Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a hard hitting speech to his lawmakers on demonetization. The hard hitting was all for the previous regime and none for his policy. This is truly a case of missing the proverbial woods for the trees.
His entire speech focused on eulogising the demonetization move, centred on the reluctance of previous prime minister Mrs. Gandhi, who ostensibly wavered on a long-pending demand for demonetization on the pretext of wanting to win elections. The narrative being that the GOP was interested not so much in the nation, as much as in their own party.
This has a peculiarly obnoxious smell to it. As with all other spins that the BJP puts on all their actions, this too has missed the point by a wide margin. It has become increasingly clear that demonetization as an idea on the one hand and implementation on the other have had no common connect. And the disconnect has been on so many levels that it is now slowly emerging that no worthwhile thought has gone into the exercise before plunging the country headlong into this mindless chasm. Neither intent, nor vision has had a loci that could rally the people together.
To top it, our venerable PM has stooped to pointing fingers at previous non-BJP PMs, without even even wanting to glance at the direction of prudence, which I am sure is bleating its head off trying to convince the PM to watch before he shoots his mouth off. The PM is convinced that there was no better solution to black money, terror funding, cashless economy and sundry other reason, none any better than the other, at either convincing or at least at feasibility.
The notorious notion gaining ground that the poor/non-corrupt people are happy and that somehow the rich/corrupt are having sleepless nights is arguably one of the most wretched sentiments ever to be put on the public discourse. It demeans the poor in their condition, is downright dismissive of facts and flies in the face of reason. Demonetization as a measure to check black money or “bad money” can certainly be argued. It has its good and bad points. But to implement it without recourse to an alternative strategy is foolishness beyond compare and of gargantuan proportions. Sadly, the PM misses this. He fervently believes in the adage that time is a great healer. And that in the long run (which can swing between a few days and possibly months) all will be well. The disastrous effect this has had on small business is swept aside. The rural economy is in shambles, as it completely relies on a cash economy to transact. There are large swathes of land where ATMs come to life only in sheer emergencies and not as a regular hotspot of public discourse. In any case, where the govt. has put a brake on personal spending beyond 24000/- per week, the entire discourse has moved from a higher expectation of lifestyle to narrowing one’s options on survival tips and techniques.
The demonetization move has generated a fair amount of questions, and there are no clear answers. Reason has not had a say in these trying times of bravado riding the ship into some golden sunset. One sincerely hopes that there is some sort of sunrise beyond.