The oil minister Jaipal Reddy has just proposed that the duty on diesel cars be raised. This could increase their selling price by up to Rs. 2.5 lakh. He is proposing this due to the price differential between diesel and petrol. This will ensure that, over the lifetime of the car, the lesser price which diesel owners pay for fuel will be offset by the higher price they paid initially. At the end, all car owners will be equally bankrupt, and the government will lose less money on subsidy.
I like this policy so much that I feel it should be applied everywhere. We should look for different places in our society where there is inequality with some good reason, and then remove that inequality blindly so that everyone is equally screwed. Here is a list of things we should do:
1. Exams: All tests in India have this crazy concept that people who are better prepared or are more clever get more marks and do better than people who have just turned up for the ride. We need to make everyone equal by giving a starting handicap of -40 marks to people who have historically been known to be high rankers. We should first start with the JEE by giving a weightage to Board Exam marks so as to dilute true merit…wait, that’s under control already.
2. Make all tablet prices equal: Specifically, make the Aakash, our indigenous Indian tablet, the same price as the new iPad. Very few people are going to buy it anyway – they would rather buy foreign pricey stuff that has the same basic features – so the makers might as well loot the few people who do buy it.
3. Income: The government should ensure that beggars everywhere get the same money as do people who worked hard, went to college, and then became successful businessmen. Whenever someone becomes a beggar, he or she should be able to file this information with the government, which should immediately pay Rs. 1 crore into his or her account. Freedom to equal income should become a new fundamental right.
4. Chess: In chess, why should one player have 16 black pieces and the other 16 white pieces. This is racist as well as promoting inequality. What needs to be done is to give both players 16 white pieces (because we love fairness) to play with. And since an Indian is the world champion, we should be able to influence FIDE to do this.
5. People in jail: The greatest inequality in India is between people who are in jail and people who are not. Why should only a few be entitled to this privilege?
To fix this, we need to immediately set up a procedure whereby everyone can be in jail some of the time. We should have a rotating slot system so that every citizen can experience a small cell, the attention of same-sex inmates and companionship with A Raja.
6. Queues: Long lines at ticket counters have one glaring inadequacy: not everyone can buy a ticket at the same time. The only solution is to outlaw queues and make it a free for all. Of course, there will be a lot of kicking, scratching, hair-pulling and biting as people try to reach the counter first, but this will just make it easier to send everyone to jail (see the point above).
7. Booking rail tickets on IRCTC: IRCTC needs to pull up its socks. It has the ridiculously antiquated policy that people who try to book a ticket at an earlier time will be given preference. What it needs to do is take booking requests till two hours before train time, and then announce that all ticket announcements (not only RAC) will be made at the platform. This will uphold our fundamental right to equality like nothing else.
And IRCTC has already done a small test of this logic in their tatkal booking system, so it’s well on the way.