GST; A Boon or Bane for Performing Artists
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Respected Madam ,
It gives me immense pride ,to be a part of the youth of a Progressive India and to be able to witness the first step to a tax-free nation.While it is highly conducive and awesome to have GST bringing down rates of various basic day to day products or the 4 elements needed for human survival today(FOOD, CLOTHING ,SHELTER AND TECHNOLOGY) ,it is also posing a risk for various other sectors which are equally important to lead a wholesome life....The 4 elements that I mentioned above serve as nutrition for the body while Culture,Arts,Sports etc serve as nutrition for the mind ,body and soul.As it is ,today's world is fast paced and highly competitive in every sphere, more so education.It is common practice to see parents putting a stop to the artist or sportsman in their kid ,as soon as exams show the slightest hint of commencing .After this ,a chain of exams come and go , and many artists and sportsmen who could have been masters in their respective fields with the right training and exposure, are forced to see their dreams take a backseat in the rush for attaining the so called stability and lead average lives instead of becoming the legends that they could have been .While education is highly crucial for everyone ,nurturing other facets of life is also equally important.As it is due to proper lack of awareness many classical artforms are steadily and surely on the verge of extinction.Many competent artists who have received their artforms as inheritance from their forefathers even today struggle to make ends meet .Countless youngsters have sacrificed their education,family's hopes dreams and their own comforts to make it big in the arts or sports world .However much we deny it ,corruption,politics, exploitation ,gender-caste-religious-regional discrimination and nepotism still are rampant & very much in existence in these fields which makes the tough path of arts and sports ,even tougher for their practitioners.For those born into families with means to support them, don't face/ bear too much brunt of these evils . However those who don't have the means, education, knowledge , supports or Godfathers to protect them still have to face maximum impact of these evils.Education systems across our country are seldom supportive of artists or sportsmen at all levels.In such a scenario ,imposing an 18% GST on tickets for Performing arts is like carving out a 100% steady and sure shot death for Performing arts.18%GST on performing arts tickets will mean additional charges on auditoriums,halls for award functions,dramas ,music,dance &theatre performances,costlier venues &equipments and most of the brunt of these expenses will have to be borne directly or indirectly by the artiste himself/herself.The thinning audiences for classical artforms is already a matter of serious concern as the traditional and local artforms are a reflection of a society's culture and values and Artforms are a reflection of the current moral status of any society.In conclusion I would like to quote a line from scientist Sir David Orr’s book Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World. :
“The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it."
I would like to thank you for patiently reading through my letter and hope that we can see some conducive alternate provision within the framework of rules for GST for artists like us .Jai Hind......
-Aishwarya Nair(a 21year old upcoming vocalist from Thane)
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