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Jallikattu – a symbol of heritage or animal abuse?

India is indeed incredible when it comes to rich heritage of culture and diversity in nature. At every few kilometers, we have a different people living in different way and eating different food and worshipping different gods. We know how to respect one another and we also easily adjust ourselves towards cultural shift. It is our unity in diversity that binds us together and keeps us moving. Every culture has pros and cons and India being multicultural nation, it has many! So many cultural events have been questioned by social welfare activists for defaming human sentiments or sometimes considering them as animal torture. Sacrifice of Goats in religious rituals, Jallikattu, torturing of elephants in temples are some examples of same.

 

History of Jallikattu

This particular festival is part of Dravid culture of India since Tamil classic period which is considered to be in existence between 400-100 BC. The name Jallikattu has two components, Jalli also known as ‘salli’ or ‘kasu’, which translates into coins, and Kattu which means bundle or pouch. This is an indication to a yellow pouch of coins, which is tied to the bull’s horn. The sport is also called as Eruthazhuvuthal, which means ‘hugging the bull’. A cave painting found near Madurai depicts a man involved in Jallikattu game, which gives a strong reason to consider this particular ritual at least 2500 years old.

 

Jallikattu Concept and festival celebration

The festival is majorly celebrated in ‘Tamilnadu’ state of India and majorly used breeds of bulls for same are ‘Kangayam’ and ‘Pulikulam’. The sport is played on the third day of Pongal (Majorly on 15th January or sometimes 16th January). A bull is kept in arena at the time of festival. Groups of people enter this arena and try and tame the bull with bare hands. The participants try to do this by holding the bull by its tail or horns. At some places, participants are asked either to hold the bulls hump for 30 seconds or for 15 meters (49 ft).If the contestant is thrown by the bull or falls, they lose. Sometimes only one contestant is allowed at a time. If two people grab the hump, then neither person wins. The bulls are specially prepared for this events by various farmers. The bulls are often taken for swims to strengthen its legs, and various measures are taken to make the bull strong and healthy.

 

Controversies with Jallikattu

Bulls are treated with cruelty not only while preparing them but also in the practice of event. Before event, bulls are prodded with pointed sticks and their tails are bent on extreme verge that it might get fractured. At the time of event, if the bull does not show enough aggression, then owners also don’t mind rubbing chilli peppers into their eyes. Sometimes when bull is not kept in properly closed area, then they may run to the traffic areas and become victim of accident.

An investigation by the Animal Welfare Board of India concluded that “jallikattu is inherently cruel to animals”. Animal welfare organizations, The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations (FIAPO) and PETA India have protested against the practice.

 

Verdicts on Jallikattu – Ban, Protest and Government rules

The Government verdict on this issue can be seen through following chart.

Jallikattu

Social Media Reactions

Many film actors, politicians, cricketers & other sportsmen, social activists, and authors supported the Jallikattu protest in various manner. Spiritual leaders like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and Sadhuguru Jaggi Vasudev also spoke in support of the sport. The politicians of Tamil Nadu tried to participate in the protest but, protesters didn’t allow them at Marina. The protestors rejected any attempt for leadership by the celebrities and wished to remain a leaderless mass movement. On 19 January 2017, composer AR Rahman has announced that he will observe a day-long fast in support of the protesters, and for ‘Tamil Nadu’s spirit’.

Solution

The legal situation surrounding Jallikattu is as yet not clearly resolved. Some, such as Ministry of External Affairs cabinet minister Salman Khurshid, have stated that the matter will only be truly resolved if the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act is modified as local regulations and state laws cannot outplay Indian federal law.

Well, it is obvious that sentiments of people are attached to this particular event but there is no logic in harming a dumb animal for the sake of saving a nonsense culture. The supporters also claim that Jallikattu  gives economical benefits to the owners of ‘Zebu’ breed of bulls which are used in the event and very rare in India. If Jallikattu festival stops then there is a risk that we may lose ‘Zebu’ bulls. But again, no logic can explain how harassing bulls and killing them in event will save them from vanishing ! So, no doubt it is tough for people to understand and accept  that they are practicing a wrong approach but it is better to be awake late than continuing insensitive sleep.

 

Thank you !

GST – Bird’s Eye View

As a student, one must be curious to know and understand about taxation system and laws regarding same. So, here is my effort to describe GST.

India follows dual taxation system where some of the taxes are levied by Central government and some others are levied by State Government. Few small taxes are also collected by local service bodies like Municipal Corporation but that is not included when we talk about major taxes. Government has authority to induce new taxes (for exp. Swatchh Bharat Tax), convert form of a tax from one to other (For exp. Wealth Tax was revoked in common budget 2016-17 and additional surcharge of 2 percent was put on people having taxable income more than 1 Cr annually) and it also holds authority to demolish the unnecessary ones (For exp. Gift Tax). The Major reason for discussing all this fuss is because of its contribution in our Economy. The revenue generated through central taxes in 2015-16 was INR ₹14.60 trillion (US$220 billion).

gst_1

Need of GST

Currently we pay many different indirect taxes to state and central government at different rates and also these numbers varies from state to state. This entire stuff makes business complicated and creates many loopholes which ultimately results in revenue loss for government. The current taxation structure can be understood through below structure. Thus GST will combine all these taxes and will simplify the entire structure of Indian taxation system.

Gst_2

Structure of GST

            Goods and Service Tax, commonly known as GST has majorly two parts and that is why it is also known as dual GST. Parts of GST as listed.

  • CGST (Central GST)
  • SGST (State GST)
  • IGST ( Integrated GST)  [IGST = CGST+SGST]

All the previous taxes will be included in three above mentioned segments. All the center levied taxes will be collected through CGST and state levied taxes through SGST. Now, when inter-state business takes place, the amount will be paid through IGTS and this amount will be given to receiving state. Earlier, this amount was collected by manufacturing state but now it will be collected by central government and then it will be credited to consuming state. This makes GST a consumption based tax and due to that many high manufacturing states were not ready to go on board with GST. They agreed on condition that center will provide the amount of loss to these states for first 6 Years. Another important thing is authority of assessment and audit. IN GST, 90% authority of assessment and audit for business below turnover 1.5 Cr will stay with respective states and rest 10% will be hold by center. For amount greater than 1.5 Cr, this authority will be distributed 50-50 among center and state.  Tax slabs of GST will be 0%, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%.

Under 0% tax rate, commodities such as food grains, rice, wheat etc. are included.

The first slab is 5% tax, under which products of mass consumption are included such as spices, tea and mustard oil.

Second slab is 12% under which processed food items has been included.

Third slab is 18% tax, under which items such as soaps, oil, toothpaste, refrigerator, and smartphones have been included. Right now, these products are taxed more than 25% tax rates, which would go down after GST is implemented.

Fourth slab is 28%, but there are two tiers under that: Under 28% slab, white goods and cars are included. Currently, whatever products are included in the 27-31% would be included in this tax bracket.

Meanwhile for 28% plus cess, sin products such as luxury cars, tobacco products, pan masala and aerated drinks are included. This cess would be applied by Centre, in a manner which allows higher tax which is currently charged. Hence, if some tobacco products attract 32% tax currently, then GST regime, Centre will apply a cess charge of 4% besides 28%.

Structure of GST also includes norms to make it anti-profiteering. This says that whatever price reduction occurs due to implementation of GST must go to end users. Thus companies need to reduce the cost of product with respective effect rather than increasing profit margin. GST also brought concept of Composite Supply, mixed supply and zero rated supply.

Composite Supply: 

                                                Supply of two or more goods or services which are naturally bounded and supplied in the conjunction with each other in the ordinary course of business, one of which being principle supply, Tax liability is determined on basis of Principle supply. For example, Plastic spoons with Ice-cream boxes. Here Ice-cream being principle supply, Tax liability will be decided on it.

Mixed Supply:

                                                Supply of goods or service in conjunction with each other for a single price where such supply does not constitute a composite supply, Tax liability will be determined on basis of supply which attracts higher rate of tax. For example, if you are selling free pencil with a pen, then here they both are not naturally bounded together, but for attracting customers you are doing so. In these case, tax will be applicable to the supply with higher tax rate.

Zero rated Supply:

Zero-rated supply refers to items that are taxable, but the rate of tax is nil on their input supplies. For example Supply made to SEZs.

 

GST Processing

Processing of GST will be done by non-profitable organization named as GSTN (GST Network). It is a nonprofit organization formed to create a platform for all the concerned parties i.e. stakeholders, government, taxpayers to collaborate on a single portal. The portal will be accessible to the central government which will track down every transaction on its end while the taxpayers will be having a vast service to return file their taxes and maintain the details. The IT network will be developed by private firms which are being in tie up with the central government and will be having stakes accordingly.

All the existing taxpayers registered under VAT, Service Tax, and Excise are required to furnish the details at GST Common portal for the purpose of migrating themselves into GST regime. The IT department associated with GST will fill up this details and allocate a separate id to each one. There is no need to register for state and central separately.

All businesses must put details of Outwards supply on GST portal and on other hand receiver will upload details of inward supply. This details will be used simultaneously to auto populate the final monthly return and then subsequent steps follow quarterly and annual return and final return.

 

Benefits of GST  

For business and industry

  • Easy compliance
  • Uniformity of tax rates and structures
  • Removal of cascading
  • Improved competitiveness
  • Gain to manufacturers and exporters

 

For Central and State Governments

  • Simple and easy to administer
  • Better controls on leakage
  • Higher revenue efficiency

 

For the consumer

  • Single and transparent tax proportionate to the value of goods and services
  • Relief in overall tax burden

 

Case Study of Price Counting Under GST

GST

 

Thank you !