It seems like only yesterday India was a corrupt country overflowing with black money, but so much has changed in the last one year. Thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to demonetise notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 on November 8 last year, India has never been the same.
So what if it was poorly executed and saw millions of people standing in snaking queues for two months for their own money? The intention was good! So what if at least 100 Indians died while waiting in said queues for their own money? When you want to make an omelette, you have to crack a few eggs! So what if the Indian economy has been on a decline ever since and several industries shut down and millions of unskilled labourers lost their jobs? At least India became cashless and digital... for around six months!
So what if 99 per cent of the demonetised notes were returned? Like finance minister Arun Jaitley explained, confiscation of money was never the objective of demonetisation! A year later, no one knows what the true objective of demonetisation was (apart from winning UP elections) but we can all agree that intention was good. Kuch toh kiya! Demonetisation has inspired me. Recently, my wife asked me to get groceries and handed me a long list. I came back home with five packets of chips and a two-litre bottle of Coke. When she was visibly upset, I reminded her that at least I got something. It’s the intention that counts.
Look around you and you can see how demonetisation has worked wonders. Cash has become a thing of the past. Just yesterday I bribed a cop using Paytm. Last week, in order to speed the processing of a document, I recharged a government official’s Tata Sky connection using Freecharge (the joke is him because I got a voucher for 10 per cent discount on my next Dominos order). India has truly become digital.
Poor people to shut up and not complain about missing shifts at work. Photo: AP
Some people are wondering if introducing a R 2,000 note defeats the purpose of demonetisation as it makes it even easier to move black money but they are missing the point. I don’t know what the point was behind introducing the Rs 2,000 note, but they are missing it. Some people are wondering if the several deaths caused to demonetisation were worth it. This is ridiculous because people can stand out of their freewill to get Starbucks coffee but they can’t stand in queue to serve the country.
Besides, like R Jagannathan explained in his Swarajya article, Modinomics will cull the weak and the unviable and make India stronger. If you’re a farmer or small trader who doesn’t have accounts in Panama then you deserve to perish. It’s Darwinomics silly! Frankly I’ve had it with the great unwashed. Just look at them with their Axe deodorant, Tata Nanos and Xiaomi mobile phones. Ugh.
People say that the Rs 2,000 note "kuch dino ka mehmaan hai" and there are chances of another demonetisation drive. I look forward to serving my country once again but have some suggestions for PM Modi this time. Some people thought that, last time, there was chaos arising out of the frequent change of rules. Personally, I had a good time because I used to love The Crystal Maze. I would request the government that it should have even more confusing rules this time so that only those who know how to use their heads get access to money.
Here are some possible regulations that could be put in place:
1. People who insist that the second season of Stranger Things was as interesting as the first season will have their Rs 2,000 notes confiscated and their TVs smashed.
2. Married people can exchange their Rs 2,000 notes for smaller denominations but only between 1:43pm and 2:18pm. After that they have to sacrifice their firstborns at the cashier counter. Single people have to come on Friday between 3:58pm and 4:07pm.
3. People who are jealous of their neighbour’s car should be able to report them for a tax raid. One laddoo per raid will be awarded.
4. Anyone criticising demonetisation will be sent a defamation suit for Rs 100 crore. Government officials to tattoo "Mera baap chor hai" on the arms of such critics.
5. People cannot keep more than Rs 500 at home. Anything more than that will be treated with suspicion and as having a possible link with Islamic militants and Naxalites.
6. Henceforth, all payments for weddings to be made using the government’s special wedding payment app called GBPM (Gayi Bhains Paani Mein). Exceptions for BJP ministers.
7. People can only exchange Rs 656 per person when depositing Rs 2,000 currency notes at banks. ATMs to be filled with notes that don’t fit so that there can be chaos all around. Recalibration to take three months. Inconvenience will not be regretted.
8. Poor people to shut up and not complain about missing shifts at work. People who die in the queue will be fined Rs 2,000. No, old currency can’t be used for paying fine.
9. If the ATM or bank branch runs out of money just when your turn to withdraw comes up, the bank in question has to give you a motivational poster stating, "The early bird caches the worm".
10. PAN card, driving licence, passport, Aadhaar card, birth certificate and voter ID required for any transaction above Rs 700.
11. BJP reserves the right to take credit if demonetisation works (unlikely), but in case it doesn’t (very likely), BJP should be allowed to blame Congress party, RBI, Mughals etc.