New Delhi: Okay folks, it’s time for the state of the nation poll when we reveal to the people what they revealed to us on a range of subjects of deemed importance and interest.
This is an exercise we in the media regularly undertake for two important reasons
1) We get the sense of the nation’s mood
2) It helps us to fill the vast tracts of pages/airwaves without us having to think anything on our own.
Also, such comprehensive and scientific surveys are hugely popular because they provide plenty of detail and data that people have no need for. In general, anything, for which there is no real need, has a big demand these days. Exhibit A: iPad.
Anyway, here are the main finding from the path-breaking poll:
67% of the respondents felt that the high inflation of recent times had wreaked havoc with their personal finances. The remaining 33% were too feeble to talk as their last meal was three days ago.
One respondent summed up the economic crisis rationally thus: ‘The fact there is a huge liquidity crisis in the country for the last one year or so, which is also the period that A Raja has been confined to prison, is not entirely coincidental.’
Staying with economics, 94% of those surveyed were of the opinion that the taxes were ‘very high’ in India. Asked what tax they had in mind, many respondents helpfully said: ‘What do you mean by what tax? We have just one tax no? The one we pay to the local Tax Inspector so that he doesn’t come and check our books’.
One person pointed out that the need of the hour was lowering of tax rates. ‘Any shortfall in tax collection due to rate cuts should be adequately made up by levying an ad-hoc cess on Digvijay Singh whenever he brings up the RSS into the scheme of things. By this simple stratagem, we may be looking at a revenue surplus.’
Asked to rate, on a scale of one to ten, the performance of Pranab Mukherjee as the Finance Minister, 92% unanimously said numbers cannot do justice to him and opted for the ever-dependable expletives. One respondent wanted to know whether he can use a now popular picture of Virat Kohli to convey his sincere emotions for Pranab da.
66% were of the opinion that a strong and effective Lokpal was what India needed to show that it had a strong and effective Lokpal. We need Lokpal so that we aren’t in a situation in which we have to say: ‘we need Lokpal’, persuasively argued one respondent.
88% of the government employees said that it was only the private sector people who encourage graft by attempting to get things done through ‘short-cuts’. The remaining 12% of the staff could not be reached for their opinion as they had not returned from their last week’s tea-break.
79% of the private sector staff blamed the government employees for the ‘culture of corruption’ in the country. One of them, taking time out from preparing his expense account statements and travel bills, said: ‘there is no room for any form of corruption in the private sector’.
73% said fasting amounts to ‘emotional blackmail’ and is untenable in a democracy unless attempted only by Nitin Gadkari. Asked what is the big difference between Hazare and Gadkari, one respondent explained: ‘Anna may be a man of moral fibre. But Nitin is a man of fibre’.
On the midnight fiasco over Lokpal at the Rajya Sabha, all respondents, in a rare show of consensus across the country, gave a clean chit to the Vice-President, who as the presiding officer of the Rajya Sabha played the constitutional role of seeming that he had a constitutional role to play.
One of those surveyed said: ‘In reality though, having a VP is like paying in crores for a wristwatch that others wouldn’t even notice: An exercise in monumental pointlessness’.
Asked what was best way to avoid overseas debacles, 82% felt that the only workable solution to avoid defeats in foreign lands is to play more matches in India. ‘Like more IPL matches,’ they said.
Only one per cent was aware that a Test series featuring India was underway somewhere. And by the looks of it, none of the members of the BCCI was among the one per cent.
79% of cricket enthusiasts said the BCCI owed an explanation to the nation on the continuous failures of the Indian team abroad. ‘They have some serious soul searching to do. At least in the previous era they had a valid excuse for the humiliating defeats’. The ‘valid excuse’ that every respondent had in mind was, of course, the presence of: Ajit Agarkar.
Asked to name the single biggest problem for Bollywood, 87% of them promptly said: ‘the falling standards in regional language films’. The last originally made film in Hindi seems to be Alam Aara, one respondent pointed even while humming, well, you know that.
Asked to name the one big problem that the nation woke up to in 2012, 86% of them in unison said: The New Year falling on Sunday. The rest 14% were still to come out of their hangover.
(Disclaimer: 56% of you will find this piece funny. If you’re part of the remaining 44%, there’s no excuse for you unless otherwise you answer to the name: Manmohan Singh).