No Suit-Boot or Dhoti-Gamcha! Middle class needs a customised budget

  • Narayanan Madhavan, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Mar 01, 2016 14:10 IST

We want our money back now from the Prime Minister who addressed the world and beyond from Madison Square Gardens. (Jayanto Banerjee/ Hindustan Times)

This can get a bit confusing.

First , the Prime Minister wears a suit that is said to cost a million rupees, and then they say no. And then they auction this thing for Rs 4.3 crore.

Now, that was a suit-boot ki sarkaar, as Rahul Gandhi famously alleged.

Then comes a budget and critics sit with sharpened ball pens to slam him with some choicest terms for Adani, Ambani because it kind of rhymes with Armani.

Read more: Only EPF interest to attract tax, withdrawals will be exempted

The government disappoints you. There is a rural mural, and, to the ears waiting for words like Exemption, Relief, Industry, Growth and such, a new set of words come tumbling out of the finance minister’s mouth: Irrigation, Crop Insurance, Farm income…, even the e-market is for farmers.

Isn’ t this guy, this Arun Jaitley, supposed to be a corporate lawyer? (Come to think of it, we don’t recall him ever wearing a dhoti, do we?)

Dammit, even the Sensex falls! Were not all those Dalal Street brokers Gujjus who would do anything to make Modi’s image rise in the eyes of the general public?

Read more: Middle Class India’s wish: Let’s get a salaried finance minister

We have to now change our minds all over again, because the government has changed its clothes, swapping the suit and the boot for dhoti and gamcha.

Now, headlines don’t look good with Dhoti-Gamcha, unless you happen to be the editor of “Dakshini Madhya Pradesh Kisan Dainik” or “Harit Pradesh Andolan Saaptahik”.

We want our money back now from the Prime Minister who addressed the world and beyond from Madison Square Gardens.

Gujarat model was also about industry, right?

This is the state that gave you Amul, IPCL, Reliance, Mafatlals, Arvind and Sarabhai (er, the industrial group, not its Modi-baiting heiress Mallika).

Now, Modi got us stumped with Jaitley’s second budget. Critics are caught with their proverbial dhotis down.

The Middle Class is worried about provident fund being taxed, and we are not sure what will happen to the startups that are going to create jobs. The kids who love startup jobs are not really reading the budget papers. Right now, they are downloading an app to shop for some fashion stuff online and trying a holiday in Bolivia on EMIs.

Now, the middle class must look at Rahul Gandhi for deliverance, but there is a small problem. Apart from making abstract speeches about beehives, he also loves holidays – which, unlike the PM’s global sojourns, are not publicised. There is nothing wrong with holidays, but when he comes back from holidays, he usually goes for dinner at some Dalit place in a rural area.

Everybody loves those villagers. The middle class needs some tax exemptions, less service tax and psychiatric help, and not necessarily in that order.

(The economy is growing but the middle class is shrink-ing. Get the joke? Haha)

Who is going to deliver the Middle Class? Arvind Kejriwal? Wait, he is also busy wooing Punjab farmers this week. He is also going rural. Boo-hoo! (For the record, he runs a sarkar that wears only spectacles and mufflers)

So we really are waiting for the times when we could order a Middle Class budget on Flipkart. I mean, can you imagine having your own personalized budget delivered at home, with a good return policy?

Okay, Rahul Gandhi can now hope to get some middle class votes if the next Congress manifesto promises customized budgets delivered at home on online orders.

There may be some hope. If you look at it carefully, Rahul Gandhi wears not just kurta-pyjamas. Sometimes he is seen in Tshirt and jeans (apart from his famous genes).

Somewhere in Akbar Road, some Congress policy hack should try coining a slogan for a T-shirt Jeans Ki Sarkar. The Middle Class would love that.

(And if RG wears one pair of jeans a day and auctions it the next, maybe we won’t need to pay taxes for the rest of our lives)

( The views expressed by the author are personal)

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