When I heard you during your election campaign for the parliamentary elections in 2014, I just dismissed it as another rhetoric by an aspiring politician…. I am referring to your vow of eliminating black money, the so-called parallel economy running in the country… rather, running the country. You had also promised to bring billions of dollars of black money stashed in Swiss Banks..!! I had laughed it off.
But, I was taken aback with shock of disbelief when you have announced withdrawal of 500 and 1000 currency notes from the circulation abruptly. Literally, I jumped out of my chair and started applauding and said “Yes, here is a man who does what he preaches”…!! And, for the first time, I felt that my vote has not gone waste.
Then, all the drama started unfolding, one-by-one.
The Enforcement Directorate, which used to work as and when some political opponent like Mr. Kejriwal needs to be harassed, swung into action and they smelled out black money from every nook and corner of the country as if this was the first time they came to know the existence of black money in the country. The kings of black money ran helter-skelter to hide under their own skin. I felt proud being an honest tax payer.
Then came the announcement of the release of Rs.2000/- currency notes!! I wondered, why Rs.2000/- when the high denominations are believed to be the backbone of black money. The Finance Minister took great pains to explain the logic behind Rs.2000/- notes, which I could not digest.
Then the Finance Ministry and the Reserve Bank of India started spewing out the hell on the common man by eating their own words every day…. nay, every hour, to be precise. Utter chaos across the nation..!!
Stung by the demonetisation bee, the Opposition parties, no..no.. Opportunistically positioning parties, who were as good as dead till then, could see an opportunity in the troubled waters and took no time to jump into the trade they have PhD….. mud-slinging, which they did with utmost perfection. This was too much for the Government.
Then came the announcement from the FM…. Was it an announcement? No, it was a whisper in to the ears of the above parties. Banned currencies can be donated to the political parties and no questions will be asked!!!! The cry of ‘foul… foul’ by Behanji Mayawati, Mother Mamta, Grandpa Sharad Yadav, etc., etc., was nowhere to be heard after that!! What a sixer, Mr. Prime Minister…!! My heart sunk on that day, Mr. Prime Minister. I could see you as one among the crowd.
Then the slogan changed from eradicating black money to cashless society. I still felt good but wondered how on earth this will be implemented in a country where a huge chunk of population reals under poverty and live in places not accessible by normal mode of transport. The Prime Minister and his comrades started giving gyaan on online transactions using credit card, debit card, Paytm, BHIM, etc. I went to the Petrol Station and bought petrol with my credit card. He charged me Rs.25/- extra + service tax on this amount… forcing me to pay Rs.28.75 extra for one transaction. I wondered, what the hell is happening in this Country? On the one hand, the Government is shouting from the rooftop urging me to go for cashless transactions and on the other hand, punishing me for co-operating with it..!! I started cursing myself.
As if rubbing salt on to the injury, now the banks have announced that they will charge me from Rs. 5/- to Rs.150/- if I withdraw my own money deposited with them..!! This is the height of mindlessness on the part of the Government, on the part of the Reserve Bank of India.
What do you want me to do, Mr. Prime Minister? I should not use cash…. I have to pay for withdrawing my hard-earned money…. I should use my credit or debit card, but have to pay extra for using them…. I should believe and vote for people like you to be in power….. I should do everything that you say and make my own life a HELL..!!
Are you really serious about a cashless (or a less cash) economy, Mr. Prime Minister? Or is it another rhetoric that we have heard during the last 70 years?! Your words and actions do not match, Mr. Prime Minister. Please watch out. 2019 is not far…………..