Once upon a time the British ruled us. However we have had such a great impact that we still cling on to what they have left behind, without much of a thought.

Let us look at some examples. The Government comes out with 2 budget – the railway budget and the general budget.

Why the Railway budget? Once upon a time it was one of the biggest ‘businesses’ that the government managed outside of the ‘government’. Now telecom, infra, telecom, airlines, oil, metals – the government is in all these ‘businesses’. So it makes sense for the government to make a ‘budget’ of its ‘Businesses’ and tell its shareholders what is happening in those businesses. Will that happen? No way. No chance. However, it will continue to make a farce of the ‘Railway budget’ – and the media will have something to write about …

What about the budget itself? Well the British wanted the budget to be presented at BRITISH WORKING TIME – so we faithfully presented the budget at 6pm for a very long time. The BJP came to power and changed it – sometime in the 1990s if I am not wrong!

Schools in India have a ‘summer vacation’ – BECAUSE the British could not go out in the sun. So schools, colleges, courts, etc. were shut for a period of time in Apr /May. Now it makes no sense to close schools in Simla in summer and make the kids suffer the extremely cold weather in Dec / Jan. Point taken. Schools are closed in Dec/Jan also.

However in Mumbai the worst time for kids to travel to school is clearly June/July thanks to the torrential rains. Kids need to carry raincoats, umbrellas, trains are cancelled, traffic jams caused by the water logging….etc. WHO will tell the state government that MUMBAI (which does not have too bad a summer) should have a Monsoon vacation. Even for people who want to travel out side Mumbai – it helps to be out of Mumbai during this period, does it not?

Cut to Motor Vehicles Act. The British knew that the carriages and cars would be driven by the White Rich Europeans. The people walking on the road would be the ‘brown’ man. So fines / punishments were kept low for drivers….we have not made much changes from that! So Nooria Haveliwala (2 killed), Alistair Pereira (7 killed), Salman Khan (one killed) are all benefiting despite being tried for ‘culpable homicide’.

The British still seem to be here, right? ………..

Well, well….

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  1. There are many stupid legacies we have of the Raj.
    Why courts are shut in summer for two days when we have millions of cases pending ? It made sense for viceroy to go to Shimla in June due to heat in delhi, now why President go to Shimla every year to serve the tradition ? Heat is no excuse since everything is Air Conditioned. Why our netas do not pay taxes ? In british Raj only Indians were made to pay Lagan so that still continues- VIP do not even pay toll tax on the road.
    One thing has definitely changed. In colonial times Indians & Dogs were not allowed at the places where Britishers lived however now Dogs can move around in the VIP Zones of Delhi (Read near Sonia’s or MMS house) but Indians are still stopped entering that street.
    The british raj is no more – Long live the British Raj !!!!!

  2. It is true. Even a lot of laws related to inheritance of properties are very old and have their roots in the society structure of that age. 🙂 There are many things whose reason of existence is ‘because they have existed so long’.

  3. thanks for giving an opportunity to talk about my pet peeve!
    Brits did not leave, they changed skin colour…
    As if all this is not enough our telecom is still regulated on the basis of Indian Telegraph Act of 1885 and Indian telegraph rules 1951. So on in each walk of life..
    people find it easier to jump on the other side since the loaves and fishes of being in ‘power’ are so disproportionate to its cost. And the ‘aam aadmi’ pays for it.
    We cannot even have the courage to discard a tie for formal meetings , even though the climate is not conducive. In Japan they found discarding suits meant aircon could be set at 22 instead of 18 and this reduced the emissions in Tokyo which brought down the average temp by about 1.5 degrees.
    Singapore already makes do without a jacket and tie except for board level meetings. But we still feel the need to wear a tie…
    As Taleb said…

  4. We are slave of our habits, especially deeply rooted habits. Besides, does government really want to make a change in daily life of average person for better living!!! Is it good for Politicians!!! The best way our politicians can survive is to keep average person deeply involved in daily chores of life so all that an average person can do is TALK and go back to work/family and never ACT… and we call it a democratic secular country…. what an irony!

  5. atleast we dropped the Telecom budget.like railways,it was one of the most coveted(still is),by power hungry folks like paswan and pramoj mahajans of the world

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