My Learnings from Demonetisation

Does the name of Mir Jafar ring a bell to you? Or the name of Jaichand? I suppose it does. The name “Jaichand” has become synonymous with the word “traitor” in Indian folklore and considered the reason for the success of the Islamic invasion of India. Mir Jafar’s betrayal of Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah led to the foundation of British rule in India. I remember these two names whenever I think about the demonetisation and the learning from it.

Indians themselves turn against their country and fellow citizens

The history of India is replete with the incidents marked against Jai Chand and Mir Jafar. Very few battles get decided in the actual battle-fields in India. More get decided by the treachery of the King’s own generals and supporters. Demonetisation was one such battle.

Demonetisation led to severe hardships, yet the common citizen supported the initiative. It was with a belief that there is lots of black money in the country and this exercise will help get rid of it. The common citizen was ready to suffer and actually underwent the pain hoping that the corrupt will lose.

Unfortunately, nothing of that sort happened. 99.3% of the cash returned back to the Government. This transpired due to the “Mir Jafars” and “Jaichands” among ourselves. Just that they will never get identified and named.

Indian Government shall not identify/punish the corrupt

Narendra Modi came to power with a promise to weed out the corruption and the corrupted, and demonetisation was supposed to be a tool for the same.

Some of the Indians, “Mir Jafars” and “Jaichands” amongst us foiled the idea. The Government did come to know that deposits of more than Rs 80 lakh were made in 1.48 lakh accounts with average deposit size of Rs 3.31 crores. In the aggregate, this cash — and it is supposed to be cash — is close to Rs 5 trillion. The total demonetisation value was Rs 15.8 trillion.

31% of the demonetised value was deposited in the 1.48 lakh bank accounts. No sane person can and will keep accounted cash of Rs 3.31 Cr. For all practical purpose, this is the unaccounted black money.

Has anyone in the country heard that even one of these 1.48 lakh account-holders has been identified? There will be reasons floated that the Income-Tax department / Finance Ministry is doing its job and a common citizen has no need to know these investigations.

Well, has anyone in the country come to know that even a single person has been sent to jail for putting unaccounted money in his/her account or his/her money has been confiscated?

The Government cannot trace what these 1.48 lakh account-holders were/are/will be up to. The reason is of course known – the majority, if not all, these 1.48 lakh account-holders will be government officials/politicians themselves. The corrupt businessmen will convert black money into other assets, but not the crooked politicians/government officials.

There shall be no discussion/mention of the above two demonetisation learnings

After its miserable failure to weed out black money, the Government / the Opposition / the Economists ascribes demonetisation various objectives and starts judging the result. But at no point of time, there has been any discussion/mention that immorality of Indian “Jaichands” and “Mir Jafars” and ineptness of Indian Government has led to the fiasco of the demonetisation.

The Indian Government is gloating about the increase of the tax-payers base. Does anyone really expect that the dishonest that got away with demonetisation are really going to pay any tax? They were able to convert their black money to white, what is the need to pay any tax?

The Indian Government is claiming digital payments as a success of the demonetisation exercise. I am not sure how much it is about demonetisation and how much it is about extensive cashbacks offered by the digital wallets/payment gateways?

The Opposition is shouting from roof-tops that demonetisation was a complete failure. It surely was. But nothing more can be expected from them.

The Economists rules out morality angle completely, the very purpose of demonetisation. Rather, they praise the ingenuity of Indians for getting all the money back to the banks.

Narendra Modi has seriously let-down the people who supported demonetisation by standing in queues hours-long and borne all the hardships.

For us, demonetisation was an idea of honesty. Some of our fellow citizens as always screwed it up. And the person, who gave us the idea is not honest himself anymore to admit that he and his Government messed up completely by mismanaging everything related to demonetisation.

Indians Win, India Lose.

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