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‘One Decision Drove An Entire Nation Berserk’: Open Letter To PM On Demonetisation

Posted on November 17, 2016 in Business and Economy

By Subham Rath

Dear PM Narendra Modi,

As an Indian citizen, I congratulate you on your intention to make India a black money and corruption-free land with the recent ban on Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 rupee notes.

However, this decision too was met with numerous criticisms. But I am unable to figure out the answers to some fundamental questions that I deem very pertinent and crucial to this ongoing ‘anti-corruption’ drive.

Does this massive operation ensure the prevention of further generation of counterfeits and black money, once this massive operation gets over? With no additional special security features introduced in the new Rs. 2000, 1000 and 500 rupee notes, how do you propose to stop corruption, counterfeits and black money as a result of tax evasion and intrusion of fake currency notes from Pakistan in future?

How are we doing in terms of fighting the black money stashed in various forms abroad in Swiss banks and in tax havens like Mauritius, Panama and other such places ?

Moreover, do you have plans to interfere with probable surreptitious temple donations (‘hundi‘) made during this time ? If not, why?

I agree with you on the fact that at least some amount of ‘black money’ will be recovered and it will definitely give the hoarders sleepless nights. But it has also given, millions of people, who don’t have any connection to black money, sleepless nights.

Banking officials too are having terrible times.  There are already cases of vandalism and loots, taking place throughout the nation.

A number of people have reportedly died while waiting in queue to exchange their currency notes.  A baby died yesterday awaiting medical attention, due to the refusal of a doctor of the Rs. 500 note.

Who is going to take the responsibility for all of this? Clearly this was not an accident.

I must commend your efforts. Your efforts did one thing for good. It exposed the rotten skeleton of class disparity, where a privileged neo-liberal middle class with absolute certainty failed to comprehend the plight of the downtrodden majority in the nation. And in such a heterogeneous nation like India, how can we even forget the caste disparity as well?

Now coming back to the topic of prevalent chaos, was your government prepared to deal with such a pandemonium? Because all that we hear is news of havoc wreaked by that one decision no matter how noble its vision may seem.

What plans do you have to help the nation get rid of this bottleneck situation in the upcoming days, given the fact that the ATMs will still require sometime (in weeks) to recalibrate?

Daily wage workers, like tea plantation workers for example, are not getting their wages with which they make their ends meet. This period also coincides with the harvesting period of kharif crops in West Bengal. Most of the earnings of the farmers are exchanged in cash which clearly seems unavailable at the moment for one reason or the other. How do you intend to salvage them from this situation? Clearly, mere salutation for their sacrifice will not suffice.

Moreover, the Centre approved changes to an anti-corruption law that protects government employees from being investigated by agencies. This came as a shocking revelation and stood completely paradoxical to your aims to fight corruption. How will this help to fight corruption when there is already a lack of transparency because of the shield provided by the Centre?

The situation seems unprecedented and calls for immediate ‘catastrophe management’.  It appears that a single decision drove an entire nation berserk.

I sincerely hope that this decision of yours would not continue to put ordinary people in such trouble and misery.


Subham Rath