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Did Scam 1992's 'Harshad Mehta' Accurately Predict Nirmala Sitharaman's Union Budget 2021?

Screengrab of Scam 1992/Sony Liv.

Screengrab of Scam 1992/Sony Liv.

Did the writers of Scam 1992 'predict' the Budget accurately? Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stressed on the 'Make in India' policy and the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhigyan' in her budget allocations, much like 'Harshad' had predicted.

If you missed out on 2020's most bad-ass Indian web series of the year, 'Scam 1992' which was streaming on Sony Liv, created a cult following in India for its content: the rise and fall of stockbroker Harshad Mehta.

While the series is based in 1990-s India, anyone watching the series would be able to find the eerily-similar realities which still exist, almost two decades later.

The on-screen 'Harshad Mehta' is played by actor Pratik Gandhi, who depicts a larger-than-life character, but also someone the audience can empathize with - all while pretending to be a know-it-all.

After India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman shared the Union Budget 2021 on Monday, posted a clip of a scene from 'Scam 1992.' In the scene, Gandhi as Harshad is seen giving a 'press byte' or a reaction to the then-announced budget.

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In the clip, 'Harshad' can be seen saying, "No doubt its a great budget. Government is listening to the market, and liberalization is just the start. India is ready to stand up." He also adds a tip, "Invest in India. India's worth is about to soar."

At the end, he also mentions that the stock market is 'going to explode' after the announcement of the budget.

Did the writers of Scam 1992 'predict' the Budget accurately? Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stressed on the 'Make in India' policy and the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhigyan' in her budget allocations, much like 'Harshad' had predicted.

Much like in the show, 2021's budget announcement saw a change in stock-market trends in India following the announcement. The BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 indexes rose sharply on Monday as the stock market indices cheered Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget speech, in which the government promised to shed fiscal deficit concerns and sharply increase capital expenditure.

The BSE Sensex zoomed close to 2,000 points to cross the 48,000 mark after Sitharaman concluded her budget speech, while Nifty 50 crossed the 14,000-mark, rising over 450 points, indicating that the deal street’s initial response to the Budget has been overwhelmingly positive.

Sitharaman also proposed a sharp rise in capital expenditure for the next fiscal to Rs 5.54 lakh crore, from Rs 4.39 lakh crore in the current financial year. However, Sitharaman's budget did not bring any relief to the middle class as income tax slabs remain unchanged.

Here's a full list of what got more expensive, and what got cheaper in this budget.

Earlier this month, Sitharaman had stated that the budget for the fiscal year beginning April will be “like never before."