Though writing is not my forte, I agreed under duress. India as well as Indians are familiar to earthquakes in past two years. Similar was the case on 8th day of November, 2016. Indians felt the earthquake, but India. The ripple was hard and clear but did not do any sudden harm. The world felt it, in minutes. The epicenter was the Indian Diet.
The intensity of enlightenment poked Indian Premier to take this socially-naïve decision, Demonetization. As many say this was a well thought off plan, but this has pushed the Indian economy in front of hungry wolves. The democracy of India is at stake. The draconian ideology challenged the Indian democracy. The democratic-leader turned dictator on November, 2016. Entire stash of each and every condominium is in banks, now.
In past Soviet Union, North Korea took harsh steps to retire large bills. This decision was triggered by hyperinflation ruled by dictators, not elected by democracy. India may be first true democratic nation to attempt this kind of vandalism in the otherwise stable economy. The Prime minister has presented the demonetization as the version of clearing out stashed cash (now garbage) and has called on the Indians to join the decisive war on corruption. Early many reciprocated with patriotic fervor and that flow seems fractured than ever.
Politicians gets divided in two camps, neither of the party is making the move to oppose the “shahi farmann”. The shenanigans are as silent as possible. Ironically, Modi’s enemy on the left did not find any merit on the scheme to nudge the rich, and his supporters on the right see no reason to doubt the clumsy exercise of state power. The crux of demonetisation, firstly eliminating the fake notes in circulation. Secondly, putting a check on black money.
Let’s take the second one first. Its all black, but with varying degrees. India cannot make a giant leap of development by pulling out the black money in such a fashion. Most of ours is a cash economy, and no one loves to get rid of the paper note once you have it. The urge to keep this kitty undisclosed to the taxman and my father was strong, believe me. India is hoarding black money not only in the form cash. But also, in the form stocks, bullions, benami properties etc. Indians have also stashed quite a lot of funds in various tax havens outside India. Pulling out high-denomination bills will not cater to the need of black money. Other forms remain intact and plebians are worst affected. Drastic action may have been taken, but pristine it may sound, Demonetisation is not for India with such a low per capita income.
First comes second. Elimination of fake currency was necessary at any given point, better late than never. Fake currency was major threat to the peaceful living of the society. Crony capitalism of terrorists has been put to test. Criminal activities and terrorism will take a backseat after Demonetisation. Worst hit are money launderers, politicians, real estate industry.
Indians have been pragmatic till now, but are somehow losing the calm and composer. Flippancy is on the rise. The never ending change in day to day withdrawal, deposits, exchange limits kept-continuing to keep the bank officials and customers on toes. The serpentine queues outside banks, ATMs etc are making no mistakes in successfully completing their tasks. The duty of the long arm of the law is crossing 20 hrs per day per person, at a stretch. A huge monetary shock like demonetisation will make irreversible psychological impact in ways with leaving no prompt ratiocination.
Putting in my pen ‘north. Some points in favour of Demonetisation, as have no plans set if asked to leave the Indian boundaries for defaming the Indian Prime Minister. Modi Government left no stone unturned to curb all the ill practices being nurtured. Be it evading tax, corruption, issue of fake currency, black money, fight against terrorism. SURGICAL STRIKE needs significant mention. Some of the few important feints are Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Mudra Bank Yojana, Make in India, Income Declaration Scheme. Demonetisation, the newest and most effective of the lot. Modi’ arsenal is still not out yet, brace yourselves Indians the ride will be bumpier. The playing field will no longer be level.
The Global Village that we live in, if modernization calls for such avant-garde decisions then India better remain “Village Only”. Demonetisation has pushed Indians to the threshold and are forced to bow down to reverse parsimony. A mild Klaxon would have been welcome but Modi’s stentorian voice resembled knell.
My camaraderie with Chintu (name intentionally changed) made me write this compositon. I was asked pen down 500 words. But to my utter shock, enough water has flown down the ganges to make it 860 words (courtesy: MS Word).
Reaching the finis. Illegalising high-value currency may destroy hidden wealth today, but black economy will again regenerate itself tomorrow, to say the least. Team White Money rose as phoenix from the ashes of black money. If change is to happen than it has to be accurate, otherwise everything remains same, in the grey area. Black-Grey-White, correct pattern. Black to White, no shortcut.