23rd Nov 16, it was quarter pass 12 in the afternoon and the phone started to ring, a sight on the screen made me to think for a fraction of a second as the call was from my brother (banking professional) quite unusual to get a call from him at this hour of the day which usually he doesn’t and specially after the historic evening of 8th November (well they call it so) getting a call from a banker is surely idiosyncrasy.
Well I picked up the call, there was so much of noise, chaotic sound in the background and all I heard was “we are closing the bank and going home under police protection as the mob is getting uncontrollable after not receiving their own due Money even after the 2nd week has been passed, Please Inform Mom as I am not able to reach her.
Seems the still sun hasn’t rise for those in the rural India past that night of 8th November, they still find themselves in the same serpentine queue”
By evening I called back to find out the entire story directly from the horse’s mouth as people here in Bombay sitting in their AC cabin already had started claiming that situation has normalized and it’s just the anti-nationalist’s and opportunists for photo-op driving this story of distress.
The gist of the story was –
“people have been waiting in queue all this while in last 2 weeks but now their patience is giving up on them and its very human side of theirs, we lose our patience if only we do not get our morning cup of tea and here we are talking about farmers, elderly people in their late 60’s, daily wage earners, housewife’s and father’s, some worried about how they will feed their little ones if this continues, some for their crop and some losing their nerves by having the sense of pressure forced on their head as their daughter’s wedding is silently but continuously nearing and mounting a ton of load. They are pleading, they are crying, they are almost begging for their own money and we just couldn’t do anything Just Nothing”
I felt the sense of helplessness in his voice while he narrated me the incidence and gave a jolt to my conscience and made me to think what exactly had happened which made the people in an economy and country like India especially people at the bottom and at the middle of this Economical pyramid affected so baldy and has been forced to stand in queue and struggle to meet their daily needs like Syria and Afghanistan without any war has been forced on us.
My patriotism is no less than those who shout it loud and bring Nationalism to everything happen in the country these days.
I equally love to live in an Ideal society, No black Money, No corruption, No counterfeit currency and I am totally in for the idea to curb black money but the basic questions we have to ask here is at what cost and what we’ll be able to achieve keeping entire country at a suffering and slowdown.
Do we have the Infrastructure? Are we ready to take the leap?
The government missionary and finance minister suggested for all kind of transactions we should use cheque / plastic money.
The very idea fall flat on the surface and can’t be implemented over night as it’s the same finance ministry says that the penetration of bank A/C in India is only 53% which is comparatively low keeping few of the world biggest economy in mind.
So what about those 47% of the population, are they all indulge in keeping black money/fake currency?
The dormancy rate is as low as 5 per cent in high income economies wherein in INDIA it’s quite high at 43%.
Moreover, only 39 % of all account holders in India own a debit or ATM card.
Only one among 5000 person holds a credit card in India. One bank amid 4-5 villages.
You people do the Math that how demonetization over a night without any plan going to bring normalcy, I am surely not getting into that.
All I can say
“You can’t reach the Moon taking a flight but a spacecraft”
Certainly the “SPACECRFT” here is missing.
Let’s assume Demonetization will bring a total check on counterfeit currency (this I am saying when fake 2000 rupee note already has been surfaced in the state of Gujarat in no time of 2 weeks of new denomination currency circulated)
As Per NIA study and well vetted by RBI the estimated value of counterfeit notes in circulation is approx. 400 crores wherein the total valuation of the 85% of the Indian currency which has been demonetized is somewhere around 16.5 Lakh crores.
Again I leave the math on you to calculate what the cost incurred and what we going to achieve.
The legitimate question we should be asking here- Isn’t it to less a gain at a huge cost? Is it the right and only method to curb fake currency? Is this the practice biggest of the economies follow?
The most counterfeit currency in the world is of US dollar as per a world bank estimated $70 million in counterfeit bills are in circulation in an economy of around 21 trillion dollar.
Still no such practices have been followed by any major economy in the world in last 50 odd years and create a distress and slowdown in the economy.
Weren’t periodically introduce new notes to avoid fake notes as world’s biggest economies does was the better and logical way out to counter instead of putting the entire nation on a churn.
“The furor has been created and now the government is trying to define the Elephant keeping a blind eye to the situation and so is their loyalist”
All these thoughts pushed me to my childhood memory and a story I heard
“Act of piracy has grown in the city of mindless King. People appealed to him in hope. His Majesty Trahimam Trahimam…. this disrupted the King’s sleep, his daily luxury life, his tours and travels to foreign land in some way disrupted.
And this wasn’t acceptable or tolerable by the mad king.
He ordered the entire city to be punished and be beaten by the officials, the people went chaotic, and the entire city was in mayhem, some dare to ask why they deserve to be punished.
King said, someone among you all is the con, you will have a little pain but indirectly he’ll get punished too. So bear the pain in the national interest.”
Apparently I happen to hear the same analogy by some of the renowned Baba’s and the right wing loyalists that the soldiers starve for weeks, can’t you go hungry for a few days.
First thing first we have to stop bringing Army into everything and in my supreme believe I know Army starve so that the people of the nation can have their meal and peaceful day and nights and the regularity remain in the nation.
“They guard the LINES on the border so that the entire nation shouldn’t stand in line for their survival.”
Also, aren’t their families standing in the same queue for days and nights to get their basics done, families without their men in the house, aren’t the ARMY VETERAN also trying to manage their livelihood standing in the same queue and part of discomfort you created out of your myopic vision and cocksure ego.
Are these veterans and families of working soldiers also black money holders? Don’t you doubt their legitimacy as well?
“Shri Lal bahadur Shastri once said – JAI JAWAN JAI KISAN.”
“Today one is mutilated while guarding the LINE OF CONTROL and the other lost his life after spending weeks in LINE OUT OF CONTROL.”
“STAY HUNGRY … STAY PATRIOTIC”
Seems to be the new definition of Nationalism
I was bewildering in the thoughts and again the phone rang enough to bring me back in conscious from my innate thoughts, this time it was Mr. Tandon, I know him for almost a decade now, for me he is an ultimate marketer, an amazing sales person.
I believe he can not only sell a Comb to a bald and a Refrigerator to an Eskimo but a little more than that.
Runs his own small business and keep his ears and nerves on the ground of markets after a little chit chat the talk about the work in such times was unavoidable.
“Bhai market is affected badly the manufacturing hub DHARAVI (the unorganized hub of small scale industries) in city of Mumbai is working at half of its capacity, Masjid Bandar (one of the biggest whole sale market in Mumbai) is almost having a BANDH like situation and people aren’t able to do their daily transactions and hence mostly keeping it close”
This was his narration. After his call I thought to check the situation in capital city of India.
Okhla Industrial state one of the biggest hub for Small Industries in southern Delhi and not to my surprise the situation there too wasn’t different than Dharvi / Masjid Bandar of Mumbai.
Big vegetable and small trader markets have shut down as was the Sabzi Mandi in Delhi as it has no money to do business.
In a country like India with an Economy of 2.25 trillion USD & 22% of it purely is into cash transaction- probably the largest among any big and rising economies of the world.
Aren’t this overnight unplanned, badly executed exercise created the pandemonium effect in the country and is will hit this unorganized but parallel economy and small fish of the pond badly?
I am no economist but I happen to know the per day GDP of INDIA is approx. 45,000 Cr. Which at present running at 50-55% of its capacity, a slowdown of 23-25,000 Cr. / day in GDP while you do the math of how much we already have lost in only last 2 weeks after the stroke on the night of 8th December.
Would like to ask who is paying the price? The farmers, the daily wage labors, small vendors, unskilled labors or the elite affluent VVIP people?
Again at the risk of repeating myself I say I am neither an economist nor much knowledge to it but if Government figures to be believed only 4-6 % of the unaccounted wealth is held in cash.
If the mathematics of biggest of the economist worldwide works the Potential Gain to the Government after this entire draconic exercise will only be close to 2.5-3 Lakh Cr.
Let’s assume that the cost to government for printing new currency, cost of demonetization of old ones cost incurred in entire technical, mechanics and logistic will only be 0 (Zero) even then the ballpark figure of 2.5-3 lakh Cr. isn’t worth the exercise.
The shrink in the market, the slowdown in the economy, cut down in jobs, record depreciation of Rupee are few of the outcome the demon of demonetization already started surfacing.
The gains are few, the losses are huge.
In time where everyone is trying to decide which way the Demonetization camel sit.
For me the truth of the time is
“Ghar k darwajon se nikal kar bhook aaj kataron me khadi hai,
Khamosi –ye – dard bazaron me pasri padi hai,
Kuch Mayen hain ki bhuk ki kilkari unhe sone nahi deti,
Kuch baap hain ki unki thaki hui majboori bhi unhe rone nahi deti,
Musalsal dam todti zindagi me abhi bhi kuch saans hai baki,
Ruk jao ki abhi aur shayad koi kohram hai baki,
Meri khidkoyon se aati roshni ab dhundli si ho chali,
Mere ghar ka aaina meri zindagi ki tuti darare dikha raha hai,
Na jane shor kaisa hai ye bahar ki mera desh badal raha hai”
P.S- I’ts personal views of the author (A free thinker,keeps close eyes on things happening in surrounding and in nation, an observer, Patriotic +Brand Management, Media Planner/Buyer, Passionate about Advertising, Cycling enthusiast,Traveling, a gadget freak and love nature.