Letters to the editor

Readers' comments: 'The pain and losses of demonetisation are already too heavy'

A selection of readers' opinions.

Pain vs gain

This article puts forth the facts objectively and has made some hard-hitting points of relevance (“Demonetisation deaths and disruption: No long-term gains can make up for some of this pain”). I hope it will create an impact on at least a section of the middle class that is tolerating all the lapses of the government with a sense of heightened nationalism and an illusion that the current economic and development policies of this dispensation will widen their opportunities. I love reading many of the news features and opinion articles of Scroll.in for its pro-masses content and its well researched critiques on contemporary issues. Look forward to many more informative articles that expose misleading posturing by those in power. – Nagmani Rao

***

I am an NRI and am visiting India for six weeks. I do have a few thousand in notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, which we carried back during our last visit to India. Yes, I was disturbed with the announcement, but thanked my stars that it has coincided with my visit and I can deposit the old notes in my bank account.

I have successfully used two ATM machines to withdraw Rs 2,000 each time in Chandigarh.

I have spoke to two taxi drivers, both were very supportive of the action and have had no complaints. I asked a boat man in Sukhna lake, who hails from a remote village Uttar Pradesh and earns Rs 7,000 a month, what he thought of the move. He did not complain of any inconvenience – he was gung ho about the action and full of optimism.

I feel sorry for any lives lost in the process – but that a hospital rejects Rs 500 notes cannot be blamed on the demonetisation. The hospital should be investigated.

Have you counted the number of deaths everyday in private and government hospitals because the poor man does not have enough notes? This is happening daily, unfortunately!

If this action can prevent a few terrorist attacks in Kashmir or elsewhere, it has achieved a great deal! Weddings affected by the lack of legal tender could have made do with cheque deals and bank transactions. May be a bit of austerity would have prevented unnecessary wastage.

We have to pay a price for achieving any reforms. Everyone talks about how China is developing fast. Do you hear the stories of the poor man who is evacuated and forced to accept the alternative offer by the government? – Pitabas Mishra

***

I agree with the author, the pain and losses of demonetisation are already too heavy and the speculated gains will not be able to erase the painful memories of those who have lost everything to this ill-conceived and ill- planned act. – Alka

A step ahead

I totally agree with the view that the poor, migrant labourers and others are suffering due to demonetisation but even before this, their situation was no good (“Demonetisation woes: We, the empowered people of India, do not spare even a thought for the poor”). Further we cannot be just think of the present and not take action. No doubt , in a country like India with a huge population, implementation poses gigantic problems. We need to focus on the future, maybe demonetisation is not the best step, but at least we are moving in that direction. Action is better than no action. – Sudnya Kulkarni

What’s in a name?

The name of the Metro station does not make any difference to the common man who earns his daily wages (“Mumbai: State decides to name new train station in Oshiwara ‘Ram Mandir’”). These things mainly worry the politicians, who win votes by giving religion-based names.

These tricks may have worked during our parents’ time, but not with today’s young and educated generation.

No more fooling citizens. Only results are to be shown by these politicians. – Casimer Quadros

No winners

No one has a clue about the real solution to the Kashmir issue (“Delhi lacks the guts to take back Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, so does Islamabad: Farooq Abdullah”). As long as distrust and hatred are rooted deep within both countries, there is no solution. Be warned that peace is the only way out. Both the countries must work very hard to come to the table. – Kshama Desai

Question for a question

I have some questions of my own, in response to the questions you would like to ask Modi (“Ten questions Modi really should have asked in his demonetisation survey”).

1. Can you please suggest what measures the government should take now to reduce the problems that people are facing?

2. Also, what should the government do to fight against black money?

3. Do you know that only 3% of the Indian population pays income tax? What about the rest – any ideas on how to make them pay tax?

I am not saying that Modi is going to change everything but he is trying something either good or bad, which no other prime minister has done till now. Let’s see what he does.

I think under prime minister and RBI there are many talented people who are capable of giving suggestions and ideas. Do you really feel government has taken such a foolish decision when the entire population is going to be impacted? – Vincent

Looking up

Vijay Pasupulati is a source of inspiration for all of us (“How a former Goldman Sachs employee built India’s fastest-growing education tech company”). The lessons we must learn from him is to dismiss thoughts of failure and uncertainty and stay focused on the vision of what we want to accomplish. Giving up is easy, but to never give up is worthwhile. The surest pathway to our dreams is in discovering our unique strengths, talents, and gifts. This is where our personal and financial wealth resides. In life, there’s no such thing as an ending. Even failure is a new beginning. Obstacles are the tests that will make us feel worthy and proud once we reach our goal.

Follow your dreams and do what your heart tells you to. There will be bumps along the way but never give up! Your destiny is waiting for you at the end of the long road. – Akash Kumar

Changing dynamics

I thought your piece was pretty perceptive, although I’m unsure whether Indians would agree with the suggestions that it makes (“Chinese naval ships in Pakistan’s Gwadar port call for a rethink of India’s regional policy”). Prime Minister Modi, like all his contemporaries, has both his strengths and flaws, but I, as a Pakistani can only really concern myself with India’s foreign policy and the changing complexion of the region as a whole.

I think that there is a sense of buoyancy within the Indian populace with respect to India’s ascent and a renewed confidence that this great nation with an ancient history is witnessing an unprecedented rise on the global stage once again. In fact, the world that we live in today has undergone tremendous change, and as both India and China have shown, the discovery of hydrocarbon wealth is not the only route to becoming part of the nouveau riche group of nation-states.

Whilst I understand the reasons for this buoyancy or even the swagger, typified by the election and indeed popularity of Modi, I think that in the realm of regional politics, India is in danger of succumbing to cavalierism, prematurely.

Of course there is a long-held obsession with Pakistan, and India’s inability to do away with the populist sabre-rattling that resonates within the country.

The goal - to isolate Pakistan, to contain it, to contribute to efforts to undermine its sovereignty, a tactic in tandem with the duplicity of intelligence services, appears to be pretty ambitious particularly in light of recent developments. I think that India would be better served to avoid the allure of indulging in its (not so) guilty pleasure of choice, the shortcomings after all, are embarrassingly public – the snubs, the failed attempts at the UN, the denial, reciprocal border aggression on the Chinese border.

I hope the opportunity for a reassessment comes to the fore, because Modi options have been limited right from the get-go, a big part of his appeal has been muscularism. What now? He has no choice but to plough ahead, and spread the toughness. But at what opportunity cost?

Courting Japan, inviting the Dalai Lama, in what I hope doesn’t form a broader tapestry of digs at the Chinese, are steps in the wrong direction. We ought to be working towards regional cohesiveness and cooperation, harnessing this time that we find ourselves in. India, it appears to me, wants to stick it to Pakistan a little bit too keenly. A U-turn on your own accord is always better than one you are resigned to make. – Ali Hussain

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Bhadrakumar is a Leftist and a China lacky who thinks that whatever has to be said about foriegn policy had been said by Nehru. It’s our good fortune that Prime Minister Modi is not taking briefs from such outdated specimens who think whatever China is doing is alright and there is something patently wrong with whatever Modi does. It’s difficult to think that Leftists are not naive, they are openly supporting China’s cause. – Sreedathan

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Isabelle, meanwhile, feels some amount of Indianness has seeped into her because “whenever its raining, my body instantly craves chai and samosa”.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.