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Modi's digital obsession is not working, and BJP may end up paying a heavy price

Optimus_Prime

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For a man who's always been dapper and sprightly before the camera, Prime Minister Narendra Modi looked unusually haggard on Friday, as he addressed the BJP Parliamentary Party meet. His face carried a weary look; his language was combative, but his body language didn't quite match it; his speech carried the usual barbs at opponents, but it betrayed a lack of self-assuredness; the sense of humour was nearly absent, and whenever it came through, it was forced and flat. The consummate speaker, used to having the audience in thrall, appeared to have lost the plot. He looked like a man weighed down by self-doubt.
Modi strongly defended demonetisation and digital transactions. He said this was only the initial step to weed out black money, and there is still a long way to go. He dug up the past to blame Congress for putting the interest of the party above that of the nation. He blamed the Communist parties for compromising their ideology. He asked BJP leaders to carry his cashless message to people, and even announced cash incentives for going digital.
For a change, however, he didn't appear convincing through all this. Perhaps it had to with the fact that he could earlier claim popular support for his moves, while he is not so sure with demonetisation. With Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections not too far away, party workers have been expressing apprehension over the anger among voters. They can still turn black money into some kind of an emotive issue, but how can they make digital payments palatable?
In a country where trust in the banking system is low, mobile phones are still an object of curiosity for many and infrastructure for cashless transactions is woefully inadequate, there is no way the party can convince rural voters about the great merits of going digital. Worse, the matter is so alien to their everyday lives that it won't even register on their minds.
A politician like Modi, with deep grassroots connect and experience, would not be unaware of this. He would not be oblivious to the fact that demonetisation has resulted in widespread misery and it's not easy to defend it anymore. The opposition, for the first time, seems to have the upper hand. While they can be managed in Parliament and elsewhere, the unresolved cash issue would be big problem for party workers in the run-up to the assembly elections. They simply cannot face people for whom problems from demonetisation are real.
While this explains, to some extent, the lacklustre speech from the prime minister, what is baffling is his obstinate insistence on digital transaction. Why can't he go slow about it? Why not create the infrastructure and awareness first before expecting people to make a transition from cash to cashless? Such moves are indulgences governments with no other serious matters to take care of get involved in. When all sectors of the economy are in a bad shape and need imaginative intervention, it's surprising that the government would expend so much energy on people shunning cash. Some commentators have alleged that such moves are intended only to distract people from serious everyday issues and the government's failure to address them. They could be right.
It appears the prime minister has made demonetisation an issue of personal prestige. He would justify it come what may, even if it means aggravating the current situation with even more impractical measures. Modi has a penchant for dramatic and spectacular moves; it adds to his aura. This time, he appears to have lost control of the script. But he is too proud to admit it. And it's his party that may have to face the consequences.

Modi's digital obsession is not working, and BJP may end up paying a heavy price
 

mpvelu

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harshbardhan said:
Premature observation. The consequences are yet to be seen. It's a fact that hundred percent digitisation not possible though .

Originally he told the venture is for removing black money. After all the money got deposited in banks (12.44 Lakh Crores as on 08/10/2016 balance will be before 31/12/216), he realized that it is a wrong move and black money holders are cleaver than Modi's team. All the new notes are also not with public and its with Axis Bank's control and elite group. Modi cant digest his failure. Now he says it is for digitalization.
 

harshbardhan

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Most of the undeclared money deposited in Jandhan a/cs, so immediately the govt put withdrawal limit of rupees 10,000/- p.m. on these a/cs. This will help the banks /govt to utilise the deposited money for a longer period. There might be some lapses but no body can beat an honest govt and ultimately,of course,with the help of general public the govt will emerge the winner.

 

Sarkar

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mpvelu said:
Originally he told the venture is for removing black money. After all the money got deposited in banks (12.44 Lakh Crores as on 08/10/2016 balance will be before 31/12/216), he realized that it is a wrong move and black money holders are cleaver than Modi's team. All the new notes are also not with public and its with Axis Bank's control and elite group. Modi cant digest his failure. Now he says it is for digitalization.
Raising question like opposition parties is easy. Do you hv better plan than this to curb black money or do you believe that there is absolutely no black money within Indian territory and all black money exists only in foreign banks. If you do hv a better plan then plz share with us.

 

thisisjagan

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We are the people who blame the govt for not doing anything. If the govt does something, we criticize rather than appreciating. If you can't appreciate good things, don't criticize.

Please read this.

https://www.quora.com/Has-the-demonetisation-been-more-of-a-failure-than-a-success-already?srid=lKfj&share=137c2fd4

 

harshbardhan

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Not only black money targeted but with the help of hawala heavy funds containing Indian currency and counterfeited notes of 500 and 1000 denomination were being sent to wrong doers a threat to national integrity.

 
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