That there was economics in “chai” – ofcourse there was! India exported the “chai” aka tea worldwide, the most exotic and expensive ones too. Then they said that there was economics in the “pakoda” (fritters for the uninitiated), they as in a particular “chaiwala” who rose to sit upon the highest seat of governance in the world’s largest democracy, the teaseller’s new economics even got itself a name “pakodanomics!” And then came the miniscule, earth shattering form of being, a RNA (ribonucleic amino acid) strand aka the COVID – 19 virus causing people and their economies to run helter skelter turning the world into a topsy turvy ball of frenzied fear, losing not only our physical and mental well being but most of all our sources of income, economy in the words of the worldly wise. The world economies fell into shambles, an indirect collision caused by the virus, the “marketonomics” turned indefinite and fragile while the “pakodanomics” which this particular “chaiwala” had been referring to the Informal sector that constitutes as per the Economic Survey of 2018-19, released on July 4, 2019, says “almost 93%” of the total workforce is ‘informal’, while the Niti Aayog’s Strategy for New India at 75, released in November 2018, states, “by some estimates, India’s informal sector employs approximately 85% of all workers” shut shop completely during the long drawn lockdown and partially thereafter. Partially being a completely loose word since most of the small and medium business suffered huge loss and had to close down with hundreds or perhaps lakhs losing their jobs which anyways was existing all this while without security for the future.
And this former “chaiwala” now holding the highest office in the country continued his charade of the “pakodanomics” by replacing it with another term – “make your own pakodas and sell them on the streets,” Oh of course this was not what he said but this was exactly what he meant by asking the country to become “atma nirbhar” (self reliant to the uninitiated). And they said that was brilliant, just the right attitude during these trying times when all souls were at a loss and when everyone was trying to get their life symbolised into tiny islands of self acceptance and acceptance of the lack of “what is gonna happen to us in the future” kinda thoughts. The nation once more applauded his symbolic efforts as if it was for real, am not very sure but truly believe that some even made and tried selling “em pakodas at their very own street corners!
And they said that even in the pre COVID – 19 era the country’s “pakodanomics” if we may call the informal sector that was already reeling under the aftermath of the demonetization and the poorly rolled out reforms which goes by the name of the GST. Studies by Kannan & Raveendran in 2019 shows that a staggering 6.18 million job-loss between 2012 and 2018 was a result of the demonetization and GST fallout. Then came the virus and shook everything your home, hearth, minds, economies, pakodanomics whatever there was in its way. Informal sector being informal with almost no documentation of being or its future path or way forward sank to the lowest in history and all that the highest office in the country had to offer was some “pakodas” with chai and a “chaiwala” as a complementary unwanted presence. The nation however did bite into his every word from lighting lights and lamps to show our unity and strength of integrity against that strand of RNA to ringing bells and banging our pots and pans along with the saucepans while claiming to create sound vibrations with chants of chasing the virus which has now more or less settled into our beings on an every day basis. The “chaiwala” PM kept shouting “Atma Nirbhar” to show the world what we as Indians can do and will do to become self reliant even in a crisis, and the Indians kept believing even if not in themselves but at least in this “chaiwala” PM who they thought would lift them and the country out of this crisis. But since then all that we have been doing is believing and reeling!
That the head of our country and his team which is a part of the sacred union formed for the sake of governance should start to eat the pakodas, drink the chai and stop behaving as “chaiwalas” while keeping the god knows what it means concept of the “pakodanomics” at bay and get the country out of this mess with some real “economics” to boot….
And They Said….