We are all accountablehttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/we-are-all-accountable-4460917/

We are all accountable

Blame the nation as a whole for the poor implementation of demonetisation

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There are reports of how co-operative banks were involved in laundering currency. Even political parties were used to launder notes. (Illustration by C R Sasikumar)

There has been lot of discussion around demonetisation in the newspapers and social media. The move is being criticised for poor implementationn and the government is being blamed for its failure. In social media, jokes and messages about the failure of the government’s policy are shared. A few eminent experts are also blaming the government for the pitiable implementation of demonetisation.

However, any decision taken by the head of family should be accepted and implemented whole-heartedly by all the family members. It cannot be the sole responsibility of the head of the family. If a decision is taken in the interest of the country by the head of the country, it is the duty of the people to contribute honestly to its implementation. If demonetisation was a failure, it was not because of an incorrect decision taken by our prime minister or government. It is us, the people as a whole, who are more responsible.

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Whosoever got an opportunity to cheat the nation has done so. Bankers were allegedly busy laundering money by illegal means, helping convert old, defunct currency into new notes. Even a few officers of the Reserve Bank of India are allegedly involved in money laundering. Lakhs of people allowed their accounts to be used to convert black money. There are reports of how co-operative banks were involved in laundering currency. Even political parties were used to launder notes.

It appears that everyone is determined to make the scheme a failure and then blame the government. It is not the defeat of the government but of India, by its own society. It is disgraceful. We compare our country with other developed nations, but we never try to understand how honest and devoted their citizens are. Their contribution towards their nation is great.

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John F. Kennedy famously said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” At every tea stall, in offices or at home, we are counting the shortcomings of our country and government. Do we ask what our contribution to the bettering of the nation has been? We call the system corrupt, but never count our role in making it so.

It is equally true that the fight against black money, corruption, terrorism and counterfeit currency is an ongoing process and cannot be totally eradicated by a single act of demonetisation. However, it would address the aforementioned challenges to a great extent, if we would have contributed to its success, rather than its failure.

Our opposition parties are also responsible. They have not contributed to the success of demonetisation. They were busy finding fault with the government. Rather than work for the people, they chose to play politics, as seen during the winter session of Parliament.

The Reserve Bank of India is a noble institution. We are proud of how it has managed the monetary system as well as the needs of the economy for the last 60 years. This time, though, it could not perform to expectation. Every day, a new notification was issued, often contrary to an earlier assurance. There was no system in place to prevent bank officials from using their position for money laundering. We are now talking of digitisation.

Will it be possible to implement overnight? The mistake of the head of the government was that a decision was taken without accounting for the flaws in the system which may prevent proper implementation. It was a decision which had a high impact on the financial system of the country. The government should have paid heed to the loopholes in our system, plugging those which could have caused the initiative’s failure.

The decision was like trying to run bullet trains on our existing railway tracks. The lesson to learn from demonetisation is that a decision with honest intentions but poor implementation causes more pain than gain and everyone has contributed to its failure.