New Delhi: At some point during Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s reading of his Budget Speech on Monday, an announcement was made via the government’s Press Information Bureau platform. In what could be the biggest break from tradition by the Narendra Modi government yet, the communiqué was as concise in its word count as it was groundbreaking in its innovation.
In a release titled ‘Government of India announces reform in presentation of Union Budget 2017 onwards’, it was announced that “The Union Finance Minister shall no longer be presenting the Union Budge from 2017 onward. With a view to generating more interest (Read as boosting TRPS – Ed) and killing the monotony, the Ministry of Finance will be enlisting the services of a guest presenter. In 2017, the guest presenter shall be Shri Chris Rock“.
After numerous attempts Faking News finally managed to get in touch with Rock, who was at the Oscars after-party. Over the din of the festivities, he managed to tell us that he was ‘deeply touched’ and ‘excited’ about the development.
“Yeah, I’ve hosted all kinds of stuff before. I was just waiting for the Government of India to aks (sic) me to host the Budget,” he said and added, “I think the first thing all the people of India need to know is that you don’t pay taxes – they take taxes.”
When reminded that the Budget speech is a solemn and serious occasion, Rock fired back, “You sayin’ a black man can’t deliver a serious speech? Y’all ever heard of Dr King? Or Malcolm X? They were black men who gave serious speeches while their lives were in danger and they were excellent! We’re not all Kevin Hart, you know?”
This correspondent pointed out that Rock wasn’t the typical African-American — most of whom are not film actors who earn big paychecks. This year’s Academy Award host was in no mood to be deterred: “Hey, I live in a neighborhood so bad that you can get shot while getting shot!” he shot back (pun unintended).
After firing a final salvo of how the government would be paying Ben Affleck or Matt Damon a lot more for delivering the Budget speech, Rock returned to the after-party.
When Faking News contacted the Ministry of Finance, no one was available to offer a comment. However, sources in the ministry said that the entire office was watching Head of State as part of a Chris Rock movie marathon.