The revenge of the samosa

The revenge of the samosa

By M.J. Akbar | 16 January, 2016
The 13.5% value added tax on samosa and bhujia in Bihar opens up space for something more deadly than anger: ridicule.

There is no retribution harsher in politics than the revenge of the samosa. Every politician knows this much. The surprise is that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, and his patriarch, Super Chief Minister Lalu Yadav, both veterans of electoral battles as well as administration, forgot a fundamental principle of democracy: you never feed the treasury from the menu of the poor. The poor have little by way of luxury, and a low-cost evening savoury is one of their few moments of pleasure in a tough day.
In budgeting parlance there is something called a “sin tax”, a regular resource base for any government. This is a tax on items like liquor and cigarettes. You could, if in a particularly puritan mood, stretch the sin-range to luxuries like expensive hotels. But no finance minister in his, or her, senses ever squeezes money from the beedi.
It is too early for the Bihar electorate to get angry with a government it has just placed in office, but
the 13.5% value added tax on samosa and bhujia opens up space for something more deadly than anger: ridicule. The sarcasm—and no one does that better than the Bihari—will cut across class, creed and caste because the samosa is unique in its appeal across distinctions, a true item of mass consumption. Indians invented fast food long before multinationals discovered its appeal. We also had the good sense to keep fast food a home industry. It is a business through which a poor man can also earn a living. The producer and consumer are often within the same socio-economic zone.
Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav must share the barbs; for while the origins of this decision lie indisputably in the CM’s office, the finance minister of Bihar belongs to Lalu Yadav’s party. This is one instance when Lalu Yadav cannot chortle in private at what Nitish Kumar does in public.
The samosa’s revenge was evident soon enough, and Nitish Kumar is now trying to mitigate the political offence by suggesting that he only intended the tax for a costlier form of packaged samosa. It is not the afterthought which will stick, but the thought. This amendment is obviously a fudge, because bhujia is also on the punitive list.

The samosa’s revenge was evident soon enough, and Nitish Kumar is now trying to mitigate the political offence by suggesting that he only intended the tax for a costlier form of packaged samosa. It is not the afterthought which will stick, but the thought. This amendment is obviously a fudge, because bhujia is also on the punitive list. It also gets curiouser and curiouser. Why tax mosquito repellents, for instance?


It also gets curiouser and curiouser. Why tax mosquito repellents, for instance? Mosquitoes do not vote. And they can be occasionally lethal. Of course, this does reveal that mosquito repellents have a huge market in Bihar, and the government expects high returns. Revenues from Patna alone could pay for a fat department of government. The state is infested with mosquitoes. It is equally obvious that there is not much industry in Bihar which can generate tax revenues; there is nothing else to tax. Government, therefore, is trying to profit from its own past failure. Word will spread — as rapidly as mosquitoes.
One does wonder about how such silly mistakes are made by persons with experience, whether in politics or bureaucracy. It could be because they do not have to pay for either samosas or bhujias when in power. The cost of afternoon chai and accompaniments comes from the administrative budget.
The British Prime Minister David Cameron, who belongs to the refined-dined aristocracy of his land, once tried to get psychologically cosy with the masses by standing outside a stall and eating Britain’s version of the samosa, the Cornish pie. Cameron made a mess of the staged event, for he had no idea how to eat humble pie. As a public relations exercise it was a disaster, and the press did not let him forget this opportunism in a hurry. But Cameron was never going to tax the pie, even though he has a finance minister, George Osborne, who has made it a mission to balance the books. If Osborne cannot be credited with as much success in this objective as he might have hoped for, at least you cannot fault him for trying.
The samosa-bhujia tragi-comedy comes at a time when the Lalu-Nitish government is just beginning to lose a bit of sheen for reasons that are definitely not funny. Crime is back with a vengeance in the state, as criminals get political patronage. There is a growing sense of fear in rural areas. Officials are getting orders from the parallel Lalu Yadav network, and they understand better than anyone else where real power sits. By itself the samosa’s revenge may have been contained, but in an environment that is encouraged by both memory and experience, the samosa adds significant collateral damage to the reputation of Nitish Kumar.
 

There are 1099 Comments

It needs a special brand of cussedness to tax the 'Samosa', an ubiquitous humble snack and everyone's delight, particularly the 'Aam Aadmi', for whom every party and its leaders pretend to fall over backwards. One completely fails to see the logic and any inane 'explanation', like the 'packed in a box' is only a joke, if not a hoax, and can only be an exercise in a crude cover up for the people of Bihar.

I need to to thank you for this very good read!! I certainly enjoyed every bit of it. I have got you book marked to look at new things you post… my site; <a href="http://www.eventbrite.com/o/what-the-actual-benefits-of-e-cigs-and-exactly-can-they-assist-you-to-quit-9269756233">manual cigarette</a>

Hi there, I discovered your blog by means of Google at the same time as searching for a similar subject, your website got here up, it seems good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.[X-N-E-W-L-I-N-S-P-I-N-X]Hi there, simply was alert to your blog through Google, and located that it's truly informative. I'm going kaffeebecher to go - http://hyips.site/index.php?a=stats&u=pamainsworth7 be careful for brussels. I'll appreciate if you proceed this in future. Numerous other people will be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

I love reading blogs like this! Causes also and me to feel a warm satisfying emotion educated! Thanks so much! My site <a href="http://datkj.com/comment/html/index.php?page=1&id=44185">gold IRA rollover</a>

When someone writes an paragraph he/she maintains the image of a user in his/her mind that how a user can know it. Thus that's why this piece of writing is perfect. Thanks! Also visit my blog post ... سيو - http://panel.seoestore.net/faq.php?lang=ar

We're a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with helpful information to work on. You have done a formidable task and our entire neighborhood can be grateful to you. Also visit my web-site: <a href="http://forubook1186.merlyn.black/sitemap.xml">Manual book</a>

This is my first time pay a quick visit at here and i am really impressed to read everthing at alone place. My homepage; Foods to Eat to increase sex Drive - http://apa.photo/members/benniedonoghue/activity/250108/

Spectacular! You don't come by info such as this simply roof repair and installation - http://www.fujiapuerbbs.com/home.php?mod=space&uid=496835&do=profile&from=space that I am so pleased! Maintain it up people!

I simply could not keep without saying thankyou from the bottom of my heart after reading this website that is awesome! Feel free to visit my webpage: Human Passenger Drones - http://top.fancytext.biz/index.php?a=stats&u=susannahk77

Gorgeous! You don't come by information like this simply and that I am not so ungrateful! Preserve it-up people! my website ... <a href="http://www.aardvarktopsitesphp.com/topsites/index.php?a=stats&u=grazynay39">sewer repair</a>

hi! Me parece muy atinada tu parecer sobre este motivo. Desde hace cierto tiempo que estoy interesado en esto y también intento aclararme un poco las dudas sobre este tema. La participación que has desarrollado me ha semejado muy buena, no obstante creo que se podría ahondar un tanto más y de igual modo poder evidenciar diferentes dudas que aún poseo. De todos modos, mil gracias por tu colaboración. Estaré atento a cercanas publicaciones que elabores. Mil gracias. Saludos. My site - campamentos, campamentos de verano, campamentos de verano baratos - http://beerjumbo59.webgarden.com/section-1/beerjumbo59-s-blog/campamentos-de-verano-asequibles

What's up to every body, it's my first pay a quick visit of this weblog; this website contains amazing and in fact excellent material in favor of readers. Here is my homepage ... <a href="http://jentilb.tk/sitemap.xml">Manual book</a>

Beautiful! You don't come by info such as this quickly and that I am gracious! Preserve it up people! My weblog; fat loss; www.stickom.jp - http://www.stickom.jp/st/yybbs/yybbs.cgi?list=thread ,

I simply couldn't leave without saying thanks from your bottom of my heart after scanning this brilliant blog! Also visit my blog - <a href="http://www.kochi-art.org/mail/mail.cgi">mlm lead generation</a>

I've been surfing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever before. Also visit my homepage :: <a href="http://bookdownload3931.merlyn.black/sitemap.xml">repair book. manual book review</a>

I every time used to read piece of writing in news papers but now as I am a user of net thus from now I am using net for articles or reviews, thanks to web. My site - repair book. manual book review - http://jialb.tk/sitemap.xml

This is the right blog for anyone who wishes to understand this topic. You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject which has been written about for many years. Excellent stuff, just great! Also visit my web site <a href="http://book444pdf.amazw.tk/sitemap.xml">repair book. manual book review</a>

I loved as much as you'll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike. Here is my web site: repair book. manual book review - http://jentilo.tk/sitemap.xml

Viagra efeminado, anuído nos EUA, todavia jamais na Europa, nem delineado tendo em conta mulheres na pré-menopausa com distúrbios comiseração mania carnal diagnosticados. Look into my web-site :: estimulantes naturais - http://www.answerwiki.org/User:SelmaLazenby

I'm officially impressed with this particular blog and I wished to take the time to thanks in the underside of my heart! Feel free to surf to my site - Sexual performance - http://www.magnis-gaming.de/mut/index.php?mod=users&action=view&id=1159260

Just important information is provided by this website and I am subscribing to it this instant! Thanks guys! My web page :: stickom.jp ( Cortez - http://www.stickom.jp/st/yybbs/yybbs.cgi?list=thread )

Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I'll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I'll certainly return. <a href="http://www.tramadol50hcl.bid/50mg-hcl-tramadol">Http://Www.tramadol50hcl.bid</a>

I know this if off topic but I'm looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is needed to get set up? I'm assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I'm not very web savvy so I'm not 100% sure. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated. Appreciate it Look into my blog post ... repair book. manual book review - http://isuzud.tk/sitemap.xml

What's up i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anyplace, when i read this article i thought i could also make comment due to this sensible piece of writing. Look at my weblog; <a href="http://rusa4.tk/sitemap.xml">repair book. manual book review</a>

Fantastic post however , I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic? I'd be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Thanks! Check out my site ... repair book. manual book review - http://opatc.tk/sitemap.xml

I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an edginess over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase. Check out my webpage - <a href="http://onlinebook448pdf.coaru.tk/sitemap.xml">repair book. manual book review</a>

Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people consider worries that they just do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks My webpage - Manual book - http://eurlq.tk/sitemap.xml

Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and also the rest of the website is extremely good. Feel free to visit my web blog; Cesar - http://microsofthyd.com/index.php?title=Expense_Of_Total_Curve_Guatemala

We stumbled over here from a different website and thought I should check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to going over your web page yet again. Also visit my website: Manual book - http://xasa4.pasxi.tk/sitemap.xml

I am really grateful to the holder of this website who has shared this impressive piece of writing at at this time. Feel free to visit my blog post: 2017 Subaru Impreza Hatchback ( http://2018carsreviewr901.blogkoo.com/ - http://2018carsreviewr901.blogkoo.com/2017-subaru-impreza-hatchback-engine-1783650 )

Hello! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading through your blog posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same topics? Many thanks! Feel free to surf to my blog post ... <a href="http://Amelia.pasxi.tk/sitemap.xml">Manual book</a>

WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for Under-the-cabinet Cd Player With Am/fm Radio Here is my site :: <a href="http://xue.medellin.unal.edu.co/grupois/wiki/index.php/Best_Under_The_Cabinet_Radio">Under Cabinet Am/Fm Clock Radio</a>

A new technology introduced by one of the biggest automobile companies, Volvo, will ensure that your car avoid accidents on the roads involving pedestrians. Producing a very light car will drop its fuel consumption, and oil companies will not appreciate this. Go to the search tool and search for keyword like used cars in Bangalore, pre owned cars and second hand cars in Bangalore. Review my web blog chronobank ico - https://chronobanks.io/

Everyone loves it whenever people come together and share thoughts. Great website, keep it up! Here is my web-site <a href="http://wiki.hotruong.net/index.php?title=Best_drum_set_android">best drum set for church</a>

Hi there! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog. Is it tough to set up your own blog? I'm not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I'm thinking about creating my own but I'm not sure where to start. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Appreciate it Also visit my page ... <a href="http://www.inboundmarketingwiki.com/view/Gpx_Under_Cabinet_Radio_Reviews">www.inboundmarketingwiki.com</a>

Spectacular! That you do not come by data such as this simply and I am not so ungrateful! Maintain it-up guys! Also visit my site - plumbing contractors - http://sharks.main.jp/cgi-bin/sharks/pub20141022/yybbs/yybbs.cgi?list=thread

If you wish for to improve your knowledge only keep visiting this web page and be updated with the latest news posted here. <A HREF='http://cialiscoupon.download/'>Http://Www.Cialiscoupon.Download</A>

hello!,I really like your writing so a lot! percentage we keep up a correspondence more about your article on AOL? I need an expert on this area to resolve my problem. Maybe that's you! Taking a look ahead to see you. Jacklyn - http://www.tramadol50hcl.bid/vet-tramadol

Na primeira vez, retirou a bupropiona e também foi retirando Zoloft de 25 em 25mg até zerar - eu tomava 100mg. Feel free to surf to my page :: <a href="http://gmefw.com/mediawiki/index.php/Convivendo_Com_A_S%C3%ADndrome_De_Angelman">gmefw.com</a>

Spectacular! You do not come by info like this quickly and that I am gracious! Maintain it up folks! Also visit my site; canvas printing austin - http://mubanjianzhan.com/comment/html/index.php?page=1&id=112165

I was recommended this blog by means of my cousin. I am now not sure whether or not this post is written by him as nobody else realize such exact about my problem. You are amazing! Thank you! Here is my weblog: <a href="http://pokego.wiki/Best_drum_set_ever_made">best Drum set Under 600</a>

Even so, the final handful of years have noticed the size and cost of laser printers drop substantially. Some models can now comfortably match on a desktop. Feel free to surf to my page best cheap photo printing ( printingvipusa.wordpress.com - https://printingvipusa.wordpress.com/ )

Wow, this article is pleasant, my younger sister is analyzing such things, thus I am going to inform her. Visit my web blog ... <a href="http://warzj.tk/sitemap.xml">Manual book</a>

I needed to make an effort to specific my gratitude towards this wonderful website and you! Loving it! Here is my website - Baytown Plumbing; Pete - http://sasuga.org/marche/bbs/yybbs.cgi?list=thread ,

If you uncover your self brief on gems, just take a appear and see if there is any achievements you can finish easily. Visit my site: castle clash hack - http://www.kiwibox.com/BinderupAllison/blog/entry/138742791/gems-golds-mana-cheats/?pPage=0

Very good post. I certainly appreciate this website. Thanks! Take a look at my homepage: <a href="http://pioh.tk/sitemap.xml">Manual book</a>

Excellent way of describing, and nice post to obtain information regarding my presentation topic, which i am going to convey in college. Here is my page ... Sex enhancing drugs over the counter in india - https://www.schandtaeter.info/index.php?title=Food_for_long_sex_drive

Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn't appear. Grrrr... well I'm not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say excellent blog! Here is my website - Manual book - http://lamun2.dynu.com/sitemap.xml

I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I'll bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I am quite sure I'll learn lots of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next! My weblog ... http://booksviews.tk/sitemap.xml - http://ebookreads.tk/sitemap.xml

The proceeds of selling your older car can go to the operations of the charity like giving food or clothing to the family that they supported. Producing a very light car will drop its fuel consumption, and oil companies will not appreciate this. Access Free Online Maps via Wi - Fi or 3G network, such as Google Map. Feel free to surf to my website - con estos códigos promocionales - http://descuentos.eldiario.es/

Pages

Add new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.