‘The current inflation levels are unacceptable,’ Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said a few days back.
As a humour writer I will straightaway accept that I cannot come up with a funnier line.
The funniest part is no one can fathom at whom the entire statement is aimed. As the country’s Finance Minister, whose Ministry has to handle inflation, we guess, he is not openly terming his own performance as ‘unacceptable’.
So we have to come to the inevitable conclusion that Pranab is pointedly telling ‘inflation’ itself that its current behaviour is unacceptable. More powerful and passionate words have never been uttered in the Indian fiscal history.
After such an open and stern rebuke from the Finance Minister, inflation, we think, will now start mending its way. Or at least will have to go into hiding, which is what terrorists do after ‘strong warnings’ from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister post every bomb blast.
Anyway, if inflation doesn’t fall in line, we presume, Pranab will be forced to take the extreme decision of, we don’t know, ordering parliamentary impeachment.
But remember if Pranab had not been the Finance Minister, and instead somebody else had been occupying that chair things would have been far worse. Like this:
Ghulam Nabhi Azad: High inflation means screwing your own brethren. It is unnatural and is a disease. This disease, found more in the developed world, has now unfortunately come to our country. We never tabulated inflation in this country several centuries ago. Inflation doesn’t belong here. It has been transported to India from foreign shores.
Ghulam Nabhi Azad: (A day later): I must clarify that I did not say inflation is a disease. My speech has been taken out of context. All I said was that economics is a disease.
P Chidambaram: We are ready to sit and talk with inflation. But it has to first ‘abjure’ violence. High inflation is a non-State actor. We will prepare a dossier on it. And that should help us build a strong case against it. We will pass the dossier to it and then forget about it.
The NSG commandos have been alerted in the four Metros, and if need be, they will go on an all-out war against the inflation. Anyone trying to compute inflation, either in public or in private, will be strictly dealt with by the appropriate draconian sections of economics.
Digvijay Singh: This is not the time to speculate, as all branded goods, including the ISI marked ones, are affected due to the high inflation. Inflation has no religion.
If the RSS and the NDA government had weeded out inflation when in power, we would not be facing this situation. Anyway, let the BJP first reduce inflation in Karnataka before it starts asking us questions.
I think the best way to tackle inflation is to appoint Rahul Gandhi as the Finance Minister. Also, the Hindu rate of growth is a RSS conspiracy against the minorities.
Kapil Sibal: Inflation is putting too much pressure on all concerned. We did away with examinations for the 10th standard students on the grounds that they were a burden for students. Similarly, we can stop with the process of computing inflation. The country is better off without inflation.
It is elementary logic to figure out that the inflation is there because you allow it to be there and also keep on acknowledging its presence by tracking it. From now on we wouldn’t acknowledge inflation at all. We will not even imagine it’s there. Let’s see how it reacts.
The government will technically root out the idea of inflation with immediate effect. We will take the deregulation and liberalisation to their most logical levels. It’s a mystery to even us as to why we did not think of this out-of-the-box solution before itself.
But I must point out that there has been zero sum loss to the government because of rising inflation.
M K Alagiri: There is no official word from him as of now. Apparently, he is sulking as the inflation, despite his warnings, continues to rise. Last heard, a highly miffed Alagiri was said to be closetted in his farmhouse in Madurai.
It is also learnt that a concerned M Karunanidhi has sent out some of his close confidants to pacify his elder son. The rising inflation, it is also claimed, has triggered a battle within the Karuannidhi family with allegations flying that the Maran brothers had threatened inflation (when Dayanidhi Maran was the Union Minister) and picked up several properties by ordering the inflation to lie low.
Manmohan Singh: No official word from him, too.
But as a measure to tackle inflation, Manmohan Singh is to meet five top handpicked Business Editors, to whom he is expected to claim that he is no lame duck Finance Minister.
(Disclaimer: We think inflation will eventually commit suicide)