Bringing the House down

The winter session of the Parliament has been a complete washout and both Houses were held to ransom over the issue of demonetisation (“The Daily Fix: One sign of how Parliament has been devalued – even the ruling BJP is disrupting it”). The 15th Lok Sabha saw the Opposition BJP always disrupting the House and the Opposition in the current Lok Sabha seems to have taken a cue from that. In the winter session, even the treasury benches resorted to disrupting the Rajya Sabha.

While political parties will always blame each other for disruptions, the nation’s resources and the taxpayer’s money are being wasted. The presiding officers need to be more strict. We need to amend the rule to state that even for small adjournments, members of the House will have to forfeit their allowances and salaries for that day. The marshalls should be used, if need be, to evict mischief-making MPs. – KB Dessai

Money move

Curbing black money is just one aspect of demonetisation (“Demonetisation is a permanent transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich”). The major gain from the move is that it stops the flow of money to terrorists through counterfeit notes. This angle is being ignored completely by people opposing demonetisation. – Madusudhana Vedantam


How about providing some out-of-the box solutions to get the government out of this mess of unpreparedness?
We’re just seeing ad hoc measures, reactions and responses. Our country is just too big and too populated and too unequal to wait for even one more day. See what’s happening in Parliament. – Jayanthi Jaisimha


There is every reason to believe that Modiji took the demonitisation decision to correct his falling graph. He expected that such a drastic step would swing sentiments of the public in his favour and bring him a large number of votes in Uttar Pradesh and other states.

His party won the elections in 2014 through money power and by accepting donations from many big business houses. His party leaders, chief ministers, cabinet ministers are no different from the rest and they too are corrupt. The only difference is that before the Opposition can point out corruption in the BJP, the saffron brigade starts shouting from the rooftops and discredits others.

For instance, Kejiriwal is not corrupt, but he is projected as a useless leader. Mamata Banerjee is projected as corrupt.

The BJP did not even condemning the lavish Reddy and Gadkari weddings. So how can anybody believe that demonetisation was carried out with noble intentions? – Vipparti Ramamohana Rao

A way out

Professor Arun Kumar has chronicled very nicely the developments that have taken place since the demonetisation announcement on November 8, including the apparent lack of preparation by the government and the continuously changing narratives of the likely gains from this initiative
(“Demonetisation: Shifting goalposts to show success has kept focus away from real problems”). Both the Reserve Bank of India, and most recently, the Asian Development Bank have pointed out that demonetisation could lead to India recording lower growth than earlier estimated.

However, since these facts are already known, Professor Kumar’s erudition would have served a more important purpose if he could have suggested specific measures to reduce the inconvenience being faced by all citizens in varying degrees.

It is of little consolation to ordinary Indians that many experts on the local economy have reservations about the benefits of demonetisation. What they are seeking are workable and sustainable solutions, and this is where the knowledge of Professor Kumar and others of his ilk could prove more handy. – Sumali Moitra


Instead of publishing negative news on demonetisation, can we educate people on why we don’t need cash and give ideas to the government on how to make India cashless? We didn’t have mobiles till 2000 and smart phones till 2010. Every 10 years, there are revolutionary changes in technology. Can we not change our country for a better future? Why do we need cash? That is inclusive growth – not just identifying problems. – Ravindranath Reddy

Losing steam

I am not a hardened critic of Modi and neither am I a fan
(“Amit Shah loses temper at BJP meeting as party leaders say demonetisation could cause a backlash”). He has a lot of feathers in his cap and at the same time, he needs to convince our Muslim brothers that he is working in their best interests too.

Demonetisation was well-intentioned but I believe India first needs to first depolarise. On that front, I think our prime minister has a lot to do. We need to promote the spirit of co-existence. else India will bleed. I look forward to having another leader like Indira Gandhi. Until then Maohar Parrikar would be a better choice because the present dispensation had not made our Muslim brothers fell like saying Jai Hind. – Mac Vaz


Demonetisation is going to bring doomsday for the BJP. The frustration that nothing praiseworthy happened over the last two-and-a-half years drove Modi to take this decision without necessary preparation. The common man has suffered a lot and employment has been hampered. All this is bound to be reflected in the Uttar Pradesh and Punjab elections. – Prakash Paranjape

Support for demonetisation

Ajaz Ashraf’s analysis of the public support for demonetisation is good in that it helps understand why journalists are dissecting the bold decision taken by the prime minister with the good intention of curbing corruption and black money
(“Why the media doesn’t understand the widespread support for demonetisation”). It cannot be said that this decision was thrust on the people by rooting it in ideology. It is an experiment, the result of which is yet to come.

Why does the media come to a premature conclusion? Moreover, people don’t consider this a weapon that will affect the rich. They just expect ill-gotten wealth to be used for the common good, hence the overwhelming support. – Ganesan P


It’s heartbreaking to see the ramifications of Modi’s ideas on innocent people (“Demonetisation-induced unemployment is pushing some in Bundelkhand to the brink of starvation”). It’s pathetic that not a thought is being spared for daily-wage labourers. The people with black money are definitely not starving! Is this the price of patriotism, to starve to death? Shameful.

Contingency measures ought to have been implemented to assist the poor. They are the backbone of India and are tragically always forgotten. How sad. Thank you for covering this. – Jane Smiley

Fighting fire with fire

How can anyone be given the right to play with the lives of innocent people as in the case of celebratory firing (“As victims of celebratory firing drop one by one, a father in Delhi seeks justice”)? The dealth of such a similar and upsetting incident, the death of a 25-year-old dancer performing at a marriage ceremony in Bathinda district adds to the long list of those killed by such celebratory firing incidents.

These are truly senseless tragedies born of our confused relationship with guns. The authorities concerned need to take it seriously and come up with a zero-tolerance policy for celebratory firing. The media, too, will have to discourage celebratory this. By failing to respect guns enough to know they have no place in a celebration of any kind, the quality of life of too many people is being destroyed. People cannot let their magnificent celebrations turn into horrible tragedies for innocent folks. – Akash Kumar

Letting out

LK Advani’s outbrust is nonsensical and is a manifestation of the frustration of not being able to make any contribution in governance, display of arrogance and ego
(“Both Houses of Parliament adjourned for the day, LK Advani considers resigning from Lok Sabha”).

To resolve issues and move forwards, tough actions are needed from a decisive leadership. It is gross impropriety to have such ridiculous outbursts. – Bala Reddy

Strength to strength

Congratulations to Dr Akash Singh Rathore on completing the Ironman triathlon (“From Philosopher to Ironman: How and why I took on the world’s toughest triathlon”). If you can dream it, you can achieve it.

Even I have been looking to participate in the event, but my knee injury is just not allowing me to keep up my running regimen. I hope to meet Rathore in some big event. – Anurag Singh

Notes on demonetisation

It is unfair to compare the demonetisation exercise in India and the erstwhile Soviet Union as the latter allowed only three days allowed to exchange the old currency and the limit was was set at 1,000 rubles (“Zimbabwe, Myanmar and USSR tried demonetisation, and burnt their fingers”).

In India, the government has made sure that nobody will lose existing white cash. Also, there is no limit on money that can be deposited in the bank. Even if the argument goes that many of the poor villagers don’t have an account, maybe some poor villagers have less than Rs 50,000 in cash and they can easily get this amount exchanged in banks in instalments. If they have more, they can always open an account. NGOs could help with this. No one with white money needs to fear. – Trishala Brahmaiah

Pots and kettles

Three Congress leaders – P Chidambaram, Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi – who wreaked havoc on the Indian economy by encouraging unparalleled corruption in 10 years, are preaching to the NDA (“Demonetisation worse than a natural calamity, has caused great distress to Indians: P Chidambaram”).

Can anybody outside of the government be taken into confidence before a decision like this, which requires secrecy, was taken?

Chidambaram does not have much credibility, Singh has proved himself to be power-hungry and weak and Gandhi has always enjoyed power and perks without responsibility. Today, this trio, instead of shedding crocodile tears, should remain silent and cooperate with the government if they are really concerned about the country. Somayajulu Cherukuri

Zero-sum game

After seeing these constantly shifting goal posts of the government as well as the Opposition, the common man feels let down (“With its talk of extinguishing unreturned cash, is the government defaulting on its obligations?”). No one, including the media, seems to be clear of the actual motive of the demonetisation exercise. It is clear that no clear targets have been set so far. Black money continues to flourish and people will withdraw their cash once restrictions are removed. Terrorists are also still striking at will.
RBI keeps saying that there is no shortage of cash, and yet, there’s no money in banks.

And now that plenty of new currency is being detected in raids, it should be made public how people got so much cash. There seem to be no tangible gains of this scheme. Common man is still standing in queues, precious man hours and being wasted, cost of printing new currency is colossal and the loss is tremendous. – Surender Verma

At sea

I retired from the Indian Navy last year as master chief ERA (“How all work and little sleep have left the Indian navy fatigued and stressed”). I have witnessed all accidents mentioned in the article and I want to congratulate the captain for portraying such a realistic picture of the navy. I just hope somebody takes note of this – Rahul Borhade


Capt KP Sanjeev Kumar sir’s analysis was absolutely spot on. I have served in the Navy as a sailor in Artificer cadre and worked on board various naval platforms as Radar and EW maintainer. At a later stage of my career, I was involved in IT and Infosec at command level.

You have shed light on the ever-increasing ignorance of immense human fatigue across Naval platforms. I would like to draw attention to another issue. In my entire career in Navy, I’ve seen a complete lack of empathy among men and officers. The reasons for this are many – operational requirement, moral status and so on. The consequence of this can be seen abundantly on board ships. A lot of suicides have taken place in the last few years and an incident like this onboard scars everyone. As you said, fatigue takes a heavy toll on the performance of men and something like suicide causes a great amount of despair even to bravehearts, adding to the fatigue. – Jyotirmoy

Cruising along

I am not much of a surfer fan but I love watching the sport
(“Watch: Surfing Sierra Leone with the country’s only woman wave rider”). I will try my best to help Kadiatu Kamara and her story is admirable. Keep surfing and never give up. – Sahr Mansaray

Speaking out

I want to express my sympathy to Josy Joseph for the difficulties he is facing in trying to tell the truth (“‘I would rather set example for my 13-year-old than be afraid’: An investigative journalist explains”). We all need to stand up and speak out. – Sujatha Mathai