Budgets And Weddings

By Sunil Kumar

The Union Budget 2015 has come and gone; with no perceptible change in the common man’s fortunes. With the national capital having elected a party claiming to represent the vast majority of the plebeian masses; there was an expectation of a populist fiscal statement which may have doled out a few more sops.

English: 2010: President of the United States ...

English: 2010: President of the United States of America Barack Obama at the Parliament of India in New Delhi addressing Members of Parliament of both houses in a Joint Session of the Parliament of India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Modi government however remains faithfully attached to its big corporate donors; and so we have a reduction in taxation; albeit limited to companies straddling diverse geographies. India‘s other big national pastime; weddings also remained in the limelight with Modi paying a visit to the Mulayam Singh Yadav den at Saifai; attempting to find a compromise of sorts; for the smooth functioning of parliament.

Token gestures left aside; the budget had little to offer industry; even Information Technology. Increase in service tax means the Modi government wants to cut down on public entertainment; and derive more revenue from the few pleasures available to the common man. Bringing down the fiscal deficit to 3.9% may be good in terms of economics; but then the government seems to be making sure that most of us look forward only to death and taxes.

In an attempt to burnish his image as a messiah for the common man; the Prime Minister ate a vegetarian thali in Parliament for a mere Rs.29. This makes us wonder when such pleasures would be available to all of us; who seem to dish out increasing sums; while subsidizing our already fattened Members of Parliament; getting more amenities at the taxpayer’s expense. An internal fracas within the Aam Aadmi Party exposes their focus on power grabbing; rather than the supposed objective of improving the lot of the common man.

There was no honeymoon after this budget; with petrol getting expensive; and a statement from the government shirking responsibility with deregulation of the sector now becoming a favorite excuse. Quick to claim credit at any fall in prices; “sarkar” raj is a dangerous phenomenon; with the only antidote being volatility and more elections.

Coming to public security; the visit of Obama meant that CCTVs worth 1.36 crores were installed in Delhi; only to be removed now; nearly a month later. Lack of concern for the citizen seems to be an accepted fact; and apathy will soon give way to complacency; only to be jolted with something dramatic. Governing India may indeed be a herculean task; but we seem to be giving endless leeway to politicians; whose business remains to con and fleece.

I demand scrapping of Z-security for all of these people who refuse to vacate their houses even after they have lost elections; and general reduction of the money spent on our Members of Parliament; who seem to have no legible answer to the public; apart from shaming the people who elect them with endless politicking.

Budgets and weddings lead to a period of anticipation; so that we can reach some sort of plateau after the fizz. More transparency is needed in the national exchequer; precious little seems to have changed and getting used to the next big scam is not something many of us are expecting from this government; at least.

Modi promised that he would guard our assets faithfully like a watchman; but the elixir of power; and blind veneration can steer anybody off course. Suits and shehnais wait for no man; and the prime minister should be certain that in the daily drama of existence; the future is full of surprises.

For the sake of the country; and the collective fortune of this nation; we hope the government navigates the bumps on its path more effectively; and actually does something more constructive for the middle class.

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