"Change is the law of life" But man resists change. He is happy with status quo. This is universal, ubiquitous and true of all times. The only time when man or any animate object in the universe accepts change is when all ways to remain in "as is where is condition" are closed. Force of nature, force of society or force of law only can make man to adapt to change. America was sitting pretty, with the Americans brimming with confidence. But a sudden bombing on the World Trade Center changed that all. Americans changed. Their pride was gone. Their ego was hurt. Their whole attitude changed. They are circumspect now. They may not fear but they are cautious. The bolt from the blue in the form of a terrorist attack changed their whole outlook.
Darwin's theory of evolution is based on this change forced upon the living things in the universe. From Dinosaurus to man the transition must have been painful, more painful than standing in queues for an hour or two. But the urge to survive, forced each species to adapt to change.
But bombing was a forgettable episode.Demonetization is a thing that generations will remember and rejoice. The after effects of demonetization will be like a mango seed planted today yielding sweet mango fruits from the seventh year onward for an indefinite period. Some may ask , "What is there for me in that? I am old." A stupid question. Why are all these hoarders hoarding huge money in lockers, beds, walls, roofs and wherever they find place? Can they enjoy the fruits? A certain "NO"
When I was working in LIC Of India as a clerk, I was a member of the trade union affiliated to Jana Sangh, the BMS. There was one more Communist Union that was the majority union. We were separately holding lunch time demonstrations in front of "Jeevan Soudha" , the LIC DO. We were shouting "AUTOMATION-ANTI NATION".It was 42 years back. Then LIC was having huge Punch Card Machines supplied by IBM. The argument of the unions was that "computerization" would lead to unemployment. A specious argument that is proved wrong now. We are not only getting more jobs but we are getting respectable incomes both in direct and indirect sectors. But the resistance to any change forced us to take an anti-labor stand in the name of protecting the same labor.
Then came the 1980s. I shifted my job to a bank and became the Sub-Manger (second in line) in Hyderabad main Branch. A concerted effort was being made to introduce advanced machines in the banks. After protracted negotiations unions agreed for introduction of ALMs (Advanced Ledger Machines) in select branches. It was the same story again. The local clerical union leader came to me (I was an Executive Committee Member of Officers' Union) and told that their union was objecting to the ALMs as they were "COMPUTERS". Neither he nor me knew the difference. But these guys wanted status quo ante. The machines were slowly removed. But just like demonetization, by a sudden decision banks started total computerization of banking and who is enjoying the fruits? The next generation, of course. There was resistance, protests, strikes and a fear psychosis was spread among the working classes that machines spell doom. No! They brought bloom.. The same Congress Party that ushered in the sudden change (In fact it was during Vajpayee regime, it picked up pace), is now averse to any change, in the form of demonetization as their own cup-boards are looking empty after money was squeezed.
Was not Nationalization of Banks sudden? Was not cancellation of Privy Purses sudden? Was not war on East Pakistan sudden? Did they not ruffle the feathers of many? Especially, did the war on East Pakistan not open flood gates to millions of refugees to India? Did the already fragile Indian economy not suffer further? But no nationalist Indian ever attacked Indira for the bold decision. We suffered, we got rationed for food, we stood in long queues even for milk. We did not say, "We have our own money, hard earned. Why cant we get goods that are due to us legitimately?" We did not, because we understood the compulsions of the PM to secure the nation from a rogue enemy. The same Congress party today lost senses.They forgot the long queues in front of ration shops. They forgot the long queues of farmers in front of Urea shops, till Modi took over. They forgot the same farmers, for whom they are shedding crocodile tears, who were being beaten up.
Then comes the criticism that the rules of demonetization were changed 32 times or 170 times, they only know. Let us know the story of the Congress and its surgical strikes.
In 1969, one fine morning, Indira Gandhi nationalized fourteen large private banks. It was a bolt from the blue for many rich industrialists and investors who owned huge amounts of shares in the banks. Not only that, these big people were using these banks as fronts for their legal and illegal activities in business. Can any Congressman, worth the salt, call this an election jumla? Then why do they call Demonetization, the purpose of which is to bring the super rich tax evaders to book, a jumla?. That is hypocrisy. Pre 1969, it was difficult for a common man to knock the doors of a bank. (I tried to meet bank managers for an educational loan in 1969 but with little encouragement.) . Did the move not help the common man in the long run?And MMS says, "We all die in the long run" and Congress MPs thump their desks.
Indira cancelled Privy purses. These were huge amounts that the Indian Government committed to pay the heirs of Kings and Princes for ever. With a stroke of pen she cancelled these give-aways and saved the nation a huge burden in the long run. Just imagine how much these heirs would have gotten with inflation counted. But MMS says, "in the long run we are already dead". Was this too an election jumla?. How can, then, demonetization be election jumla?.
And Indira gave a call for "Gariibii Hatao". Was it election jumla? No! Certainly not! If any Congress man or woman developed an intimate relationship with the poor, it was Indira. No one in the Congress since independence understood poverty as Indira could. She gave the slogan in all sincerity. Alas! What happened? Did she remove poverty totally? No. But she could, by a sustained campaign, bring the poor into the mainstream of the economy. It took a long time. Her grandson may say 67% of Indians are still poor and that "poverty is a state of mind" but the fact remains that poverty started diminishing after her clarion call. The most unfortunate thing is that what she started as a revolution was misused by her and her cronies to build up their wealth and ensure that for generations they only remained in power. That is where Modi stands apart. He is incorruptible. In phases, he is making other people incorruptible. Like the "Garibi Hatao" this too gives results in the long run. But MMS says, "We all die in the long run". He might be referring to his honor and respect that were dead in the long run.
And two more allegations on demonetization were "It is a scam" and they "changed rules umpteen times"
A scam? How? Neither Modi nor his party leaders utilized bank funds for self use, like the Congressmen used. It happened under Congress regime. Modus Operendi was simple. Indira nationalized banks with the grand objective of making the banks accessible to the poor and the unbanked. Really a DIVINE intent. But, as time passed by, what happened? Rich Congress guys had more access to banks than the real poor. Banks were looted in the name of schemes. That was the real scam, not the demonetization which is really transparent. If some people jumped the rule book, they are being booked without losing time. Opposition leaders should know better to show proof instead of shooting in the air.
Then comes the allegation that rules were tweaked umpteen times. Yes! They were tweaked to reduce the pain of the people, unlike Congress that tweaked schemes to accommodate their leaders and cadres.
After Garibi Hatao was announced scheme after scheme was announced to sanction loans to the poor. Did the poor really get the loans? If you think, they got, you are mistaken. Once, I visited a rural bank branch for audit. A total of 135 pan shops were advanced loans under IRDP (Integrated Rural Development). The population of the village was 3,000. And, the most wonderful part was that all the loans were granted on the recommendation of a local Congress leader and the borrowers were all Congress workers.
And tweaking? How many schemes were floated one after the other replacing the earlier ones to accommodate the same Congress workers under different schemes? The IRDP, the DRI, the 20-point program, the 10-point program, the PMRY, the Minority Corporations, the BC, SC, ST Corporations. Where did all the money go? Into the coffers of the ruling elite. And Rahul says Mallya escaped with huge money. Who gave the Mallys, the Reddys, the Raos etc., the huge loans? Who pressured bank managers to either surrender or go home packing? And these guys talk of scams today, when every transaction is being carried out in a transparent manner.
Guys! This change is for good. Good may be in the long run. Those of us, the Senior Citizens, may not live to see the good change. But we, at least die with the satisfaction that we too played our part in the change process. Young guys! You are lucky to have a Prime Minister who never thinks for himself or his power but thinks about you and your posterity. Support him to the hilt in this MAHA YAGNA!