Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Demonetization is a draconian decision only for the Black Money Hoarders

The following article was written for MyInd Makers. Pasting it here for reference: 
Exclusive Videos of Rahul Gandhi at ATM” – screamed some twitter handles of news portals. Not in 2016, but in 2010. Yes, you read that right – in 2010! Back then, Shiv Sena was (yet again) on a hate-spreading spree of not allowing immigrants from outside states. Given how Rahul Gandhi’s party was in power in both the center and state, he took up the role of opposition leader, and came down to Mumbai for a flash trip. The agenda? Withdraw cash from ATM, take local train, walk on the train platform (My god, the platform became pious because HE walked on it!), and then address students.
As expected the media went gaga over him, the momentum in the country at that time favoured Rahul Gandhi’s gimmicks, and those who called it out then were labelled things worse than Bhakts!
Fast forward to the year 2016 – Rahul Gandhi is back to the banking system. After Prime Minister Modi announced the demonetization plan, people with real needs queued up outside banks to exchange upto 4000 rupees worth of their old notes. Since this is a massive and unprecedented move, long lines were indeed expected for the first few days.
In a blatant disregard for the real needs of the people, Rahul Gandhi comes to a bank to stand in line to exchange 4000 rupees. After standing in line for a brief while to finish the photo opportunity, he was ushered into the bank and was allowed to exchange 4000 rupees. No media personnel asked the question as to why he needs this money? No one asked him if he ever went to a bank, a ATM to ever withdraw money before? If not, why is he doing this drama now? As in 2010, the English media went gaga over him going to an ATM, and even asked why Amit Shah doesn’t stand in a line!
Prime Minister Modi quipped later that those involved in the 2G, CWG, Helicopter scams are now standing in line to exchange 4000 rupees. The Congress party ignored the words “2G, CWG and Helicopter” and started shouting HYPOCRISY OF MODI- twisted his words completely and said ‘he is calling all those standing in line as scamsters’!
The Congress party’s response to the unprecedented announcement of Prime Minister Modi has been bridled with such lazy and hazy topics (including spreading fake images and rumours!). Leading the charge was Rahul Gandhi himself, who took refuge in the age-old group – the “ordinary people”.
Once again Mr Modi shows how little he cares about ordinary people of this country: -farmers,small shopkeepers,housewives-all thrown into utter chaos
Over the past 5-6 days, stories from across the country poured in as to how “small shopkeepers” were giving out stuff on credit; were accepting 500 or 1000 notes, if the purchase was made to the exact amount; and adapted digital technologies like PayTM.  Stories from across the country poured in as to how “housewives” are now depositing money into their accounts, or in some instances opening bank account for themselves!
Real life stories poured in from across the country of people standing in queue for long hours, but not complaining a bit; of “ordinary people” volunteering to help those standing in queue; of taxi drivers being happy despite loss in income; of ordinary employees stretching their works hours beyond imagination; and of farmers lauding the decision despite facing hardships. MyIndMakers has a separate section dedicated on its site, where people are voicing their opinion – do listen to them to decide about the “chaos”.
These stories are a perfect reflection on how the Congress party has totally misread the situation on the ground, and is continuously resorting to empty rhetoric that no one is buying. Another such query that the Congress party knows the answer for, yet wants to sound intelligent is the following (again put forth by Rahul Gandhi):  
 “One Q for the PM: How is replacing 1000 rupee notes with 2000 rupee notes going to make black money hoarding a lot harder?” –
He of course hasn’t heard the Prime Minister’s speech of limiting the supply of 2000 rupee note, nor has he spoken to his economic advisers (if he has any) to understand why India needs higher currency denominations.
And then there is always the “money in Swiss banks”. Rahul Gandhi again – “While the real culprits sit tight on their black money stashed away abroad or in bullion/ real estate. Well done Mr Modi”.
He won’t tell you, neither will anyone from media ask him, about when these “real culprits” stashed their “black money abroad”. If he is so clear about the real culprits, why didn’t his party do anything when they were in power? Ah, but we are digressing into a boring topic!
The Congress party is not the only one with some amusing responses. Comrade Sitaram Yechury tells us that “No one carry bags to fund terrorism, it is more via online transfers”. If he knows so much about this topic, why doesn’t he approach the government and give more insights into this profound wisdom? There were some newspaper reports of thousands of crores of money of Naxals that is now just a pile of waste. There is no link of these reports to the above statement, but I just remembered the news report when I started writing this paragraph. That’s it – no link, I just remembered .
The Comrades (including those in the media) tell us how the “poorest” have been hit by this. Until BJD MP from Odisha, Mr. Jay Panda brings us back to reality.
I spend 10-12 days per month in my rural constituency, where 70% ppl have *never* or rarely used a ₹ 500 or 1000 note
Speaking of Odisha, social media was abuzz with a tweet and an image that CMO of Odisha had tweeted – “Reviewed post-demonetization situation & directed special measures to ensure hassle-free services for all & especially to those in interiors”.
No rabble rousing, no chest thumping, no pearls of wisdom – the CM just got down to business and was busy tackling the situation. So was the case with many other CMs of the country. Chandrababu Naidu was one of the earliest politicians  who demanded that the 500 and 1000 rupee notes need to be scrapped to contain the menace. While welcoming the move whole-heartedly, he also cautioned that the “Centre needs to reassess the steps &tread with caution before introducing new denominations, to eliminate stash” – meaningful and dignified advise.
And of course, he was busy monitoring the situation too.  Strangely, the Telangana CM, Mr. KCR hasn’t made a public statement in this regard. He has been monitoring, and has also announced that “Demonitised notes of Rs 500 & 1000 will be accepted from the applicants for regularization of buildings, land under GO 59 and 92 till 14 Nov”. There is an argument that this might defeat the original purpose, but since this is restricted to only regularizing applications, the impact might not be high.

However, the biggest shocker of this demonetization move came when the West Bengal Chief Minister called up Comrade Sitaram Yechury to join her in the fight against this move! People familiar with their rivalry will understand why this is a shocker. Even more hilarious was this headline – “Mamata calls up Yechury, but to no avail”. Sometime later, it would be a good case study to understand how Mamata Banerjee has unraveled after the unprecedented announcement by Prime Minister Modi. Her tweet (in caps) demanding that Modi “WITHDRAW THIS DRACONIAN DECISION” exposed the panic that has set in! Cribber-in-Chief, Arvind Kejriwal has retweeted this tweet too.
From the reactions so far, the people of this country seem to agree that this is indeed a “DRACONIAN DECISION”. For the black money hoarders, though, not for the “poorest”!


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