Political coalition emerges against Demonetization

Opposition gangs up against demonetization

Opposition teams up, protests against demonetization
Opposition teams up, protests against demonetization

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]W[/dropcap]henever laughs, cross-talk and paper arrows disturbed his French classes in St Xavier’s College, the feeble Rev. Fr. Joseph Fell would burst into anger and shout “I know you are donkeys, but why do you have to advertise it, maan?”

He (Rahul Gandhi) thereby disturbed the process happily agreeing to several “selfies” with publicity crazy sycophants.

That anger comes to mind as one watched the antics and outbursts of leaders of certain political parties that were protesting against the demonetization scheme introduced by the Modi government from midnight of November 8.

There was Rahul Gandhi, with Special Protection Guards (SPG) surrounding him, suddenly paratrooping on a line of persons standing in a long queue waiting to use the designated ATM and exchange their old high denomination notes for the new one. He thereby disturbed the process happily agreeing to several “selfies” with publicity crazy sycophants.

Those in the queue were pushed away by the SPG and the President-elect of the Congress party started smiling to the TV cameras, asking them why the “suit boot” fraternity of Modiji was not in the queue and only the poor had stood there with pain for hours together. He smiled some more till a journalist asked him about his view on the demonetization scheme. He snapped a rude reply, “You will not understand the scheme; nor will the owners of your media, nor will Modiji himself.” And then he walked away brusquely. That was when Gandhi of the time made one recall Fr Fell’s rhetoric question as to why the Pappus of our politics advertise that they are Pappus.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]hen there was Anand Sharma, the forever angry young man of the Congress. While welcoming the demonetization scheme in principle, he asked why no notice was given about it. To drive home his point, he informed us that even the European Central Bank had recently announced that it was going to replace the existing currency… from January, 2018! Pity this former Commerce Minister of our country. It had just not sunk into his mind that the very essence of the demonetization scheme was the surprise element, like our Special Forces’ surgical strike on Pakistan’s terror launching pads on September 29.

The response AK-47 warranted is in the open letter he got from a 28-year-old Chartered Accountant named Mehul Shah in Surat city.

And Mamata Banerjee with the word Trinamul prefixed to the Congress party. From day one, she tweeted against the demonetization scheme without spelling whatever ideology she professes or discloses. Later, she called for a rollback of the scheme, calling it a black scheme/ black candle — whatever that signifies to her. Yet later, she also chose to stand among those in queue before the ATM, reveling in “selfies” with those near her, pretending to either understand her problems or their viewpoints.

Arvind Kejriwal, the self-confessed anarchist simply had to enter the fray, his DNA being what it is. Frankly, it is difficult to spell out all that he said before TV cameras or circulated in his video message. It was a mix of his wrath, misunderstanding of the scheme and unwillingness to go all out and help the people in the ATM queues. The response AK-47 warranted is in the open letter he got from a 28-year-old Chartered Accountant named Mehul Shah in Surat city. That letter is exhaustive by any standard and, for the benefit of PGurus.com readers, it can be read and digested at An Open Letter to Kejriwal on Demonetization.

The Commies too were not clear just how Marx or Mao or whatever was an enemy of corruption or a friend of black money hoarding that effected policy making of a Government.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]L[/dropcap]astly, there is P. Chidambaram, also of the Congress party. The pompous erudition of the tree-time Finance Minister of our country has written in his weekly column (in “Sunday Express of 13th November) that the Modi government’s so-called “demonetization scheme.” His logic (sic) was:

The government’s notification of November 8, 2016 withdrew the “legal tender status” from the notes of the two denominations but made it clear that those holding these notes can tender them at any office of the Reserve Bank or any bank branch and obtain value thereof by credit to their accounts. So we can be clear on one thing, there was no demonetization, and the government’s spokesperson would be well-advised to avoid that word. The correct way to to describe the decision is “Old notes for new!” unquote

The above is sophistry at its worst — something we know “Chiddu” for. He’s the man who can magically manufacture machination with a twist of his pen or his tongue.

But he’s got it wrong this time in his above logic (sic). Where he errs is in his understanding the precise meaning of “legal tender”. He believes that a currency hitherto officially declared as legal tender does not ceases to be so if the government officially restricts its acceptability to a stipulated bank or banks despite its “legal tender status” being withdrawn otherwise by the government of the day. In other words, a currency whose legal tender status is officially withdrawn must just not be acceptable to any authority at all. This is a gross fallacy when you see the following various definitions of “legal tender” given by various authorities.

  1. “Investopedia” says “Legal tender is any official medium of payment recognized by law that can be used to extinguish a public or private debt, or meet a financial obligation.”

  2. “Business Directory” says Legal Tender is “Denomination of a country’s currency that, by law, must be accepted as a medium for commercial exchange and payment for a money debt.”

  3. Study.com says
    Legal tender is the national currency, such as paper money and coins, that is declared by law to be valid payment for debts and financial obligations

  4. “Currency that may be lawfully tendered in payment of a debt, such as paper money,
    Federal Reserve notes, or coins.”

  5. “Legal tender is a medium of payment recognized by a legal system to be valid for meeting a financial obligation.” (“Legal Tender Guidelines”. British Royal Mint. Retrie

In all the above five definitions, “Legal Tender” is meant, inter alia, to (i) extinguish private debt or (ii) for commercial exchange and payment for a money debt, or (iii) declared by law to be valid for debts and financial obligations or (iv) lawfully tendered in payment of a debt and (v) a medium of legal system for meeting a financial obligation.

Considering that Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes were permitted by the Modi government to meet only exceptional private debts only and otherwise had to be compulsorily deposited with the stipulated banks, it is nutty nitpicking by “Chiddu” to say that the Modi government’s was not a “Demonetization Scheme”.

The fact is that the Congress party and others mentioned above are smelling the coffee that they are so allergic to.

1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

Arvind Lavakare has been a freelance writer since 1957. He has written and spoken on sports on radio and TV. He currently writes on political issues regularly. His writings include a book on Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

His freelancing career began in "The Times of India" with a sports article published when he was a month shy of 20 years of age. He was also a regular political affairs columnist first for rediff.com for five years or so and then shifted to sify.com. He also wrote extensively for niticentral.com "till it stopped publication."


  1. As I read this article, I see on a news channel that Shiv Sena is opposing the “demonic” note ban. The spokesperson says BJP did not consult us on the Note ban. It can’t get sillier than this.

    PS: Though I do not subscribe to the idea of calling it a note ban, media is probably more enthusiastic in any combination of words that contains the word ‘ban’ in reporting any activity of the current govt.

  2. How opportunistic these opposition politicians can be? But one is not surprised by their attitude and actions. They have a single point agenda namely oppose the PM and the government, hell with the country. Then there are the vested interests spreading rumour and disinformation. Hardships for a few days yes, but beneficial over the medium to long term.

  3. Well compiled report.
    Didi is now prepared to join hands with Mulayam, Laloo, A K , Congress and even Communists to fight the ‘financial emergency’ of the Govt this time by putting the gun on the President’s shoulder.
    A K also blank fired by saying that the scheme was leaked to the B J P and nearest persons to benefit them.
    However no political party has so far admitted that they(and their supporters) have been hit hard by the decision compelling them to be angry enough to bite the cup of ‘bitter medicine’.


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