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Indian Prime Minister Modi's Demonetisation: Is it Good or Bad For India And The Global Village?
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When the world was busy with the American presidential election results on 8th Nov 2016, Indian media suddenly interrupted their programmes to show PM Modi; who using his executive authority declared a ban on the Rs500 and Rs1000 bank notes from that midnight. As if it was a nostalgic stimulus from its first PM Nehru's 'When the world sleeps India wakes up at the midnight hour', it almost kept Indians awake with uncertainty. With the black money holders not having a chance to cash in that night, society facing endless serpentine lines the next day, money not reaching the villages after that, cash not being available for marriage, buying of seeds and giving away daily wages even after that and making a feast out of all that opposition ganging up against the government India was shaken to the core. It seemed, the only ones, who made money were the economists and the media, who organised endless debates. Yes this demonetisation brought about a lot of problems to the people of India and other countries, where Indian currency is grudgingly accepted i.e. Nepal. THE PROBLEMS: 1. The suffering of its people: People in different countries suffer when their nations go to war, face natural disasters or chose a revolution. Indians had none of them. Furthermore, even if demonetisation alone is seen as a cause of the suffering, people did not suffer in previous ones. So what happened this time? Though designed to make the black marketer suffer and pay, this demonetisation seems to have made the ordinary people suffer instead; that too for a prolonged period of time. In fact, almost as a fodder for a socialist revolution, this suffering has been mostly borne by the poorer sections of the society. Having left the barter system long ago and not quite caught up with the banking ways, and therefore, exchange being done entirely on cash the farmers, the labourers and the traders faced the heaviest brunt. While the rich used their poor workers to get their cash in the long serpentine lines, the poor even had to forfeit their daily wages to get theirs in them. Let alone the hard earned cash problem, making housewives 'expose' their hidden cash, it defiled family secrecy too. Even if we forget the government's lack of thought about the cash needed for marriage, buying grain in time and giving wages; and even have some sympathy for the repeated ministerial damage control meetings, one cannot forget the deaths of people while cueing. Tharoon called it a disaster. One, however, wonders how the then USSR managed long queues. Tharoor called it a disaster. 2. Corruption alleviation: With cash constituting just 10% of the black money according to the economists (rest being in gold, houses and in foreign bank accounts) demonetisation obviously could not do much to dent the black money problem. In addition, with necessity being the mother of invention to the bad guys too, and them being more cautious in addition, it did not quite dent their corrupt ways either. Now, to the horror of all, the new advanced notes even merged with the old ones in the hands of the corrupt. 3. Terrorism: While attack on its army base took away the shine of 'helped in ending terrorism', the 'it was already decreasing' took away the glow of 'it stopped stone throwing' in Kashmir. 4. Legal issue: Even if we were to disregard the anger of 'Why on earth did they have to make different sized notes', with paper notes specifically screaming 'Bank will give this amount to you', some even termed the 'denial' illegal. 4. National prestige: The Western Press hasn't been kind either. They have ganged up against mod's demonetisation exactly the way they ganged up against him during the pre-election period. If those were to be taken as International opinion on India, then the demonetisation certainly dented India's international image. The benefits: This demonetisation wasn't a first timer; it wasn't Modi's idea originally; it wasn't done for his financial gain and it wasn't done by him alone. It was done by a team sworn in secrecy for 6 months, who were asked to live in his house. However, with the economists just looking at the loss of GDP, sociologist and the media criticising the people's suffering, politicians forgetting their genetic differences and ganging up against Modi, and the general masses just wondering how to get cash for they occasions yes this demonetisation has been decried by many through their own angles. However, if a deeper holistic look is given to the issue, a significant benefit to India can be discerned. 1. Even though a doctor was caught photocopying cash and cheating people, and the larger note size only delayed cash distribution, the new notes are said to be technically advanced.
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