From my observations of social media discussions and TV news to daily accidental encounters with a number of strangers, sometimes on the metro, tea stalls, newspaper stands etc., to discussions among intellectuals including think-heads in my office, particularly after Modi’s announcement of waging war against black money on November 8 by invalidating high-denomination currencies and subsequent rush and inconvenience, which has now left the entire nation divided, to a larger extent confused, on the issue, prompting many to seek opinions of economists whose ideological orientations are so strongly entrenched in their minds that they can hardly give any analysis without bias, I have noticed a sort of a paradigm shift in people’s thoughts across the board.
Regardless of their political leanings, there are people who are seemingly united towards one purpose and that is weeding out black money from the system, punishing those who by some means turned the entire system to their advantage. They are those groups of people who are not in any way fearful about the consequences of the demonetiaation drive. Their shout is being misinterpreted as ‘inconvenience’, especially by those whose benami properties and black cash are posing great threat to their own existence, now, whatsoever.
Had a large majority of people been so irked by the demonetisation move, there would have been large scale protests around the country by now. Wouldn’t have we taken to streets by now, including our farmers and liberals? Except for some political opposition, which announced Bharat Bhandh on November 28 as a mark of protest against Modi’s demonetisation drive, where else is the resentment? The destructive opposition, which seems so confident now, will get its answer on the day itself. By-elections results against the backdrop of Modi’s economic reform would have satiated critics’ hunger and taught a lesson to the Modi-led BJP government then. But, which way is the wind?
The opposition is yet to acknowledge the fact that there’s been a sort of an awakening among the masses, either we accept this or not, particularly amongst those whose daily survival is dependent on hard cash. There’s a subtle feeling of happiness despite returning home empty-handed after having waited for hours at ATMs. There’s a revival of community feeling whereby people are helping each other, cutting across their party affiliations, irrespective of their caste, creed and religion, during this time of financial crisis, listening to their PM patiently with a belief that good times are ahead. That itself is an achievement on Modi’s part. And I can see that, I don’t need fear-mongering economists to help me see that change.
Many socialists have come and gone, hoodwinked innocent people presenting themselves as messiahs who can alleviate their sufferings and pain. Ruled them and used them to fill their vaults. Since independence, a number of political parties have ruled our country showing us the bigger picture of our bright future. Yet the bright future that people were made to envision by their democratically elected leaders is yet to descend on earth. Never mind, democracy is all about selecting and electing the best and there’s always the next. And people have already chosen their next.