Nagaland: Land of Associations and Unions | By: Tali M Sashi Jamir, Mangkolemba

When we talk or think of illegal taxation, why is it that we think only the NPGs are into it? Why not the countless NGOs/CSOs who extort unwarranted and undue taxes from the masses? Who gave them the authority of printing unlimited receipts and extorting unnecessary taxes? Isn’t it daylight robbery?

 

There are a few genuine and indispensable ones (indispensable only because we are born into it, yet not necessarily with legal authority to collect binding taxes). However, most of the so-called organizations are self-styled and unnecessary organizations. They do more harm than good to the society they promise to serve. These unions or organizations or by whatever nomenclature they are known, have no legal authority to collect taxes or fees of any kind. These unions or organizations neither contribute nor do anything for the welfare of the people as compared to the burden that they create. Well, how many of these so-called societies are even registered? Not saying that registered societies/unions/organizations have the authority of levying taxes, leave alone impose taxes that must be obliged at all costs (otherwise face consequences). The audacity!

 

Needless to say, the sustenance of each of the so-called unions depends entirely on the “arbitrary contributions” of the people. The Naga society can no longer carry this unwarranted obligation because the load is just too enormous.

 

An individual is a social being and more so, this individual is a component of many so-called unions and organizations, more often than not, without their consent. Also recognizing the fact that these unions and organizations are growing in quantity day in and day out, unsurprisingly with no qualitative change in their contributions towards society. How can we keep up with it? In such a society, where is individual liberty? We aren’t only abusing individual rights and freedoms but also abusing the very fundamental right to freedom of association.

 

Just to illustrate this scenario, let’s say Mr & Mrs. A are a family of four, who are denizens of XYZ town. They are residents of B Colony. The husband and wife belong to different villages. Both their children are at school.

 

Both parents are unemployed and engage themselves in manual and unskilled work. The source and income from their daily wage are neither stable nor predictable. In their society, there are A to Z (including Ü and any variations in accents) unions and organizations, necessary(if any) and unnecessary, all having different aims and objectives. All these organizations are collecting taxes of Rs.100/- on average, per se. The total amount of taxes that the family pays would be a minimum of Rs. 2600/- plus the other variations (in accents). Suppose all the unions collect the taxes on a single day, from where do you think they’ll get the money and pay that much amount? Given the fact that the family is hardly able to manage and sustain itself:

 

1. What good does that additional burden do for such an already over burdened and impoverished family?

2. What social cause justifies such atrocities against the poor and deprived?

 

Fare any better for a society that is infested with this ailment? No.

1. Which legal authority allows such dreadfulness against an individual?

2. What rationale justifies the presumption that the needs of a society are invariably paramount and that the suffering of an individual is of no concern?

3. Do we not realize that individuals make society and not vice versa?

4. Do we not realize that any social associations are for the good of all its members and not for a few?

5. That, it is to safeguard the rights, freedom, and welfare of the individuals that make the society and not to subjugate or loot the individuals.

6. Do we not realize this social evil of unabated taxation and coercion is overwhelming not only for the illustrated poor but the society as a whole?

7. Finally, is a society crammed with “social robbers” in every nook and cranny even healthy and sustainable?

 

This is precisely another face of lawlessness, corruption, and extortion, which MUST BE STOPPED once and for all. Someone has to do something about this. And, that someone cannot be our inefficient government but we the people because it is we who are bearing the brunt of this unbridled and illegal taxation by giving our hard-earned money and burning a hole in our pockets. Hence, let us discourage and end this unionism of corruption and extortion in our society.

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