Responding to Jaitley’s Budget! by Rajinder Puri SignUp

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Responding to Jaitley’s Budget!
by Dr. Rajinder Puri Bookmark and Share

Now that Mr. Arun Jaitley has presented his first budget you are confronted with the biggest challenge. After all the TV channels and newspapers are bursting with views and comments by experts on all aspects of the budget, you have to give your own original and informed comment before the gathering at the evening’s dinner or cocktail party. Since you are totally ignorant about the economy – otherwise you would not be reading this article – but have conned people into believing that you are knowledgeable, post budget parties can be very tricky. However as a veteran intellectual con I can offer some very sound advice that should help you sail through with flying colours.

My most important advice is to speak only in one-liners that mean nothing to you but could mean anything to your listener. These have to be spoken with a distant look as if you are lost in a deep reverie. Remember, to succeed you have to be the deep thinker whose thought process the listener is hesitant to interrupt. The rest depends on your choice of one-liner, your ability to appear the deep thinker and your skill in drifting from the group without completing or explaining your thoughts.

For one-liners that have never failed me I recommend the following. Stroke your jaw and say: “Tax exemptions and cheaper footwear are okay, but where is the big picture?” Where, indeed? What in heck is the big picture anyway? Only you, the deep thinker know. Let your listener make guesses.

Another one of my favourites is to shake your head doubtfully and say: “All this sounds very well, but what about the fiscal deficit?” Well, what about it? What the hell is the fiscal deficit anyway? As you sink into a glass and edge away let your listener wrestle with that! The fiscal deficit is permanent, it never fails me.

It is good strategy to sometimes inject a little politics into the budget. You can say for instance, shaking your head regretfully: “But isn’t it too late? If only Chidambaram had done some of these things…” Done what for heaven’s sake? Only you, Chidambaram and Jaitley know, leaving your listener in awe.

And the clincher which is a winner is to hold up your hand in a gesture and say with a slightly sneering smile: “Don’t ask me about this budget now. Wait for six months and then ask me! Heh, heh!” Don’t worry, after six months it will be a different party with different people and a different topic.

But I would like to caution aspiring con intellectuals. One practitioner was so skillful at a party that a group implored him to deliver a lecture on the budget on the following day. The party got disrupted. The chap fainted.

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Comments on this Article

Comment Sir,

I have not been to such intellectuals' parties discussing budget so far, but after reading this, I watched Mr. Jaitly's talk on 'Aap ki adalat' on India TV channel.

If I read it correctly, even Mr. Jaitly did not provide in-depth reasoning for what was done in budget.
Could not figure it out whether it was purposeful (as 'aap ki adalat' is not an intellectual gathering) or it was honourable FM's limitation itself !

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
07/14/2014 03:06 AM

Comment Honestly. I never take sides. I stick to only one side -- my own side. When that hurts either Congress or BJP I get brickbats for being partisan. It is tough to remain independent and objective in a nation where everyone seems to be blindly committed to one side or the other.

My Word
07/13/2014 17:30 PM

Comment Mr.Puri--I fully agree with Mr.Madathinlnair that "you are delectable when you don`t take sides".
This article should be marked as comedy in real life.
I really enjoyed the last paragraph "I would like to caution aspiring con intellectuals.............."
Hope you write more articles poking fun at today`s politics and politicians and make us laugh. After all, laughter is the best medicine for all our stress in daily life.

Buddha D.Rudra
07/13/2014 11:19 AM

Comment That is good. But the one-liner that impressed me most was: "There is no road-map" which came from the former Prime Minister. Being an economist himself, perhaps, that meant something to him at least - inscrutable though what it was to ordinary mortals. But how can one understand our smiling, innocent kid Rahul Gandhi mouthing the same wisdom and trashing the budget like his ma did!? The truth is that no one knows anything about the budget until it hurts. If it doesn't, it is forgotten like all good budgets. Wonder if we had any in our history.

Sir, you are delectable when you don't take sides.

07/11/2014 23:14 PM

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