I hear that the Cabinet is going to decide what the new symbol for the Rupee is going to be. Apparently, after a long and arduous contest involving, among other things, SMS voting and reality shows, the final choice is to be made from these 5:
But while these can hog the limelight for now, I am more interested in the ones that got rejected.
This was submitted by Iyers International (I-squared for short, “Minus One” for geeks) and was rejected by the TN ruling party for being casteist. When it was pointed out that the Hindi letter “Ra” was used, the party headquarters had a collective aneurysm trying to figure out which part of the symbol they were now opposed to
Not to be outdone by the Shaivites, the Iyengar Design Institute Of Typography submitted their stylized vision for the Rupee symbol. Being a politically shrewder lot, they pointed out that the choice of English will keep the Southern political parties happy and what’s even better, the “naamam” part even looks slightly like the rising sun. But it was rejected on the basis of a massive protest by the Association of Pencil Manufacturers (led by Natraj) who complained that the symbol looked too much like the nib of a pen and therefore was offensive to pencils.
The Association of Sarcastic Sitizens, in yet another display of pointless metaphorical adventurism, submitted their version which apparently symbolized the culture of corruption in India. The stroke rises boldly upwards only to be chopped into smaller and smaller pieces towards the end as it falls ignominiously to the ground. It typifies the average citizen’s (or sitizen) struggle with getting things done as money keeps leaking as bribes and commissions all the time, they said. Needless to say, it was rejected as a result of the judges falling asleep while reading the A.S.S’ 15,000 page explanation of the symbol (they had commissioned Umberto Eco to do the writing). The organizers further pointed out that any association willing to misspell “Citizen” just so they could have a more descriptive acronym must not be trusted.
The Union of Plastic Surgeons (UPS) felt that they could use this contest to subtly slip in an advertisement of their services. Their version distinguishes between real money and fake money.
The RSS suggested that since we use this man’s image on all our currency notes, it is only fair that he be the new Rupee symbol. It was rejected on the basis of being cynical and non-pseudo-secular. Critics of this version called it the “Kill Bill” since the submitters were implicated in the killing of the chap on the bill.
The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments folks suggested the use of the “Pillaiyaar Suzhi” (Auspicious Ganesh Squiggly) because, in keeping with the rich Hindu tradition of highly abstract thinking, Ganesh represented Knowledge and Knowledge was wealth and wealth was well..money. It was rejected for being insensitive to Ganesh’ younger brother, Karthikeyan (Muruga)
Mukesh Ambani sent in this symbol,pointing out that he has most of India’s money anyway. It was rejected for being too capitalistic.
The Tamil chauvinists sent in a curvy, stylized Tamil “Ru” symbol, commonly used to represent Rupee in TN, but it was rejected for looking like an offensive finger gesture