‘N-i-r-mal-isation’ of economy: Vocal for ‘low-cal’, ‘Artha’ to ‘Paramartha’ & Mammon to ‘Moksha’   

In this open letter to the Finance Ministry, a citizen commiserates with attempts to cleanse the Indian economy with ‘Arthapedics’

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

SG Seetharam

Dear Finance Ministree,

Here is a joy-soaked and Dettol-dripping hand to you! Under your very benevolent governance, it is indeed dismaying that a ‘mini stir’ has now erupted over the reported ‘fourth degree burn’ sustained by India’s Body Economic in Q1, FY: 2020-21.

Alas, if only people understood the meaning of “Nir-mala”, the same critical mass would be in awe of the way you have mothered the economy in these pestilent times!

It is indeed regrettable that people are not aware that “Nir-mala” means “without-filth” (mala= filth, excreta, et cetara) and therefore, the so-perceived “economic shrinking” is, inessence, the upshot of a “Panchakarma-like” therapy by you to first vacuum-clean the ‘illfatted’ economy, and then start it over on wholesome new ‘defaults’. Or, in the metaphor of the on-raging COVID season, you are, after all, “sanitising” the country’s “House of Economics”− an exemplary mode of “economic cleansing”.

At this mission-critical juncture, when the government is firing on all cylinders to pressurewash its ‘much tired and otherwise busy’ hands of its “undertakings”, could there really be anything more illustrative than this “dry cleaning”, “cold compression” operation?

Likewise, when ‘obesity’ has mutated into a pernicious ‘CoViD comorbidity’, could anyone have administered anything more salutary than this “fat-burning”, “weight-loss” regimen (“Vocal for Low-cal”?) to melt down the “gross” national product? Moreover, when the human hemisphere as an entity has come down with a grave, neverheard-before “Artha paedic” condition beyond treatment by “Artha-docs” (read ‘Artha’ as ‘economy’, and ‘docs’ as ‘doctors’), how could India alone be supposed to stay immune from the “econodemic”?

It all, thus, makes splendid sense to actually hail your performance as perfect “N-i-rmalisation” of India’s economy, and thereon ‘enlarged-heartedly’ embrace the “new normal” as pure & pristine “ÄtmaNirmal”.

Further, in prideful & grateful recognition of your economic genius, and particularly your sublime devotion to the ‘Acts of God’, your office must swiftly be exalted from the mundane “fiscal” to the rarefied “meta-fiscal” plane.

You do singularly deserve this “ubermonetization” from “Artha” (monetary and material objects) to “Paramärtha” (“The Supreme Object”) – from Mammon to Möksha, in one “Hanumänistic” leap!

In your pious Himalayan-esque expedition to Mt. “MahätmaNirbhar”, you may have to keep India’s soul as bio-safely distanced from its body (the earthly economic chassis) as possible, and in that lofty ‘spiritual distancing’ endeavour, there might emerge certain “DêhaDurbhar”(“bodytaxing”) issues, such as massive job & income losses, enormous health & education challenges, and even starvation or ‘milk famine’ for toddlers (you could, of course, readily comfort them crooning, “Honey, I shrunk the kitty”).

But, given the fundamental “antibody & pro-soul” ethos, and the perpetual after-life longings of the nation, such ‘here and now’ issues should cause no concern to you, and you could always give the “cold shoulder treatment” to the “Wretched of the Bhärat Earth”.

In addition, you see, the order of precedence of the “Objects of Human Pursuit” is Dharma, Artha, Käma and Mökhsha, and therefore, you may rest assured that the populace will devoutly accord priority to “Mission Dharma” over “Mission Artha” and will, in truth, be even ecstatic to receive a triple promotion straight from Dharma to Mökhsha! (Citizens not signing up for “Mission Dharma” are anyway already receiving priority in the delivery of “Mökhsha”).

In ‘un-shrunk’ enjoyment of achche din (ache & din) and a “clean” “Ignorance Egonomy” (pardon the quibble, it should be “Knowledge Economy”, i.e., “frugal investment of knowledge”), and in ardent anticipation of the dawn of a world-wowing “ÄtmaNirbharized™” nation,
Normal-Law Seetharam Nirmal Hills,
Deccan Plateau,

P.S.: In an ironic acknowledgement of the current media-mediated murderous times, “Nirbhara” implies, inter alia, “vehement”, “violent” and “excessive”.

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Published: 20 Sep 2020, 8:30 AM