Addressing reporters today, Nilekani said that the rich cultural history of Cobol was being corroded by these new fangled upstart languages. “We are determined to protect our ancient heritage”, he said, “We cannot allow the language that has provided our bread and butter for ages to be destroyed by new fads.”
Elaborating further, he said, “The Congress party has always been pro-poor. It should not come as a surprise to anyone that we have come out strongly in favour of Cobol programmers.”
He added that he has submitted a proposal to the finance minister outlining a plan for tax breaks aimed at promoting the language of the masses. He also sought funding for setting up Cobol Prachar Sabhas in all major cities of the nation.
When asked for his reaction, Mr. Nilekani’s spiritual guru, NRN Murthy fondly reminisced about the days when Nandan would print his Cobol programs on paper and they would go together on his scooter to deliver them to their clients. “The internet and Faking News didn’t even exist back then”, he sighed, with a twinkle in his eye.
The announcement left officials of the UIDAI in a state of shock. “We knew something was amiss last week when he ordered a feasibility study for rewriting Hadoop in Cobol”, said one speaking on the condition of anonymity, “But no one expected him to go to such extremes.” Another revealed that ad agency Dentsu has recently been hired to launch a secret campaign blaming Java for all problems with Aadhaar.
Public reaction was sharply divided. Nandan’s position drew strong support from balding, middle-aged men. Younger voters, however, were not not so enthusiastic.
“First let him send his kids to Cobol training institutes. Then he can talk,” said a young man angrily. Another asked, “They have been power for so long. Whose fault is it that we are still Cobol programmers?”. “They can’t fool us with such sops any longer. Young India has woken up”, said another lady.
The Congress party however came out strongly in support of Nilekani’s call. Leading party intellectual, Mr. Sanjay Jha, said that the Nilekani proposal has been approved by the party high command. A bill would be tabled in the parliament shortly. The scheme would be called Rajiv Rozgaar Yojna in honour of the former prime minister who is widely credited with bringing technology to the country.
Another senior leader of the party known for providing more gas to the common man claimed that the bill would enable Cobol programmers across the country achieve escape velocity and come out of their misery.