ATMs without money are still the norm – Renuka Shahane

The 1st of December has gone by. Long queues outside banks and ATMs without money are still the norm. If Demonetization has shown the colossal failure of implementation of a perfectly good idea with perfectly good intentions, it has also shown the strength & resilience of our citizens.


People working in banks are still working beyond their normal call of duty, working overtime, canceling holiday plans just so that citizens are not badly affected by this sudden not being able to access one’s own, hard earned, already taxed money.

The people themselves are supporting the euphoric & utopian idea of black money being destroyed by this one swell move. It has also brought out some typically ‘subcontinental’ ways of doing jugaad; circumventing rules & finding loopholes. For instance some poor people & some bank managers have become quite rich overnight leaving our FM red-faced; making new & crazy rules every day, showing him up as a person who is sometimes clueless of the rules he’s announced yesterday ….homework guys!

We’ve been taught about back up plans by our mothers. Each exam we gave came with a back up plan just in case a pen didn’t work, a pencil needed sharpening or one went blank in a question paper. There was Plan A, Plan B etc for the smallest exam.

Here the Govt wanted to get into IIT in its first attempt but didn’t study, got poor marks & got irritated with the marking system.

My advise is not to get angry. There is a 2nd attempt & a 3rd. The biggest strength you have is your people. Even though you might love NRIs more than us, we are with anybody who is trying to do something for the betterment of the nation. We have already given full marks for good intent; some thing we are never given credit for ( certainly not by the Govt & certainly not by the taxman)

The clueless opposition is just that, clueless! (A surefire way to get a lot of likes on facebook is to bash Rahul Gandhi or to say complimentary things about our PM. I find so many fb posts about supporting Mr Modi, getting him into the conversation any which way. People have become popular overnight with either Modi-loving or Modi-bashing & Rahul/Sonia-bashing. Such funny times these are!)

Yes, the opposition doesn’t know what to do to change the belief that people have for the Prime Minister. They love him, support him, respect him for trying something unique. They don’t want to believe there’s politics involved. Even if the entire BJP party is caught on camera with hoards of black money the people will not question the PM. With such 24 carat pure gold feelings & support from citizens the least the Govt can do is to think through the entire policy.

Make it easy for hardworking & honest citizens & make life difficult only for the dishonest.
But for that we will have to change our relationship with money. Over the years people with wealth have become the benchmark for respect, replacing those with good values & education. If only money is important then money is good by hook or by crook ( usually crook). If that is our mindset then there will always be people taking shortcuts in their quest for money & there will always be black money floating around making the rich richer.

And since I’m a mother who constantly comes up with back up plans for her kids maybe I could suggest a thing or two to the Govt so that they will clear the 2nd attempt at IIT with flying colours

1) Any politician found to have cash, gold, property above what they should technically own should be penalized, stripped of whatever berths they have at whatever level

2) The mint has to do the job that only it is allowed to do without being taxed; that is mint money! To mint enough money so that people don’t have to beg for their own hard earned cash. ( If counterfeiters can do the job fast why can’t the mint?)

3) With all the sops that the Govt has given to the people with black money to come clean can we have a list of those people? I’m sure honest people would love to know who these people are because of whom they had to wait in long queues to withdraw their own cash
4) If apart from Mr Amit Shah you could make public the income of all BJP MLAs & MPs six months prior to November 8.

5) Point number 4 applies to opposition leaders as well & since you have alluded to all the corruption in the last “70 years”, to make public how & how much the opposition leaders own.

6) Please specify the quantum of punishment for any Govt employee who asks for a bribe from us, honest tax paying citizens. Since we can’t complain to the anti corruption bureau against Govt employees what is the option for us?

7) What are the safeguards against our online data being misused. After all, hacking has become so common these days there’s reason to fear a complete cashless society.

8) Please find a solution to the fear that the taxman will terrorise us after being sent on personal vendetta missions; carrying a weighing scale to check the gold in the house?

9) While it’s absolutely necessary to get rid of the black money within our country you should come up with a huge plan to get the black money stacked abroad. Put up the names of these as well as all the bank defaulters on the Govt website. Deter people from doing business with these defaulters. Make their lives miserable even if they are abroad. You are powerful enough to do that.

10) Last but not the least; don’t give deadlines. People will hold you to them. Say that the whole process will take time. After all honesty is the only way to fight corruption. Be honest. Period.


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