Showing posts with label Satire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Satire. Show all posts

Leaked! RBI Governor Urjit Patel’s Resignation Letter to the Indian Government

Dear Government,
Congratulations on the Statue of Unity, it’s a marvellous structure. While I appreciate you building a statue for one Patel, I am uncomfortable with the idea that you wanted to turn another Patel (me) into a living statue. Accuse me of overreacting, but how did you expect me to feel when so much happened in the last couple of months? The independence of the RBI was under so much threat that I had to change the subject line of my resignation mail to Preserve Bank of India.
I preferred our arguments over those long mail threads with half the office marked, but when Arun Jaitley decided to make the feud public, I had no choice but to awaken the Gir Lion inside me. On purpose, I chose a guy named Viral to issue comments on my behalf so that the message would be loud, clear, and… viral.  
I get it, this is election year and you want more money so you can roll out some schemes and campaign across the country to tell us what an awful Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was. Who doesn’t want to dole out cash just before election season? Even my neighbour’s three-year-old son wishes he could buy a new phone everyday but it’s a stupid idea and that’s why he doesn’t handle finances at home. Remember the time you thought demonetisation was the best thing since sliced bread? The brahmastra that the Indian economy needed – and you laboured that metaphor further by calling it a “surgical strike” on black money? Well, guess what? You asked for our advice and we told you it was a shitty idea but like that drunk friend who texts his ex, you went ahead anyway. How did that work out for y’all?
There’s a reason the RBI and the Finance Ministry have distinct jobs, and it’s best if you didn’t interfere in ours and we didn’t interfere in yours. Did you see what happened when Raghu Ram was asked to do comedy in Tees Maar Khan? People are still recovering in hospitals. At this point, our story feels like a retelling of A Series of Unfortunate Events. In August, you appointed S Gurumurthy, an RSS ideologue, to the RBI’s central board. First off, the only thing the RSS has in common with the finance folks at the RBI is a terrible fashion sensibility. But Gurumurthy surprised everyone when he claimed that India’s liquidity problem could be solved if the power to print currency was in the government’s hands. My economics degree from Yale University cried actual tears.
I really wished you lot could make up your minds. One day we were accused of reckless lending in the past that led to the current bad loans crisis. The next day we were accused of choking up the banking system with too many regulations. Which one is it?! Aadmi kare to kya kare?
As we speak, you are drafting new regulations to enable closer supervision of the RBI. Why don’t you take my Gmail and Windows password while you are at it, eh? You also wanted to invoke section 7 and give us direct orders, something that has never happened in the RBI’s 83-year old history. Sure, that’s what I want on my CV – to take directions from people who thought demonetisation was a great idea and get blamed for the next blunder.
I have to say, though, that I have one thing to thank you for. For the first time since the RBI started, the general public is aware of what goes on behind our closed doors. Even when Raghuram Rajan was the governor, folks would only discuss him as a thirst trap. Now, however, people ought to be discussing the India-Australia cricket series and not RBI vs Government.
I know you don’t like me, and can I just say, the feeling is mutual. You may not have respect for me and the institution I represented, but the markets and the world looked at us as an independent regulator with a strong influence on monetary policy. Now that I have quit right before a national election, congratulations on the alarm bells and the ripples that will be felt in the market. It’s like changing the captain from Virat Kohli to Rohit Sharma in the middle of the World Cup, you simply don’t do it.
Now that I have quit, I am looking forward to grabbing a drink with my mates Raghuram Rajan and Arvind Subramanian so we can do what employees usually do after quitting – bitch about their former bosses.
Yours faithfully,
Urjit Patel

Mr Prime Minister, How About Some Kaam Ki Baat?

Dear Prime Minister Modi/ Vikas Purush/ Renaissance Man,
How do we address you? During the 2014 general elections, all you spoke about was development. Vikas was the only word you heard on the radio, TV, or the internet — so much so that my friend Vikas refused to step out of the house. Along with that word, you were omnipresent, like watching Shah Rukh Khan trying to promote Ra.One. India had been waiting for a long time, for the divisive politics of caste, class, and religion to be replaced by that of development, economics, and governance. And you had caught that pulse.
You are a master orator and the microphone brings out the best in you. When the opposition spoke of caste, you spoke of Digital India. When they mentioned religion, you spoke about how Hindus and Muslims should work together to alleviate poverty. You even went on to win the social-media game, that would later be taken to the next level by your good friend Donald bhai. The people of India awarded you with an electoral victory, as your Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan began with virtually wiping out the Congress party.
Four years on, as you’ve travelled more countries than a travel blogger and dropped a Star Wars reference at Central Park, we are now heading toward election year. You have had a couple of blips, with demonetisation and GST implementation but you’re Gujarat ka dhikro. It was the dream of the Gujarat Model that you sold us 1.3 billion people; the only Gujarat Model that has worked since Upen or Ashmit Patel.
Sadly, all the positive messaging and promise of acche din from 2014 has dissolved ahead of the 2019 polls. This has been replaced by slurs and bitter name-calling. Following political debates in the country feels no different from browsing through the comments section of a YouTube video. Everyone is an Urban Naxal, and everyone is plotting against your good office.
Last December, ahead of the Gujarat elections, everyone was suddenly obsessed with Rahul Gandhi, to the extent that the Gujarat government denied him permission for a roadshow (they denied you permission too, but who knew you had a seaplane)? Where you once spoke of infrastructure and foreign investment, last year I heard you compare Rahul Gandhi to Aurangzeb. Really, sir? A man who looks and acts like Chetan Bhagat on steroids, is akin to a dreaded dictator? In an election where education and health ought to have taken centre-stage, one of the biggest issues had been whether Rahul Gandhi is Hindu. Does it really matter whether he is Hindu, Muslim, Christian, or Parsi, so long as he unites the country by making all of us laugh at him?
We have also came back to the bugbear of the Ram Mandir, the political equivalent of a tennis ball before any election. It is the Draw Four card of Indian politics, brandished every time the populace is in severe need of division. Mr Modi, we expect you to walk away from the rhetoric and focus on issues plaguing the country, such as unemployment and violence against women. Instead, the BJP seems to be more engrossed in statue politics, with a promise to build a Ram Statue bigger than the Statue of Unity.   
In the past, you didn’t let petty name-calling get in the way of your development agenda. Remember how you turned around and totally owned “chaiwallah”? But it seems no one wants to miss out on a free hit these days. Mani Shankar Aiyar offered you one and you hit it out of the park. And again. And again.
But since 2014, there is a sense of disappointment for Indians who voted you to power. 
It would be na├»ve on my part to suggest you’re the only guilty party. Your opponents have also been equal party to the crime. It feels like collectively, all of you are taking us for a ride that we didn’t sign up for. But you are the Prime Minister of the country, and the one people look up to. It would be only fair that you should direct the country toward intelligent debate, of the kind we deserve.
Can we please have some Kaam ki Baat now?

Are We In a Complicated Relationship with Aadhaar?

n my callow youth, I’ve had many flings. My passport was my first love; I remember holding on to it for dear life as I took my first flight abroad. When I turned 18, my driving licence, my gateway to make all my testosterone-fuelled Fast and Furious dreams come true, came into my life. This was followed by the voter ID card, definitive proof that I was now an adult worthy of electing the esteemed representatives of our country. Soon after I had a short, summer romance with the PAN card (although we were more like friends with benefits)I don’t regret any of these relationships. They all did their bit for me, helped me grow into the person I am today, and I’m still friends with most of them. But they failed to complete me; I couldn’t see them as an integral part of my life. I wanted something more from my partner. And then on a fine winter morning in January 2009, I met Aadhaar.
It was love at first sight. I was awestruck the moment Aadhaar scanned my eyes. She was slender like Aishwarya Rai, had glossy white skin like Yami Gautam, was smart and way ahead of her time with a colourful display picture and biometric scanner. In those days of ugly black-and-white government ID photos and flimsy cards, Aadhaar was like Tina to my Rahul. Kuch kuch hota hai, PAN, tum nahin samjhoge.
But before you think I am being shallow, let me tell you how deep my love was. I loved her for her intelligence and inner beauty. With her by my side, government welfare schemes and direct benefit transfers would be as easily accessible as giving a bribe and getting your work done at the Income Tax Department.
Aadhaar’s parents, the Congress, and especially her father, Nandan Nilekani, were extremely proud of her. They kept telling me about all her wonderful qualities and how she could change the life of any person she went out with. And they kept reiterating it 24X7, on TV, radio, Facebook, and Twitter. That’s when I knew I was in love.
Our first date was blissful. We connected and linked instantly, and she accompanied me everywhere, all the time. She had a special place in my wallet. And I wouldn’t miss a chance to tell my friends, relatives, cook, house help, and the entire village about her. In fact, I even introduced her to the village cows and buffaloes. Everyone from foreign tourists to Bangladeshi residents were awed by her.
I was convinced that she was the missing piece in the puzzle of my life and so, I decided to marry her. Obviously, there was resistance from my parents as they belonged to a different caste, i.e. the BJP. They tried quite hard to convince me that she had certain issues and would ruin my life in the long run. But I was determined and their effort was in vain.
Nandan, Daddy Cool, played a key part in our marriage and convincing my parents, the BJP, of her charm and greatness. There was a change of heart, and the BJP became accepting of Aadhaar after realising her potential. She got a royal welcome home and my parents spent like crazy on our pre-wedding shoot and advertising. In fact, she became like their daughter and they wished they had given birth to her.
But it spelt doom for our relationship.
Aadhaar had changed. Or maybe, I had. But there was trouble in paradise. A lot of people started to say that she had security issues. But if you ask me, she also had insecurity issues. She started getting a bit controlling and wanted to know about every aspect of my life.
When we first started dating, she wasn’t the kind of person who’d want us to share Facebook passwords so that there would be “no secrets among us”. I don’t want anyone to know that I can’t spell Schwarzenegger without help from Google! Back then, all she cared about was my name and where I lived. But after our marriage, she wanted to know about my bank account, my insurance, SIM cards, airline tickets, mutual funds, post office, loo timings, every tiny detail.
Let’s agree that the key to a healthy relationship is separate bathrooms and some semblance of space between a couple. But there was just no privacy between us.
Every morning I woke up, I got a message for a new thing I must link Aadhaar with. Earlier, she was very polite and well mannered in her requests but then she got just outright intimidating – setting deadlines and threatening me with consequences for missing them. There has been a complete communication breakdown and we don’t even get cosy anymore – I’m just busy keeping track of deadlines and court observations.
If it weren’t awful enough that she has all my secrets, now all her friends know everything about me because her phone did not have a password. My embarrassing pictures and the fact that I am a heavy snorer is now public knowledge. All my deepest and most personal thoughts are so poorly secured, it’s like watching Arsenal defend at home.
When I raised some questions, she told me I don’t have the right to privacy, and this is all part of being in a committed relationship. I couldn’t see a way out of it, and finally approached a counsellor for help. Every time the counsellor heard our case and told her to do something, she would find a way to bypass it. It didn’t surprise me at all, I’d always known she was a tricky customer. Aadhaar’s own parents had bailed on her.
With no option left, I finally approached the courts for a divorce. The courts were quite understanding and tried to help us resolve the matter and keep the relationship intact as well. They asked her to not snoop on my private information and convinced me that she played an important role in my life. But what about my embarrassing pictures that she already leaked? How do I make people unsee them?
As things stand today, like most relationships on Facebook, ours is complicated. We are in a love-hate relationship, she loves me and I hate her. 
It’s just like all those Black Mirror episodes: Everything starts out beautifully, but it’s obviously a trap. And then you die.

Shut the Hell Up, Demonetisation Haters

Hundreds of news reports, thousands of tweets, millions of people, and even the Reserve Bank of India gave its verdict on demonetisation. The RBI declared that 99.3 per cent of demonetised notes came back to the banks. Everyone still goes on and on about how demonetisation was a massive failure that hurt the economy. Poor Arun Jaitley had to defend demonetisation more than Rahul Dravid had to defend himself in the Rawalpindi Test Match in 2004. This negativity is so polluting that even the smog in Delhi looks at it and develops a complex.
I’m sick and tired of this nonsense peddled by the liberal media. Can we just ignore statistics and facts that reflect reality, and look at the good things demonetisation gave us?
Demonetisation had people of all castes, religions, economic, and ethnic backgrounds coming together for one grand cause – to coax hundred bucks out of the ATM machine. It united us a country, in a way that even the movie Border or India-Pakistan games haven’t been able to.
Demonetisation had young people heading to banks and finding out what the different counters are all about. Banks became the new hangout for millennials who once only queued up outside Starbucks and Apple stores. People who only knew terms like NSFW, BDSM, and MILF were now throwing shade with heavy acronyms like GDP, GST, and RBI. The economic literacy in the country shot up faster than Delhi’s air quality index. Everybody was an economist, and you didn’t need a degree for it.
People said that the timing was bad, I say, it was better than the timing on Virat Kohli’s cover drive. Demonetisation happened during the wedding season and suddenly no longer could people stuff ₹501 in an envelope and enjoy a thali worth ₹1500.  They had to buy real gifts. Everyone talks about lost jobs and slow industrial growth but who will mention the exponential increase in the sale of glass cutlery and Jaipan non-stick pans?
Parents and older folks, who couldn’t get a hang of smartphones and technology now know how to Paytm, download MMS clips, and forward sexist jokes on Whatsapp. Paytm became so big that it has changed from a noun to a verb. And still people have the audacity to say that this is not a success indicator for Digital India? And what about all the jobs that were created in IT cells by the government? Where people constantly kept on defending demonetisation through hashtags and Photoshopped images?
Demonetisation gave bank employees and managers an inflated sense of self-importance, it made the ATM guard a soldier. CAs who were laughed at all their lives by their woke friends now had the last laugh. People who had spent their time and energy on printing fake ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes now made even more money by printing fake ₹2,000 notes. What about these people? Do they not count?
Some people say demonetisation didn’t stop terrorism and cross-border violations. To those people, I present classic whataboutery and deflection: Did Europe have demonetisation? No. But terror attacks keep on happening there, right? Duh! It has nothing to do with money.
Just because 99.3 per cent notes came back to the system, some people declared that demonetisation failed. Does nobody count the money that was hurriedly sent out of the country? That money never came back. What came back were only some Panama Papers and Paradise Papers. We have always attacked the black market, whether it is black money, black people, or BlackBerry phones.
I rest my case, mitron. No matter how much we try, people will keep coming back to respond to your emotional arguments with facts, statistics, and graphs. Ignore them. As the classic phrase goes, “Haters gonna hate.”

LEAKED! Arvind Subramanian’s Resignation Mail

Dear <insert name of Finance Minister here>,
I don’t know who I should address this mail to, because I’m not sure who the Finance Minister currently is. Are we doing the odd-even thing, where it’s Arun Jaitley on odd days and Piyush Goyal on even days? Anyway, I will address it to Arun Jaitley ji because I don’t know of any other way to say it – I am katti with Piyush Goyal.
I would like to tender my resignation from the post of Chief Economic Advisor after serving almost four years in office. The finance ministry seems to be a “sinking ship” – even Rahul Gandhi knows it – and I don’t want to be around when it hits the iceberg. The economy has hit a rough patch, fuel prices are rising, the rupee is getting weaker and the current account deficit is widening. I was among the world’s top 100 thinkers in 2011 – I can’t have a blip on my CV just because you lot can’t get your shit together.
However, the real truth is, I could’ve stayed a few more months as my term was about to expire anyway. But you never know what Donald Trump is up to; give him a few more days and he’ll even deny green cardholders entry into the United States. I would like to go back and continue my teaching assignment so stupid economists don’t end up in the White House, engaging in trade wars with China.
Endings are also a time for reflection, and now is a good time to look back at my memorable, if patchy, tenure. Yes, it would’ve been preferable if the government canteen served beef curry and we weren’t forced to do yoga every morning. On the bright side, it has made me fitter, although I wish I could say the same about the shape of our economy.
Still, we managed to launch an online education platform Swayam that got lost among the thousands of websites and apps that the government launches every other day. It was a shame that we created more websites than jobs over the last four years. My team also conceptualised the JAM trinity: Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, Mobile. Thanks to Venkaiah Naidu ji for that acronymn.
But I don’t think I will get over one of the big disappointments of my term in a hurry: The Economic Survey 2017-18. I was proud of the effort from my team. We put in months of compilation, research, and analysis to publish a beautiful document… and all everyone could talk about was the friggin pink cover. Bunch of penny-wise, pound-foolish noobs. Here’s a tip for my successor – no matter what they do, dear Finance Minister, I hope you’ll ensure that they stick to a generic colour for the Economic Survey cover. Preferably orange.
I also suggested a simplified GST rate, restricting it to a maximum of two-three rates. I’m not saying the present GST structure is complex but along with the restaurant bill, people should also be handed over IIT application forms – because if you can get your head around how GST works, you are probably a genius and can make it to India’s premier institution. My suggestion was obviously ignored, because that’s how advisory roles work. They ask you for advice, pay you for it, and then go on to do whatever the hell they like.
Anyway. New endings, new beginnings. I should be thinking about happy things.
I am excited about going back to my family in the States, and also catching up with Raghuram Rajan and Arvind Panagriya. We’ll do what ex-employees usually do – meet over coffee and bitch about our former employers (except Amit bhai, of course, he has global reach).
I would also like to say thank you to the media that was relatively kind to me but my almost-namesake Subramanian Swamy was relentless. It is amazing how diametrically opposite two people with the same name can be. Rahul Gandhi and Rahul Dravid, Hardik Patel and Hardik Pandya. Narendra, Nirav, and Lalit… ok, maybe not.
Farewell, dear FinMin. I wish my successor the best and I pray for the well-being of my team because my God, you’re going to need it.
Yours Sincerely,
Arvind Subramanian
PS: Jaitley ji, let’s get on call so we can discuss reducing my notice period. Two months is a lot; Modi ji can finish touring six-seven countries in that timeframe.