William Shakespeare once wrote the following lines in his play “Measure for Measure” – “It is excellent, to have a giant’s strength, but it is tyrannous, to use it like a giant.”
The elected government of the day has for sure got the majority of seats in the lower house. They have also got a leader who has the guts to take a path breaking decision. But just because they have the power to do so, should they just go ahead and do whatever they want to? Have the people sitting in their comfortable offices in North and South block lost touch with the ground realities?
The answer is most probably ‘yes’. Otherwise what could be the reason for them to change the rules related to demonetisation innumerable times in just past fifty days. Let’s see some facts.
The rules for cash exchange changed five times, withdrawal limits changed six times, and options for usage of old notes changed eight times since that fateful night of November 8. So much of rule making and breaking that the tag of ‘U-turn’, it seems can be shared between them and another ‘great’ *cough* politician.
On a serious note, yes the government had made sure that people, especially in the lower rung of the economic ladder, had opened a Jan-Dhan account. Many had access to a Rupay card. But did they check how many of them actually know how to use these? Did they make an assessment of financial literacy among the masses, especially among the rural poor? The answer this time is a big ‘No’.
According to a survey conducted by Standard & Poor’s, over 76% Indian adults lack even the basic financial literacy. In the case of women, it is even more pronounced and is at 80%. Also merely 14% of Indian adults save at formal institutions. The data speaks for itself. In such a grim scenario, the act of demonetising the big notes came as a brutal shock.
The ‘50-days’ and the dream of black money free India is slowly receding as many cases of corruption among the government employees itself have been found. How they managed to get hold of crores in new notes when the ‘Aam Aadmi’ was struggling to get even ₹2000 need to be explained by the government representatives.
It’s true that the real effect of this step cannot be immediately assessed, but what can be assessed is the failure of Government and the bureaucrats in implementing this step. The number of times rules were changed, the number of times they took U-turns and the number of times people had to go through the pains of standing in a queue leaving behind all other works.
Even in his speech on new year’s eve, our respected prime minister did not meet the expectations of the people. After so much patience and blind belief in him, people deserved at least the details of the amount of black money unearthed. His speech, unlike his other speeches, was just a launchpad of schemes. This could have been avoided, and something substantial could have been included. This was needed to keep the motivation of the “Aam Aadmi”.
Well, anyway since the ’50 days’ period is over, the nation is waiting to see some change. We are waiting patiently, as always for the ‘Achche Din’. The past 50 days have been very dramatic. We all have our fingers crossed, waiting to see the worth of all these in coming days and wishing all progress to our nation.
Till then, the government should keep in mind the lines of Shakespeare and understand the ground realities.
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