Skip to main content

Demonetization: Millions of man hours on queues, 100+ deaths. Why punish 96% of people for crimes done by 4%?

By Ujjwal K Chowdhury*
Let us not fool ourselves and ask the following questions or look into the following issues:
(A) Around 12 lakh crores of 14 lakh crores of demonetized money has come back to RBI and with 20 days to go more. At least 1 lakh crore or more will return. Then there is some money already with RBI from the earlier notes. So where is the black money and counterfeit notes gone? Or have they become white?
(B) It is obvious that less than 10% of the black money was held in cash. Some say only 6%. Above fact shows it. Then why punish 96% of the people for crimes done by 4% or lesser? And what a punishment: millions of man hours on queues, 100+ deaths in lines, 15+ bankers dead on duty, several committed suicides, marriages cancelled or turned skeletal, markets standstill, jobs lost etc. etc. India Express, ABP News and Mint have covered very well the human tragedy.
(C) If only 6% of black money held in cash, then remaining 94% can only be held in land, gold, foreign accounts and political funding. Then why NO action so far on these? Why political funding below 20K still unaccounted? Why parties are not under RTI, though we have to show IDs for our own money, and that too for small amounts?
(D) If it is for cashless society with digital money, then how can less than 60,000 bank branches and less than 2 lakh ATMs in India serve nearly 1000 cities and towns and 6 lakh villages? And more so when 54% of the people are outside banking system, electricity has not reach one fourth of India, and at least half the population or more are not computer or smart phone literate forget knowledge of internet. Without access, infra-structure, knowledge and habit being addressed, is such enforced digital economy any practical measure?
(E) Should the government not have launched Rs.500 first (alternative, with strong security measures), in the same size of earlier Rs.500, and NOT launched Rs.2000 notes which no one changes and that too smaller than ATM dispensation mechanism, and that too both very inadequately that even cities are not covered, forget the villages?
(F) Should the govt not have asked people to account for their lands, houses, gold and foreign accounts with known sources of income rather than strike at 500-1000 notes which made up 86% of the currency without replacing even 20% of the denotified money till date?
(G) Changing of goalpost from black money to digital cashless economy, changing of rules of deposit and withdrawals more than 40 times so far in first 30 days of demonetization: what does it show of the govt, its preparations, and the policy as such?
(H) Since terrorists, bankers, touts, BJP functionaries and engineers are being caught with new currency from lakhs to crores, while the banks are giving only Rs.2000 to individuals and Rs.50,000 to companies, does it not make a full scale mockery of the government claims of secrecy, anti-terror measures, and anti-corruption policy? In fact, it is easier to indulge in corruption with Rs.2000 notes now.
Since there are no satisfactory, pro-people, pro-nation answers to these questions, and since economy has come down already by 2%, with sowing season up for a toss ahead, will blind bhakti do ANY national service now? Please go beyond Modis, Amit Shahs, Mamatas, Kejriwals, Rahuls of the world, and truly, truly think of the nation! Where are we moving towards?
---
*Education and media consultant. Commentary was first published HERE

Comments

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

JP advised RSS to give up Hindu Rashtra, disband itself: Ex-IAS officer tells Modi

Counterview Desk
Major MG Devasahayam IAS (Retd), chairman, People-First, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Jayprakash Narain’s (JP’s) death anniversary (October 11) has wondered whether he remembers “a patriot called Jayaprakash Narayan”. Recalling what JP thought on issues such as communalism, freedom, democracy, Hindutva etc., Devasahayam says, Modi has been been doing “the very opposite of the principles and values for which JP lived and died.”

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

UP chief secretary, DGP have 'surrendered' to political diktat: 92 retired IAS, IPS officials

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, 92 retired IAS, IFS and IPS bureaucrats, commenting on “blatant violations of the rule law” following the Hathras incident, have blamed that the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police for abjectly failing to exercise control over a “highly compromised” administration the state.

Hathras reflects Manu's mindset dominates: 'Women are false, it's in their nature to seduce'

By Parijat Ghosh, Dibyendu Chaudhuri*
The woman died and then we woke up to protest. She was alive for two weeks after the heinous incident. Many of us even didn’t notice what had happened at Hathras, how she fought during the next 15 days. Those who noticed, many of them were not sure what actually had happened. So much so, we as a nation were more busy in finding out who among the Bollywood actresses were taking drugs, who smoked weed, who had ‘inappropriate’ or more than one relationship, what kind of private conversations they had in their chat boxes and what not!

Gujarat literati flutter: State Akademi autonomy curb a Sahitya Parishad poll issue?

By Dankesh Oza*
The 115-year-old Gujarati Sahitya Parishad is in election mode. More than 3,000 life members of the Parishad are set to elect its 52nd president and 40 plus central working committee (CWC) members, which in turn will elect its executive and two vice presidents, six secretaries and a treasurer for the coming three years (from 2021 to 2023).

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Delhi riots: Even British didn't accuse Bhagat Singh of reading Lenin, Jack London

By Vikash Narain Rai*
After the #BlackLifeMatters movement seriously tested the credibility of police across America, the Houston police chief Art Acevado talked of ending “lawful but awful” policing. No comparison, but in India, a citizens’ committee comprising former top judges and bureaucrats is now set to inquire into the role of the state machinery and media in handling the February 2020 Delhi violence, which followed protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), “as the investigation by the Delhi Police has evoked extensive critical commentary in recent times.”

Atrocities against Dalits: Why don't MPs, MLAs from the community ever speak up?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
In Gujarat, a young Dalit activist lawyer Devji Maheshwari, belonging to the Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation (BAMSCEF) was killed in Surat, allegedly by a goon who was warning him against his Facebook posts not to speak up against Brahmanism. Facts have come to light suggesting there are other issues also which led to the murder, mostly related to land disputes, many a time ignored by activists.