Socialism is a funny concept. They said, the tiller get’s the land. Let’s take this scenario. There’s a big landholder having, say, 1000 acres of land. A revolution takes place, the landholder is killed and every worker gets 50 acres of land. Now, the new owner will have to till his own land – he can’t employ workers or else, he will become the new landholder. The new reality is this. Everyone has got 50 acres and everyone will think, I will sell 20 and spend my life lavishly, let someone else do the tilling. The problem – everyone thinks the same. How do we reconcile to this? Another thing to think about is, equality. How do you define equality? Based on head count or based on his contribution to society? Can a chronically ill dying of TB be given equal treatment as that of a virile youth at the prime of his age? In spite of all this, socialism is a success because it shows contempt towards anyone who has got money.
Two or three days ago, there was a news over a busniessman who donated houses to seventy needy for his daughter’s marriage. I was discussing this with one of my colleagues and he told, why don’t we hear Ambanis and Adanis doing it. The answer I gave was simple – Why should they? They have legally earned their money and there is no reason for them to spend even a penny more on the society. I asked him, you earn ten lakhs. Will you donate 9 lakhs of your salary annually to the needy? An expected answer, why should I. Then I told, it’s the same thing for them as well – why should they. They are fulfilling their duty to the society by paying their taxes and by creating jobs, there by multiplying the country’s wealth.
This is the situation we are in, in India. We are taught to believe that every rich man is a crook and every poor man is someone who suffered from some crook and that, there is no way one can earn money in a fair manner. May be, it is true to some extent because in an age where taxes were as high as 95-97%, a person will obviously cook books to save a few more pence. Even there, they just underquoted their profits, they didn’t cheat others. It’s a different thing altogether that no one questioned why the taxes were that high. Rather, it’s the responsibility of the government, not that of any individual to provide those facilities. And the sad part is, this perception will not change that easily and India will, as usual, behave as a country of followers, not entrepreneurs.