Satish K Singh
The title may appear absurd but have you reflected on the word ‘pocket’, or are you just playing out of your purse and plastic. Pause for a while…and take a look at your pocket and ask yourself - Is my pocket deepening or shrinking?
For me, now only my pocket matters, as I have exhausted my wallet and I am honestly clueless about how to feed it (purse) further. Even a New Year resolution to attain a thin pocket (forget the deep ones - exclusive borough of few), looks beyond the best of my entrepreneurial brain, will or work.
But then, what should one do (if not already doing)? I cannot afford not to worry and be happy. For me `Annaisation` of the atmosphere - Lokpal or no Lokpal - brings morbid fear, anxiety and doom. I can’t wait for an ‘ideal type’ Ramrajya class India, as for me the challenges are more than immediate. Where do I get the EMI for my sweet elusive house and car? Who and why will one give me my next job? Can I afford to go on having my present meal / drink combo even during happy hours? Suddenly, Cineplexes and multiplexes look like out of bounds. Good Heavens! What do I do? I am so worried - I can’t even buy a little new purse, forget adding pocket(s).
But where do I go and whom do I ask for the evolving and yet already dominating state of affairs? Is it not a gloom and doom time for the `aspirational`, `privatized` and `corporatised` careerist new Indians, whom I call pocket Indians - Empty pockets can’t fill our plastic purses as even government treasures and bourses are sinking perpendicularly.
Let us take a look at the government’s `pocket` - Industrial output choking, around thirty thousand files languishing at the top for disposal, FDI inflow almost touching rock bottom, revenue collection stagnating, rupee falling, forex reserves plummeting and import outflow going north, north and north. The reality is, measures like Food Bill and ever escalating oil import bill have sent government finances for a toss. Adding to the woes is one of worst performance of the stock market in recent memory. Government is becoming sick and still. Shall I wait and not brood and forget windfall or dividends from `New Economy`?
It is Budget time my fellow countrymen, no harm in reflecting on your pocket - prevent it from `fleece and picks`. And why not the New Economy `saharwallahs` `mediums`? Team Anna is lawfully exempted from `tax` courtesy `Trust`. Rural Indians are all agriculturists - exempted from tax, Corporates can bail out the looming large economic logjam - so they need another 5-6 lakh-crore bailout packages, exemptions. The rich, cunning, informed and aware have no problem in sending black shipment to mystery havens - any time, any day. Political parties have their own pocket boroughs to fund their elections.
So, who are really hit - poor urban middle class wage and salary earners - who can’t even hide their `on paper` salaries, till the time you manage to be in job. I am also worried about a large `awake by night` global BPO Indians - entire Western World - led by their crony captain - is erecting, protecting and promoting `job for home` walls.
However, why worry so much? Is there no hope? Doesn’t matter; build it for yourselves. How? What is the harm in living on Rs “64” a day if not Rs “32” a day - learn to live within your projected means of money supply. Save more, invest, don’t squander. Drive, don’t speed. Return for a while to old ways of your parents and grandparents.
Just vow, you will not fall prey to agitationists. Agitate within. Do not get lured by sloganeering, vested interests. Your interest is supreme. Look for your own job and enterprise. All in all, live by your own - bank upon yourself - specialisation and skills. I know I do, so do you and I know we all do. More and more so now. We all are now Pocket Indians. Politics, religiosity and cricket are after all alibis. Go, kill and win, all by yourselves, my fellow Pocket Indians.
(Satish K Singh is Editor, Zee News)