who cares that there isn't enough money in my account to cover the cheque? By the time that's found out, I will have got my deduction, I may have even basked in the applause for my generosity, and in any case, people will have tired of hearing about the tsunami.

Apparently authorities are wondering how they can prosecute such people. Apart from the obvious thing of pulling them up for claiming a false 80-G deduction, why doesn't the Government of TN simply publish a list of all the names?

Second: The Shiv Sena deposits Rs 20 lakh as a fine for calling a bandh in Bombay two years ago. The High Court ordered this payment, and the Sena went to the Supreme Court in appeal; but the Supreme Court has asked for the fine to be paid before they hear the appeal. The BJP has also been asked to pay the fine.

Of course, both parties claimed in the High Court that they had not organised the bandh and that it was a spontaneous reaction of the public against the Ghatkopar bomb blasts.

"Spontaneous". Right. You know, the Nazis used the same word about Kristallnacht.


Anonymous said...

Good and about time too. First the blasts were bad and the last thing we need is people calling for bandhs that only make things worse. But I hoe this is not just political vendetta and should be applicable to all the political parties particularly the left who have made strikes, bandhs, agitations etc part of daily life in Kerala and WB.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the wrong spelling. It should read 'hope' . Bad typing on my part.

SLN said...


TN state govt. has clarified that the amount that has bounced is only 4 lakhs and not 15 crores.


The Tobacconist said...

Passing thought: Do you think your last line is similar to what that professor in Univ of Colorado said with respect to Little Eichmanns (I may be spelling this wrong)? I get the spirit of what you are saying but going by your own arguments back then, one shouldn't be using the word Nazi this lightly.

Like I argued before I get the spirit of the message but again would you say the tone ain't right?

Anonymous said...

Dilip, wonder why you ever didn't write about Congress goons trashing Mid-day office after the last downpour, surely Mid-day itself carried a headline story on that with pictures. Aren't you on their payroll - I mean Mid-days?

R. said...

Sriram, meet your tax consultant, you've got your tax fundas wrong.

Dilip, one can't get tax benefits just by giving a cheque. A receipt for the amount being received is needed. Such things aren't generally given till the funds have been realised. But the spirit of your post is well appreciated, I hope there are more people who write as well as you do about our national blindsides- politics, politicians, corruption and neglect.

Interestingly enough, most of the aid promised to Africa and to Bam, Iran (after the quake) hasn't been delivered. UN's message on this wasn't picked up by the media...wonder why...

Anonymous said...


>>Dilip, it is strange to see you condemn Shiv Sena for a bandh, when you were vigorously defending rasta rokos!
What's strange? That Dilip can speak from both sides of his mouth?

R:>>Sriram, meet your tax consultant, you've got your tax fundas wrong.
R, Since you are a banker, using the Sriram's same example, please explain as to why his fundas are wrong? Atleast per US tax code he's one the mark. Is it any different in India?

Dilip D'Souza said...

Always a treat to note what kinds of pieces draw guys out from their cubbyholes in the woodwork...

slakhs, thanks for the clarification. Though it now seems to me that 4 lakhs is a startlingly low figure. Never mind, I'm trying to make some inquiries.

Sanketh, that's a valid criticism. But here's why I used Kristallnacht: I've heard this word "spontaneous" so often, in connection with every single riot, mosque demolition, bomb blast, bandh, mob violence, etc, over the last decade and more. I'm sick of it, and it is so patently a lie, that I just want to prick that bubble. There was nothing spontaneous about the bandh; what's more, it is laughable that the guys who called for it, and went about "enforcing" it, now try to wiggle off the hook by saying "hey, we had nothing to do with it, and it was spontaneous anyway." I would like to meet one shopkeeper who closed his shop "spontaneously". Haven't managed that yet.

Sriram, I see your point, but considering I was deliberate in how I wrote this, I would love to hear from you precisely where in this post I have "condemned" the Shiv Sena for a bandh. Precisely, please.

Also, I do wish you would read what I write more carefully. My earlier post about the rasta roko, what I was doing was saying: here are two rasta rokos. One, the police assaulted. The second, the police didn't. Why? And since you bring it up, you have still not offered me a reasonable answer to that "why".

I don't defend rasta rokos. People do things like those and bandhs, that's fine. But whoever they are, they should know that there can be consequences. And the rest of us should know that too often, those consequences are not applied with any reasonable uniformity.

As for the 100% deduction, the only thing is, contributions to PM/CM relief fund are 100% deductible. Contributions to most other charitable 80-G organizations are only 50% deductible. So you get a bigger deduction, that's all.

Also, this is amazing: it is very misleading for you to make it sound like donating money is somehow profitable. I really want you to explain to me precisely where in this post I've insinuated that donating money is profitable.

r: you're right of course, you need that receipt and it usually is not issued until the funds are realized. I should have made that clearer -- though I should say that I know of at least a few cases where the sheer pressure of coping with a flood of donations means the receipts have gone out before the funds were actually realized.

Anonymous said...

Not surprised that you haven't found yet a shopkeeper who closes his shop "spontaneously" when things get out of hand. Neither did J B D'Souza when he ruled the babuddom of Maharashtra - guess that's the reason his congress and janta dal chums had a field day looting/rioting/raping around in Mumabai, Marad, Pune etc.

Guess the acron didn't fell far from the oak here.

Anonymous said...

I agree the rasta rokos, bandhs etc are bad and enforced - never spontaneous. But fining the parties doing this should be done without any political partisanship and should be applied to everybody. Otherwise this may just look like political vendetta.
Now that the left parties are supporting the govt, I wonder whether they will ever be pulled up for the bandhs, agitations etc that they always seem to call for.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Sriram, Putting aside precision? Very fine indeed. You make a couple of assertions and insinuations, but when put on the spot to back them up, you say, let's put aside precision? Very good.

What is your Tamil film star/Rs 70000 example supposed to show? I don't get it. My mention of the deduction was just to show that there is a tax benefit to donating (and a greater benefit if you choose to donate to CM relief fund). You're spelling that out with an example, as if to make a point. I don't get the point. Please explain, unless we should put aside precision once more.

Nikhil, there is at least the hope that the fining will be done without political agenda, because the fine has been ordered by the Courts based on a private petition. (Thus a precedent has been set too). It does not come from any government-decided regulation, which would therefore be political.

Dilip D'Souza said...


You said: Even though your original post was about two rasta rokos, we exchanged thoughts in the subsequent comments about the validity of that approach altogether. I remember arguing that no one has the right to block public roads and that they can adopt other means (book a maidan, distribute pamphlets, take media ads etc.). You disagreed.

OK, here's that post and subsequent comments. Since you brought it up, I'm going to try to put you on the spot you wriggled off that time: two mobs staged rasta-rokos. The cops assaulted one. The cops did not assault the other. Can you explain why?

That was the sole point of the post; the sole point I made in the comments. Please do attempt an answer, without once more changing tack. Why was one rasta-roko assaulted, but not the other?

I am merely pointing out that this is terribly unfair to those who donated. 100% deduction does not mean they get 100% of their donation back or that they get 100% of their donation reduced from their taxes!

It's unfair to those who donated? How? I'm talking about the guys whose cheques bounced. In what sense did they "donate"? In what sense does ridiculing those guys amount to being "unfair" to the others who donated?

I donated to tsunami R&R efforts, and I don't feel I've been unfair to myself by saying some other guy's donation cheques bounced. What's the logic here, because I've completely missed it?

Please show me precisely where I made the absurd claim that 100% deduction means they get 100% of their donation back. Precisely.

You, without precisely knowing what was in the minds of those who donated, attribute all sort of malicious intent to people who voluntarily parted with their hard-earned money! Do you know precisely why they donated or why their cheque bounced?

But they didn't part with their hard-earned money, voluntarily or not. Their cheques bounced, remember?

You are of the school of thought that forcibly taking away someone else's hard-earned money is a fine thing to do. No wonder you have no ability to appreciate people who voluntarily contribute to charity. Forget the corrupt and slothful politicians who waste tax-payers' money; let us talk about the real criminals - those who donate their own money!

Your digs about my apparent school of thought, I'll let pass. You're welcome to think whatever you want about what school of thought I apparently belong to, though I recollect that that has left you confused before. (After a certain test I took).

Instead, let's take "voluntarily contribute to charity" and "donate their own money". Please explain to me how guys whose donation cheques bounced -- which is what we are discussing here -- have "voluntarily contributed to charity" and have "donated their own money."

Let's make it simpler. Right now, I have no money (i.e. zero rupees) in my State Bank of Travancore account. I do have a chequebook on the account, however. I pull it out and write a cheque for Rs 100,000 and dispatch it to the Tamil Nadu CM's Relief Fund. Naturally, the cheque bounces. Got that much?

OK, so will you pat me on the back for "voluntarily contributing to charity" and "donating my own money"? Even though I haven't done either?

What's more, suppose a journalist writes a report about my cheque that bounced. Are you going to attack him because he has "no ability to appreciate people who voluntarily contribute to charity"?

An explanation would be welcome.

Shashikant Kore said...

Bouncing of cheques is a non-bailable offence. All the folks who gave such cheques can easily be sent behind the bars.

Anonymous said...

Why was one rasta-roko assaulted, but not the other?

The one rasta-roko which wasn't assaulted had probabily blessings of some bigwig at Mantralaya - as J B D'Souza who was chief secretary of Maharashtra. Ask him and he'll tell you it happens all the time. Even Mrinal Gore's rasta-rail roko in Goregaon-Malad used to conducted under complete police protection and blessings.

Anonymous said...

Right now, I have no money (i.e. zero rupees) in my State Bank of Travancore account. many eggs is it stealing from mouths of those poor and destitute to maintain your account while you keep zero rupees there?

Anonymous said...

Dilip, no comments on this?

Countrywide strike stalls India

Air traffic and financial services were badly affected across India on Thursday as over one million workers stayed away from work to protest the government's free market reforms.

Anonymous said...

>>How is it that you can assume all you want, but other don't have that luxury?

Dilip is a big man, journalists which means he has all the luxury in the world. He's holding a sharp pencil for your posts asking for precision, accuracy, proof etc... but see if has anything in return to offer when put under a microscope?

In the 6 eggs a day, readers requested for his alternative standards of measurement over a month ago at least half dozen times - he's not offered one till date.

In various internet foras and rediff, **hundreds** have asked him for alternative models of govt (when he was insinuating for foreign invasion of India) - he'd didn't offer that either.

He rants about Shiv senas role in riots and he's been requested to point to riots galore conducted during his imbecile dad J B D'Souza's rule - he's silent on that too.

He's been asked about the "other activities" (like slitting throats of teachers in Orissa) by the volunteers from his favourite charity - AID; he's silent there too.

When questioned if his ganne-ka-raswala has any opinion on electricity shortage he's been silent there too (to put into perspective, this ganne-ka-rasswala some interesting things to say about nuclear energy which Dilip was happy to whine about at rediff after Pokran blasts)

Need more?

So Sriram, ask not what dilip can offer (for precision or accuracy), but ask as to what you can offer to the nincompoop (so that he can steal it for his next article).

Good luck.