Sunday, 6 November 2011

A letter to a certain Chief Minister in India

Dear Madam,

We are concerned about the state of your vocal chords, after your recent exertions of that organ protesting against the nth rise in the price of petrol that the Indian government announced a few days ago. While we are well aware of your superhuman powers in that sphere of activity, I am nevertheless concerned enough to give you some advice on the amelioration of  stress on your voice box. I am not one of your subjects, not living in your state at the moment, but have lived there in the past and therefore have a certain affinity.

What has aroused your ire is the increase in price of petrol by Rs 1.80 per litre a few days ago. You have accused the Central government of total insensitivity to the plight of the common man and have threatened to withdraw your support to the government. With inflation running so high in India, you are justly concerned with adding fuel to the fire, if you'll pardon the pun.I totally agree with your sentiments, but my ire is not necessarily directed only against the Central government.

I understand if I have to fill up my tank in your state, I have to pay Rs 73.15 per litre. That being a fairly substantial price, I decided to do some calculation on who gets what I am paying. Here's my amateur attempt.

I pay Rs 32.00 per litre to His Excellency King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia to keep him and his descendants  in cosseted luxury for the next 7000 years (otherwise called price of crude oil)

I pay Rs 7.00 to Mr R. S Butola , Chairman of Indian Oil Corporation, for him to stay solvent , pun intended,  (otherwise called refining charges)

I pay Rs 5.00 to Santa Singh , lorry driver  (otherwise called transport charges). I don't begrudge paying him this in return for all the Sardarji jokes that he has, very kindly, contributed.

I pay Rs 14.35 to the Hon'ble Pranab Mukherjee, Finance Minister of India (otherwise called Excise duty). To be fair to Pranabda, he has been trying to reduce this, having abolished customs duty that he used to levy before.

I then pay some Rs 15 to you ( under the name of sales tax).

You want to charge me some 26%+ rate of state sales tax. Don't you find it usurious ? Pranabda has been crying to states to remove the ad valorem rate of duty on petrol and make it a specific rate, as he has done on the Central VAT. You refuse to do this. Therefore when the central government increased the price of petrol by Rs 1.80, you gleefully contributed another 50 paise of increase. And with a straight face, you are giving significant exercise to your vocal chords.

You may now see the general direction of how you can prevent the onset of acute laryngitis.

I have only one argument in your defence. Your counterpart in the state I live in, is  worse than you (30%). But then, he has wisely chosen to give his vocal chords a rest !

Yours sincerely

Romesh (spelling in deference to your tastes)


gils said...

rotfl :D :D pun paidichi sirichi sirichi vairu punn aaidichi :D :D kadisila 'a' ku badila 'o' poteenga paarunga..anga nikareenga neenga :D :D thaaru maaru post :D

Appu said...

Awesome wat an analysis :) :)

Ramesh said...

@gils - :)

@zeno - Pseudo analysis only for a laugh :)

Appu said...

On Second thoughts, an humble request to write a letter to the CM of your neighboring state too :):)

Sandhya Sriram said...


This was once a land of Rabindranath and Aurobindo - some of the most powerful minds in the country. this is the land of some of the strongest business brains. this is the land of art, culture, heritage, philosophy and every beautiful thing that can exist.

But still with the power of my vocal chord and some of my predecessors, havent i suceeded in killing industrial output in the state. Havent i made every progressive thinking businessman walk out. havent i pushed the state to near to bankrupcy and i still get the votes and still win.

so all this argument cholbey naa.

your arguments is also anti democracy (meaning against my demographic expansion plans)

are typical capitalism (meaning curbing my capital intentions).

are against the "maa, maati, manush" plans that my fellow countrymen voted me on for (Maa -my future designation - insipiration from a collegue down south, maati - what i intend to accumulate for my post retirement plans - inspiration from a state just above - incidentally where you stay and maanush - trying to keep my state in stone age when the human race was so referred to - so that they dont elevate and find alternatives to move forward.)

when every one of my fellow collegues in the centre originating from my state and your state and that of Mr. Santa Singh's state have only chosen to keep quiet, i suggest you save yourself from acuter laryngitis of the mind.

Yours Truly,

The Only and Only Di

Deepa said...

:D :D ROTFLOL! if only she could understand your message even she came to reading it!

@Sandhya- good one, but this is definitely not didi. Bhere is thaa shedo-shairi. "khoodi ko kor bulond itna, ki hor toqdeer se pehle khuda bonde se pooche, bol tedi rauza kya hai"! :D

Ramesh said...

@zeno - Your CM is unfortunately a dangerous lady with no sense of humour. I value my life :)

@Sandhya - Ha Ha. Brilliant repartee. I am still preening at being called Babumoshay :):)

@Deepa - Wah Wah !!!!!! The ladies are in scintillating form today.

J said...

Great post and fantastic comment by Sandhya!

Ramesh said...

@J -Totally agree on Sandhya's comment.

RamMmm said...

Dear Romeshji, We are like train engines. Once we start (to talk), we have to (r)amble on irrespective of whether there is anything to pull, even when stopped. You see, the engine is never shut down and shouldn't be. No wonder we want to have the Railways ministry as our preserve. -Beshtest Regards, Mamata-Di

Sandhya Ma'am is just crackling these days. :D

Ramesh said...

@RamMmm - Ha Ha. Superb.

Vishal said...

LOL - this comment section is hilarious, just continuing with the flavour of Bangla ---

Ki bolche tumi ekhane, ai rokam cholbe naa , cholbe naa... ghor onnay (read annyaay) korche Pranab daa aar Manmohan kaaku! LOL! Vote bank taa rajniti tomi jaano naa, keno?

First words that you hear once you land in Bengal is "cholbe naa". That is one of the reasons West Bengal will reap great benefits to the laryngologists among all.

Jokes and the politics apart, the real issue of price increase is indeed hurting the common man. A 25% increase within a calendar year when inflation is 9-10% and average salary increase post tax is 6-8%.

Sanjay Balachandran said...

We are used to subsidy and do not want to let go of it. For the states, the sales tax on fuel is one of the biggest revenue medium and no one wants to reduce it. THE POINT IS THAT DURING THE APM REGIME, A PART OF THE SUBSIDIES WERE FUNDED BY THE INCOME TAX WE PAID TO THE GOVERNMENT. BEATS ME WHY DOES PEOPLE NOT UNDERSTAND THIS??? EXCELLENT POST ROMESH BABU MASHAI...

Anonymous said...

Dear Ramesh

Your post is well articulated, with facts and figures and so informative.
Some of the comments notably Sandhya Sriram’s makes nice reading.
But current day politics in India is never about facts and figures unless it results in self enrichment of some person or group never in the interest of the people at large or the nation per se. This, is the given environment whether one likes it or not.
Truth is multifaceted, and given that one facet of it may relate with what is narrated by you
In another facet it is necessary to appreciate that this lady has just managed to break the "stranglehold" of the red bastion of 34 years. But the machinery is very much alive, under the surface, awaiting the right opportunity to rear its ugly head. Over the period that the reds ruled, like all other political parties, have amassed wealth of untold proportions and which is now available for means of recovering from the massive defeat.

These noises and many others that she makes are more a political necessity / compulsion of stealing a march in "favour of people", an image on which she emerged victorious over a "pro people's party"

The economy of the state as much as every other institution is in dire straits. No one knows it much better that "she" does. She is riding the hungry tiger which she woke up.

For all her theatrics and lack of command over english language, there are not much better politicians in our country today, and mark my words she will emerge as a national force sooner that later for her integrity, simplicity and intentions.

If a tree is known by the fruit it bears, the first moves after emerging victorious have been exemplary, beginning from banning of victory rally which would have necessarily lead to armed conflict with the losing party considering the pre election stockpiling of arms by both parties. Calcuttans and police were expecting a backlash of all sorts.

The silent and mature protest, on the Teesta water sharing with Bangladesh, wherein the state's interest and protocols were deliberately overlooked by the centre, MEA etall, was telling .

Beyond political compulsions of the state, the centre and the country at large, leave alone the "chinese" influence in this part of the country which has been a significant one over past decade or so, the actions of this lady in power is beyond reproach as of today.

As for the Railways she has definitely not got herself in the league of Rajas', Kanimozhis' or of the laalus' and notably the shariefs, of yesteryears who have not looked beyond their noses, which if you care notice are very long, in taking economic decisions. That alone gets her scoring points. At least she has not bled her territory for sake of personal interest

Please watch this political personality rise above her situation in life and politics to provide us with a new age politician of sorts which you would not dream of having, but nevertheless be glad to have


Anonymous said...

Wow....thats very punny!
Tomake post bhalobashi...

@ Sandhya - Your repartee is brilliant!

Ramesh said...

@Vishal - cholbe dada, cholbe :):)

@Sanjay - Lovely to see your comment back again. The intricacies of macroeconomics are beyond most - thats why the eternal quest for simplistic solutions, whih alas, never work.

@Anon - Hey - great to see your comment. I needled you by asking you to read the post, but did not bargain for such a considered and thoughtful comment. Being in the hallowed land yourself, your comment is far more insightful and relevant than my post !!! Khub bhalo dada.

@hema - Ha Ha. Your comment never fails to make me walk around with a smile for an hour.

Reflections said...

Enjoyed reading the post and the comments Ramesh;-D

Sorry abt not reaching here earlier....only when I saw the number of posts did I realise;-(

Ramesh said...

@Reflections - :):). Much honoured that you come even to my older posts.

rads said...

Hilarious, and seriously, 30% in Karnataka? I'm really scared to go back to India now...

Ramesh said...

@Rads - He He. Oh don't worry; things will still be cheaper in India. Only we can't earn enough to afford the cheap things !!

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