Indians are getting the big picture about DeMonetisation that the ‘Intellectuals’ are missing

Millions of ordinary Indians are enthusiastically supporting demonetization because they understand it.

Ordinary Indians know that in demonetization and what follows it, they have a once in a life time opportunity to leave a better India for their children.

Well below the radars of the media and the political parties, India has been changing silently. The change gathered pace under the technology savvy leadership of the indefatigable PM Modi.

Some time back, I wrote about India’s technology powered silent revolution-

“A silent revolution is going on in India’s noisy democracy. So silent that it easy to miss it amid our politics of protests. India’s capacity to transform itself is getting better.

India is leapfrogging ahead of advanced economies through pervasive use of technology in governance and public services. Indians are switching from being beggars of State to being participative and being demanding citizens.”

(Read https://www.myind.net/silent-revolution-going-indias-noisy-democracy )

Press headlines, TV news tickers, pundits and economists and political parties miss the above technology enabled revolution of Digital India.

But what they are now missing is much bigger.

There have been straws in the wind.  PM Modi’s campaign made over a crore people give up LPG subsidy. This was unprecedented. Compare this gesture of goodwill by a large and vocal section of population with that of all pervasive cynicism of decades of Sonia and Congress raj.

Modi-led BJP and NDA swept the polls due to anger towards Congress misrule and due to his promise of development. Many thought, the pundits were sure, and the opposition hoped that BJP and NDA’s victory was just a wave or a tide and that it would subside or turn soon. The Delhi and Bihar elections seemed to confirm this.

Then the surgical strikes against Pakistan happened.  It won every Indian’s approval. As opposition was trying to pick non-existent holes and question whether surgical strikes really happened or not using Pakistani sources, PM Modi announced the big bang demonetization.

Economists may give out sophisticated predictions about this that and the GDP,  but even the illiterate person knows that ‘notes’ are necessary for all the above crimes because he had been made to hand them under the table or he had to do with less ‘notes; because the middleman would keep the rest. They know implicitly that if notes are crucial to run their lives, they are even more crucial to turn the wheels of crime silently and secretly. Women, who by habit squirrel away tiny bundles of notes to tide over emergencies, get this even better. They know that they have nothing to hide but the criminals need the secrecy of notes.

But they had become accustomed to see politicians protecting those of their ilk. No one had imagined that a Modi would come and break the back of the corrupt and make the criminals run for cover.

They now know that the PM is on their side and that he is taking on the entire establishment. He truly is their PM.

The demonetization brought them a once in a life time opportunity to do something for their country as a part of their day to day work. Their PM is asking them to suffer the queues (which they are used to), to help each other (which they do often), to learn about cards and wallets and go cashless (didn’t they learn cellphones and WhatsApp?). For their efforts they would get a cleaner and more peaceful society. And they all rose to accept the challenge.

When PM Modi recently asked us to participate in maha yagya to defeat black money, corruption, crime, and terror he spoke a language alien to economists and those who have not gone beyond the western education. He spoke a language not known to the corrupt and criminals. But he spoke the language that Hindus and Muslims and Christians and everyone of India can understand. He spoke the language which even the illiterate connect with.

Yagya means worship and devotion through offerings (aahuti) to the sacred fire.

When one looks at the near universal support for demonetization among common people, when one can identify with their sense of purpose in willingly endure the inconveniences and unfortunate suffering in some cases, it is clear that the fight against corruption, crime, black money, and Jehadi terror has become a maha yagya. In PM Modi’s words:

मुझेविश्वासहैभाईयों, जिसदेशमेंसवासौकरोड़देशवासियोंकेआशीर्वादहोंवहांपरकालाधनकाखात्मासंभवहै, भ्रष्टाचारकाखात्मासंभवहै, भाईयोंबहनोंदेशअच्छीदिशामेंजानेकेलिएतैयारबैठाहैऔरमुझेविश्वासहैयेदेशइसमहायज्ञमें, ईमानदारीकेमहायज्ञमें, देशवासियोंकोकष्टझेलकरकेभीआहूतिदेतेमैंदेखरह

People now wait expectantly for Modiji’s every move against the ills that plague their country. They are willing to participate and do their bit for the country. They know this is their once in a life time opportunity to leave behind a better future for their children.

Indians are getting the big picture that the big are missing.

 

This article was first published  at: https://www.myind.net/indians-are-getting-big-picture-about-demonetisation-big-are-missing

Lawrence Summers’sweeping allegations and ill willed prophecy about India’s demonetization -A rebuttal

The article Most sweeping change in currency policy in the world in decades  coauthored by Natasha Sarin and Lawrence Summers makes sweeping statements of India’s demonetization unhindered by facts.

While PM Modi’s Big Bang demonetization has gone down well with a large majority of ordinary Indians despite inconveniences and difficulties, the global media’s coverage has been heavily biased.  This is not surprising given the vested interests that control media empires.

But one expects economists to give well reasoned assessments.

Lawrence Summers is no ordinary economist. Among other things, Summers was the Chief Economist of the World Bank, Undersecretary for International Affairs of US Department of Treasury under Clinton Administration, and Director of National Economic Council a forum used by US President. He is the one who had recommended abolition of US $100 and Euro 500 notes.   “One of us (Larry) has long advocated the abolition of the $100 note in the US context and the 500 euro note (aka the Bin Laden) in the European context

Since Summers is undoubtedly the far more accomplished of the two coauthors and since article is published on his website larrysummers.com, we can assume that he fully stands by the article.

 

Bye bye, facts

The economist duo ‘recognizes’ that ‘many who hold large quantities of cash in India have come by their wealth in corrupt or illegal ways’.  Do those who hold cash in large quantities in the US or Europe have come to be wealthy in legal ways? But that’s another subject.  The duo criticizes that what was legal tender was suddenly no longer legal. It doesn’t see that secrecy and suddenness of demonetization is a must to ferret out black money in cash form. In India, even critics (most of them) of demonetization agree that the suddenness and secrecy are critical success factors and they focus on execution issues.

Nor does the duo take into account the fact that India has been facing terror attacks from Pakistan which are funded by fake Indian currency -almost all of it in denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1000.

The duo questions ‘equity and efficacy’ of India’s demonetization.

As far as efficacy is concerned, we have already seen that Pakistan paid stone pelting in Kashmir has stopped. Concerning black money in other forms, PM Modi has already announced that demonetization is just the beginning and that more actions like crackdown on benami holdings will come soon.

Equally importantly, India has near universal banking and it is rapidly digitizing. A nation-wide GST is another way of bringing large number transactions out of the black economy. The united payment interface (UPI) that makes person to person e-payments possible has been launched. The duo fails to factor in all these fundamental changes.

The economist duo also doesn’t recognize that even if majority of illegal wealth is in non-cash form, cash (means Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in India) is vital for the black economy to function.

We shall deal with ‘equity’ in a while.

Summers and his coauthor make sweeping and baseless allegation against Modi government

The duo says about Modi Government ‘ the temptation to expropriate is understandable’.  In effect, Summers and his colleague are accusing the government of giving in to the temptation of taking over someone’s property. This is a serious accusation and is completely baseless because any Indian citizen can deposit his old and useless notes in his or her bank account and get them credited without any limit. It remains citizen’s property. If questioned by Income Tax or other tax officers, citizens have to show that the amount is consistent with declared earnings and economic activity. Is the economist duo suggesting that things ought to work differently? Do the Income Tax people in US or Europe behave differently? So, how is this expropriation?  Summers and his colleague are wildly off the mark here.

Making legal ambiguity as a defense of the corrupt

The duo says ‘ Most free societies would rather let several criminals go free than convict an innocent man’  and the goes on to  ‘ Moreover, the definition of what is illegal or corrupt is open to debate given commercial practices that have prevailed in India for a long time’. Now innocents aren’t getting convicted nor is there any ambiguity in India about what is illegal and corrupt. Perhaps these ‘defenses’ have worked well for bosses of western financial institutions who were caught in various frauds and yet had no personal culpability despite tax payers bailing out their institutions.

The economist duo may note that the Indian legal system was available even for Kasab, a Pakistani terrorist captured in terror attack of 26/11 to defend himself for years.

Now, about the ‘equity’

The Big Bang demonetization announced by PM Narendra Modi caught many in a bind. The black money hoarders got a black eye. Parties like Congress, AAP, TMC, SP, BSP, RJD and yes, your neighborly Sena cousins got hit badly. Builders and Jewelers conducting illegal cash businesses got hit on head and saw stars. The stone pelters of Kashmir ended up jobless. The Naxalites got busy in scraping the bottom. The big bang detonated under seats power in Pakistan too.

Ordinary people complain about queues and inconvenience but they think it is a small price to pay to get rid of black money, mis-governance, and terror. Some cash dependent (black money) sectors like realty and jewelry have taken a hit. There may be a temporary slowdown. To more than balance the negative effect, if any, banks have received so much cash that they have started dropping lending rates. State Bank, India’s biggest lender is one of them. The fall in interest rates has taken place even though RBI hasn’t cut benchmark rates. Legitimate businesses will get boost.  We aren’t even talking about the illegal cash that doesn’t come out in open is now trash and its power to vitiate economic and social fiber is now Zero.    82% Indians favored the decision and 84% said Modi government was serious about the issue‘   It is a people’s movement. That’s equity.

Ill-willed prophecy?

The duo then offers a prophecy -‘ the ongoing chaos in India and the resulting loss of trust in government fortify us in this judgment’ -as a justification for its ‘judgment’!

There are baseless allegations against Modi government, legal ambiguity as defense of the corrupt, and an uncalled for (ill willed?) prophecy in Summers’ and his coauthor’s article.

 

Neither economics, nor logic

The quality of Summers’ and his coauthor’s  article reminds one of Arvind Kejriwal’s allegation The government expects to net 10-11 lakh crore rupees by asking people to surrender the spiked currency and write off the bad debts’ (read )  You can’t write off bank loans (assets) by using peoples’ deposits (liabilities) .

Do you find economics or logic anywhere?

Also read:

https://www.myind.net/silent-revolution-going-indias-noisy-democracy

This article was first published here: https://www.myind.net/ground-reports-about-indias-demonetization-suggest-it-success-rebuttal-lawrence-summers#.dpuf

PM Modi converts war on black money into people’s movement

(Image source myind.net)

On the night of Tuesday November 8, 2016 as the world was tuning into the early trends of the US Presidential elections, PM Modi opened a new front in his war against black money. Not just that, he has done the unthinkable. He has managed to convert a government’s war into a people’s movement.

Modi has been saying again and again that his government will do everything that is necessary to remove the curse that is black money and to help every Indian in coming out of poverty and improving their life. Whether it was during his 2014 election campaign or later, he vowed to bring black money into main stream economy and make its perpetrators pay for their crimes. Whether while forming SC mandated SIT or during Income Declaration Scheme 2016, he repeated his intent. But, Indians in general and his opposition in particular didn’t pay much attention to what their Prime Minister was saying.

Everyone has been jolted out of his or her ‘business as usual’ or ‘things won’t change much’ state. Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, and Lalu Prasad Yadav are clearly unhappy and are now contemplating ‘unity to counter the demonetization’. A large number of Indians are inconvenienced -such a major surgery on political economy would inflict some unavoidable pain – but almost every Indian is united in their conviction that PM Modi will deliver on his promises.

Overnight, Government’s war on black money became a people’s movement. Bank employees are going beyond call of their duty, restaurants and dhabas are offering free meals to those stranded without cash. From college students to housewives to daily wage earners to retired senior citizens almost everyone is going about their lives with stoic grace.

Some college students told me, ‘This (scrapping 500 and 100 notes) is good.  We will live in a better India’. A man at Chai tapri said ‘people making fun of Modi’s foreign travel don’t know what he is doing’.

The quips and jokes circulating on Whatsapp also reveal what is on people’s minds. ‘A well known politician has so many scrapped notes that he will manage to earn crores by selling them as kabadi ( trash). He was checking out kabadi rates on Tuesday night !’  Another person requested his contacts ‘Please don’t palm off old notes to your subjiwali etc. They may not have bank accounts to exchange notes and will face difficulties.’  Another quip, ‘I never knew a PM has so many powers’ -mockingly attributed to a former PM.

Indians are forming lines in front of ATMs and dispersing with disappointment, but with determination to behave well, when cash gets over.

As it would happen, there have been a few unfortunate instances. A few hospitals and doctors refuse to accept cheques. This too is understandable. There have been some unfortunate deaths in the aftermath of the currency shortage.  Hopefully, there will be mitigation of handling emergencies and starvation. For example, Maharashtra Government has ordered private hospitals to accept cheques (Read )

People also express concern that some businessmen and accountants might subvert the demonetization by laundering old notes via gold trading or payments in cash to low earning individuals. They are also apprehensive that wily politicians and businessmen will be back to their old games.

The demonetization project is still work in progress. It has earned praise from economists and global media. But much needs to be done. And much will be done.

PM Modi tapped into people’s frustration and anger about 60 years of Congress’ misrule that left India tottering on the brink of disaster. He didn’t stop after winning an election. Through his meticulously planned agenda he has increased his credibility. First proof of this came when lakhs and lakhs of Indians gave up LPG subsidy after his appeal. He helped people overcome their cynicism by optimism and willingness to do their part for their India.

Last Tuesday, PM Modi again staked his credibility to ask people for their cooperation in weeding out the menace of black money, corruption, and terror funding. He also has given some indication of his next step on benami properties.  Indians have responded magnificently to their Prime Minister’s call. A government project has become a people’s movement.

India’s economy and political economy are undergoing massive changes. Opposition parties are still grappling with them. These are big areas and are subjects for separate articles.

In world’s history there are very few parallels to the miraculous transformation of India that is underway.

Also read:

https://www.myind.net/silent-revolution-going-indias-noisy-democracy

 

This article was first published at myind.net here: https://www.myind.net/almost-overnight-pm-modi-converts-war-black-money-peoples-movement

Bangladesh doing more to fight Islamic Jihad than Mamata’s Bengal

This may shock many, but Sheikh Hasina’s Bangladesh seems more intent in curbing Islamic Jihad than Mamata Banerjee’s Bengal.  This is despite the fact that Bangladesh isn’t a great example of a State that protects its citizens against Islamic extremism.

Here is why.

Bangladesh has always been in news because of Jihadi terror targeting minorities on its soil.  On June 10 2016, a Hindu ashram inmate, Nityaranjan Pandey was hacked to death. On July 1, a Hindu priest, 70 years old Shyamonanda Das was hacked by machetes by three men on a motorcycle in Jhenaidah district, in Bangladesh. Before this, another Hindu priest was hacked to death in the same district.

More than 40 people have been killed in attacks in Bangladesh since February 2013.  Those killed include religious minorities (Hindus, Christians ) bloggers, academics, and gay rights activists (Read ) The number of those who killed in Islamic terror keeps going up with attacks like July 2016 Dhaka attack in which 29 people including 20 hostages (18  foreigners) were killed.

 

Multiple mobs of Muslims attacked Hindu temples and homes recently (Read )

Contrary to what experts and retired army officers think, Bangladesh Government denies any role of ISIS or Al-Qaida in these waves of attacks. It believes that is the work of local hard line Islamists groups. It is important to note that the Bangladesh Government acknowledges role of Islamists unlike our Bengal Government which denies any communal angle to incidents of mob violence against Hindus in the state.

Bangladesh has also been in news for the counter measures it has been taking against Islamic terror.  Bangladesh police detained about 900 people as a part of crackdown on militants after the series of terror attacks. They managed to kill the Dhaka terror attack planner (read ) In a police raid  called as Operation storm 26, nine militants were killed on July 26 ( read ) In  a series of other raids, the Bangladesh paramilitary Rapid Action force  killed 11 militants (read )

As is well known, in May 2016, Bangladesh executed Motiur Rehman Nizami, head of banned Jamaat-e-Islami party, after his conviction for genocide, rape, and massacres (read ) it has weathered the protests by Muslims against the execution.

What is happening in Mamata’s Bengal?

On January 29, 2015 in Kolkata’s suburb Usti more than 50 Hindu shops were ransacked, looted and gutted by jihadists. Police mostly watched as bombs were hurled at Hindus.  The victims were detained while attackers roamed free.  The media remained mute and so did CM Mamata Banerjee whose duty is to protect life of every citizen.

“While the situation for Hindus in Bangladesh is certainly dire, life has become increasingly difficult for Hindus in West Bengal, home to a Muslim-appeasing government and a breeding ground and safe haven for terrorists. For several years, West Bengal has suffered under apparent Muslim-planned riots designed to implement shariah, extract government concessions and grab more territory. “ (read )

In February 2015, The alleged abduction and rape of Tuktuki, a teen from rural West Bengal, by Muslim goons predictably failed to evoke media response and also that by the State Government of Bengal.  No prizes for guessing why.

“There are three points that need to be made in the context of Tuktuki Mandal’s tragedy. First, Hindu girls in their teens are being increasingly abducted and raped, or forced into marriage, by Muslim goons in those areas of West Bengal where there has been an extraordinary spike in the Muslim population, largely on account of illegal immigration from Bangladesh..” (read)

On 23rd April 2015, Muslim mobs in Falta (south 24 Paraganas District) unleashed large scale violence against Hindus. 50 Hindu houses and 10 shops were looted and damaged.  (Read )

On January 3 2016, 1.5 Lakh Muslims assembled near Kaliachak taxi stand. The mob blocked national highway, ransacked vehicles, burnt BSF van, and attacked the police station. The police ran away. The mob then destroyed and looted properties owned by Hindus. It molested Hindu women.  Despite this act of arson the Mamata government could arrest only nine and they could get bail since charges framed by police were not serious at all.  (Read)  All this happened despite the fact that Kamlesh Tiwari, who had allegedly said offensive things about the Prophet, had already been booked and arrested.

The fact is that in Bengal Police and BSF couldn’t protect themselves from the Muslim mob.

What has the Mamata Banerjee Government been doing? Has it been taking measures to prevent Jihadi violence or punish the culprits? No, her government has been doing the opposite.  It is turning a blind eye to growing Islamist violence and even encouraging the Jihadi terror elements.

 

Mamata Banerjee approved academic degrees of 10,000 unrecognized and Saudi funded madrasas and honorariums for Imams.

“In June of 2014, Mamata Banerjee made a highly questionable appointment, Rajya Sabha, to the upper house of the Indian Parliament.  Despite multiple warnings from the District Intelligence Bureau that had red-flagged him for instigating violence against Hindus, including alleged participation in the Kolkata and Canning riots and sheltering known terrorists, she selected Hassan Imran to serve as MP. Imran is a founder and self-admitted member of the radical student group, the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), a recognized terrorist organization banned by the Indian government.“ (Read )

Pakistani gunsmiths trained locals in Bengal to manufacture guns used in Dhaka attack.

The AK-22 assault rifles made under the supervision of Pakistani gunsmiths at illegal arms manufacturing units in Malda (Bengal) were used in terror attack by Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in Dhaka. This is based on the confessions made to NIA (National Investigation Agency) by one of the six terrorists arrested in connection to October 2 2014 Khagragarh blast in Bengal’s Burdwan District. The accidental blast had killed tow terrorists and revealed the existence of full-fledged explosives manufacturing units run by JMB that also carried our Dhaka attack.  The Mamata government of Bengal allowed such terrorist activities. (Read )

The Indo-Bangladesh border along Kaliachak (of the infamous Muslim mob attack on police station and BSF unit) Baishnavnagar in Malda is transit route for illegal arms, narcotics and Fake Indian Currency Notes. (Read )

Mamata Banerjee’s criticism of demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes is clearly not without a reason. The scrapping of old notes by PM Modi government must be hurting the Islamic terror operations in Bengal. The fact that Mamata Banerjee is willing to co-operate with even CPM (her arch rivals) and anyone willing to oppose demonetization is also very telling. TMC and Communists treat Muslims as their vote bank.  80% of fake currencies are sneaked through 172 Km border along Malda district (read )

Several districts of Bengal are known as terror hubs with bomb making activities going unchecked. There are no signs that the state government will do anything to punish the guilty.

The Bengal CM recently supported ‘Triple Talaq’  (read ) It is clear that for Mamata Banerjee vote bank politics is more important than gender justice and safety of its citizens.

Taslima Nasrin, the exiled Bengali writer from Bangladesh, couldn’t live in Kolkata. She was forced flee from Bengal following death threats. Mamata Banerjee’s Bengal continues to be in that state.

In our main stream media UP and Bihar are often painted as examples of lawlessness depending on political convenience of media owners. Bengal’s poor record in law and order gets shielded. The truth is that people in Bengal, particularly, Hindus face violence by Muslim mobs, emboldened by their rising numbers and a state government that lets them run riot -just like those in UP.

The Mamata government hasn’t performed its constitutional duty of preventing terror and protecting its citizens. Instead, it has shown a blind eye to Islamic extremism with an eye on Muslim vote bank. Mamata Banerjee is willing to cooperate with anyone who is ready to oppose gender-justice, counter-terror, anti-black money measures by Modi Government.

Clearly, Sheikh Hasina’s Bangladesh has done more for curbing Islamic Jihad than Mamata Banerjee’s Bengal.

This article was first published at: https://www.myind.net/bangladesh-doing-more-fight-islamic-jihad-mamatas-bengal#.dpuf