Tuesday 08 November 2016 saw two major events unfolding, specially in this part of the globe – as, through the day, the country was waiting to know who we have to deal with in the US come January next, Indian PM Modi “unleashed a demon” on the nation – demonetisation of two large currencies – of denomination of Rupees 500 and 1000 with immediate effect. This came late that evening, leaving none a fair chance to have whatever of either of those bills they might have had to be changed to valid bills! Other than that the best they could do was to escape by government transport – buses or rail, get treated in government hospitals for the shock, tank up in government-owned fuel stations, pay penalties to the cops or courts, and such similar payouts – the last being to pay taxes! That is, if they had money in those denominations – Rupees 500 and/or 1000.
For a common man, with little money, or with some huge earnings yet all accounted for, the move seemed a wrap on the knuckles of those who just flaunt money but don’t account for! The immediate effect had all of them worry about the ensuing moments – for different reasons, though! The former had to scramble for valid bills for expenses, if they had not had any or many; the latter to find ways to change the colour of their money – from black to pink or the new green or blue! That’s the colour of the new bills that is out and soon-to-be released bills of the old denomination of Rupees 500.
It cannot be any whiter than their paled lives!
Only, Trump paled into the background.
And most took a bow for what Modi did before flying to Tokyo.
The stiff-necked ones had myriad reasons to blame. Some just for the heck of it – P Chidambaram, former Finance Minister, who had to call the move a farce to appease his higher-ups, for example. Some to hide their shock at the incredibly intelligent move, which they couldn’t openly acknowledge – Rahul Gandhi, for one, who joined the crowd thronging the ATMs and banks to change their bills.
And there was the inimitable Arvind Kejriwal who shouted from the rooftop about his discovery – that Modi’s party colleagues had already changed bills just before the “official” announcement!
Largely, the move has affected numerous cross-sections of the country – the common man, the rich ones hiding wealth, the ones that manage all of their money – accounted or otherwise, the bankers, the agencies replenishing ATMs and those guarding them, their families. And that of yours faithfully, too.
The seemingly monstrous logistical exercise passed, too – what with it is four days past now. While the social media and the jokes it carried about the move and its affects had most of the country in splits, a few cross-sections went overboard, too! It seemed funny that suddenly everyone became an expert economist!
The hurry to understand the information published via different media had an adverse effect – it was largely misunderstood or partly understood. There was enough time for all the exercise to be executed, but none had time to wait. And there were stories abound of good Samaritans – and bad, too! – that found a worthy place amidst all the hubbub.
Any guesses who had the last laugh after all the brouhaha?