A new Parliament building, please!

Hi Readers! Here’s a satirical piece on India’s Parliament building that was carried under my column “Tweakonomics” in the Hindu Business Line. You can see it at http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/wah-sansad-mahal/article8045876.ece, else read it here directly! Keep reading, keep smiling!

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Shah Jahan constructed the Taj Mahal at Agra. Sumitra Mahajan wants a new Sansad Mahal at New Delhi. If the former was an ode to love, justification for the latter is as techno-legal as it gets, ranging from the stiffly legal references of Article 81 to creating technological capacities. Such Parliamentary fervour after such amazing sessions! Really, they quite deceive us, our Sansad members.

Why a new building?

Top reason is Arvind Subramaniam. It’s he who has created this Shah Jahan-minus-the-love aka Keynesian furore in our to-hell-with-growth Parliamentarians. The man claims that the growth forecast stands revised downwards from 8.1% to 7.3%. So let’s make it in India and get the growth rate moving. After visiting nearly all countries that make anything at all, we’ve realized that no one wants to really make much to begin with (it’s a global slowdown, stupid!) and if at all they do, they certainly won’t make it in India.

So let the Government spend some more. On what, is the golden question. Spend too much, and those firangi buggers at Moody’s will give us a downgrade. Spend too little, and Arvind threatens to release a new document with 7.0% growth. Do nothing and the Opposition will disrupt the Budget session. It’s quite a tricky little question.

Hmmm. So here’s the answer. Spend on a project that gets the multipliers working, so that Arvind is happy. Spend on a project that has the capacity to raise its own revenue source, and Moody’s will be happy. Spend on a project that will be used by the Opposition as well, and keep them at bay.

Hurrah! It’s the Parliament! Getting that going will create huge demand for steel and cement and construction material. Welcome, employment. This will push private investments as well, creating the impetus for growth. That takes care of the CEA. Next, impose a Sansad Bachao, Sansad Banao cess. What we really need is Sansad Padhao, but that’s another matter altogether. Surely Moody’s cannot get upset about such a deficit neutral project. What’s more, voters absolutely cannot resist Hindi-named taxes. Hehehe!

As far as the Opposition is concerned, this project takes the cake. They’ll not only support it, but positively beam and urge the Government to spend more. The only condition is that we use Italian marble in the construction. Why, they may even behave themselves in the Budget session and finally pass the GST. Yeah, that the Government may have to re-name it the Great Sansad Tax is another matter altogether.

Apart from the terrific economic benefits of the move, there are also those other, rather important issues that justify the new building. Ms. Mahajan claims that the current building is under “stress”. Being a mute witness to such high-on-adrenalin chair-upturning and yelling sessions does that to the strongest of stones.

Making the new premises technologically capable will make the Parliament a paperless organization. That is truly a masterstroke and will end all possibilities of the Opposition flinging paper balls to disrupt the session. Wish they would make it pepper-free as well. Let’s put nation building on hold. First, the Parliament building, please.

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5 thoughts on “A new Parliament building, please!

  1. Awesome this sounds an appropriate reply that the voters should pass it on to the government !!! Go ahead do it and come back to us for the vote next elections !!! This also makes me wonder is there no one who can put a check on the expenses done by the government !!! And is it answerable to someone ?

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  2. This also makes me think is there even a financial analysis on these kinds of expenses of what are the possible upgrade options for techno legal instead of a building or the only analysis will be what marble feels better to the nose when they lie down in the parliament fighting with each other i am referring to make vs buy, #financebias !!!

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    • Well, Akhilesh, all expenses are subject to scrutiny. The issue is not scrutiny but whether this is such a necessary expenditure right now. Are there no better avenues of expenses left for the Government than to build brand new premises in which uncouth representatives will disrupt the workings… This follows on the footsteps of removal of LPG subsidy, which by itself is really ok. But then one gets annoyed that the government which cannot afford subsidies can however afford a state of art building when a decent one exists. I m really really annoyed.

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  3. Hi mam! It is truly sad to see how apathetically convenient it is for chosen leaders to say – “We want a technologically advanced Parliament. Hey! lets build a new one!”. This just sounds like the whims and fancies of a rich spoilt child – “I asked papa for ice cream, so he’s buying me an ice cream factory!”. At some level, it is no different from how Facebook is responding to electrifying villages and feeding the poor – spending crores on advertisement on their humanitarian efforts of introducing “Free Basics”, which would have been enough to feed several villages for several months.

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    • Totally agree with you… And really, after the kind of circus that we’ve been shown, I m so disgusted with this move. Let us get good responsible Parliamentarians first, the building can follow later.

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