Essay No. 01
Of the total supply of money in circulation, black money accounts for a sizable percentage. What is this ‘black money? Black money means unaccounted money, concealed income, and undisclosed wealth. This money is not in any way helpful to society. It deprives the nation of the funds required for its development.
Richer classes of people spend more from this black money and they are prepared to pay any price for any commodity Black money increases corruption and intensifies inflation. Thus black money causes a rise in prices and increases the misery of the poor people. So the rich grow richer while the poor become poorer.
The people who have black money are a danger to society. They have spread violence, corruption among Government officials, law enforcing authorities, politicians, and unemployed youth in the country.
Black money symbolizes something which violates moral and social and legal norms. Its effect on the economic setup is dangerous. It has an evil effect on the moral fiber of the society, integrity is placed under a discount and vulgar display of wealth is at a premium.
The nation is deprived of more than Rs. 1000 crores every year by way of tax evasion on account of black money.
The concentration of wealth in the hands of a few people is also a cause for black money. The evils of black money can be checked by bringing monopolistic trends under control. More industries shall be brought under state control. Small producers shall be encouraged by the grant of industrial licenses, import quotas of raw materials, and loans from banks.
Smuggling is another cause of black money. Secret transactions in respect of properties and other assets, large stale leakage of foreign exchange along with the smuggling of gold and other luxury goods add to black money.
To control and ultimately eradicate the evil of black money, the Government must fight with an iron glove. Stern measures should be taken against tax evaders, smugglers, speculators, and black marketeers. When they caught and found guilty, they shall be debarred from getting any license or import quota or any other trade concession from the Government. Electoral reforms should be carried out to minimize the role of big money in all elections. Elimination of corruption and became transactions are very important.
In some cases, black money is actually, money not paid to the Government by way of income and other taxes. Higher rates of taxation on higher expenditure will curb extravagance.
An anti-smuggling drive has already been undertaken. Severe action is being contemplated against black marketers. Our economic system is to be overhauled in such a way as to leave no room for the operation of black money.
Essay No. 02
Black money is the unaccounted wealth which is earned by an individual or firms, bypassing the laws of the country. The economy generated by black money is so powerful that it can clear all the debts of the Indian government and could also place India at the center of international business on account of its financial strength.
Black money is created in many ways. At times this black money is given as a gift or in the form of bribery which is illegal but since this escape government notices these keep creating more and more black money in society.
Then thirdly, the practice of underbilling or overbilling in business leads to the generation of black money. For example, the overall value of a property is shown very low in the documents but in reality and in the actual money transaction it has a very high value. The major inhibiting factor in the process of national economic development is black money.
Black money has made rich people richer and poor people poorer and its consequences are such that the masses have to suffer. The businessmen, individuals, black marketeers, etc. are nowadays being targeted by agencies like Customs and Excise department, the Vigilance Department, the Enforcement Directorate, etc. in their drive to curb the black money menace.
Only honest financial practices can end the phenomena of black money and it needs both individual initiative and government action.
Essay No. 03
In recent years, the purchasing power of rupees has come down considerably. If the paper currency is not supported by sufficient gold reserves with the Government, then the value or worth of countries are at the forefront and less advanced countries are following them. Previously a majority of the people used to grow old, around the age of 45-50 years. But now with the improvement in longevity, old age is said to set in after retirement or around the age of sixty. But while in the modern age, the advent of old-age is considerably delayed and the aging process is also very slow, due to industrialization and westernization, resulting in the break-up of the joint-family system and the change in our value systems, the elderly persons are confronted with a very large number of serious problems and their lives become really miserable.
First of all, old age manifests itself through external changes in our body systems. The hair turns grey. Physical features, especially facial, are distorted. The attractive shape and natural glow of the skin vanish. Wrinkles appear on the face and the forehead as if to proclaim at the beat of the drum that this person has grown old. Physical strength leaves us resulting in general weakness and physical and mental infirmity. We are no more able to perform our routine bodily functions with the same ease. This has an adverse effect on our working capacity. Retirement from service or active work reduces our normal income by more than 50 percent, which leads to daily financial problems.
The aged persons now feel the need for physical, moral, financial, and emotional support from their children, who, being grossly involved in the pursuit of their own career problems, love affairs, and family lives, are unable to pay any attention to the needs of their parents and satisfy their emotional hanger. A feeling of having become an unwanted member of the family and society, therefore, overtakes the old people. Children, grandchildren, domestic servants, and even pets begin to take them lightly and ignore them in every matter. Their attitude to the aged is marked by contempt, disregard, apathy, and outright insults.
When such things happen, the old people sink, into the deep ocean of depression, so to say. This depression_ with its physical as well as mental strain. The old person; also begins to react to such behavior in a very awkward and makes a fool of himself by entering into lengthy arguments with younger people, which nobody wants to listen to. He may be right, but his age is wrong. Even his virtues become major vices. Even when he pours his affections on the young ones, his overtones are spurned with contempt, which sometimes turns him furious. An old person becomes a hunch back. He can walk only with the help of a stick.
His eyesight becomes very weak, so he cannot read or write nor he can at times recognize even his old acquaintances. Because of the loss of teeth, he cannot eat sufficient food. Whatever little he eats, is not properly digested. He begins to grow weaker and weaker. His health breaks down and his mind is stunted. He is now in greater need of emotional, physical, and financial support from his near and dear ones, but they begin to keep him, at a distance, and lose all affection for him. He begins to shrink within himself and feels as if he was being crushed under his own weight.
His relatives feel that he is mentally deranged and leave him to his own fate. If he falls ill, he may not be attended for a number of days. His sons and daughters-in-law do not pay any attention to him. It is not infrequent that they forget to give him even his two meals. In fact, they do not know whether he is there or not or whether he is alive or dead. He simply lies down in some obscure corner of the palatial house which he had once built and in which he is now expected not to show himself too often. The income from his house and other property is appropriated by his sons and successors who are now keenly waiting in their wings to seize, whatever else he has as soon as he closes his eyes.
The condition of elderly persons, who have no source of income, is all the more miserable. No one cares for them. Nobody talks to them. They are generally treated very rudely by their children and grandchildren. If he is living in a joint family, nobody in the big household assumes the responsibility of looking after his health and well-being. If he has two or more sons, none of them is ready to maintain both the parents. A partition of sorts takes place. While the old father is accepted by one son, the equally old mother takes shelter in the house of some other son or daughter.
The old couple cannot even meet and talk to each other. In modern homes, where every room is fitted with a telephone, elderly, persons are not allowed, access to this modern means of communication. If the elderly couple sometimes steals an opportunity to talk to each other or exchange letters, etc., it becomes a big family scandal in which the oldies are said to have been caught red-handed while having a love talk over the wires. All this while all the younger members of the family are busy talking love and Making love, whether intra-marital or extra-marital, at all times of day and night.
The condition of those elderly persons, who have lost their spouse is all the more pathetic. But the worst is the condition of those women who have lost their husbands. The sons and daughters-in-law sometimes take away even Rs. 100 or Rs. 200 which these poor women get by way of old-age pension and force them to work as domestic help in the neighborhood or beg their way to starvation.
Some writers have likened the natural love and affection between different members of a family to the force, of gravitation which keeps the sun, the stars, the planets, the satellites, and even the asteroids and comets in their proper orbits. When one grows old, this natural love and affection of other members of the family for him vanishes and the elderly person becomes like a planet which has lost its gravitational force and has consequently been lost in the boundless and endless empty space.
This is but natural. When people have no hesitation in getting babies in the womb routinely aborted to keep the family size within limits, it is not surprising that they become anxious to see the early exit of an old man or woman, which has been designated as Moksha to give it a touch of respectability. Needless to say, euthanasia (mercy killing) is being loudly debated everywhere. The only saving grace is that so far the action line is generally limited to inflicting the mental torture on the elderly men and women. It is only rarely that actual physical violence is used to achieve this end.
The reason for this attitude towards the old persons is the growing materialism in the society. Members of modem families want all their members to earn something and thereby contribute to the running of the family in a comfortable way. Any adult member, whose contribution in cash or kind drops below the optimum point, then that member’s consider becomes an unwanted species. Blood is no thicker than water.
Thus, the incapability of an elderly person to earn sufficient money has become a great hurdle in the way of his smooth survival in this world. An elderly person without any earning capacity is treated as a burden for the whole family. Therefore, almost everybody in the family becomes hostile to him. Pensioners, etc., are tolerated only so long as the expenditure on their maintenance and upkeep is restricted to a small fraction of the difference between their pension and the family pension which the family is to get in any case even after his death. Children of wealthy people become impatient to acquire the property, etc., held by the aged person. The old man who appears to be standing between the heirs and the wealth possessed by him becomes a thorn in their flesh. They cannot kill him straightaway because Ahimsa (non-violence) is our creed. So they resort to non-violent or ahimsa methods of killing and begin to torture the elderly people.
The causes of old-age problems lead us to find some solution. The solution is very simple and within our reach. Since the problems of old-age are the product of modem times the solution lies not in building more elderly homes but giving them a little care, love, and affection. We must remember that the luxuries enjoyed by us were created by them through their hard work. At the same time, we must also remember that we too will be like them one day and if our children treat us in the same fashion, we will not be happy people then. So a thorough change of attitude is the only solution. Only then we will be able to eradicate this problem. And nothing short of a spiritual reconstruction can help us in achieving this object.