Jana Natya Manch
Nahi Qubool

This is a satire. The President of the US is on an India visit, being taken around by the Minister of Privatization and the Prime Minister of Globalization. The two ministers are falling over each other to show the President what a great job they have done. The President, however, is not satisfied with empty words, and demands to see proof of the 'tough decisions' they have taken. The Ministers then provide proof.

SCENE ONE: A boxing match between a featherweight Student and super-heavyweight Higher Education Fees, which results in the student being knocked out.

SCENE TWO: The genetically modified Foreign Seed is planted in Indian farms. This is the 'terminator seed' — the peasant cannot use the previous year's crop to save seed for the next planting; every year he has to buy seed from a giant corporation. The crop brings with it a pest that is immune to traditional, bio-pesticides. Again the peasant has to go to the corporation to buy pesticide. He still hopes that he will pay back his debt after his crop is sold. The international prices for his crop, however, have crashed, which leaves him pauperized, his land mortgaged to the local usurer moneylender. Left with no option, he and his wife hang themselves.

SCENE THREE: The President is still not satisfied, and wants the ministers to cut the budgetary deficit by cutting back on the Public Distribution System (the 'ration' system as it is called, where people get cheap foodgrains and other basic necessities). The Ministers say we've decided to give 'ration' only to the poorest of the poor. The President says look around you, your country is overflowing with the poor, you'll be bankrupt if you start giving 'ration' to everyone! The Ministers say don't worry Sir, the Sack of Grain is like our daughter, we'll marry her off only to the most deserving candidate. Candidate after candidate present themselves, each poorer than the last, but none 'poorest of the poor' according to the Ministers — the first is rejected because even though menial, he holds a job; the second because he can afford to take a ride in the Delhi Transport Corporation bus; and the third (who is destitute and sick) because he's gone to a government hospital to get an X-ray done. The Sack of Grain remains unmarried!

SCENE FOUR: The Ministers rattle off the list of things they have auctioned in the massive privatization drive that has characterized the last decade and a half. The President is still not pleased, he wants something special to be sold. The Ministers now bring out the Indian Flag. The People resist; the President and the Ministers have to beat a hasty retreat.