While the government and banks are going their bit – albeit with shortcomings – to ease the cash crunch, public behaviour has been excellent. Most people have shown their patience by queuing up in lines for hours to get a few thousand. Extraordinary scenes like public sector banks offering tea to their customers and chairs for those queuing outside could be seen these days. The public is equally responsive. Everyone is complaining about not getting enough cash and having to stand in the queue for hours, days. At the same time, most of them admit they expect something good is going happen in the long run.
Now Prime Minister Modi has asked for 50 days to prove that what he has done was for the country only. This is a calculated risk his government is taking. It will be wrong to say ‘his government’ as it seems very few in the government were in the know of it. Even the cabinet ministers were not allowed to carry their mobile phones to the meeting held prior to Modi’s landmark announcement to the nation on demonetization decision on November 8 night. They were not allowed to move out until Modi’s address to the nation was over. So, at this juncture, no question could be raised on the sincerity and intent behind the decision.
Everyone is now saying about bad implementation of a good decision. But a move, which has upset the daily lives of crores of common people, could probe a bane for the nation as a whole. And it also might be discovered later that the decision was implement in the best possible manner. Had it been a cakewalk for common people to get the money without any pain, the same would have been the case with those against whom this mammoth step is taken. Modi would not have been criticised now, but he would be blamed for a ‘historic blunder’. The same opposition parties would have told people that how incompetent Modi to let go the money hoarders, despite the demonetisation. The best thing parties and people can do now is to have patience for a couple of months and let’s see what fruits this historic move bore for the nation.
(Published as editorial in The Meghalaya Guardian on November 18, 2016)