I am in a state of chronic pauper (nitya daridra), like many of the cash-strapped Indian poor post demonetization of 500 and 1000 rupee notes. Yet, it is an opportune moment to imbibe habits like frugality and simplicity. Yes, Modi's surgical operation to correct the economy one fine evening might yield more unforeseen takeaways like newfound inclusiveness and fraternity across cultures besides discipline. This shared poverty of liquidity is only transient for cash users, only with respect to certain denominations that can be either notes or people in a yet to be perfected electronic payment systems. This by itself is a great leveler/ equalizer. And, oh, boy, what a coup it was! Three cheers for our PM.
All said and (a lot to be) done, soldiers come to the rescue at the borders and within the country, it is our bankers who readily rise to the occasion on par with our brave soldiers. Kudos go to both the sections as well as our silent majority of law-abiding citizens who are braving the attendant vicissitudes only for a better future in our economy.
India’s economy is always resilient vis-à-vis other modern economies. Diverse are our resources and resourceful are our businesses and employees. Farming community is self-contained as always. Parallel economy is prevalent, and it predates to our folklore era of ‘Alibaba and forty thieves’. This needs to be phased out through various fiscal measures and special legislation. A lot has to be done by the government and the kind of drastic steps that are in store are mind-boggling for their probable impact on our hitherto complacent society, especially the super rich who are guilty. This chore of ‘belling the cat’ was avoided all through the timeline of independent India, lest some bee nests got disturbed. Demonetization is one of the many tools in the fight against corruption, including other anomalies that plague our country which must be addressed post-haste by the remaining measures that Modi got up his designer sleeve.
Laborers, small vendors, porters and daily wage earners among others happen to be the silent majority who are suffering insurmountable hardships due to lack of sufficient new currency until they bide their day till dinner time every day. Cashless exchange is always welcome, but the existing setup is serving only in part owing to our large population being illiterate, without wherewithal, not inclined to use or cannot afford systems including a mobile phone. This is despite millions are made to open saving accounts of late. Hoarding is a familiar occupation in times of scarcity and fear of what the tomorrow might end up with. This is same across all classes, to hold back whatever commodity including notes when the same are feared/rumored to be unavailable. Till such time the ordinary person on the street is satisfied that there is normalcy in exchange of cash over the counters, the fear factor for the unknown haunts.
Once the decision having been made by the government, which of course, cannot be rolled back that I bet on, it is imperative that various state governments shall actively cooperate with the central government in the best interests of our polity whose economy serves all of our people and in everybody’s interest. Like with our government’s international treaties and positions, the other political parties will have to join together to resolve any defects in the systems for smooth replacement of the particular notes till the situation comes to normalcy. After that, there will be no weeds to be worried about in the economy at least for a while longer till we get more secure and strengthened as a power to reckon with.
Moreover, there will be a new kind of discipline in the economy and more of transparency in all commercial and welfare activities that concern our common man and the rich alike besides improving the image of the nation in the minds of the nation’s trading partners to come here and invest more than before.
A country gives its mandate to a particular party at the polls, be it in the USA or India, whose manifesto contains certain goals. Having chosen a party to lead, the nation should swallow what it started chewing. Lest we will have nothing to eat and may go hungry in the long run.