This article is a 3 min read

Recently in the news - Subscribe to SonyLiv ‘Premium’ for just Rs. 1/year. (The online streaming service of the Sony Television Network)

I got it and I made sure I’ll tightly squeeze every premium content from the streaming offering for an year because I paid Rs. 1 for that. I equally planned to fully utilise my other paid subscriptions like Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Gaana, etc including my milk vendor, newspaper, electricity, cooking gas, telephony provider, movies, etc.

Im aware I can always withdraw from paying these services when I think I won’t need them anymore. I can also stop-subscribing or switch to a new one when I don’t feel comfortable with the corresponding vendor’s service. Great, Im happy, yay!

The bitter truth

Are we allowed to opt-in / opt-out from all the services that we pay for? Ideally, yes. But practically….?

Lets take a step back - The ‘most expensive’ subscription everyone is (silently) forced to pay for a sub-par service and with no options to switch is the…

wait for it..

(think again - its forces you to keep paying to something which you keep cribbing all day, everyday, but cannot do anything about it.)

Answer: ‘The Government’ - subscribed through taxes.

(Not convinced? Go back and read the bitter truth again.)

Lets see what are we paying for?

We pay Income tax, VAT, GST, Toll tax, Property tax, Professional tax (only God knows why), Capital Gains tax, Sales tax, and 20 other taxes in India in exchange for the following services:

  • Schools (think of one you want your kid to go)
  • Hospitals (you’re lucky if you haven’t visited one yet)
  • Roads (make me smile)
  • Security - Internal (I’d rather let it go, than approaching a police)
  • Infrastructure & maintenance (Drainage, water, cleanliness, etc)
  • Subsidy (Gas, Ration)
  • Law and Order
  • and many others

Now ask yourself - “When was I last happy with any of the above Govt. services Im entitled to, because I paid for it?”

Upon thinking with solidarity - Im sure Governments make “best” efforts to provide services to its citizens. Im also sure there are people who genuinely benefit from these services. At the same time, there are million others who do not, but are forced to pay taxes as the law mandates.

Governments are monarchs with no competitors. You have no choice but to continue and slog with a standards set by it. Alternatively, if you’re out of patience, you may decide to switch governments by relocating to another country. But that doesn’t guarantee anything :)

Conclusion

This doesn’t conclude. This is simply another voice from another common victim which will disappear in the noise as soon as you exit this page.

I wished this was just like any other paid-subscription which I could stop paying and avoid feeling angered.

If you think I’ve missed something or this rant is unnecessary, kindly post it as a comment. Also, this experience is Indian. Im eager to know how it is in the other countries.

Cheers!