We all know that feeling, that warm glow when someone recognises your worth and gives you a gift. In the case of most of us, this consists of a recycled tea-service or a pen set that the giver does not want. But if you are Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati whose tireless efforts to uplift the poor have evoked genuine admiration among people, the gifts could take the form of movable and immovable assets worth several crores, to be precise Rs 13 crore over the years.
Given the intensity of admiration for her good works, it would be unfair for some shyster from the income-tax department to ask her to pay up for them. And this is what the Delhi high court is trying to say: such gifts cannot be taxed given the spirit in which they were given. We welcome this order. Many of us are bound by corporate ethics not to accept gifts. Now maybe a kinder view will be taken of well-wishers slipping us the odd chocolate on special occasions.
This opens the doors for other politicos to explain away their sudden move from lower middle class to upper, upper class in terms of income. No, it is not that they had their hand in the till, it is that they had their hand on the till, a feat which so impressed their followers that they showered the leader with gifts. Let us hope the Bellary brothers are not reading this, for they could say that illegal iron ore is but a gift from those who so love them. All in all, a positive development. If you are moved by our edits, don't hesitate to show your appreciation in cash or kind, or both.