New Cabinet Minister list: Middle-class folks should stop mocking Nirmala Sitharaman

Ever since it was confirmed that Modi has once again chosen Nirmala Sitharaman to lead the Finance Ministry, social media has witnessed a flood of memes. Trolls, almost all of whom belong to the middle-class, accuse Sitharaman of being guilty of extracting high taxes.

For one, there is no proof that India's salaried class is taxed extraordinarily. Unless you are in the high-income bracket, you are not paying anything more than you used to pay. If anything, IT rates have come down compared to the UPA era.

"I have no idea what middle class expects from Sitharaman. The tax rate is already low (median income has nearly zero tax), inflation is down, the lending rate has reduced even as average income has gone up. What else do they want?" asks a social media user with initials SK, supporting Sitharaman.

There is also inherent hypocrisy on the part of middle-class tax-payers who are mocking Sitharaman. On the one hand, they say that leaders like Chandrababu Naidu (whose TDP+ came to power by promising absolutely unsustainable freebies) are progressive and wise. On the other hand, they say that income tax should be nominal even for those who earn Rs 15-50 lakh per annum. How can freebies be sustained, and how can development be funded without taxes and cesses?

Take the BJP manifesto of Odisha, for example. The BJP there came to power by trouncing Naveen Patnaik's BJD by promising vast freebies. The middle-class BJP supporters cheer the BJP's victory but, at the same time, direct their ire at Sitharaman, who never made those unsustainable promises.