Budget speech that every nationalist would like to hear from Jaitley

  • Narayanan Madhavan, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Feb 28, 2016 18:14 IST
Union minister for finance, Arun Jaitley at the release of the Bharat 2016 and India 2016, in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

Madam speaker,

I rise to present the Union Budget for the year 2016/17. This is an extraordinary year in which the nation is in peril. While everybody is speaking of reviving economic growth to higher levels, controlling inflation, bad loans in public sector banks and such, concerns have been raised on how taxpayers are funding events in the JNU, which, I am told, includes questionable activities such as communism, cigarette smoking, debates and sex -- not necessarily in that order.

We are concerned over anti-national slogans being raised in the campus, which has triggered unhealthy discussions in our democracy.

Hence, I present before this august House a special series of proposals to uphold patriotism and nationalism. All other proposals stand frozen until further notice. Please let me elaborate on our special schemes.

Saffron Salam Scheme

The red colour is now a threat to our nation while our exports are flagging. We now have a proposal under which communists and trade unionists are encouraged to surrender their red flags to the government under the Saffron Salam Yojana replacing the Lal Salam. The red flags will be exported to Spain for use in bull fights and earn precious foreign exchange to strengthen the rupee.

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The government, taking a cue from the Gold Deposit Scheme, shall offer 2% interest on the value of the red flags. The flags will be later dyed in saffron and returned to users on maturity. By which time, we hope our special education schemes shall turn the communists into committed nationalists.

Patriotism Over Property (POP)

Our real estate industry is flagging under recession and we have a pile-up of unsold flats. Developers can now avail themselves of exemption from corporate taxes and service tax, provided the exteriors of the apartments are painted in the national tricolour.

Opposition members are requested not to describe the POP scheme as a populist scheme. We think it is always advisable for a government to pre-empt bad jokes before somebody on Twitter thinks of them.

Nationalist Dress Plan

We think, madam, we have come a long way from khadi to khakhi. We now want to declare that the outfit of the nationalist RSS, the khakhi shorts, need to be encouraged and globalised.

Taking a cue from our honourable railway minister, who has dispensed with the colonial term ‘coolie’ and substituted it with ‘sahayak’, I now propose to rename khakhi shorts as Rashtriya Bermudas.

“Manufacturers of Rashtriya Bermudas will be totally exempt from GST.” (Praveen Bajpai/HT File Photo)

Honourable members will notice that it is at once nationalist and global, in line with our strategic partnership with the US. Our textile minister has assured us that the ministry will despatch a batch of designer Rashtriya Bermudas to Shri Donald Trump in honour of his contribution to world peace and harmony.

As our ancestors rightly observed, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”. Manufacturers of Rashtriya Bermudas will be totally exempt from GST, whether or not the GST Bill gets passed.

Sarvopari Dhulayi Yojana

We know that Rashtra Dharam, as they say, is supreme -- or sarvopari. In line with that we shall encourage aware citizens to bash up anti-nationalists if they resort to any unpatriotic gestures that hurt our national sentiments. The scheme shall be administered from a skyscraper we propose to erect near Patiala House with smart city features.

This is in line with our plan to hire the best talent near the ideal location. Someone in my secretariat rightly observed that it will be a spanking new building.

Know your taxes

I have to remark that our tax-to-GDP ratio remains one of the worst in the world. We shall strive to increase this by invoking nationalist techniques. We therefore propose that tax evaders will be educated in a format resembling the Tulsi Ramayan.

You will be happy to know we are going to call it the Taxcharitmanas. Suitable couplets can enhance tax compliance, our friends in the Vivekananda Insitute have advised us. “Arise, awake, always pay your taxes” shall be our new slogan. However, following advice from a joint select committee, tax evaders in Tamil Nadu will be presented with a Tax Kural with a suitable adaptation of the Thirukkural. I have to deny in advance charges that this is to woo voters in the coming Tamil Nadu assembly elections. This in no way violates the model code of conduct of the Election Commission as elections have not been announced.

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Madam speaker, the need of the hour is to invoke patriotic feelings in all and sundry. The sundry here include Dalits, tribals, religious minorities, OBCs, linguistic minorities and north-easterners. I am quite sure they will turn more patriotic in the coming days. They all constitute only about 80% of the nation. It is our duty to make them learn the virtues of patriotism.

I present, therefore, this nationalistic budget to this august house.

(The article is an imaginary rendition of the speech. The views expressed by the author are personal.)

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