Demonetization- The irony of the morality
With high pulse rate and slight apprehension, I ventured into the bank. A calm front desk person issued the coupon and guided me towards counter no 3. After waiting about 5 minutes, the currency that I brought to the bank and which could not be used out on street, was converted into the ones which could be used to buy things. There was no chaos, bank was almost empty. The teller was a beautiful young woman and looking at the customer admiringly. Well at least, I thought so and like to retain the freedom of self-praise. So in about 10 minute’s time, here I was back again on the street with the objective clearly attained, currency exchanged and I was free to spend on my whims and fancies once again.
That the above happened in Shanghai and currency was exchanged from US dollars to local Yuan is a separate topic altogether. India and Indians will never be the same post 8th Nov 2016. PM flashed on screens and announced the earth quake if RG will allow me to borrow the phrase.
What happened next is the reflection of the typical Indian character so engrossing for the minds that like to review and reflect events from a distant point. Let me also try and reflect on the issue of demonetization as simply as I can
Mr. Manmohan Singh, the honorable Ex PM quoted eloquently in Rajya Sabha that “In the long run, we are all dead”. This made me wonder if similar statements were also made prior 2014 general election in the congress working committee and majority agreed to honorable PM of that time and decided to relinquish power as a sign of monkhood. It can be argued that extension of allegedly corrupt UPA for the third time would have been a longer run than expected, thus it is not sure if Modi won the election on his charisma or UPA lost the election as its expiry date was far exceeded.
Speaking of Mr Singh, engineers like me wonder what actually an Economist does that is so relevant or rather useful to the society. We have like 800 million economist in India post 8th Nov 2016 anyways. All professions ranging from doctors, engineers to barbers and cleaners bring some value to society in their own way. I always fail to understand how an economist helps the society in a whole other than dishing out some formulas which hardly are understandable to the common people. If saying Open markets and ease of doing business in a country will bring the economic up-liftment in the society and this statement could only come from a learned economist then all I can say is …well Duuuhhh. Of course a normal human being was incapable to arrive at that thought process without going to oxford and completing some 13 years of economic research.
Another milestone in the issue is Honorable Delhi CM (rather Delhi ke Malik) unruly but characteristic behavior. Mr Kejriwal being an IIT grad and IRS officer himself, failed to understand why replacing the currency is at all required when he is the one who is the sole authority on corruption and has not been consulted in advance by the Chaiwalla PM of the country. Not so long back, he had announced on public platforms that if at all CBI needs to raid any of the officers working under Mr Kejriwal, they should inform him in advance. You can hardly argue with the logic of the whole statement as the MAN considers himself a crusader in all forms. Is it not the Hindu philosophy to guide the evil to come to god’s ways before having to kill them in case they fail to realize the chosen path? That was the gist of Mr Kejriwal argument and we must follow this verbatim.
That he retweets highly objectionable tweets to his 10 Million followers is a matter which should not be even discussed here and probably requires a newspaper in its entirety. Saying this will suffice that second string leaders in Aam Admi Party are emboldened by this inexplicable behavior of their leader and dish out nasty stuff on tweeter regularly getting abused in return by the opposite spectrum.
Another young and energetic political maverick, Ms Mamata did not really know how to react actually with the notification and thus reacted in most common human trait of frustration and loosing composure. That the army was sent to dethrone the popular WB Govt and operation OPEN SECRET started from the highway toll booth will be remembered for a long time as the political faux pas during the country struggle with the demonetization. One can laugh as well as cry over the simplistic minds in Indian state politics that start feeling endangered, the moment a central controlled officer is around. CBI raids are classic example of never ending claims of misusing the central govt powers against state level politicians.
Coming to the elitist in society who for the first time came to know that they have servants, maids, drivers in the house without any bank account and platinum credit cards, it is a matter of great curiosity on the writer part how these elites will behave if maid was to actually ask them to deposit the salary in her account online. Many will definitely faint not because they never expected this to happen, but probably they may have to share their banks welcome chairs with their maid sitting next to them and poor bank trainee receptionist asking the maid – Dear Madam, would you mind waiting in the lobby while I process your request to our first available teller?
What also came as a surprise was the uprightness and political maturity of some of Non BJP leaders to come out in support and praising the PM for the bold move. If you analyze closely, only the shrewd and experienced politicians came out in support which can be attributed to their experience guiding their political response sensing the public appreciation of the move as a whole. WE ALL SUPPORT THE GOVT IN FIGHT AGAINST BLACK MONEY- pet came the response from all in the melee of the parliament winter session.
Till the time of writing this article, I was not sure if RG can be put in this category or not as man speaks in contrasting manner and difficult to really fathom his train of thoughts.
Lastly the morality of the people in general, how can one possibly plan a move to separate the Indians from the ill-gotten wealth? The word JUGAAD has found its way in the oxford dictionary for a reason and if it has not so far the it must starting 8th Nov 2016: 2100 hr IST.
The Jan Dhan accounts were opened by the GOI for the benefit of the poor. That the accounts are used to park the black money is probably the simplest idea requiring standing ovation at the least. There were people dying for the lack of cash and govt had failed in number of ways to stabilize the situation with all the machinery at their disposal. However the hoarders had already started the new currency stocks and hawala is slowly coming back is an eye opener to the resilience of the wrong kind of Indians and innovation at their disposal for dealing with the tough situations.
How the country can be reformed if you are dealing with such sharp minds on the other side? One options will be to make a team of highly corrupt officers to come up with the plan of ant-corruption but the plan in itself has the possibility of failure in the basic premise itself.
If one looks at the situation from academic point of view, there is hardly anything that can be done by any Govt for the uprooting of corruption unless the society itself wants to make itself an honest one.
To end the article, only one thing can be concluded that PM tried with surprising political boldness to end the status quo but failed as most of the members of the society are against the idea of reforms. All that can be achieved by the mammoth exercise is that banks, flushed with money, should transform the loan structure for house, car, study loans and in turn another generation and large section of the society could be benefited by cheaper interest rates.
Hum Honge Kamyab, Hum Honge kamyab ek din
O ho man mein hai wishwas, poora hai wishwas, hum honge kamyab ek din