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Friday, 11 November 2016

The Currency Ban and it's aftermath

It was the evening of the 8th of November when the news of the ban of the Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes reached me. At first, I just laughed the thing off, thinking it was just another Whatsapp rumor or prank being played by someone. Later on, to my surprise, I actually read the official news articles and confirmed the authenticity of this news. In what is thought to be a major assault on black money, fake currency and corruption, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi went on national television at 8 pm and announced that from the midnight of that day (12 am, 9th Nov 2016) the Rs 1000 and 500 currency notes will be demonetized.

The social media erupted as soon as his announcements came out with scores of netizens praising the Prime Minister's move as a 'surgical strike' on black money, while some others criticizing his move for having caused inconvenience to the common man.

Being preoccupied with things as usual, at first, I didn't realize the magnanimity of the change that took place. For an hour or so I felt just 'meh' and thought people were over-reacting by being hyper about the situation. Later on, as I realized that the ATM machines will be closed for two days and the banks for one day, I somehow realized that I need to get out and grab some change since I was to be travelling in the  next two days around Mumbai for work purposes and would need cash to make my way around.

Since the news of the ban, I am watching people stand in queues and watching anxiety and worry on their faces. Everyone I meet or interact with are discussing with me the consequences and aftermath of this currency ban. Many people are facing difficulties in traveling, buying day to day grocery or food items and in many other such small yet significant things.

Since I don't fall into the category of super rich people. I am not worried about handling the "black money" as people call it... lol but yes, I too am facing the brunt of the ban by standing in queues, thinking twice before buying anything with cash and I did face an issue or two while travelling.

Even then, despite this, I am not agitated. In fact, personally, I think the currency ban is a great move by the Prime Minister of India. It is a master stroke played by him and with one move, the entire India is shaken to it's core, leaving those people who own hordes of black money with anxiety, fear and insomnia.

India has been grappling with corruption, fake currency and terrorism for years now. The fake currency was being used to buy weapons, thereby causing havoc in the country.

On top of that, India is laden with corruption. It is like a disease which has seeped everywhere in this country.
I don't think their is any one sector in this country which is corruption free.

Yes, not all citizens are corrupt, but those who are, are spread everywhere.

In fact accepting black money has become a norm and routine for a certain section of the people in this country.

Unless we break this cycle of black money circulation and try to remove this disease of corruption from the roots, nothing will change.

The currency ban is the first ever strong step taken in the direction of uprooting the disease of corruption.

No doubt it has caused us discomfort and inconvenience at many levels. I am sure every citizen of this country is bearing the brunt of this ban in some way or the other.

But if we look at the big picture, if we look at the intentions and reasons behind this ban, we can surely face this temporary inconvenience with a smile. A short lived inconvenience for a big change for the better is surely bearable.

Till today, people were sitting and cribbing that nothing changes in this country and the government doesn't take any strict measures for it.

Now that the currency ban is a strict action taken against corruption, why are we cribbing?

When we can stand in queues for movie tickets or for buying "JIO Sims" or for any other purposes which are purely personal, can't we not stand in queues for our country??

Whether the move will eradicate black money completely is a question which remains to be seen. At least, with this move, black money will be curbed to a great extent if not completely.

Yes, we are facing discomfort and inconvenience, but as citizens of a country we love and wish to change for the better, the least we can do is bear it with a smile and support the government's decision.

Let is all be a part of this change by supporting it and welcoming the thought of an improvised India!