This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Altamash Shams'. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Demonetisation Was A Political Gimmick In The Name Of Black Money. Here’s Why.

In April 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its election manifesto. This is what it mentioned about black money.

“By minimizing the scope for corruption, we will ensure minimization of the generation of black money. BJP is committed to initiate the process of tracking down and bringing back black money stashed in foreign banks and offshore accounts. We will set up a task force for this and to recommend amendments to existing laws or enact new laws. The process of bringing black money to India what belongs to India, will be put in motion on priority. We will also proactively engage with foreign Governments to facilitate information sharing on black money.”

Well, the obvious inference is that demonetization was a pre-planned idea of the elite leaders of the party. Also, the major events that occurred  — the  launch of the “Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana“, the removal of former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan – before demonetization, supports the inference we made. The removal of the former RBI Governor, who still had his second term and who was a former IMF chief economist and the one who had predicted the global financial crisis of 2008, raised some serious questions.

The manifesto failed to deliver on its promise. In the 2016 budget, there were amendments for the tax-evaders to take advantage of the one-time tax compliance window to disclose their foreign assets by paying 30% tax and 30% penalty. Much of black money never did come to India, as it was invested in real estate markets in UAE or somewhere else. No such engagement for information sharing is yet available or disclosed. If that was the case, many others like Vijay Mallya (popularly a loan defaulter, but also a tax-defaulter) would have been traced by now, as they will have duplicate accounts using pseudo names.

Is tax-evaded money known as black? If then, to tackle this problem, simple income-tax raids would suffice. In my opinion, raid is the practical and feasible solution to tackle black money problem domestically. Raghuram Rajan too had opposed the demonetization exercise by clearly stating that more focus must be on tracking data and better tax administration on where the money is not being declared, and as well as on the incentives to generate and retain black money.

The bigger problem is not black money but the corruption and scams that make use of public money. The most corrupt are our political leaders; their affiliated parties, organizations, societies, companies and so on. The generation of black money is mainly due to them. They may not be actual tax-evaders, but they are the generators of black money besides businesspersons, professionals and celebrities. And if this black money had been stashed in foreign banks, as was supposedly preached during elections, then what has been the real motto of demonetization?

When everyone knows the real problem, why then is the so called ‘solution to the problem’ addressed to the middle class and rural India?

In a country where movies are made that  make a mockery of logic and facts, it is easy to take advantage of the general public. Through exaggerated emotions, our politicians manipulate us. As a result, we forget logic and are sold on any trending issue. This becomes a powerful tool in the hands of our brainwashers and political preachers.

Movies like “Shivaji-The Boss”, “Leader” and many others have already created this deep-rooted delusional impression in people’s minds that cash is the only black money. that the big villains stash their money inside their houses. Do they not invest in companies, real estate and stock markets of other countries? Why would they keep the money in the form of cash for years?

In fact, only 4.9% of the total black money is in the form of cash. The data available is of undisclosed admitted income and in that too, the sum of cash, jewelry and other assets do not even make 50% of the admitted undisclosed income. As for the rest of the undisclosed income – is it difficult to track? Only the government knows! If the government wills it, surely it can seize everything of the parallel economy. But it will never do that because the government itself is the main party of such an economy.

Now, coming to the point of domestic black money, how did demonetization help in curbing it? Did demonetization achieve its objective? No. Income-tax raids on a large scale and still better tax structure, higher rates of penalties, implementation of innovative ways for tracking black money holders, well-planned police and CBI raids on criminals, smugglers and black dealers should have been the focus of the government. The proper functioning of the Lokpal, that has still not been set up, might have reduced the extent of black money generation by exposing the scams (small or big) of political leaders. But the government had a very different idea.

It’s not the first time that India has seen the cessation of legal tender. In fact, demonetization in 1946 and 1978 were also unsuccessful and opposed by RBI during those times. However, demonetization of higher currency notes in 1978 had benefited in terms of currency value and curbing inflation. But the efforts to curb black money have gone in vain.

These elites of the ruling party want to show people that they are reforming the country with their ideas and policies. Thus, they tend to form a policy in a way to attract attention and publicity and implement their political gimmick. They do it because it’s very difficult to bring a change, and therefore, they censor information through their mediums, inject the impressions of their deceptive half-truths into the people’s minds and brainwash them as per their needs. Finally, the people are convinced that change has indeed happened.

You must be to comment.

More from Altamash Shams'

Similar Posts

By shakeel ahmad

By Priyaranjan Kumar

By sumitrealestateblog

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below