Why My Initial Support For Demonetization Backfired !

Pre-Script: This was originally published in Medium on December 1st and I had no intention of repeating the article on my blog. But it was already day 48, and in all these days of standing to prove my nationalism both inside movie theatres and outside theatres, there were a couple of new jokes that I came across.

So here’s the post with a few updates.

It was November 8th, 8 pm, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation took a bold initiative to eradicate the black money from the country.

Instant Change

It was not one of those announcements where a politician (false) promises to unite the rivers together and make India a developed nation overnight. But a change, that shook the entire nation, where the country’s most highly valued notes Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 were to be devalued the same night.

Completely unaware about the happenings, I was sitting in my room minding my own work (anticipating White House results) and my phone was buzzing with notifications, every social media you see, be it Facebook or Twitter or even Whatsapp for instance, people started expressing their views on the same. While some supported the measure, others mostly trolling the move within 2 minutes (not exactly sure about timing, but if you can relate Modi’s move at 20:02 and in 2002, it’s purely co-incidental).

The supporters for the announcement (count me in) were comparing the quotidian lives of common men with those of the brave soldiers in the border who were battling external terrorists. It was all inspirational to fight for justice and #fightagainstcorruption but the night was still young.

Valueless Joke

Now going a little off-topic, why was I happy and why did I support? Did I know anyone with black money got screwed? Absolutely not, the announcement made me nostalgic to an old joke (read: motivational), which was going to be irrelevant the same night.

Man: Money is just a piece of paper.

Money: (smiles).. Of course. I am a piece of paper, but I have never seen a dustbin in my life.

This is well known to many and it is one of those jokes that was actually intended to boost us to reach a position where we are valued more but we ended up valuing the one with the note more.

Demon it is at ion = Demonitisation (Read: demonetization)

All things were definitely smooth as the night progressed, but what people did not realise was that it was actually the calm before the storm. What the supporters did not anticipate was that there’s ample difference between preaching an ideology and practising the same when it becomes a part of us. People realised that Wednesday was not the Acche Din for them and 9/11 did not give them the change they expected (metaphorically in the U.S. and literally in India).

To borrow words from The Joker,

“Nobody panics when things go according to the plan, hundreds and thousands of crores hidden as black money, nobody bats an eye, because it’s all part of the plan. But if 500 and 1000 notes lose its value, then everybody loses their mind”

(Note: A friend of mine asked after checking out the post in Medium, why demon-it-is-at-ion? Or specifically why ion in the end. The explanation would be that ions are atoms of same atomic number but different mass number, that is, the number of neutrons (which has been devalued of any charge) would affect the mass of the atom and the analogy here is that the 500 and 1000 notes which have been demonetized has affected the masses)

Balking To Banking

It was the time for dormant digital wallet companies in India to monetize on the demonetization and pivot from discount providers for digital wallet transaction to digital transformers during crisis. Consumers who were previously balking on the idea of digital transactions started to give in to the comforts of mobile wallets over traditional banking.

Every transaction seemed possible at lightning speeds, cabs and pizzas were not fueled by ‘cash on delivery’ anymore. But if only life was that simple, all of these was only a small portion for the larger pie.

The move we deserve, but not the one we need right now?

In a nation of 1.3 billion people and average connectivity speed of 4 mbps, the internet penetration is only around 35%; while for the rest of the population, it is the state of 1 Like =1 Share (vanity metrics). There were countless jobs that went out of the market since they were primarily not the tech-savvy industries (an effect which I experienced personally). Even the queues outside banks are still seen by many and most of the ATMs are only running with a limited stock of 2,000 notes.

Although the ATM lines are quite pissing when someone cuts the line, it was also a good place to meet interesting people. I remember one such incident where a random stranger in the ATM queue was lamenting the fact that his income was high. It was not one of those reasons that he might have to launder his black money without drawing too much attention, but the very fact that he has to stand in the queue almost every day so that he can barely manage to draw his salary from the ATM machine.

We understand the bomb that was dropped on the entire nation was for a better India or to silently coin the original term for an #AccheDin. But, the aftermaths are impinging on the lives of common men. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and do our duties in the hopes that we turn out to be the East post Little Boy and not the West post its election results of the (orange) Fat Man !

Also Read: 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Click On An Article Because Of The Title !

Disclaimer: The above opinion is the rants of an optimistic pessimist which was originally intended to focus on ‘the commutation and communication problem coupled with the effects of demonetization issues’ faced during one of the Bangalore trips, but the flow got pivoted to something else !

10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Click On An Article Because Of The Title !

Oh no, snap ! You clicked the article just to read something interesting on the internet again?

Is life is so boring that you are constantly exploring (people hardly use explore, so let’s go for chroming) the internet for reasons to escape from life? Things can be dark out there on the world wide web, may be my personal experiences can help you not get caught in the middle of the web. Continue Reading !

Do You Possess The Potential To Be A Master Or The Caliber To Be A Creator?

Remember A.L. Tennyson’s ‘The Brook?’ There is one ever living line that has been stuck with me forever.

“Men may come and men may go, but I go on forever”

Similarly human thoughts are like the ever flowing perennial river, and every now and then it is important to record our thoughts just like the dams that are built to tap into the potential of the river.

What is going to be the use of recording our thoughts and how is it going to matter? For a moment, imagine what if 800,000 years ago, the people who invented/discovered fire, kept the warmth to themselves and never recorded the information. To them it was just an idea to stay out of cold, but it would’ve been very cold of them if they hadn’t passed on that information.

As human beings, one of the ways to grow (not just physically) is to pass on the information that we’ve gained in our lifetime to the next generation so that they can use it as a base to progress further and not to keep starting from scratch every time and falling into the same circle.

Unfortunately this learning phase has been very slow for most of us. You spend at least the first 18 years of your life, learning the fundamentals, half of which you’re highly unsure of where you’re going to use in practical situations. Some of them will further want to fall into this learning pool and spend 1/3rd of their life trying to master what has already been passed on as common knowledge.

I agree that we need masters in every field who maintain a ledger of the information, whom we can approach when we need guidance or reference. But should we consider the reference material as our Holy Bible or at times explore what is really out there?

Circling back to the imagination, given the knowledge on fire, what if the Mesopotamians of the 4th Century relaxed after mastering the art of fire? Would you have reached to this stage of smart phones and couch comfort, if they had never come up with the true symbol of progress ‘the wheel’?

History is filled with individuals and civilizations’s Eureka moments, who’ve defied the existing truths and proved their own hypothesis. For Srinivasa Ramanujan, the mathematics prodigy, an equation means nothing unless it expresses a thought of god. This is a man who was merely an explorer of infinity in the pursuit of absolute perfection, and in this pursuit even though he did not attain the ‘absolute perfection’, he had set an excellent path for the generations to follow.

It is not just history, take a look at the contemporary world around you. Men in suits who have become masters in their chosen field ended up working for creators in denims who created that field. I am not stating you need to drop out of college, but you need to figure out what is that you’re going to create out of studying. There are men who pursued education as a passion and sometimes education proved to be a stepping stone to reach their passion, but is your passion aligning with education (even remotely)?

All of us are walking on a sharp edged sword, but even a highly sharp sword can reach the state of Excalibur only based on the execution strategy. Yes, that’s the hardcore truth. Unfortunately, all of us have the inspiration serum reaching its high every time someone uses keywords like ‘passion’, ‘success’, ‘making an impact’ and other synonyms; it is the stories like Slumdog Millionaire, Wolf of Wall Street and similar rags to riches stories that have a commercial value. Look on the critical side as well sometimes, all of these stories had the right execution and it had been a team effort through out.

Somehow critical review and criticization has overlapped over the years. When the former can be constructive, to learn from one’s (sometimes others’) mistakes and pick themselves up from a roadblock; the latter is pure ignorance of the situation and mindless rants on the individual. Learn to differentiate between the two and choose wisely.

Think again, do you want to be a master in someone’s field or creator of your field?

Image Source: walltor.com

“Contingency” can be “Contagious”

Pessimism may point out the cons of a project, but the pessimists are pros in correcting those. As promised in the previous post, let’s start our final post of the series with a few practical examples of how pessimism has become a part of our every day life.

A healthy dose of pessimism may come in handy in many real-life situations where optimists may be overly hopeful. Continue Reading!

The White Knight And The Dark Horse

Given the discussions so far, every time it would be either about how an optimist is always the white knight and a pessimists end up as the dark horse. But it is high time that, someone cast a shadow and bring the darkness into the light. There is Yin in Yang and the other way round, but many of us just stick to black and white. Continue Reading!

Optimism and Pessimism !

When trying to differentiate between optimism and pessimism, we often hear that one sees the glass as half full and the other sees it as half empty. It’s simply not the case that optimism is “good” and pessimism is “bad”—although that’s how we’ve been encouraged to think about them. Rather, both are functional and both have value.  Continue Reading!