Beyond the ‘no security, no taxes’ sloganDec 13th, 2008 | By Editor | Category: Op-Ed
Within two days of the terrorist attack on Mumbai, billboards were up in the city with the slogan, “no security, no taxes.” This theme was heard loud and clear on Wednesday, December 3, when Mumbaikars gathered in solidarity and protest at the Gateway of India. Courtesy one television channel, the country was given an elaborate discourse on the “no security, no taxes” thesis by actor Preity Zinta. She wanted to know why citizens like her should be p aying taxes when she and millions of others were being made to feel helpless and insecure in public places. She also catalogued a number of supposedly sound decisions which could have been taken, and some presumably ill-advised decisions which were shoved down the security forces’ organisational throat.
NEW PHENOMENON: Mumbaikars take part in a protest rally against the recent terror attacks. The currently fashionable anti-politician and anti-political-class anger can only embolden authoritarian figures and their anti-democratic ambitions.
This “no security, no taxes” slogan reflects the larger mood of anger and disappointment with the political class, whether they occupy governing slots in Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad or Thiruvananthapuram. The officers and men who laid down their lives in Mumbai are the new national heroes. The Chief Minister of Kerala has been pilloried for his less than graceful comments about a slain officer’s family in Bangalore, while the Chief Minister of Gujarat was chastised for playing politics outside the Taj Mahal Hotel even as the security personnel were engaging the terrorists inside. The new mood is to insist on some semblance of accountability from those who claim to represent and speak for the “masses” on the strength of choosing to get involved in the “dirty” electoral politics. (Full Story)