Out of my mind: 8/11

If Narendra Modi can be criticised, it is for not indicating how difficult it was going to be for a short while for all citizens.

Written by Meghnad Desai | Published:November 20, 2016 12:53 am
500 1000 rupee notes, notes made illegal, Narendra Modi notes announcement, black money, political reaction, India news, latest news, indian express Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8th declared Rs 500, Rs 1000 notes invalid. (ANI Photo)

It was all so unnecessary. Why now? There are elections to fight, Parliament was about to resume. It could have been done another day, another year. He had promised that he could fill the pockets of each Indian with Rs 15 lakh from the kala dhan brought back. It was an analogy to explain the size of the problem — Rs 20 lakh crore of kala dhan, based on an estimate by a Parivar research outfit. Yet, a misunderstanding was created. The analogy was read as a promise. His opponents never missed a chance to jibe about this. Many voters thought the money would come to them soon.

You can live with cancer a long time. Ignore the problem till your liver collapses rather than do the drastic things which are necessary. Take it easy. Avoid the pain. There is always tomorrow. But leadership is all about taking risks, taking your followers from the Valley of Despair to the Summit of Hope. If Narendra Modi can be criticised, it is for not indicating how difficult it was going to be for a short while for all citizens, while he slayed the Kaliya Mardan.

Of course, the pain and inconvenience will be temporary, not more than a fortnight. It has only been since Tuesday of the week before last, 12 days today. The inconvenienced are articulate and not used to hardship. They are on Facebook and Twitter shouting loudly.

Remember the tsunami of 2004? It was largely unanticipated. When it came, it was devastating. But the people bravely faced the crisis, were assisted and survived. The tsunami of 8/11 was man-made, by a man named Narendra Modi. It was designed to cut the cancer of black money from the body politic. It could have been easily put off, as prime minister after prime minister did.

The party political system is deeply enmeshed in the black money mess; at every election, crores of currency are found by the Election Commission. Every party does it, but every party pretends to be virtuous. The cancer is infectious. House buying, jewellery or consumer durable purchases, weddings and promotions, election tickets and even top jobs in the business of regulation require wads of cash. We know this. All, unfortunately, are dirtied taking or giving black money.

With hindsight, it could have been done better, but not much. Warnings of hardship could have been more stark. Extra personnel could have been recruited to set up advisory centres across the country to explain and reassure citizens, especially the elderly, that all will be well, their money is safe. But ultimately, the pain was unavoidable. Secrecy and surprise were of the essence. Any leakage and the culprit would have escaped. There is collateral pain. For a few generations, Indian citizens have not been asked to suffer for the national good. This is their chance. It is a day or three while they are short of cash.

For some time, he seemed bold and decisive, but the Prime Minister was risk-averse. He was avoiding the really difficult, unpopular decisions such as labour market reform, which are badly needed. No longer.

The kala dhan has been destroyed. Country is cancer-free. Narendra Modi will be known for 8/11, an event to match Smiling Buddha 1974 and Operation Shakti 1998.

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  1. S
    sHUBHAM
    Nov 20, 2016 at 5:52 pm
    what about unprecedented surge in bank deposits in the month of September 2016?
    Reply
    1. A
      ak dev
      Nov 20, 2016 at 9:57 am
      and you could not convert is your pain.
      Reply
      1. A
        Alab
        Nov 21, 2016 at 8:48 pm
        Thd problem was of distribution of new currency. Possibly by hindsight, thd size of 2000 Re note could have been kept tgd same as 1000 Re note. More outelts could have been planned etc.etc.The executive and top bank managemnt botched it up.
        Reply
        1. A
          anil bharali
          Nov 21, 2016 at 1:53 am
          In Indian society Dowry promotes black money through inter-social to interpersonal relation .
          Reply
          1. A
            anil bharali
            Nov 21, 2016 at 1:53 am
            In Indian society Dowry promotes black money through inter-social to interpersonal relation .
            Reply
            1. A
              Anil
              Nov 21, 2016 at 12:01 am
              Modi is Out of His Mind and even after 12 days of suffering not in any mood to help the potion by any means or any manner. He is just showing his arrogance seen during Gujarat Riots of 2002.
              Reply
              1. A
                ARA Narayanan
                Nov 20, 2016 at 10:40 pm
                The author I do not know. But still refreshes our mind about the type of problem we are going to experience. Surprise is the key element in any exercise. Definitely PM must and should have crossed the hurdles by the countrymen, in general and his own party men in particular. We require similar exercises to free our country from the clutches of certain greedy element. I salute NDA and its allies
                Reply
                1. A
                  ashok s
                  Nov 20, 2016 at 3:20 am
                  Till you don't kill the virus which generates kaala dhan tthe so called kaala will become kalaa that means art of generating black money.
                  Reply
                  1. B
                    bala Raja
                    Nov 20, 2016 at 4:13 am
                    Counterfeit currency is estimated at 250 per Million notes. The effect on it by this move is far less than the amount spent on implementing it and the economic slow down. What more, the new currency will be duplicated as well very soon. The new 2000 note has no additional security features. It looks so weird, people can't even tell the difference between it and a photo copy.
                    Reply
                    1. B
                      bala Raja
                      Nov 20, 2016 at 4:09 am
                      This is about the dumbest article written on the subject. It's not that people are worried about the safety of their money. They want cash for day-to-day living. Rather than acknowledging the complete lack of planning, the author says Modi should have warned more starkly. How would warnings have helped me find the cash to pay my sabzi-wallah or the person I employ for household jobs? The author also umes that this is going to stop black money in political parties' coffers. If that's the case, the BJP should equally suffer (with more than 60% in cash "contributions"). No political party is going to be impacted as they will all claim that their cash is legal and get new currency. The big guys have little black money in cash. They'll be back in business with the new currency. Meanwhile, the ordinary citizens, thinking that there is paradise ahead because of the demonitization, will be standing in queues for meager Rs 2000 and getting hit by a slowing economy.
                      Reply
                      1. B
                        Barb Dewyre
                        Nov 20, 2016 at 1:18 pm
                        Lord Desai makes no mention of any steps taken to prevent a relapse.
                        Reply
                        1. B
                          Barb Dewyre
                          Nov 20, 2016 at 3:04 pm
                          When the cancer itself says that the body is cancer free, there is something seriously wrong!
                          Reply
                          1. B
                            Baskar
                            Nov 21, 2016 at 1:26 am
                            People like Mallya who abandoned the country after swindling the money need to called Desh Drohi.
                            Reply
                            1. B
                              Bulusu S Murthy
                              Nov 20, 2016 at 5:35 pm
                              49 lt;br/gt;Work well greedy with motive lt;br/gt;Work wise not with result in mind.lt;br/gt;50 lt;br/gt;Wise not sentiment bring to work lt;br/gt;That's hallmark of art of work. lt;br/gt;51 lt;br/gt;Freed from bonds with mind even lt;br/gt;Act wise regardless ever composed.lt;br/gt;Narendra Modi's demonetization move underscores the spirit of Bhagvad-Gita expostulated in its 2nd Chapter?
                              Reply
                              1. C
                                Clueless Moron
                                Nov 20, 2016 at 7:14 am
                                Your Lordship, please refrain from showing yourself up as a Pompous !
                                Reply
                                1. H
                                  Howard
                                  Nov 20, 2016 at 11:47 am
                                  This has nothing to do with black money. That is a joke. Only the poor and very gullible believe it. When it is all over, they may net a few lakh crore of the Black. The real problem is in the hearts of the people. How do we turn black hearts to white? All the pain and suffering and distress being caused in not worth it unless the entire system is changed along with the people themselves. Let us not be naive. This is not the masterstroke.
                                  Reply
                                  1. D
                                    deshmukh shekhar
                                    Nov 20, 2016 at 7:40 am
                                    Please be honest to yourself Mr. Desai, and get whimsical Prime Minister out of his mess. Just come down to the streets of Bharat, you will find Mr. Modi graciously opened new avenues for the corrupt minded people. Builders and Baniyas keeping their unaccounted money into the accounts of Chaiwala's and Paanwala's seating around the corner. Many of the politicians involved in racket converting old money to new one's. Please check what political party they are representing. Confirmed rumours suggested distinguished cabinet colleagues of Mr Modi indirectly involved in this Punya Karma. Stop supporting Modi blindly. At least for the country's sake please
                                    Reply
                                    1. A
                                      A villager
                                      Nov 20, 2016 at 8:07 am
                                      So you want to continue live with black money.
                                      Reply
                                      1. K
                                        Kolsat
                                        Nov 20, 2016 at 11:00 pm
                                        The author is overly optimistic in saying that black money is destro. He has bee away from India a long time and does not remeber the ingenuity and greed of Indian businessmen and burocrats who have already devised ways to get extra cash. a friend who just returned to Australia told me his experience in Mumbai. This man and his wife and his friends ate at a restaurant where the bill came to be 3800 Rupees for which he gave 4000 Rupees the owner said that because he does not have notes in smaller denominations he is unable to give difference of 200 Rupees. That amounts to 200 Rupees balck money earned by the hotelier. I am sure such tactics have been adopted by thousands of such businessmen and hve already salted away people's hard earned money. Modi did not slay kalia mardan but a serpant named Kaliya. Mardan means bruising or destroying.
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                                        1. T
                                          T DUTTA
                                          Nov 20, 2016 at 9:39 am
                                          SINNCE DEMONETISATION MAY CREATE MANY PROBLEMS IT MAY NOT BE A BAD IDEA IF HONOURABLE PM TAKES OVER FINANCE MINISTRY FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR
                                          Reply
                                          1. T
                                            T DUTTA
                                            Nov 20, 2016 at 9:42 am
                                            THIS TIME RAIL BUDGET WILL BEMERGED IN GENERAL BUDGET AND BUDGET WILL BE ADVANCED BY 1 MONTH---IN ALL FAIRNESS HONOURABLE PM SHOULD PRESENT THIS HISTORICAL BUDGET
                                            Reply
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