Demonetization

Why Rajdeep Sardesai blocked me on twitter

(This is a reprint from NewsBred).

I found myself blocked on twitter by Rajdeep Sardesai today.

My tweets to him have never been abusive; rarely personal even though there is good enough reason to be so since we shared the same newsroom in the Times of India in the 90s. But I understand that the “Freedom of Expression” is not a two-way street. Stupid, we aren’t meant to practice what we preach.

Still, I was obliged, conscience-wise, to peek into his tweets of the last four days. No, I wasn’t looking for his sermons on illegal Rohingyas. Or if he is disparaging about Bullet Train. Or if he is in the pack of the wolves dancing around the embers of Demonetization. Or if their creativity is still on its feet in stitching “Sangh Parivar” with the murder of Gauri Lankesh.

All the above issues are meant to convey their concern for India. How their heart beats for India’s proud history of welcoming refugees. How India’s economic slide kicks them in the guts. How their souls are scorched at the fanciful waste of Bullet Train. How they die a thousand deaths at the plight of “independent” journalists in today’s India.

Surely, such “conscience-keepers” of the nation would have shed a tear at the demise of Arjan Singh, Marshal of the Indian Air Force, in the Capital on Saturday. I wanted to check on Sardesai, if he has extricated himself from the morass of mud-slinging and spared a thought for the departed hero.

But I found myself blocked by Sardesai!!!

So I did the next best thing. I turned to Sagarika Ghose, his wife. Surely, the woman who has a new biography on Indira Gandhi to her name and thus, by inference, had time to research many wars of the 60s and 70s, would remember late Marshal Arjan Singh and his legendary deeds.

But there’s not a single tweet from Ms Ghose! (There of course is a retweet but that’s like registering a presence in a funeral). It’s so much like Congis–with whom her family has had a roaring stand–who rarely have had a great respect for our military heroes.

Remember the death of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw on June 27, 2008? The then present UPA dispensation in the Centre, were all missing from the funeral of India’s greatest military hero. Neither President Pratibha Patil, supreme commander of our armed forces nor Prime Minister Manmohan Singh; neither the then defence minister A.K. Antony nor the three Service chiefs attended Manekshaw’s funeral.

Manekshaw’s various run-ins with the Indira Gandhi could be the reason. I am not sure if Ms. Ghose has it mentioned in her book—those loyals who have read it must inform me. Or the book has the facts that the 1971 War hero’s status and dues were held up for decades. (It was only due to the initiative of former  President APJ Kalam that a cheque of Rs 1.3 crores was sent to the late Marshal on his deathbed.)

Next I logged on to Sitaram Yechury’s twitter account. He is another one who can’t see his beloved India going to pieces under the Modi regime. It’s another matter that those who protect India’s sovereignty are not quite sure of his time for them. He too wasn’t present, by all accounts, at Field Marshal Manekshaw’s funeral.

Yechury too hasn’t offered any condolence on Marshal Arjan Singh. All he has done is to question Modi government for its indifference to death of India’s “most senior serving military officer.” Indifference? Is the whining Communist leader indeed talking about Marshal Arjan Singh? Isn’t he aware that Arjan’s son Arvind Singh is overwhelmed at the present government’s response to his father’s death?

I next turned to two other Congress Seniors: Digvijaya Singh and Manish Tewari. The two have been much in news for their colourful vocabulary in public lately. Abusive like the drunk thugs you often find on the streets; with little association to decorative representative offices such as ones of former Chief Minister and Union Minister. Digvijaya predictably had no time for Marshal Arjan Singh’s death (does India-Occupied-Kashmir ring a bell?) And Manish Tewari? No prizes for guessing this one too.

You would expect these people to use Marshal Arjan Singh’s death as an opportunity to present their credentials as well-wishers of Indian army, and by inference India. They have often held the grouse that their patriotism has been questioned by Hindutava agents; that they are shown as anti-Indian armed forces. But doesn’t their lack of respect for Indian soldiers and heroes only confirm the impression?

Maybe they thought that Marshal Arjan Singh’s death has come at a wrong time. Only when they were going hammer and tongs against the Modi government, the death of war hero has allowed Modi to showcase his sincerity and respect for India armed forces.  Only, when they had Modi pinned to the wall—or so they thought.

What’s a career without credibility in public life? And what delusion, like a she-Hindi author who painted Modi-praisers as no better than asses in recent days? Better by asses than filth-loving pigs.

Oh yes, and if anyone could update me on Rajdeep Sardesai on Marshal Arjan Singh.

Why Rs24,000 withdrawal limit must stay

It’s a fervent hope that the cap on Rs 24,000 withdrawal a week on individual bank account stays till mid-2017. If the limit is lifted, all those bank accounts bulging with submission of black money will be emptied in no time. The pre-demonetization black money will return albeit in the form of new 500 and 2000currency!!!

Sure, a time will come when the limit on withdrawal would have to go. After all, government can’t deny people their own money forever. It would be a disincentive against earning and spending more. In a way, it would encourage people to hoard cash which in turn would result in bad books of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) by way of “missing” currency.

However, as of now, this limit stipulation must stay. And that’s because the issue in question is the “existing” black money. Not the “future” black money. The priority is to cleanse the existing clogged drain. As for black money in future, new mechanisms could be put in place. For example, allowing the automatic deduction by banks on any withdrawn amount. We could be wiser for future. As of now, the existing stink must go.

We all are aware how opposition political parties, mainstream media and academia have raised heavens on the “pains of demonetization inflicted on the poor.” Images are manipulated, like-minded “experts” are invited on TV debate shows, Stories of people dying in queues have multiplied without any basis. Farmers’ plight, trucks off road, no fresh sowing are kind of news which have been planted without basis. The food prices have actually gone down, the trucks are doing just fine and no mandi is closed. These propagandist mouthpieces whose only interest is to hurt the nation so as to benefit themselves, haven’t bothered to inform as to why there are no riots and no violence, leave alone any mass disquiet in the country in the wake of demonetization. Or why despite the unpopular move BJP seems to be winning every civic election in sight.

Such forces desperately want the limit on Rs24,000 withdrawal to go. The idea is for the cash to be available for political parties to benefit and influence voters like they used to do in the past. The unearthed money of Mayawati and the “chit-funded”Mamata’s goons are just a tip of the iceberg. The rantings of Rahul Gandhi or the “fixed pari-war” of Yadavs are an offshoots of this existential dilemma. They claim to speak for the poor of the country when all they have done in their various tenures in offices is to keep them poor and deprived. All they rely on is people’s short memory. And the “minority fear” which a Hindu-majority Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) apparently evokes.

The arguments in defence of cash limit withdrawal are weak. If only 24 lakhs tax-payers in the country show an income of Rs10 lakhs or more in a year, the average comes to less than Rs 1 lakh a month which the cash-withdrawal-limit of Rs24,000  a week fulfills adequately. That the statistics of only 24 lakh tax payers with income of over Rs 10 lakhs per year is a cruel joke is lost on all opponents of demonetization.

So the cash withdrawal limit of Rs 24,000 per week must stay. At least till the bulging accounts are thoroughly scrutinized by the investigating agencies. The war has just begun. Those entrenched vested interests bent upon weakening the fibre of this country won’t go away in a hurry. They are amidst us in the form of political parties, media and academia working as proxy for their masters. Find them, recognize them, and neutralize them. That’s the mantra for all those who want a Strong India.

Jan Dhan accounts to get Rs 5,000-Rs 10,000

Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared it in a public rally that so far Rs 5 lakh crore have been collected since the introduction of demonetization on November 8, 2016—that our mainstream newspapers chose to underplay this report is another matter.

NewsBred has reasons to believe that Rs 5,000 to Rs10,000 could be deposited in 25 crore Jan Dhan accounts in the country. It would cost the exchequer between Rs 58,000 to Rs 1.25 lakh crore.

The freebie could either be uniform or staggered given the balance in these Jan Dhan accounts. For example, the accounts with zero balance could receive a bigger free cash inflow than those with some balance in it.

This would be a politically astute move and could redress the grievance/frustration/anger of those citizens who have faced hardships and inconveinece in money transactions since the demonetization scheme was launched earlier this month.

The BJP is prepared to alienate even their traditional vote bank of traders and businessmen as long as they could secure the affection of poor and deprived. They are also prepared to drag down economy temporarily as “India Shining” is no guarantee to winning elections as former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee found out to his dismay on 2004.

The free cash deposits in Jan Dhan accounts are likely to happen as soon as the Demonetization window closes on December 31, 2016. The introduction of it early next year in January would surely take care of UP Assembly Polls.

As many as five state assembly polls are lined up in 2017 — Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur. But for Uttar Pradesh, all other assembly polls are in the month of March. The one in UP would take place in May.