Saturday, November 19, 2016



Demonetization of currency has been the largest such exercise in India after the Herculean effort of Arya Chanakya to bring the whole of India, Bharat, under one umbrella. "Uttishta Bharata" is the famous dialogue that comes out of the voice of Chanakya whenever he blesses a disciple or an adorer, a king or Samrat.  On the way to achieve this goal he faces many hurdles, many thorns come in his way and many conspiracies are done to destroy him. Come, what may, Chanakya acts with one and only aim. "Either I will unite Bharat under one rule or I will sacrifice my life in the struggle", he says. "What is not possible, I will never say" he says at one point. The task has been onerous as each Lord of a small piece of land thinks he is independent and can not be subservient to a monarch. But, the aim of Chanakya is to unite Bharat in order to prevent alien armies from other nations do not attack us. He finally succeeds. Many people are temporarily inconvenienced during the period of transition but they are happy after the goal is achieved. What happened later is history, we wish to forget. 

I am not an economist, so I can not go into the merits of the decision. But one thing is sure. Though outwardly welcoming the move many in the Political Spectrum, the Media, the rich Advocates who rarely get paid in checks, the real estate moghuls, the hawala operators, the big doctors, chartered accountants and a plethora of other people who are happy with transacting in cash and avoiding taxes are inwardly burning with rage. Even middle classes who sell properties and wish to receive part payment in cash and when they buy wish to pay part in cash are too unhappy. Small traders (outwardly) but who do cash businesses in crores every year and never pay any taxes are unhappy. People who expect to vote after receiving cash in return are apprehensive. So, generally Narendra Modi has made every one unhappy. That means he risked his political future just like Chanakya risked his own life for a cause. That is called statesmanship. That is called courage and conviction to stand for a good cause. 

What happens with demonetization. As a layman I can see more benefits than losses to the nation. As nation means people, in the ultimate analysis it benefits all the sections I mentioned supra. Banks will be flush with low cost funds. And this leads to a low interest regime like the USA. Less interest means more credit and easy access to credit. With more tax compliance more funds are available with the Governments. More funds with Governments more infrastructure projects like roads, railway, water transport, ports etc., will be undertaken. More projects means more work and more job creation. With the fear that the Governments can act tough corrupt will be on the back foot in the immediate context and common man will be less apprehensive to book the delinquent. This may take a few years. But results will be too sweet. 

There is inconvenience. Businesses are losing out 30-40% or more. Common man is finding it difficult to find change. Workers and daily wagers are feeling the pinch. Farmers are put to hardships unable to dispose off the produce. This is being shown in a lens by the Media. In a country of vast land mass and huge population there are bound to be inconveniences.  But speaking of revolt or riots is something obnoxious. Though inconvenienced, people are not too angry to revolt. They wish to see what kind of good days this revolutionary step brings. Man is a natural optimist. He never lives by the day. He measures his happiness as an average of the troubles and the pleasures of life. If each individual has to revolt just because there is a little inconvenience, the whole world will stop as in the period of apocalypse .

A girl who goes to the house of in-laws knows the troubles she has to undergo in a new environment. Even if the in-laws are very good people there are other inconveniences. She has to change her daily routine of 20-25 years. She has to change her food habits, her sleep habits, her dressing habits etc., It a rebirth for her, just as demonetization is new birth to the country's on-going economy. For that matter girls are not shying away from getting married. If they shy away the whole creation stops. Transition is painful. So too, the transition fro student life to the working life. The transition fro being carefree couple to responsible parents. For a little pain man does not shy away from bigger responsibilities for bigger happiness or gains. Looking back, he thinks, "It is good I have taken this risk" That is basic human psychology.

Today, I stood near an ATM of SBI. At any point of time there are fifty/sixty people. For the sixtieth man to receive his cash it was taking just 45 minutes.  I talked to those in the queue. I asked them to study the human psychology. I asked them how many hours they stand in the queue for having Darshan of the Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala. Three, four, seven or even twelve hours? Then I asked them what your feelings were when in queue and what they talked then. Most of them said they abused the TTD for the poor arrangements. They blamed themselves for going there on a day of rush. (The rush is ubiquitous, there is no day when there is no rush)).  Then I asked them what their feeling was after the Darshan. "Peace" And did they still blame the TTD? No more. Then I told them, after receiving your Rs.2000/- or Rs.2500/- you smile. Few people told me after they drew the cash that they were very happy. They forgot they were in queue for 45  minutes. They were happy I told them the abject truth of how humans behave.  

But, the Media is all out to exploit the situation by choosing selective individuals for expressing their frustration. I never saw them asking any satisfied customer what his feelings were. They are just fishing in troubled waters. We know the obvious reason. I need not explain. They are among one of the groups I mentioned supra. They are burning inside about their net loss. The Kejriwals and the Mamatas are plants of these big guys. They sold themselves to vested interests. Why are most CMs not opposing the move? Why is Nitish Kumar, the bete noir of Modi in politics is praising the move? It is obvious. 

Whether  Modi succeeds in his efforts to clean the system or the unclean guys win the war, time will tell. But Modi will be remembered for his supreme act of boldness staking his political future for decades to come. We salute Modi as we saluted Chanakya.