Perhaps, never in the history of the world has there been any head of state who could be as confident of his governance as India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is. Singh has committed not to charge any tax if anybody in the government system from a clerk in any government or semi-government department to any bureaucrat or minister is found guilty of any form of corruption, until the guilty is punished.
Addressing the nation, the PM said: ‘Today, on our 63rd Independence Day, please allow me to change certain words of Nehruji’s ‘tryst with destiny’ speech.
‘At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom from all kinds of corruption. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when the country will not be taxed until every single individual responsible for misusing people’s hard-earned money is punished.
‘Yes, I have a ‘revolutionary’ gift for every taxpayer who has been a major contributor to the national income and has helped in meeting the country’s basic needs. I promise the people of India that if any individual working directly or indirectly for the government is found guilty of corruption, the government will ‘not’ tax anybody in India.
‘I also warn all officials across all departments that if any employee at any level of hierarchy in your department is found guilty of this heinous act, the whole department will not get their monthly wages. For instance, even if a peon at my office is guilty, none of the staff including me will get their monthly salary.
‘I remember how my class teacher used to punish the entire class for the fault of one student. The practice disciplined the entire class. I suppose the same logic can apply here as well. The aim is to regain confidence of my countrymen who seem to have lost faith in anything that we do.
‘I might sound like a fool to fellow economists, but I suppose it will be better to have a one-time financial emergency than to battle subtle and embarrassing emergencies that keep popping up almost everyday.’
With issues like IPL gate, CWG irregularities, and foodgrains procurement and distribution pointing fingers at powerful government figures and a host of public officials already booked for disproportionate assets, 2011 seems to be the year when all taxes on everybody’s income will be waived off and many officials will be forced to run home without pay ‘ and this, hopefully, will provoke them enough to nab the corrupt members within their offices.
Moreover, when the government will not have enough money to run the country, and the stringent anti-corruption rule is implemented, politics will not look like a luring profession anymore, so that the ones who join politics with personal motives in mind will automatically keep away. It is a matter of one revolutionary year, wherein the financial emergency and punishing-all-for-one-person’s-fault policy will throw out all the ugly, rusted cogs off the country’s wheels and put the system on a cleaner and transparent routine.
The prime minister confirmed that he had been in discussions over the matter with the cabinet for quite some time and when every ministry agreed, he decided to announce the development on Independence Day.
For a change, none of the opposition leaders commented on the revolutionary announcement.
Winding up the address, the prime minister repeated the end lines from Nehru’s speech: ‘To India, our much-loved motherland, the ancient, the eternal and the ever-new, we pay our reverent homage and we bind ourselves afresh to her service.’
NOTE: This never happened. This story was never carried by any newspaper or online publication. The text written above is entirely fictitious and a product of this writer’s imagination.