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Constant saga over new currency, Modi’s anti-corruption initiative

“It is true that it affected the lives of the people who were in need but this temporary sacrifice was necessary for the long permanent happiness and development.”

Narendra Modi

Image Credit: PTI

While United States of Anxiety, (Oops! America) was hiding behind their doors with cocktails hoping to not wake up getting Trumped (for which they are too late to even think about); India went gaga as soon as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the eve of Tuesday, November 8, proclaimed the cease on legal tender of Rs. 500 and 1000 denominations. Mixed reactions have poured in the country since, especially the proportionate level of opinions over social media from Twitter to Facebook to Trolls to everything possible.

“This anti-corruption policy I believe is assertive for us and future generations to come. Although, the fact that the declaration for the same was so quick that a certain section is facing challenges like the people who doesn’t have a bank account; a lot of people who are unaware and this is indispensable in a developing country like ours. The question is, are we ready yet to go a cashless economy?” said Khushbu Mistry, Primary Teacher from Pali District, Rajasthan.

Indians by nature are extremely skeptical and this goes a level up in the opposition each time the BJP-led government accompanied by Modi’s marketing face come up with any idea/policy. Twitter saw Rahul Gandhi, the VP of the Indian National Congress degrading this move of Modi with sarcasm. While the AAP party leader, the CM of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal seemed to follow no different path and lack of appreciation from him was undoubtedly expected. Well, by now everybody has actually mastered in decoding their constant grievance behaviour no matter what the circumstances are. Though a critic like Suhel Seth went on to praise Modi.

This time was no different. The ‘Game Changing’ step is issued with the agenda to fight against corruption, black money, benami properties, terrorism and counterfeiting to continue. It is certainly not a new thing when we overview the major actions of BJP right before elections or in times when major debatable issues are on.

Vivek D’souza, a Political Science student from Mumbai said, “It’s another short-term poll benefit to BJP and long-term economic loss to the nation.” He believes that the BJP-led government has completely failed to understand that 90% of the black money involved is in the form of shares, gold and real estate.

“Modi failed to initiate action plan for black money outside India in order to seek funds for upcoming elections from the same source. This move is likely to suppress prominent issues like (missing JNU student) Najeeb, banning of NDTV, regular ceasefire violations by Pakistan, killing democracy, privatising education and communal tensions all over the country till next 2 months,” he said.

Though Modi has clearly justified the step of demonitisation by stating in his speech, “The 500 and 1,000 rupee notes hoarded by anti-national and anti-social elements will become just worthless pieces of paper. The rights and the interests of honest, hard-working people will be fully protected.” He assured that there are provisions to their rescue in terms of redeeming newer currency; temporary hardships may be faced. “Experience tells us that ordinary citizens are always ready to make sacrifices and face difficulties for the benefit of the nation,” he added.

Fraeortis Satarawalla, a Master’s student of Ancient Indian Culture from Mumbai opined, “I strongly welcome this move. It will affect our lives much longer in a positive manner. Many illegal or terror organisations used the same currency against us either by acquiring by fraud means, funding or counterfeit. These groups are likely to lose purchasing power and even power of the morale which was used against India and its citizens; so the national security comes as the first priority as perfectly noticed by the government.” In the context of inconvenience to people he added, “The sudden decision by the government on demonetization gave no ultimatum for the black money holders to launder it into white. It is true that it affected the lives of the people who were in need but this temporary sacrifice was necessary for the long permanent happiness and development.”

Image Credit: S Irfan/PTI

Image Credit: S Irfan/PTI

It is partially difficult to analyse if everyone welcomes the decision or not. There is a certain section that is happy to sacrifice their peace for a period of time and cooperate to the movement. While, some have serious grievances against the same. But there is also a section that wants to welcome the change yet undeniably disturbed with the chaos in their lives due to personal reasons like marriage that cannot be quickly funded with restrictions on cash withdrawal. While there is always a cynical perception if the party’s action are just another ‘political gimmick’. But it is quite evident that many other parties have not come forth to appreciate the new currency policy. Is it either a genuine reaction or another politicisation of the issue to window dress their so called ‘clean image’.

With all said, Modi-led BJP government is definitely making some remarkable (for some) moves and the consequences of the same will be eventually seen and felt. And in no way Modi is compromising in letting us feel his presence at the centre.

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