People come before a nation because without people there is no nation, there is no economy, and there is nothing. We say this world will flourish as a rich planet as we, the people, are the biggest consumers of natural resources for our whims and fancies and our so-called 'progress'. In the same breath, we are silly enough to say that non-existence of my own species is crucial to making this planet rich.
I write this post supporting the progress we've made till date, not against it. But it is important to be considerate moving forward. Now let us talk about demonetization and try to look at two questions in that context:
What does it mean when you say ‘Modi Failed’?
What does it mean when you say ‘Kejriwal Failed’?
If demonetization turns out to be a blunder, many people who hailed Modi for his master stroke will blame him but it would be too late by then. There will still be some folks who will blame not Modi but the common man for not cooperating. And also blaming the opposition for sabotaging a sincere effort that would have "Made India Great Again". For me, there is no greatness in any pocket without equality all over the world.
If demonetization works out well for the people and helps in that fight against corruption, even then there will be people in the opposition camp who will say 'Modi should not have done it' or 'He could have done it in a better way'. That’s our Indian Politics. We don't give solutions, we complain.
It is also worth noticing that 'Demonetization' could be a big gamble for Modi. But then what right does a government or the PM have to take such a risky gamble over the future of its people, even if the intention is good? Or is it that the intention of the effort was clearly a political mileage for BJP and to feed a populist agenda by touching corruption that touches only small timers but not the big Adanis and Ambanis. Only time will tell.
I am not a Modi Fan and had supported AAP during their campaigns and my support then was two-pronged.
One, because they were part of an anti-corruption crusade that really got an apolitical passive India on its heels and on to the streets for a better tomorrow that impacts the masses. Second, in my opinion, it was important to shake the political establishment once in a while with the power of the people to get things in order.
A few weeks ago I read this article on TOI: “Arvind Kejriwal retweets misleading photo about man’s suicide ‘due to demonetization”. These kind of tweets for me show either a lack of clarity in judgement or an uncontrollable passion to make sure Modi fails. I have also seen Kejriwal being targeted by the Modi campaign since he became the CM for so many frivolous and meaningless reasons.
So, I often wonder what it means when we say ‘Modi Failed’ or ‘Kejriwal Failed’ ?
In the present situation, ‘Modi Failed’ means 'Demonetization failed' and that can happen in two ways. First, through a roll back of the demonetization effort and second, due to the failure of this gamble. In both cases, we, the people stand to lose.
On demonetization, while there is an outcry on how callously it was implemented, no one has (as far as I know) spoken about how it could have been done otherwise, with no hardships for a common man. I also read this view by Amit Varma on Economic Times: Narendra Modi takes a great leap backwards. Mao would approve, which says there is never a better option and every planning and method will fail here in this regard.
He ended the article with this: “Even if implementation was perfect, this would be a historic blunder because social engineering never works, and carries moral costs because of its unintended consequences. When people have to queue up to withdraw their own money , on which limits are placed, it is an attack on property rights that is more out of the Communist handbook than any right-wing philosophy.”
The fact is that the common man is being pulled from many sides; corruption, anti-Modi sentiments, Modi’s usual trend to do a marketing push for a populist move and the media-created confusion. He is being turned into a donkey with many heads, all having to nod to opposing views. It is really very sad.
I am no fan of Modi, but I would like people to do a realistic analysis of what it means to say ‘Modi Failed’. Because if Modi fails on his demonetization effort then he will cease to exist as the 'Superman'. But that is about him, what about you, the people? Will you gain or will you lose. I do not think a Congress alternative will ever make India free of corruption. Period.
Similarly, I also want people to think realistically about what it means to applaud loudly when people say ‘Kejriwal Failed’. For me, AK and AAP have been symbols of anti-corruption entering mainstream politics. I am surely unhappy in the way AK responds at times. But for me, AK was the shining light of anti-corruption and it is important for him and others in politics to join hands and fight corruption with the least impact on common people. And that means AK’s victory should not mean ‘Modi Failed’.
It is very difficult to be rational when you are biased and I think that all of us and Modi, AK, BJP, AAP… all are biased.
But as individuals we should go on that ‘not so easy path’ to break out of every kind of prejudice and should rationally look at the issue. Because I know that many of us who express their views on social media are not the real people affected. Not the ones who feel the brunt first but we are the people who have the time and luxury to write and support and crib.
So we hold a very big responsibility to be rational, yes critical but not misleading.
I say this because when it comes to the fight against Corruption, I will not be in a camp that rejoices a ‘Modi Failed’ event or a ‘Kejriwal Failed’ event. My success should not mean someone else's failure.