oppn parties Demonizing Demonetization, Spreading Anarchy

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oppn parties
Demonizing Demonetization, Spreading Anarchy

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
As usual, motor mouth Arvind Kejriwal is throwing unsubstantiated charges at PM Modi personally and the NDA government. He is claiming that Modi had informed the BJP and “his friends” of the decision to demonetize well in advance so that they could arrange to have their cash pile legalized before it was announced. He has called the demonetization a “huge scam” and has called for its immediate rollback. Mamata Banerjee has also made similar noises and asked Modi to roll back the move and resign for causing such untold hardships to the common man. She has said that she is even willing to work with avowed foe, the CPI (M), to bring down this “black government.” Demonizing demonetization is not going to work, especially when the common man is fed up with the cash pile stashed with corrupt politicians and bureaucrats, illegal businessmen and unethical professionals. Maybe these politicians are worried that Modi might next come up with election funding reforms that might dry up their party coffers.

All the political leaders – Kejriwal himself, Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati and Uddhav Thackeray – who are ranting against the demonetization have one thing in common. All of them claim that it is bad as it has inconvenienced the common man. But is the common man protesting beyond a limit? Let a random survey (not a designer survey of party cadre stationed in queues at bank branches and ATMs) be conducted across the nation. The common man everywhere appreciates the intent behind the move but is only saying that the process could have been implemented better. Very few are saying that it should be rolled back or that it will achieve nothing. Experts have also said that although the long term benefits are debatable, there will be huge short term benefits to the economy in the form of sucking out some part of illegal cash hoard, immense deposits in the banking channel, some conversion of people from the parallel economy to legal economy and increase in tax collection, now and in future as lakhs of new taxpayers, who had managed to escape the tax net till now, will be identified. There will be a spike in assessed incomes of existing taxpayers, who deposit old currency above certain limits in their bank accounts, too.

Any exercise of this nature depends on two major things – surprise and speed. The government cannot be faulted on both counts. Very few people within the government, and almost none in the party, knew of the impending move. Even ministers were confined to South Block – with no access to mobiles and tablets – after being told of the decision minutes before the prime minister addressed the nation. People got just four and half hours as the announcement was made by 7.30 pm on November 8 and was enforced from midnight the same day. Those saying that debate, discussion and planning should have been done – implying that the people or their representatives should have been taken into confidence – have no understanding why the goals of the move could not have been achieved if that was done. They are also implying that Modi took this decision all alone, which shows they either have little understanding on how the government works, which cannot be the case as they are themselves running governments at state levels, or are deliberately trying to fuel anarchy by poisoning the mind of the common man.

Now, in demonizing demonetization and by circulating several conjectures bordering on rumours, these politicians are doing a great disservice to the nation. Till now they were after Modi for not doing enough about the menace of black money. Now, when he has come out with this strong move against it, they are after him for inconveniencing the people. Such politicians have a one point agenda to criticize Modi for everything he does. They should let the government implement its ideas and wait for the results before jumping to biased conclusions, more so when Modi has said that there will be further measures to go after cash hoarders and the corrupt. They should also refrain from imputing ulterior motives to Modi for trying to cleanse the system. As for Kejriwal, he should either prove the charges to get Modi prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act or should himself resign and take sanyas from active politics and vanish into the same woodwork from which he emerged on the coattails of Anna Hazare. The demon is not in demonetization - it is in the mind of people like Arvind Kejriwal.