The entire thrust of opposition, in cahoots with propaganda siren of mainstream media in full blast, is about the inconvenience of the poor man. That he is made to stand in queue for long hours; the cash is missing from the ATMs; that the unavoidable events of marriage or management of a patient in family has taken a beating.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in coming week will ensure that long queues disappear from in front of banks and ATMs. If people can withdraw as much as they want; and deposit as much as they want—indeed, depositing has never been a problem from Day One, you could deposit as much demonetized currency as you could—the photo-ops for over venerable press would be over.
Once banks have enough currency of legitimate tenders, the issue of withdrawal and depositing of money would take care of itself. With the one ink-on-thumb provision for exchange of old currency in place, the “mercenary queue-rs” – don’t tell me you haven’t heard of them—would disappear.
With queues being the primary thrust of Opposition-Media stance, be prepared for “people-with-no-business-in bank” continue to dig their heels on front of banks. It would bring a set of “volunteers”--whether at BJP’s behest or one of their own conscience—or bank officials or enforcement agencies to verify if these people are for real or just made-to-order queue-filers. They would then be forced out of queues.
So, to-have-or-not-to-have-queues-outside-banks, is the heart of the battle. One senses that the definite inconvenience of people in the last one-week has been a strategic move by the Modi government. They knew that opposition would rail against demonetization move; would harp on common man’s problem and in the process, appear to side with black-marketeers, corruption, terrorists and drug-pedallers. Now that the opposition has painted itself in a corner, that the lines of pro-and-anti monetization forces are sharply divided, BJP would flood the bank with legitimate tenders and pluck the last straw out of its rivals’ hands.
The Modi government then would go into an overdrive; its leaders in the assembly election season would lose no opportunity to declare to the masses as to who has been found siding with the black-marketeers and corrupt of this country. This charge would stick; there is no way opposition could avoid the pitfall. And for good measure, some “big fish” would be caught and paraded, scattering the tenuous bind which opposition has lately acquired among themselves.
Meanwhile, the improved state of India’s economy with this flush of funds, reduction in terror and drug activities and a comparatively quieter Kashmir would be good points for the Modi government to harp on. They would also chuckle at the thought that now opposition and media are left with no time to manufacture anti-Dalit, gau-rakshaks-on-rampage and intolerance bogey.
When even Barkha Dutt has no time to cry over Kashmir, you certainly know their house is on fire and the attempt to salvage whatever they could from its embers is the priority.
The next one-week would also bring a slew of measures which would help poor directly and turn their despondency into an embrace of Modi doctrine. From reduced tax slabs to funds at low interest rates, there would be a lot to cheer for poor of this country.