The following article appeared in my Sunday column 'Un Intended' in the New Indian Express.
Bring Back Black Money
I have been ecstatic ever since I heard that they are bringing back all our black money from Switzerland. Apart from planning our retirement, we must not forget the heroic efforts of all the visionary people who thoughtfully saved up money over all these years (since 1947 apparently) so the rest of us lazies could use it on a rainy day. Tomorrow, when our black money returns, we can all sit back, enjoy it and live happily ever after. Thanks to these great souls our entire nation will be drenched in prosperity.
One of the greatest things about this wonderful bunch of altruists is that they do not want their names to be made public. This is the true sign of greatness; that you do great deeds but take no credit for it. But though we may not ever know their names, we must put on record what they have done for our society, our country.
Firstly they took the trouble of accumulating as much as Rs. 70 lakh crore since 1947. When the average Joe has not been able to save even a few thousands, these great men have accumulated such a staggering amount – all for us! Secondly, they saved this money against all temptation to enjoy this wealth themselves. They displayed an iron will, resisted all temptation and quietly towed it to Switzerland so we could benefit later. Thirdly, they took the trouble to keep this operation quiet for all these years so we would not go and bring it back for every small crisis like rising onion prices or something like that. And then, they waited until the Swiss declared India as No.1. (Apparently we top the list of moneys stashed in Swiss banks with some $1500 billion while the next four countries together have only some $ 1100 billion haha). Today, if we get this humongous amount of money back (how they will get it back is a mystery to me – trains, trucks?), we will rise from being a measly developing nation to being one of the top 5 nations in the world. All credit for our rise goes entirely to these visionary savers!
Their selfless behavior, strategic vision, sense of responsibility, team spirit, leadership and such stellar qualities must be made public so future generations know about them. But since we may never ever know who these noble men are, the least we can all do is to say a collective thank you. One of the ways would be to erect a memorial. I suggest a large statue of a lone man carrying a huge bag of cash and heading off in the direction of the Swiss Banks in every village. Another way of recognizing their contribution would be by giving awards (bigger than awards that everyone is getting these days) to empty seats like they did for the Nobel Prize, because what they have done is huge. Imagine how much they would have toiled to build a parallel economy that makes us strong enough to be in the top 5 overnight. Undoubtedly this is the greatest achievement by a group of people for our country and no reward is too great for them. I demand that a significant chunk of the black money that is returning (after my cheque is given to me), be earmarked for these memorials and rewards. The only thing I want to know is this – how did they paint so much money black, and which paint company supplied so much black paint to them! If we know that, we can use the same paint to paint the memorial black as well.