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It what is perceived to be a major blow to Modi and his “Hindu Nationalist” comment, the UPA government has announced that the State Bank of India would be renamed to Secular Bank of India. At a press conference held to make this announcement, Finance Minister Mr. P Chidambaram said, “The economy is in a bad shape. Inflation is high. Investor confidence is low and so is the value of the rupee. Under these circumstances, we wanted to do what any government would do – rename stuff.”
Clarifying the circumstances and reasoning behind the re-branding, Mr. Chidambaram said, “It would be prudent to not speculate over the re-branding. We could have named it after Rajiv Gandhi or Indira Gandhi, but we wanted to send a strong message to the communal forces while examining the possibility of implementing some much needed reforms in the banking sector as well.”
When asked to explain the nature of these reforms, Mr. Chidambaram said, “Well, we are in the process of implementing multiple interest rates for different sections of society. The details will be in the public domain shortly after it is approved by the UPA Chairperson. The gist of the whole thing is that we have always wanted inclusive growth. Now that it does not seem possible, we want to give pain to all sections of society in equal measure.”
He also added, “We made sure we gave the people a holistic banking system,” with a wink.
RBI Governor, Mr. D Subbarao, who was also present at the press conference, stated that the State Bank and its five Associate Banks will be renamed according to the new directive. He also announced the formation of a parallel credit rating agency, which would rate your secularism based on which loans would be granted.
Explaining this further, Mr. Subbarao said, “We have something called the Secular Quotient, let’s call it SQ. Now, SQ is an index of all your activities online and offline. Your posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media would be analysed for secularity by an algorithm provided by our Joint Chief Secular Officers, Ms. Barkha Dutt and Ms. Sagarika Ghose.”
“Of course, for minorities, SC/STs, OBCs and holders of secularism certificate personally signed by either Ms. Barkha Dutt or Ms. Sagarika Ghose will automatically have the highest SQ”, the FM added.
Bank officials seemed quite enthusiastic about the move. “I am very happy about this. It will help us get more deposits that would in turn help us make sound financial decisions like rescuing a certain airline,” said a highly-placed source from the new Secular Bank of Mysore’s Head Office (curiously located in Bangalore).
He also added, “Now, if they only changed the logo from something that looks like a part of the female anatomy, it would be very nice only.”