17 July 2010
The empire of the Indian Rupee!
India has finally joined the "elite", "exclusive" club of currencies that have their own symbols. Surely, our lives will change infinitely for the better now.
Let's see how. We can now freely take Indian Rupees to all the countries of the world, like NEPAL! BHUTAN! ... and... and... and... @#$(*^&!
Well we've atleast got a new symbol that stands for our independence, our separation from other rupees like those of our neighbours, so that people will not get confused, and this is an "exclusive" club, isn't it? Yes, indeed! Surely, anybody would get very confused without a symbol if they were to wonder if they are in Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka or Indonesia after getting out of an airport and exchanging their money for local money. In fact, it might be hard for some people notice in which of these great countries they just landed, so this symbol, (which will NOT be printed on any currency notes!) will indeed help absolve us of any guilt of confusion.
Now that we have this major problem averted, let's see what we can buy with the new Indian Rupee (without the symbol or with it), which will no doubt continue to be hugely accepted in Nepal and Bhutan. Um! those rocks on the bank of the Kali Ghantaki were pretty attractive, I must say. And Bhutan does sell some handicrafts, yak cheese and jewellery. Pretty neat huh?
Let's not worry about oil, arms and ammunitions, ships, planes, nuclear fuel, computer chips, medical equipment, or foodgrains which we now seem to have developed a chronic shortage for. For all of this, we might still need those pesky dollars, which we have 279 billion of. And none of them, shame on them, have the $ symbol either! But, according to Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni: "It's a big statement on the Indian currency. The symbol would lend a distinctive character and identity to the currency and further highlight the strength and global face of the Indian economy." The global face that can grin while lapping up all the handicrafts, yak cheese and jewellery and rocks from the banks of the Kali Ghantaki.
Further - It would be included in the 'Unicode Standard' and major scripts of the world so as to ensure that it is easily displayed and printed in the electronic and print media, apparently. Now, it would be impossible for the world's media to print "Indian Rupees" wouldn't it? So, we give them this new symbol. To proudly add a key on their keyboards, through a mysteriously long cumbersome sequence of keystrokes a little harder than those that result in the symbols for the Euro, the Yen, or the Zambian Kwacha. Phew! Thank God we recognize how important this is going to be.
But what are we going to do about "Crore"s and "Lakh"s? The rest of the world has no idea what these words mean, and nor do I always catch some North Indian saying "Karod" either! Are we going to switch to millions and billions? Or are we going to request others start using karods and laakh? How about convincing the Americans go switch to Ek, do, teen, too? That might make our lives easier too!
In a world that doesn't care for the Indian Rupee, even our Indian Premier League, our shiny showcase of international sports power, uses American dollars to evaluate the worth of their franchises and players. Fact is, we don't make anything the world would want to pay in rupees for. Heck, we wouldn't want them to pay in rupees for anything, because we don't want anybody else's rupees either! We want their Dollars, Euros, Pounds, and anything else that can be freely converted to Dollars, Euros or Pounds.
So, why is Delhi embarking upon this phallic ritual? Because we recognize that in order to feel good about being "Indian" we can hit only symbolic milestones, come up with icons and gestures in the absence of true global leverage for any of our resources. NOBODY travelling to India from anywhere other than Nepal and Bhutan can actually get Indian Rupees to bring to India. Nobody has any and nobody wants to have any. Because we are absolutely loving it, exactly the way the McPoliticians in Delhi have designed this system donkey's years ago. We don't have the confidence to make our currency fully convertible. And we dare not come up with any adventurism there. Heck, we have even come up with this symbol, approved by Union Cabinet on Thursday "to distinguish the currency of our over $ 1-trillion economy" - not the 45 trillion rupee economy! (How the fuck we have a trillion "dollar" economy when we have only 279 billion dollars in reserve beats me!)
But, according to these dummies who have come up with the need for this - it is good enough! We're getting our bloody symbol!