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Art show to mark 150 years of Income Tax

The IT department celebrates its 150th anniversary with a traveling art exhibition hosted by PP Shrivastava, chief commissioner of Income Tax, Mumbai, and inaugurated by artist Anjolie Ela Menon.

art and culture Updated: Sep 26, 2010 15:47 IST
Jayeeta Mazumder

Exactly 150 years ago, the Income Tax (IT) Department came into being in India, when a bill to levy taxes was introduced by James Wilson, the first finance minister in Council. That was in the days of the British Raj.

Today, in independent India, the IT department looks back and celebrates its 150th anniversary with a traveling art exhibition. The exhibition is being hosted by PP Shrivastava, chief commissioner of Income Tax, Mumbai, and has been inaugurated by artist Anjolie Ela Menon. The exhibition features works of artists like Arzan Khambatta, Paresh Maity, Lalitha Lajmi, Ajay De, Baiju Parthan, Jogen Chowdhury, among others.

Starting with an art camp in Kolkata, where both established artists and IT employees participated, this exhibition will travel to at least 16 cities in India, before ending with a final show back in Kolkata.

About 40 artworks were selected from the camp by a special jury and, as the show travels to each city, more artworks by upcoming artists will get added giving them a big platform to display their work.

More celebration
The exhibition is only a part of the celebratory programmes lined up throughout the year. Bharat Tripathi, commissioner of Income Tax, who has organised the exhibition and is an artist himself, says, “We wanted to do something that will give vent to our creative sides. Many of our employees are good artists and can now be recognised for their talent.”

The IT employees participating in the show include Neena Singh Pandey, Seema Pawar and Bharti Dubey, among others. Tripathi’s own paintings bring out the essence of the IT department. One of his paintings show a coin divided in black and white to represent black and white money, while another displays the new international rupee symbol of India.

Synergy in taxes
Tripathi says, “I wanted to create something to harp on the synergy between the tax payer and the department. The final message is that the tax we collect goes into India’s development.”

The bill passed on July 24, 1860, paved the way for income tax, as we know it today. The IT Dept has witnessed many changes henceforth; its resource mobilisation has shot up from Rs 1.33 crore (1860-61) to about Rs 380,000 crore last year.