India That Is Bharat
So, my dear Mr Aam Aadmi, how are you doing these days? By ‘these days’ Satiricus of course means these days of post-budget plenty and prosperity. What! You don’t see any plenty nor any prosperity anywhere in your palatial hut? That is serious. Obviously you need an eye doctor. And if it is not a problem of sight, it is a problem of insight, which Messrs Finance Minister and economist Prime Minister have but you do not. The problem with you, my dear Aamji, is that you are too ignorant to understand and appreciate that you never had it so good.
Take taxes. Almost everything under the sun has been brought under what is learnedly labelled the service tax amount has been calculated at rupees one lakh crore (only, as it is customarily put). Now tell me honestly, would our economist Prime Minister and his progressive ally have been so regressive as to put such a “horrendous” (the opposition’s term, not Satiricus’s) burden on your dense head? Never. For is it not ruling in your name?
In fact, you should be proud of the fact that your one lakh crore rupees are going to cure the problem of fiscal deficit. What! You don’t know what fiscal deficit means? Well, neither does Satiricus, for that matter, but he thinks it means living beyond your means. And that is the progressive lifestyle. Unfortunately, the original budget-maker, the Indian housewife, is not progressive enough to fancy fiscal deficit. She insists that whatever the income of the family, she must live within her means. That, of course, is outdated economics. It is even hopelessly Hindu economies, in which sacrifice (yajna) was an important element, which, in turn, meant living with thrift and sharing the rest of your income with the society.
But who wants ancient Hindu economics in progressive secular India? As advanced Indians we must emulate American economics. And how do the American live? Satiricus had read somewhere that the average American of today has already spent the next two years’ earnings on acquiring the good things of life right now. And what is the result? The result is that the world’s richest country USA’s national debt is roughly 11 trillion dollars, out of which foreign ownership is 3.3 trillion dollars, out of which Communist China’s share is the highest at 768 billion dollars. But of course Satiricus cannot expect you to understand all this high finance, which requires India to follow in American footsteps in getting delightfully deeply debt-ridden and deficit-riddled.
Still, if, by chance, you are a little bit above the Aam level, you may also be puzzled about a couple of other beauties of the budget. For instance, you may wonder where is that white paper on black money that is long overdue? Actually, the answer to that is simple. It is that the government is good at juggling figures, but what are the figures that can hide the facts? Some say our secret Swiss stash is a paltry 15 lakh crores, while others proudly claim it is a respectable 50 lakh crores. So it needs to be first ascertained if the figure is substantial enough to suit the status of this government, which, alas, the pernicious Pritish Nandy crassly called a government of “robbers, rogues and rascals”.
Another beauty of this budget that you would have noticed, had you not been so abominably aam in intelligence, is the subject of defence, which, according to oppositionist abuse, has been subjected to “gross neglect”. Here, however, Satiricus begs to differ. He must ask defence against whom? You need enemies for defence, no? But our alreadly-friendly neighbours, Pakistan on the left and China on the right are they not getting all too friendly these days? First take Pakistan. Only the other day the papers reported that Pakistan’s actual defence budget has exceeded its budgetary allocation by a hundred billion rupees. Where is all this money, when not long ago a journalist had written that Pakistan is headed for bankruptcy? Oh, well, what are American friends for? An Indian reporter in Washington recently reported that about two and a half billion American dollars will soon be on their way to Pakistan. That should work out to a lot more than a hundred billion rupees. But of course our Mai Baap secular Sarkar is not worried on that score. For in the first place how can the Pakistanis be our enemies when they play cricket with us? And secondly, and more importantly, are they not going to bestow upon us the coveted Most Favoured Nation status? Of course we are already their MFN for the export of their terrorists, but maybe they will also send us the grapes of Chaman and the Karachi Halwa of Karachi. As for the Chinese, have they not publicly assured us that they will not attack us for two full years? So who needs a defence budget?
All in all, Mr Aam Aadmi, this is a beautiful, bountiful budget. So pay up those one lakh crore tax rupees. And please hurry before you starve to death or commit suicide.