Dear Ram Madhav,

I just came across a Facebook post by you in which you painted everyone who is inconvenienced or “crying hoarse” about the ban on Rs 500 note and Rs 1000 with the same brush. You called all of them “dishonest”.

You wrote:

“The honest in the entire country are hailing PM Modi’s historic decision to demonetise existing currency bills of INR 500 and 1000. The dishonest are crying hoarse. Majority politicians have, out of true support of the decision or out of the fear of public wrath, supported the move while some found political expediency in opposing it.”

Umm…Did you just call everyone opposing or inconvinienced by the government move “dishonest”?

True, Narendra Modi took an administrative decision to tackle the menace of domestic black money (There are many black money holders who have hoarded their money in off shore banks). And this is not the first time that large denomination notes have been demonitized. It has  been done before too:

  • In 1946, a year before the country got independence from British rule  Rs1,000, Rs5,000, and Rs10,000 notes were taken off circulation. In less than ten years, the denominations made re-entry into the market.
  •  Then Prime Minister Morarji Desai also acted tough against counterfeit notes. In 1978, his the Janata Party coalition government rendered Rs1000, Rs5,000 and Rs10,000 as illegal.

Clearly, a dastric measure like this would send normal life for a toss.

Here are some glimpses:

This is not to criticise the government, although we still don’t know how effective it would be.

All ruling parties have to take to some tough measures in their tenure that might not be popular, yet necessary. Arvind Kejriwal’s Odd-Even measure to tackle the problem of air pollution in Delhi was seen by many as an inconvinience, even the BJP leader.

So, for now let’s leave the politics and economic of the move out of the debate. It’s best for experts to debate its pros and cons.

But let’s talk about the common man. By common man I mean one who doesn’t hoard black money, who pays his taxes.  By common man I mean a person who is always short of time, who delays seeing the doctor for an ailment that has been troubling him for sometime, who doesn’t have the time to talk to parents living in another city, who has been pulling off inhuman 14 hour shifts, who barely makes time for a short walk in the park. For that common man sir, standing in long winding lines outside ATMs and at bank counters to exchange notes is a serious pain in the ass.

Sir I am personally offended by your post.  As mentioned by you, I AM one of those “crying hoarse” about the Rs 500, Rs 1000 bans because when my mom needed a crucial medicine, the ATM outside my house wasn’t working and the chemist wouldn’t take Rs 500 note.

Further, your government’s decision has screwed up my entire weekend. The only two days when I have time to unwind, and talk to people I love and care for, do things I really want to. On those two days, I will have to stand in long winding lines in banks all for Rs 4000.

One of the my colleagues took half a day off to withdraw money for her ageing grandma. And after taking all that pain, she could only withdraw Rs 4000 that isn’t enough to sustain her expenses and her family’s for the next two days. You have to realise, it’s not withdrawal of Rs 4000 per person. It’s withdrawal of Rs 4000 per family. As all the family members wouldn’t make tour to the bank accounts. They have families to run.

Mr Madhav you must have heard about the  woman in Telangana who committed suicide fearing that the money she got from house sale wouldn’t be valid after the ban. Reports have also emerged about BJP Minister Mahesh Sharma’s hospital both in Bulandshahr and Noida turning away patients when not given money in notes of Rs 100s. Yes, they are private hospitals and they have the right to do so. Nonetheless, its cause of inconvenience and they are angry.

Mr Madhav, by your logic all these people must be really dishonest for “crying hoarse”.

Although, the government’s foremost job is to ensure a comfortable life for its citizen, many of the troubled people are open to putting up with this inconvenience. They really want the government to put those promised Rs 15 lakh in the (imaginary )bank accounts of every rickshawpuller, every maid, every daily wage labourer, who will be the worst affected by this move.

We also want our country  to swept clean of fake currency. We want all tax evaders to become pauper. However, chances are many among us will not be okay with the ban. Chances are many will find themselves in emergency situation and decry the government decision as wanton, stupid and senseless.

Why is your government so scared of criticism?  Your people drop the “anti-national” bomb way too often. Any criticism of the government and we are asked to f&*k off to Pakistan. Then your Union Minister asks us to dumb ourselves down and stop asking too many questions. And now you sir, you call us dishonest. For what?

Here’s a piece of advice — all your decisions don’t have to be popular. Every time you do something ‘great’ like surgical strikes or attacking black money, you don’t have to unleash an army of online users calling Ajit Doval Chankya or Narendra Modi modern-day Vivekananda to sway public opinion. Take tough decisions and leave the rest to people. Don’t label us, when some of your decisions hurt us, offend us or make us really angry. If you can do anything just try to ease the process up. Please remember, you and your government like all other governments are in the business of serving people, not in a popularity contest.

Thanks

A citizen who is “crying hoarse”