83% feel GST rules confusing, and they are just the I-T staff

By Balakumar K Published on Oct 25, 2017 03:00 PM IST

*State of the nation poll reveals state of the nation

Chennai, Oct 25: 'The State of the Nation' poll is a big tradition in media, an occasion when we reveal to the public what they revealed to us in the first place. Don't you think we in the media are fabulous?

As with all other polls and surveys in the media, this one too has a great tradition for being completely off the mark. Never once has any 'State of the Nation' poll ever come up with any finding that can be called interesting or informative.

Which brings us to the question: Who are the people these pollsters talk to?

I don't know. But I can confirm that I have never been spoken to by any of the pollsters. I, of course, have strong opinions on most subjects. I have the strongest opinions on matters that I have no idea about. That is what made me eligible for being a columnist in the first place.

I asked one polling agency on how they choose the respondents, and the agency said they send out their representatives to all areas to cover a diverse cross-section, and 'they speak to actual people on the street'.

I don't know about you, but I think this pick-the-people-on-street is a flawed strategy. I mean if I am in the street if some stranger walks up to me with a set of questions, my normal reaction would be to -- I am generally pretty polite and don't like to use swear words -- slap him.

On the other hand, you are most likely to run into marketing or sales people on the street, whose understanding of any subject can be filled on the back of a 50p stamp with space to spare. But we in the media industry have allowed these marketing types to call the shots. That is why we are in a stage where WhatsApp forwards are front-page news.

Anyway, the beauty of Crank's News State of the Nation poll is that -- this is all our life-long journalistic credo --- it is totally facts-free. So you may ask how different this is from other polls. Well, our poll will give you the nuance, the essential sub-text in the larger scheme of things. We crunch the numbers to give you the decimals  details. Heck, we give the percentage behind the percentages.

Right off the bat, it's GST:

A whopping 83% of respondents said that GST rules and regulations are totally confusing.

96% of those respondents were Finance Ministry staff manning the GST cell.

Economy on speed drug

76% of the surveyed felt that economy has picked up since demonetisation and GST implementation.

A good 89% of them were totally smashed under the influence of cocaine.

Figures and fingers on Jaitley

Asked to rate, on a scale of one to ten, the performance of Arun Jaitley as the Finance Minister, 92% unanimously said numbers cannot do justice to him, and 36% opted for the ever-dependable expletives, while the remaining 64% used their fingers  --- the middle finger, to be precise --- in response.

NDA, right on trigger

A good 78% of the people felt the performance of the NDA government was satisfactory.

All of them had a gun pointed to their heads.

Corruption, the killer

79% of the private sector staff blamed the government employees for the ‘culture of corruption’ in the country. One of them, taking time out from preparing his expense account statements and travel bills, said: ‘there is no room for any form of corruption in the private sector’.

Rahul, the inspiration 

Turning our attention to the opposition, a solid 97% felt that Rahul Gandhi is emerging to be a major inspiration for them.

A solid 98% of the 97% of them turned out to be standup comics.

All of them confessed they can never better the iconic line that Rahul had come up with: "Last night, I woke up in the morning".

Cricket goes for the kill

69% of the respondents felt that there was an overkill of cricket.

But 100% opined that there was bigger overkill of news reports on the overkill of cricket.

And, even those who did not participate in the survey categorically asserted that Rameez Raja on commentary should be over-killed.

Asked what was best way to avoid overseas debacles, 82% felt that India team seems to have worked out workable solution to avoid defeats in foreign lands by playing more matches in India.

News sense on television

96% said news programmes continue to enjoy high credibility during ad breaks.

100% said they are now reading 'news breaks' as 'news barks'.

The polling agency people, for their part, asked: Is there a difference between the two?

On newspapers, 91.5% people said editorials and the Open-Ed page containing long features in newspapers were important as they provided the readers the much-needed choice to skip two full pages without any guilt.

Technology shows the way

79% described Apple iPads and iPhones as the coolest gizmos to perform the top technological function of showing off.

Actual total usage of the various applications downloaded: 2%.

Statutory Disclosures

*The sample size ranged from zero to negative integers.

*The poll was conducted over three days, from 29 to 31 February of any year.