Political parties are getting away with it.
I am not talking thousands of rupees...
I am talking hundreds of crores...year after year...in anonymous donations.
Much of it in cash, which the parties can deposit in a bank account without scrutiny.
Meanwhile, you and I must give detailed explanations for every deposit we make. Either now, or when the Income Tax officials come calling.
Something is not right. In fact, it's disgusting, the state of affairs.
Here, dear reader, is the full story...
India is in chaos.
Our lives are in chaos.
The future of our once resilient nation is uncertain. Growth and progress can no longer be taken for granted.
Every day brings new announcements about how you and all honest, tax-paying Indians must adhere to draconian new rules and regulations regarding YOUR own money. For the record, a time of writing this, the Reserve Bank of India has come up with 59 orders since November 10, 2016.
Money you worked hard for.
Money you have saved for years.
Money you have set aside for your kids and retirement.
To bleed so-called ‘black money' out of the system.
To your credit, you have borne it all with admirable patience.
You stood in queues for hours every day.
You felt awful as you dipped into your kids' piggy banks to meet contingencies.
You took it on the chin...for ‘nation building'.
That's because Mr Modi's fight against black money, call it demonetization or notebandi, is to catch the big crooks. It's a good fight...and you were just doing your part. After all, the goal is to quash the black economy once and for all.
In the fight against black money, a key beneficiary has been left out...the 1,866 political parties.
Yes, the fight against black money has conveniently side stepped the political parties. They enjoy privileges you and I don't. It's a biased war...and we're fighting it on behalf of often corrupt political entities.
If it is a deposit in the account of a political party, they are exempt. But if it is deposited in individual’s account, then that information will come into our radar.
Yes, this is official policy for the 1,866 political parties...and they don't even try to sugarcoat it.
Why should they? This is the law of the land...Section 13A of the Income Tax Act, 1961, to be precise.
You have to stand in a queue...and prove you are legitimate by showing a PAN Card or some other identification. And if and when the Income Tax sleuths show up, you need to explain every deposit you make in great detail.
The political parties, on the other hand, get a free pass.
After all, they are special...the masters of this country with the power to frame laws such as this...
Political parties are currently not required to publicly disclose contributions of up to Rs 20,000. This means that any political party that receives individual donations of up to Rs 20,000 in cash can deposit it in bank accounts. This money will not be investigated simply because these donations need not be publicly disclosed.
And if you thought that was it...here's a shocking statistic from the report Analysis of Income & Expenditure of National Political Parties for FY- 2014-2015 :
The BSP claims it hasn't received any donations above Rs 20,000. That's why we can't find any BSP donation details in the public domain. And this has been the party line, so to speak, for ten years now.
Yet...they get crores year after year.
But it's not just the BSP.
No public information is available on where the BJP got Rs 434.7 crores in 2014-2015, which represents about 50% of the party's total donations.
We also have no idea where the Congress gets 32% of its funding.
We are talking about hundreds of unaccounted crores every year.
No wonder respected people are starting to speak out...
Many political parties are set up with the sole intention of laundering black money.
- Former Chief Election Commissioner, TS Krishna Murthy
The malaise runs deep.
Yet no one is doing anything about it.
Except for the Election Commission.
The Election Commission of India has proposed that the limit for anonymous donations be reduced from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2,000.
This is laudable. But it's unlikely to ever be implemented... And even if it is implemented, what stops political parties from showing donations of less than Rs 2,000 and getting away with it, like they currently are.
We need to take matters in our own hands. And do something to set this right...NOW.
I am Vivek Kaul, editor of Vivek Kaul's Diary.
I have dedicated my life to taking up the issues that matter most to you and your future. Even if the issues involve the powers to be.
My only commitment is to you. Period.
That's why I have decided to call on you urgently:
Please add your support to my mission to bring in equality between the politicians and you and me, by demanding an immediate repealing of Section 13A of the Income Tax Act 1961.
We must sound a great cry across India to ensure that every concerned citizen gets behind this move.
It's not complicated. And we can do it very quickly if we create a huge ‘buzz' on the internet with the petition.
All we need is the President of India to set this in motion.
I firmly believe that, with your help, it is possible. Please forward this message to all your friends and ask them to also pass it on. This message – and our petition – could spread like wildfire.
But we must act immediately; it is very important.
This law not only allows anonymous funding of political parties. It is also, at least partially, the cause of many of this country's ails.
But a clean funding process guarantees a better polity.
So please sign this petition to request the President of India to instruct the Government of India to immediately initiate steps to repeal 13A of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
Then pass this message on to inform your relatives and friends of the mess we are in and encourage them to support the movement.
I will personally send the signed petition to the President of India.
I need 25,000 signatures before the 6th of January to get this moving. Help me make this happen...and thereby bring in much needed change in the way political parties are being funded, and the privileged treatment they enjoy.
Sign this petition now...
Thanks in advance,
Editor, Vivek Kaul 's Diary
PS: The petition is on the site https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?hl=en&tab=wm#inbox/1592b4aa48905189
As per latest report, Rajnath Singh, the Home Minister in the BJP government, too, has a political party operating from his home address and through whom he is happily taking donations.