By Sharvi Mewada:
2011 has been a year of awakening. Those have-been issues already known but hushed about, now it’s all out in the open with people voicing out. It started with Gandhi, it continues with Irom Sharmila, Anna Hazare, and lately, Baba Ramdev. All speaking up for a good cause; the latest one being the laundering out the black money to foreign banks, especially Swiss banks.
Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, claimed India is a not-so-poor country. True, ask the Swiss banks how much ‘Indian’ assets it’s holding. It has been estimated that there is almost $1500 billion in black money in these banks, 13 times the foreign debt that India owes! Shocking figures! Experts claim if this money was brought back, India would be racing the US economy within 24 hours. Germany’s LGT Bank of Liechtenstein also offered to provide the Indian government with the names of its clients provided the government asks for it. The UPA government, however, has refused. The reason being that all the clientele include big businessmen, top-notch IRS, IPS, IAS officers and politicians who, if exposed, would be fatal for the vote banks and could lead to the downfall of the Government.
Why the Swiss bank? That’s because it offers guaranteed privacy. Since draining out the money from the country, and having black money hidden from the IT department could be a serious crime, Swiss banks offer utmost privacy with reference to the protecting your identity. If in any manner whatsoever your identity or your account is leaked, you could go as far as suing the entire bank. Also it presents low risk, since Switzerland is a country which is very secure, politically and with reference even to foreign policy.
How does this news affect us? It affects us big time. Not only are these upper-level officers, industrialists, entertainers, looting our hard earned money, but also fishing it away only for themselves abroad. It also means that we, as common man, have to pay more taxes because certain people are cleverly refraining from paying theirs.
It’s estimated that if this money is retrieved and distributed to every poor person in India, they will receive Rs 100,000 each, which is way above the poverty line. India no longer will be a third world country. It will also means the end of a thousand other problems of starvation, poverty, hunger, employment, education etc. This problem can be solved only when the government exposes these people and have them declare their assets.
Imagine a problem-free India. It’s possible, or is at least an achievable dream. It’s a corrupt world out there. But a certain perfect government might come along to fulfill a happy dream of many. Till then, I, personally, keep on supporting the anti- corruption campaign against anyone and everyone who is corrupt.
Sharvi is a BMM student at St. Xavier’s college, Mumbai. Interested in film-making and literature, she is also interested in politics, and is a die-hard patriot. She usually writes about her personal day to day experiences and is an intern at Youth Ki Awaaz.