Dawn of Notebandi Samvat

November 8 marks the first anniversary of the start of a new calendar in India. For long, we had followed the Gregorian timeline by which each year was identified with the letters AD, or Anno Domini, 'the year of our Lord.' Recently, the name was changed to the more secular Common Era, or CE.

Now, in India, we can revert to AD which stands for Achhe Din. This day last year was the start of the year 01 AD, and today 02 AD of the Notebandi Samvat commences. On this day, we will remember forever the golden age ushered in by the announcement of demonetisation. From next year, it could even be declared a public holiday.

On November 8 last year, India heard the announcement of a new, innovative form of dialysis given to patients with healthy kidneys whereby instead of cleansing the old blood, new blood is infused and this can be administered only by competent spin doctors. The benefits of this exercise have been held up somewhere on the way, but we are assured that come they will.

With the new samvat in place, henceforth we will not have to mark our dates with the pseudo-secular CE. But we need to find new names for the months. If July and August could be named after the two Caesars - Julius and Augustus - why can we not draw on the pantheon of
great leaders? Like the one who came out with the two nation theory even before Jinnah did, another who wrote eloquent apology letters from the Andaman prison, a third who is the current intellectual icon of the Parivar but whose achievements are a state secret and others right up to the former party president who was an expert at handling cash.

Other goodies have come our way in 01 AD. On July 1 of the now discarded Common Era we convened a magnificent midnight session of the parliament and we heard the famous "Good and Simple Tax' speech that belongs up there with, or maybe even displaces, Nehru's 'Tryst with Destiny' among the great orations of all times.

In this year, we have also discovered some hitherto hidden powers of our Leader. He can alter the dates of our festivals. Diwali normally comes late in October or in November, but by announcing changes in the GST, he brought it ahead to mid-October. The finance secretary has talked about more changes being on the anvil. Will that mean that more festival dates can be shuffled around? We could do with one or two holidays in the hot summer months.

Meanwhile, people are still trying to figure out the Good and Simple Tax. The goodness, as with the benefits of demonetisation, we are assured, is in transit but the simplicity is a little confusing. However, there is absolutely no need for any despondency. In any case, we have a Hasmukh on the job and he will surely bring good cheer in the days to come.

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