Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Editorial, "MAD TUGLAQIAN MEASURES," in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 December 2016, Vol. 12, Part 2, No. 23 issue


The chapter of Mohammed Bin Tuglaq in Indian history, with his horrible measures of madness and cruelty, is a gory interval in our long history, sometimes it seems almost incredible, but watching the mad show going on in our country now in the name of ‘banning’ of big currency notes, trumpeted as an indispensable measure for fighting corruption and ‘black money’, nothing seems impossible/un-replicable in this country. Ever since the Mahaa Moorkh announced with a bang in all pomp and show in the night of 8 November 2016 that all 500 and 1000 Rupee Notes would not be legal tender but for a few exemptions till 30 December,  that this was essential to curb, unearth and eradicate black money, the whole country is in serpentine queues for all these five weeks or more searching for paltry amounts of cash to pull on lives and in the process several persons lost their lives even. In a country where more than 80% of all financial transactions take place in cash, at least 20% have no bank accounts at all, and where 86% of the cash-coins are but these big notes, could any madder measure be conceived and sought to be implemented to destroy the people and the economy altogether, one wonders. Leave all that talk of black money, which could not be, in cash, more than 5-10% of the total cash in the country, what about the loss of lakhs of crores to the economy – of incomes to the people at large who in millions queue up before non-working ATMs and ill-equipped banks for days together? What about the loss of precious lives day in and day out of helpless persons, unable to withstand the rigors of standing? Of shutting down of industries or forcible/invisible retrenchment of lakhs of workers in not only unorganized sectors, of the woes and weal of crores of farmers who cannot sell their produce at any affordable or even low rates due to such cash crunch? Has any country in the world been able to even lessen, let alone eradicate, black money by such an insane measure? To buttress their indefensible measures the fraudsters spread all sorts of lies, including the so-called demonetization of big currency notes in the US in 1969 – which never occurred. Now they are even talking about a cashless society – a sure way to totalitarianism. And we have been seeing new sorts of corruption and black money emerging with the ruling party-wallahs preponderant in that line too, and ministers and leaders of the ruling party – Jaitley, Gadkari and Gali Janardhan Reddy et al - lolling in luxuries and spending hundreds of crores for marriages etc. when people are dying for want of trifles of cash to buy medicines or food even. In any other country, such a despicable government would have surely vanished due to people’s wrath but here it still continues to run like a bull in the China Shop. §§§

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