Mar 1, 2011
It’s great that we have a budget presented every year, telling us how poorer or richer we ought to feel, only to realise later that it’s the same year after year with nothing much changed, and we go on toiling and toiling and giving away our hard-earned money to fill the government coffers. No point in talking about things that repeat themselves. So let’s think of something new.
It’s time for a new type of budget. A budget not for the Aam Aadmi, but for the ‘Kaam-Aadhe-Mein’ kind of Aadmi.
A word of caution before you go on – this is not serious stuff – in fact you are free to call it silly even - so if you are looking for intellectual analysis, please go somewhere else.
To continue, we need a budget that will tell our politicians and bureaucrats exactly how much they can make out of each new scheme meant for the common man, and how every scheme can be converted into scam. The conversion ratio of scheme to scam will tell us where we stand on the issue of under-development, so that we can have new taxes to make more money from and squeeze the Aam Aadmi like a bottle of tomato ketchup. After all, it is the duty of the good citizens of India to turn out their pockets for the good of the country – so what if the good of the country lies in bad hands?
Just imagine having a budget exclusively to facilitate corruption. The present government really seems to need it, and so also the opposition and others like the Janata Party to keep them going. And more than them, our Indian media needs it, so that our document-wielding, mike-thrusting, finger-raising and shrill-voiced journos get new prime-time shows and new scams to investigate every day. With a hundred-page document, stamp papers and greeting cards to prove their case, the media today is equivalent to the CBI, but with a determination that would put a leech to shame.
So what will the Bhrashtachar Budget do and what will it mean for the country? For starters, let’s take a few scams (not all of them for that would be a never-ending business). The CWG scam for instance. Now if the government had planned well in advance as to how many crores have to go to each individual, right from Kalmadi to the sweeper, the nation would have been saved the trouble of passing on SMS jokes about the scandal every other minute, and saved us so much energy too, not to forget the incalculable hours lost in coming up with such gems like - ‘Sign at the 100 metre track event – Go Slow, Men at Work.’ That apart, Kalmadi and Co would have received pats on the back for sticking to the corruption protocol so well and bringing international fame instead of shame to the nation. And the Aam Aadmi too would have known beforehand where his money is going, instead of having to depend on third parties like the media. In fact, that would make a lot of difference – we would not feel cheated, and since we can’t help it anyway, we could at least take heart in the fact that the culprits have the decency to admit their greed in the open.
Now for the 2G scam. Here the issue becomes a little more complex as the sum involved, Rs 1.76 lac crores, is a bit too much to calculate even for a finance minister. It’s hard to imagine even the number of zeroes in that amount. But then again, as for the budget it would not be that difficult. Ours is a country of more than a billion people, so every person contributing a rupee each towards our revered MahaRaja would perhaps do the trick. Plus, with the Dubai-connection here and a whole spectrum of the who’s who of India Inc chipping in, the funds would not be difficult to generate. This scam would be an epitome of the merits of the Bhrashtachar Budget, as it really did benefit the Aam Aadmi by bringing down the cellular call rates, no matter how many calls had to be made between Radia and Media. Definitely, the Parle ad was right - G maane Genius, and 2G maane Double Genius!!
Let’s not forget our own CM. For him such a budget would have been an added bonanza, as not only him but his entire family would have benefitted. In fact, the budget should have something for the family too – something like a fringe benefit, a family scheme, where you get ‘add-on’ lands for the son and son-in-law. That would be a true Agro-based budget, for the land would mean farmers too. Being the CM, he can be fully trusted to make the most of it, and if not, there is always Kumaraswamy along with Daddy Dearest ready with documentary evidence, not to forget Siddharamaiah with his band of physically and vocally fit followers to come up with allegations of not following the Bhrashtachar Budget as much as them!
Moreover, there would be no limit to the amount of money you could make, so that it would increase competition as to who can loot the country the most. From peons to top politicians, everybody would be able to have a steady income, without having to face the CBI, or even worse, the media. And the Aam Aadmi would not feel guilty for bribing either.
Indeed, that would be an Adarsh budget for an Adarsh Society!
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