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Opposition stand weak, fatuous

Opposition stand weak, fatuous
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The other day when the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, declared the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes illegal, no doubt it came as a shock to many in the...

The other day when the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, declared the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes illegal, no doubt it came as a shock to many in the country. The government has come in for criticism from the regional satraps over the move which they feel affects the common man.

Mayawati calls it an anti-dalit measure, Mamata Banerjee dubs it anti-poor, Arvind Kejriwal says it is anti-trader and Mulayam prefers to call it anti-people.

Opposition parties were on the same page on Thursday to launch an attack on the Modi government. They, Mulayam and Mayawati, who never speak the same language had gone ahead to term the move as 'economic emergency.'

“The Modi government has slapped Emergency without sending people to jail and the BJP cares only about elections, not the problems faced by common people. The government has spread anarchy in the entire country, common man is not even able to buy daily products,” Yadav said.

Both Yadav and Mayawati called the move anti-poor, saying it served the interests of only “big industrialists” who backed the BJP.

They said demonetisation exercise is the BJP’s ploy to divert people’s attention from “failures of the BJP government at the Centre” before elections in the state.

“Just before UP elections, Modi has realised the problem of black money after remaining in the saddle at the Centre for two-and-a-half years … 90% people are unhappy with this decision,” Mayawati said.

Yadav too said as much, alleging that Prime Minister Modi took the hasty decision to hide his failure in bringing back Indian money stashed in foreign countries that he had promised to do in his campaign speeches before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Let us assume, for a moment, they are right. Yes, the BJP has made this move keeping in mind the UP-Punjab elections. So what is their problem?

Why should 90 per cent of people be unhappy over the same? The black wealth does not belong to this majority.

Again, an ordinary citizen fails to understand how the move is to benefit big industry. It is well-known that these regional parties had stashed away huge sums to face the elections. Now their plans go awry in every sense.

Could we imagine an election in the country where currency does not figure in. Of course, most of it is black when it comes to the political parties.

Unlike the national parties, the regional parties led by individuals play a different ball game altogether.

Should the government fight only against the hoarders of black money abroad? Should it deal with only the currency stashed away in foreign countries?

Is the black money circulating in the country any different from the black money abroad? What is wrong in the government waging a war against the same?

None of these leaders has answers to these. How would a clean country emerge if someone does not work for it from somewhere.

One cannot, of course, expect efficiency and integrity to rise, like a phoenix, all at once, out of the ashes of widespread demoralisation.

But, the government should work, within a reasonable period, to wipe out corruption step-by-step. Deeds of the Government have to be criticised.

As Jawaharlal Nehru once said "criticism is always welcome and desirable and it would be a great pity if people in India and elsewhere forget the habit of criticising or even condemning occasionally the deeds of the government".

Criticism of the demonetisation move does not sound appropriate as it lacks rationale. If the fight is against black money it should not have geographical contours to it.

The call for a roll-back is absurd as common man is least bothered or worried with the move. He will be facing troubles for a sometime but he welcomes the same wholeheartedly as he knows that those against the move have a vested interest.

Ironically, in our country, the aam aadmi has high ideals of justice, humanity and morality and a wider outlook than several politicians.

Read what Mayawati said once again: “It hurt the poorest of the poor as they don’t money to buy food. Modi took the decision to harass people after making his party economically strong by helping industrialists and capitalists.”

Will Mayawati explain which poorest of the poor possesses Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 notes and is now deprived of the usage of the same?

Did she mean that all the poorest of the poor of UP have such money but cannot get it exchanged because they cannot prove it is theirs'?.

Or, for that matter, what is Kejriwal worried about? The traders? Or is he more worried about the fact that the donations raised by the party but not shown on record to the authorities cannot be used now?

Arvind Kejriwal lashed out at PM Narendra Modi and challenged him to make public the names of the 648 Indians with Swiss bank accounts whose details, he said, were given to New Delhi during the earlier UPA rule.

Insisting that the demonetisation would not check corruption, Kejriwal asserted that the problem of black money could be tackled if Modi ordered the arrest of Indians alleged to have maintained Swiss bank accounts. “But you won’t arrest them because they are your friends,” he said.

This very Kejriwal was a part of the India Against Corruption movement in Delhi not so long ago. Shall we ask him to explain how arresting the 648 individuals with Swiss bank accounts would eliminate black money in the country?

These are the questions that the common man is asking today of these politicians. Why are they blind to the reality?

A more honest criticism on these lines "..this is a political move just before the elections. And it hurts us. The BJP's move is a tactical one", would certainly have gone down well as it sounds more credible.

India may be experiencing a high level of growth, but lack of proper anti-corruption measures is threatening its financial core. It is not just corruption, but also terror funding that is affecting the country.

The fake currency that is flooding the market is another issue. The joke in Pakistan is that it prints more of Indian currency than its own. Transparency International has warned governments' in Asia Pacific that if stringent action is not taken against corruption, their economies would be threatened.

If 21st century is to be truly Asia's as the Prime Minister says, then anti-corruption measures of all kinds are important to progress in the right direction.

The emerging economic giants in the region, China and India, rank 75th and 95th, it said. This indicates a lower level of competitiveness in countering corruption in comparison to their economic rivals in northern developed countries such as Germany, Japan Canada and the United States, it felt.

For example, recent research by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences states that since 1990, a number of high ranking government officials and senior managers of state-owned enterprises have fled the country with stolen assets worth $123 billion.

Although India boasts of a larger democratic space for public activism in countering corruption and opacity, little commitment has been delivered on the government’s part for substantive eradication, the TI said in its observation.

It is easier to understand when the politicians' take on black money changes. After all, the wisdom of this year may be the folly of the next.

"Manners with fortunes, honours turn with climes Tenets with books and principles with times"... Don't they change as Pope said?

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