It was only at about 5 p.m. today that I had withdrawn Rs 20000 from the ATM. The machine dispensed currency notes in the denomination of 1000(19 notes)+500+100(5 notes). It was just after about 4 hours that the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, was seen addressing the nation. I was hooked on to the CNN to watch the proceedings of the US Presidential election while suddenly I saw the prime minister addressing as I changed the channel for a few moments to catch up with the national news. And here was this bombshell declaring the 1000 & 500 rupee notes no more legal tender from midnight today. What do I do with the money I have withdrawn for use tomorrow to buy groceries. But I am not unhappy. On the other hand I am happy, very very happy.
I have witnessed from very close quarters the damage caused to every single public service, institution or belief dear to anyone who believes in democracy and democratic values. As an advocate of transparency in governance and an anti-corruption activist, I have seen black money influencing policy decisions, programs, appointments, promotions and posting of civil servants, police officers and others.In a short span of 6 decades only a Parallel Government came to run the government at the centre and states. The Constitution of India has been repeatedly ridiculed. Money power bought elections to state assemblies and the parliament. The honest public servants withdrew to the extreme margins as honest advice or decision making was not welcome. My three books on this website contain rich content on the subject. What was looking insurmountable has been achieved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has come true to his words.
His declaration today is historic, revolutionary and earth shaking. It is going to affect the markets globally in a few hours. In India. the honest citizens feel elated. They have suffered ridicule, sarcasm, disdain for being treated like the most deplorable of Indian citizens. The rich-by-black-money stiff upper lip tax evaders are running around in circles knowing not what to do or how to save their ill gotten wealth. They don’t know how to dispose off the millions of currency notes in their cellars or bank lockers. Billions of rupees in black money has been rendered useless pieces of paper. The people of India have been crying against these day light robbers. What has pained the people for decades has been removed in a laser surgery operation by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
The opposition parties are in a state of shock at the recent decisive actions of the Prime Minister. Besides laying the ground work through schemes like opening bank accounts of the poor with zero balance (JanDhan Yojana) or voluntary surrender of subsidy on cooking gas, transferring subsidy direct into the account of the beneficiary, weeding out fake gas connections and others, the prime minister has to his credit 2 great achievements.
One, the surgical strike to destroy terrorist launch pads in Pakistan across the LOC. It caused great damage to the Pakistan army, which sponsors the terrorist attacks in India. This surgical strike had a gain as a by-product domestically: it made the opposition sheepish, who didn’t know for 48 hours as to how to react because it enhanced Narendra Modi’s popularity by several points. Narendra Modi proved to Pakistan his toughness after demonstrating his gentleman quality of friendship, goodneighborliness and respect for his Pakistani counterpart.
Two, the surgical strike against black money today has taken the popularity graph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi several notches. The next election to the parliament is due in 2019. The opposition knows the implications of this second surgical strike. Without black money, the opposition parties have no future. Even those who captured power by shouting anti-corruption slogans have devised clever ways of generating black money through suspicious donations to the party fund, spurious rewards (on the understanding that a major chunk of the money will be donated to the party fund), fake political appointments, unlawful appointments to positions without having the authority to do so with the sole purpose of collecting funds for the party and other purposes. All of them have been hit hard by this second surgical strike against black money. Of immediate significance is the effect of this strike on the forthcoming elections to the U.P. State Assembly election in the next few months.
The campaign against black money is going to change the entire financial sector working in the country. The people will support it wholeheartedly. In less than a year we will see a change in the climate of doing business in the country or with the Indian firms, improvement in the ease of business, transparency, contract and transactions. It will impart the country a new vigor and shine as a respectable nation of respectable and reliable people to transact business in all walks of life.
The country thanks Shri Narendra Modi for the second freedom!