Late last night our co-founder Jaisurya Das expressed his extreme displeasure with the sheer negativity that is clouding the larger picture behind the #demonetisation. What started off as a personal opinion on his timeline went on to become a highly involved debate..
While this debate is still on, the comments were far too interesting to limit to FB alone. Here’s the action ( edited and curated for brevity and format ) from Ground Zero
Jaisurya Das: ( on his timeline on Facebook )
Its so ironic..At the drop of a hat and at every social gathering people scream their heart out about how little the govt is is doing to control racketeers, counterfeiters, money launderers and more.. Black money and undeclared wealth is almost considered upmarket now .. and yet when one man ( no I do not represent the party or the govt ) does a stealth pull of the rug, we complain about logistics .. ! Ironic. We take pride in announcing our patriotism, stand in attention at every damn society flag hoisting and yet complain when it comes to standing in line for an hour.. No its not beneath our dignity , its just king size ego… time to let that rest. Let the man do his job. He knows what he’s doing . the world thinks so and yet we don’t. Pity!
Bharat Sharma : Armchair keyboard warriors are there to bash it with their illogical logics. I am so tired of discussing this and rested my case as this decision is not gonna go back and it is for he betterment of the country we live in. Every other learned person with some sense of economy is praising it but there are some who are Facebook Patriots can’t even take this much inconvenience in their life. Agar ek flyover banta hai to logo ko pareshani nahi hoti roz usee jagah se Jam me phanste hue jaayenge, can’t people take this as that flyover, jab poora hoga to people will enjoy the benefits of it. Our soldier stands on border for what, does he have some personal grudges with pak or China… wo 8 ghanta khada Hota hai for us to sleep peacefully and ek hum log hai jo 2 ghanta line me kya lage chillam chilli karne lage… actually sir shame on us.
Meghana Kadam: Spoken like a Boss JD. My husband who is a banker is all for demonetisation & says that anybody with a little economic sense would get what the govt is doing.
Murlidharan Cn Perfect. I think he is fighting a lone battle both inside and outside party to get this done. Need all our support to clean at least a part of the system.
Abhijeet Rathor: Superbly put If we can’t put up with some inconvenience then we have no right to complain when the govt. does nothing. People like this actually deserve a PM like Manmohan Singh, I am happy with the current one. But yes I think the daily wage laborers etc are having a tough time and we as a society should help them out with whatever we can
Brig BU Kumar: So right. We enjoy criticising for the sake of criticising! Also, seeing that some have approached the Courts against the move, and considering some of the holier than thou judgements of late, we may have to organise to defend this move of PM to ensure its implementation
Rashmi Choksey: Brig Kumar, no one is protesting the fight against corruption. If you think that is the reason, then you and your privileged friends are clueless about the troubles and everyday lives of millions of India’s poor and lower middle-class. The implementation of the plan has been horrible. If people are dying (and I’m not referring to the heart attacks from shock), esp. children due to this ill-conceived scheme, you know it isn’t effective. THAT is what is being protested. Unless you really don’t give a damn. The rich, middle-class and govt. employees (lackies like you perhaps?) have other people do your standing in line for you to do the money exchange or even better, actually have a bank account so you can use your credit cards (47% of the citizens don’t have a bank account). You don’t have to stand in long lines which takes up precious time from earning a living which doesn’t allow you to make a living. You think this privilege automatically qualifies you to pass judgement on others and call the protesters and critics holier-than-thou. Have a heart, will you? Or do military people not have one?
Col Sunil Brijkrishan: So true,
The combined strength of the opposition will soon come a cropper …so let them make as much noise as they want. The janata has seen through their machinations & are not going to be fooled by them any longer. If the inconvenience is there – which is obvious – so be it. Hypocrisy & the likes of the Con(g)..Kejri & other ‘has beens’, is legendary. These guys will soon be confined to the dust bins of history. It is only a matter of time.
Rashmi Choksey: Tell that to the poor and lower middle-class people who make up a large majority of India’s population. In a country where 47% of the citizens don’t have a bank account, are illiterate (probably found out about the scheme because no one would make change for their 500 rupee note), have no place to go get educated about these kinds of huge changes.
Getting rid of corruption at the high cost to poor people isn’t something to boast about. Everyone with a FB account talks about plastic money like using computers was done by those who could afford it 10 plus years ago. It’s nice YOU and your educated friends can avail of these resources, but the blatant disregard for those who struggle
day-to-day is worrisome.
Calley D’Mello: yes, the opposition may be playing politics, but I truly appreciate your balanced view – that of respecting the soldier, being patriotic, and also showing genuine concern for the poor.
Rony Bill: 26 people have died so far in just 6 days. It’s not just about standing in a long line.
Priya Ranjit: People talking about deaths in the country on account of standing in long ques…….seriously guys get your facts right before making such strong remarks.
Yes everyone understands the temporary hassles that each individual is going through, but get the big picture here…..this is a WAR against BLACK ECONOMY which has been killing the development of our country for all these years!!
Where is your patriotism and humanitarian when a soldier looses his life in a WAR. If that can be called martyrdom and taken for granted and forgotten over a period of time then why are we publicising these instances, which to be honest are absolutely baseless allegations.
I strongly believe that this move howsoever inconvenient it is for the time being, the common man of this country realises that it is for his good in the long run, then why are people like us who are barely impacted (thanks to e-commerce and online shopping) cribbing and complaining about.
I support #demonetisation
Rashmi Choksey: Hey Priya, your privilege is showing. You and your affluent and educated rich and middle class try going without food and the basics and give your smaller notes to the poor who are struggling to just survive and have been hit harder than anyone else due to this not-well-thought-out scheme in the name of eradicating corruption. The rich already got word of it and converted their money to gold. They also moved their money offshore and won’t be affected. These events have brought to light how many hearltess, privileged people live in India.
Priya Ranjit: Hi Rashmi – in whatever small way I can, I have helped the poor people around me…wish each one of us does our bit instead of complaining about the issue and consider this move as a step in the right direction for the betterment of the poor in this country!
Rashmi Choksey: Again, no one is against the effort to eradicate corruption. The corrupt people already took care of their money by buying properties, gold, etc. Unless you think people stash tons of bills under their mattresses or in some secret location (the corruptpeople are way smarter than the govt. or citizens give the credit for). And your or anyone’s small ways go only so far in alleviating the pain of the poor. Imagine having to stand in a line for hours while you should actually be working to earn the little bit you do. Are you or others volunteering to stand in line for those poor folks? The plan was so bad that the govt. hadn’t even thought about what people would do if they got sick and hospitals refused 500 or 1000 rupee notes. It is only because sane and compassionate people spoke up and protested that the rules were changed to accommodate that.
Arpito Gope: Yes someone should just tell the families of deceased people its temporary hassles and they are patriots who died. And the people who haven’t died and are just struggling should also know its patriotism. The man is not an idiot, he knows his job.
Rashmi Choksey: You mean you’re ready to give up your money and basic needs like the poor and die to become a patriot? How nice of you to volunteer!
Arpito Gope: No Rashmi, just want the Modi brigade to explain it to the families who have lost their loved ones and those who are hit by it. Mr Ram Madhav has said its a time to show patriotism. BJP informed the people who needed to know and then sprang a surprise asking for common man to suffer and show patriotism. The rich sitting in a metro city will be happy to act intellectual and smart. And BJP’s convulated patriotism works only for them and not for me.
Rajiv Narayan: How we all suddenly are in love with the poor and underprivileged!
Arpito Gope: You are lucky you are not and are a BJP patriot.
Rashmi Choksey: Rajiv dear, your obvious contempt for sympathizers is quite telling. Do you even know me to make that remark?
Rashmi Choksey: Were you being facetious in your comment, Arpito, coz it didn’t come through as such…when you said the man knows what he is doing.
Rajiv Narayan: Sympathizing when it’s convenient. Yes, I have contempt for those.
Arpito Gope: Rashmi the man knows his job and that’s why the Swiss bank accounts are still a far story which he screamed about and came to power. And inspite of surgical strikes been done earlier too, the previous governments treated them with the required secrecy, the one surgical strike under him became a PR event. Everything is a mega PR activity and we have very educated Indians falling head over heels for it. So the man is not an idiot but a smart cookie. So while we see queues of normal citizens lining up for their own cash the biggies are safe. Demonitization has happened earlier as well in India. Never has it been such a PR activity and nor has it been publicized as one to stop corruption and change the world because it won’t. It could have been done with better planning and without hardships for the common man but hardships for the corrupt. While the previous government have been corrupt, this government is corrupt and has a way of feeding hatred and divisive politics which is very apparent in the hate which spews even in social media from its supporters.
Rashmi Choksey: Arpito, read my replies to other people’s comments. You and I are saying the same thing. When I read your initial comment it looked like you were for this ill-implemented plan.
Rajiv Narayan: Arpito: Ive been consistent in my views – i have opposed and supported governments based on issues. Never been blind about parties and affiliations. Have voted in the past for Congress, BJP and the Left. I find it strange that a lot of people on Facebook who are pro Modi will do you to death for any anti Modi comment. You seem to fall in the other category which brands anyone who supports any decision on the current govt a nationalist / pro right / BJP stooge / RSS chaddi etc. Yes, I am lucky to be part of the privileged group in India, but I am not one who will use someone else’s poverty or lesser prvilige to win points on Facebook as and when it suits me.
Ayyappan Narasimhan: There are always people whose hobby is to criticize and find fault and such people must be ignored!
Rashmi Choksey: Oh, and so much for the super secure Rs. 2000 notes. The counterfeits have already infiltrated the market:
Ramaa Shanker: it is not the poor and needy who are complaining, it is the upper middle class with a row of cards.
Jaisurya Das: Thanks Rashmi for your emphatic comments. Indeed every debate must have two sides and you have all the right to spew contempt for this move that has allegedly created much suffering for the poor..my team and myself have been on the streets over the past few days to cover the entire emotion for our media portal and i can tell you that it’s the common man on the street who is giving thi this the thumbs up… they have been cribbing like the rest of us waiting endlessly in queues but they r relieved that all the extortion they have been going thru is getting curtailed… they told me how politicians and others demand money every month from them to allow them carry on with their trade on the streets and how today they’re after them to help deposit money into their accounts ! Yet, each to his own. For me this is a radical move and i continue to applaud it no matter if I am branded affluent or otherwise ! Amen.
Rashmi Choksey: Jai, it’s not the idea that I’m against. It is the botchy implementation that is not planned out well that I have issues with. No matter how supportive the poor are, is someone else working for them to make a living for them, pay their bills, buy them food while they stand in long lines to get change? Are people feeding these poor during this horrible time, coz I’m sure they’re losing money? Are their employers being reasonable with them? And then there are the armchair louts dissing those who dare to protest or speak up for the poor? What kind of heartless morons are were becoming?
Jaisurya Das: if you had logistics in place, this move would have been public long ago. The whole point is lost. Where is all this feeling for the poor every other day? what about all of us who are going through the same hardship standing in lines. We know its for the greater good. The poor are at the receiving end of extortion day in and day out.
Rashmi Choksey: My feelings for the poor have actually been awakened during these years in the U.S. I have learned more about disparities and obstacles in implementing solutions. But surely you’re not equating your suffering with that of the poor. Again, I’m not against the idea; I’m against the poor implementation.
Jaisurya Das: why not list the way it should have been done with the actual logistical process to be followed. . I will personally tweet it to the PM, FM, PMO, RBI and others.
Rashmi Choksey One of the things they could have done is signing up those without an Aadhar card at the bank or location where the poor go to get change. Plus, bank accounts could have been opened on the same day forthem, so all besides the 90 crore who have an Aadhar card or bank account could be signed up. This would mean every citizen would be covered. Since computers and WiFi are available in a lot of places now, it shouldn’t be a problem to do it on the spot. As for implementation, anyone who doesn’t have an Aadhar card or bank account would get a priority window to handle their transactions to lessen the load on the poor. In the U.S. we have separate lines at the bank for business accounts. The same could be done for the poor, at least till this new plan has been brought to completion. All those who lie would be caught because of the retinal scan could be fined for trying to circumvent the system, so cheating would be discouraged. Checks and balances would then be in place. Please do pass these on.
CN Murlidharan: For more than 35 years I was paying my taxes as a salaried person and watching the businessmen and politicians enjoying life evading taxes. I am happy today when they say what will we do all our money (made by not paying taxes) lost. Karma paid back. I know some of the poor will be facing hardship. All this news about deaths need to be scrutinised.
Keshavdas: no pain no gain…
Apoorva Lochan: Many Indians have got used to complaining & demanding their ‘rights’, but when it comes to ‘standing up’ & ‘being counted’ they are the biggest whiners! Really SAD, that these are the so called Intelligentsia!
Arvind Kumar: For people nitpicking and complaining has become a way of life. Sad.
Ramesh Narayan: We seem to prefer living with black money and corruption rather than give a possible solution a chance.
Ahmed Karim: Errr… I think its a little more complicated than that
Manisha Shaikh: Well said..and unfortunately true…arm chair actism is easy but putting your money (in this case literally !!) Where your mouth is not so easy as many of the whiners ! Cribbers ! And complainers are finding out
Arpito Gope: if someone protests a bad implementation and a heartless one, it doesn’t mean one supports corruption and black money. Just as you have full faith in Mr Modi, I have my doubts about his intent. The government of a nation cannot become heartless and ruthless to fight corruption by taking so drastic a step. Of course some pain gain and all those dialogues are great but the government needs to have a larger perspective. It can’t be just about us who are debit and credit card holders. Fight corruption. But this can’t really be the best solutions all the learned men at BJP came up with. And even religious organizations should be brought to book. All temples and religious trusts etc should be made to record donors etc. This money will go onto fund some political party. The government has to be for the larger interests of people. People who have no access to banks and ATMs for miles and who cannot voice themselves. They dont have an account nor a facebook account.
Uday Zokarkar: Economies (developed ones) have gone thru similar pains and we will have to if we aspire to play a leading role in world economy. Yes, I too do not represent the party and/or otherwise, I feel it will do good. In the process, if we can work towards better logistics for those who are challenged by these situations, it will be great. Be it Sr. Citizens or differently abled or workers etc. I agree with you Jai.
Surendran Menon: The stated intent of the exercise is to eliminate black money, unaccounted wealth, money laundering, fiscal support to terrorists, fake notes etc. etc. Excellent and any right thinking citizen will support it.. But does that mean that ALL 500 and 1000 rupee notes in circulation fall into these categories ? What percentage does it comprise ? When one used to withdraw money from ATMs before 8th. Nov., one mainly got 500 rupee notes – obviously its use was widely encouraged since it was convenient. I think we need to take a nuanced view and not go overboard…..maybe the intent is good but on the ground, the situation is grim. Talk to people standing in line as I have over the last few days – the Senior Citizens who kept large sums at home for medical emergencies, the parents who withdrew money for their children’s wedding – they cringe when people look askance at them when they deposit their hard earned money as though they are criminals. And i think it is time we got away from the Bollywood inspired notion that unaccounted wealth is stored at home in blankets etc – most of it is already back in the system…And when 4 lakh crore rupes have been taken out of the system in a week and only a fraction of it returned, what its impact on the economy will be will be there for all of us to see
The debate continues unabated at the time of going live with this article..