Demonetization: an open letter to Narendra Modi from Pradeep Narwal

Pradeep Narwal

Pradeep is a student activist in JNU, New Delhi, and a former member of the ABVP on the campus.

Honourable PM,

I am Pradeep Narwal, a student of JNU, the so called den of anti nationals but for me a place where I have learnt to stand up for the rights of underprivileged, marginalized And against right wing fascism. Sir, I wrote to you about the JNU Feb 9 incident after which I left ABVP with which you were also associated, so far I didn’t got any reply, today also my expectation are not much high but still being a citizen of India this my responsibility to put some issues in your light.

The NDA government recently came up with the demonetization policy, which is supposedly to flush away all the “black money” from this country. Now there are definite questions which the BJP has to answer while bringing this policy. First of all in 2005, when this policy was proposed by the congress all the BJP leaders were shouting with a loud mouth, that demonetization will hit the poor in the worst manner, and will effect the poor adversely, then why and how this policy suddenly became so effective in BJP’s tenure that it becomes a priority which overshadows all the bunch of black money saved in Swiss bank, it gives a blanket to all the names written in Panama papers. By focusing upon the 6% of black money saved in cash in India, the common people are being fooled and made to forget about the big chunk of money which does not exist in the form of cash. The rich will find its way they are still not going to be affected much by this move, they don’t have to stand in ques don’t have to struggle for their daily necessities of life, is the government blind to see all this? Or they have deliberately implemented this policy to save the big players of black money, and fool the common people of this country.

Similarly,In 2012 UPA government drafted a LARR bill to include the consent clause in the land acquisition act 1894 at that time BJP was in opposition it asked for the fair compensation, and transparency in land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement bill 2012. BJP took very humane and farmer friendly position. The bill was passed in 2013, came into force in 2014. Not just after coming into power in 2014, the BJP tried to dilute and do away with the consent clause, and social impact assessment clause in the development projects, which cause great displacement and marginalization to the poorest of the poor tribals and farmers. Now the question is, today if we oppose any of the policy of this government we are tagged as anti nationals, anti nation and what not, but there was a time when the BJP used to take strong oppositional stance (which I admired) against the congress government, the BJP becomes anti national by the same logic then. The BJP needs to answer why they have such hypocrisy and dualism in their stances? At one platform they remove the ‘consent clause” from the land acquisition act, which is the most inhumane stance to take, knowing that the compensation given to the poor is never fair and we have a great vacuum when it comes to the rehabilitation and resettlement discourse, and here this so called poor friendly government has taken the step of suddenly demonetizing the currency by saying they want to curb the black money, in turn this is affecting the poor the most.

A big population of Dalits and tribes who work as wage laborer don’t have access to bank account or they are not in habbit of using bank, how they will manage this (un)declared financial emergency, shall they go to bank to exchange money or earn for their family. Sir, cashless economy also exist in history as well, which is often referred as golden past by RSS, then we see the worst form of oppression on Dalits. Yes, that could be golden past for BJP but not for Dalits which constitutes more than 60 percent ( as I count oppressed women in this cateogry) of country population.

When it comes to process of demonitization, I have strong reservation , it’s a policy that came with huge infrastructural handicapped and insensitivity for the larger section of poor people. I was in hospital 2 weeks back for my father’s treatment, it was heart wrenching to see people standing there in private hospitals in pathetic conditions, hospitals simply refuse to accept the currency of 500/1000 rupee note, many of the people didn’t have any clue about the online payment. People in rural backgrounds are facing much worse situations, they have little money which they have saved for the emergency situations, now when they can’t use their money in urgency the policy becomes futile for the poor. People have literally died in many areas of the country and none of them is a minister, none of them is a business tycoon. People are not able to eat food. It seems like the government is trying to curb the black money from the common people, since the rich are able to transform their money from black to white, by using their strong links in the banks, the rich have found its way again. What is the point of making the poor suffer, only for the sake of showing a symbolic victory of bringing back the black money. The BJP could not fulfill its rhetoric of bringing back the black money, through which it encashed the 2014 election and to cover up this failure the BJP has come up with a non effective futile demonitization policy. Rather than giving 15 lakh in the accounts of citizens, they have devalued the money which the poor saved over years of hard work. My respected PM the question will always remain for whom was this policy made, to save the poor, or to save ruling party political rhetorics, we voted for you because country wanted to see change not chaos.
Yours sincerely.

Pradeep Narwal

An antinational ( as per “panchjanya”), and a proud JNUite.

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