PRISONERS OF WAR- WITH THEMSELVES
Narendra Modi announced Demonetization on the 8th of November at 8 PM in an epic address to the nation. It was received with awe and appreciation by many sections of the society. It is not that these sections were not part of the system that created the black money. It is not that many of these sections never encouraged corruption. It is not that many of these sections never seriously thought of any reaction to the loot and plunder that the rich, the super rich, the business and political classes were indulging. And when they looked in Narendra Modi a crusader, who is ready to sacrifice his and his party's political future, with awe and respect, it was because they saw in him a dream come true. Many of these sections at one time or other thought of fighting a pitched battle on these plunderers, organized under the Congress Party and ignored by the Dhritarashtras of Kali Yug, Dr. Manmohan Singh et al. Each person that held and is still holding Narendra Modi in reverence, see in him, the "same himself or herself" that dreamed of fighting the menace of corruption and black money. Many, including myself thought, " Why was it not me?" We lost a chance. But we, collectively placed the strongest political statesman in the coveted post that gave him a chance to fructify our dream.
In contrast, at 8 PM on 8th November, the opposition parties were a confused lot. They were confused because opposing the bold move would have alienated them to the entire population except the 10% of people who held black money in cash. Outright support to him would too have alienated them to the public as it would have been a tacit acceptance of the courage and conviction of the Prime Minister. So their reaction was one of total confusion. They unwillingly and unwittingly welcomed the move as path breaking and would definitely help fight black money and corruption. Dr. Manmohan Singh too echoed the same sentiment in the Rajya Sabha.
But the Opposition lost no time in realizing their biggest blunder, for, by the time they recovered from the shock of the sudden announcement, an iota of which was not revealed even to the closest confidants of the Prime Minister. On a calculation of the effect of curbing the high denomination notes they realized that in the up-coming elections they will have, for the first time in Independent India, search for money to be spent in polls. Polls in India are controlled by money, that too unaccounted money. But how about BJP? It too lost a chance to spend money. But, the opposition, to their shock realized that this time around, BJP does not require money. The very decision, the boldest ever, is their money bag. This stumped the opposition leaders.
They bit their tongue. Barring Communists, (who oppose everything for the sake of opposing. We can recall their opposition to the Nuclear Deal with US by which MMS got another chance to rule and ruin the country. Note that most of the scams took place during his second tenure as scamsters realized he was a lame duck) all other opposition leaders waited for the first day to pass on and when long queues were seen in front of the banks and people started feeling the pain of sudden vanishing of money from the market. One by one, they started shooting over the shoulders of the common man. They expected that this would strike the right chord with the common people and they congratulated themselves about their own "brains". Media helped them by choosing select few in the queues and getting a few adverse remarks from them. It is easy for the Media to edit the reactions praising the move and not complaining about the inconvenience.
They were emboldened by their own counter master stroke. This emboldened Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal to form a common front and demand a roll back of the Demonetization. Fortunately for the nation and unfortunately for these two misguided nincompoops, the public response was so poor that both of them are now more silent than MMS. They are like yelping street dogs that are in pain. See the Video. They stopped barking.
After making the reported pain of people in queues, shortage of change, suffering by small businesses (support base of BJP) and other figments of imagination failed to move the rock-like PM and also failed in garnering support of the public the Opposition wanted to corner the Government in the Rajya Sabha where NDA is in precarious position as far as numbers is concerned. So, they gave a notice for suspension of all other business and start of outright discussion on the Demonetization. Their hope against hope was that the Government would shy away from discussion, in view of the Media blaring 24x7 that people were disgusted with standing in the queues. The reality was otherwise. Indians, who were disgusted with the corrupt system perpetrated by these same politicos who are now opposing the bold move, decided on the 8th of November itself that, come what may "we will bear the pain for one or two months"
To the dismay of Opposition Government accepted for a debate outright. This stumped the opposition. They had no point to corner the Government. The two points they had were, '"Outright opposition of Demonetization or make a big issue of the disenchantment of the poorer sections of the country." The first would have eliminated most of the opposition parties from India's political map of India. So,, they harped on the second point. Speaker after speaker went on repeating the same point. By evening they realized they were committing a serious blunder. Public view of the whole issue was in direct contrast with the jaundiced view of the opposition. This point was made very clear by Venkaiah Naidu in the closing hours of RS on the first day.
In the strategy session next morning of the opposition leaders, they would have decided that continuation of the discussion any further would make them a laughing stock. So, next morning they changed their goal post and decided that they would not allow the house to function. So, they came up with a demand that the PM should be present in the house for the whole time of discussion. Why did they not put forth the same demand on the first day itself? It was because they expected to gain an upper hand in the discussion that day. When they realized that they were losing out in the debate in full view of the nation, they backed out and fled from the debate. Even Regional Channels aired the debate live. So they started making a demand that they knew the Government would not accept. And BJP played its cards deftly. BJP had nothing to lose if the debate stopped and nothing more to gain or lose if the debate continued as they were enjoying full support of the nation, except a few with hordes of illegal currency. So, they played ball.
The discomfiture and confusion within the opposition ranks was apparent when Gulam Nabi Azad compared the reported deaths ( these may be fake reports) to the deaths in Uri attacks and receiving flak from the Government. Though he stood by his words, the party lost another round with the already opposing public moving further away from the party. Or the repeated request of Sitaram Yechuri that the Dy,.Chairman move an Obituary Motion for the supposed deaths of seventy people due to Demonetization. When asked what proof he had he just flaunted a news paper. The Chair was so disgusted with his impudence that he remarked, "Condolences are not made on demand" . If anybody became the greatest laughing stock it was CPM and Sitaram Yechury. They already moved to third position behind BJP in WB by-polls. Congress was reduced to scrap everywhere.
In short, the Opposition lost the war with itself. Not only that they turned out to the "PRISONERS OF WAR- WAR WITH THEMSELVES".
(To be continued)