By Satya Sagar
23 November, 2014
In a move that has taken no one, except the most gullible citizens, by surprise the public sector State Bank of India changed its name to the Seth Bank of India.
The bank, which is India’s largest financial institution, said in a statement that the renaming was done to better reflect the fact that it is no longer the Indian State but the Indian Seth who decides its policies.
“For a long time we have been taking deposits from the public and handing them over to the rich anyway so the new name is quite appropriate,’ said a senior bank official. The Seth Bank of India, he said, was also planning to change its current slogan ‘ A bank for the common man’ to ‘A blank cheque for the con man’.
The theory behind such banking practices is that giving the money deposited by the poor or the middle-classes to rich corporations would lead to economic growth. This in turn would result in a ‘trickle down’ of corporate profits back those whose hard earned money had been given away. Asked to clarify whether the key term was ‘trickle’ or just plain ‘trick’ the senior bank official refused to comment saying he was bound by banking secrecy norms, which prohibit telling the truth to Indian citizens.
The latest Seth to benefit from the bank’s changed priorities is Gautam Adani of the Adani Group which swung a USD1 billion loan for its controversial coal mining project in Australia. The decision to give such a big loan to a company already saddled with huge debts and for a venture headed for possible failure was taken after Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot promised to give the Indian PM Narendra Modi a big ‘hug’ in front of media cameras for being such a sucker. Mr Adani had hugged Mr Modi in private earlier.
However, a ruling party spokesman said the decision was actually in line with a new concept called ‘Vedic Capitalism’, thought up by none other than Mr Modi himself. The term apparently refers to an economic system in which things that belong to the Indian State disappear and magically appear in the pockets of an Indian Seth.
Mr Modi’s idea of ‘Vedic Capitalism’ seems to have been inspired by Hindu mythological tales told by his grandmother and crystallised during his time as a RSS pracharak in New York couple of decades ago.
“NaMo observed how US style crony and casino capitalism worked at close quarters and was convinced that American financial ‘wizards’ have stolen ideas from our ancient scriptures where Gods made children appear with no parents involved and rakshasas disappear whenever they wanted” said a yoga guru close to the current government. Vedic Capitalism would similarly involve making bad debts appear and public assets disappear with no one taking responsibility he said.
The guru, with a reputation of being as flexible with his morals as with his body, also revealed that the Indian PM had drawn up plans to recover India’s position in the global economy through the practice of ‘financial yoga’. The first asana to be promoted he said was twisting the arms of all public sector banks into following the example of the Seth Bank of India.
Unless these institutions stretched their imagination every morning and complied they would be forced to do a special pranayama that would stop their breathing altogether.
Satya Sagar is a writer and public health activist who can be reached at [email protected]