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India is totally restless & unstable since 2014

India’s political sovereignty has got witnessed as the world’s largest democracy over the years. In the 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign, the complexion changed. The appointment of PM Modi was looked forward to as a revolutionary change in India’s political history. But who knew that the promises made would turn out to be a sign of distress? In the highly competitive world of emerging markets, India’s democracy served as more than a lofty ideal cherished by misty-eyed idealists.

Here is the absurdity: Under Narendra Mod’s government, the democratic advantage that shaped India’s brand image in the world has got steadily hollowed out. During the reign of the United Progressive Alliance government, India became the world’s fastest-growing democracy. Although the Indian democracy has been calling the card across the global markets, its domestic appeal has teetered away over the past few years. The statistics of the Indian economy have been ironically depicted much higher than they presumably are.

The protests indicate a true sign of how paranoid, unethical and insecure the government has been while hanging on the cliff. Recession shook up lives, while the government secured their pockets with black money. We prolonged our protests expecting that the government would inject our lives with positivity, but the government remained silent under the cosh. Rather than tranquilizing the problems, it piled up more misery by launching contentious acts year after year.

The revocation of the special status of Kashmir in 2019 in PM’s Modi second term has had its critics. It was considered to be the most far-reaching political move on the disputed region in nearly 70 years. The revocation of Article 370 guaranteed special rights to the Muslim-majority state, including the rights to form its constitution.

The decision’s promptness almost felt like a pre-determined one as Modi enhanced its power to eradicate the Muslim Minority away from India’s political scenario. It enraged many conspiracies behind the scenes as the Muslims retaliated with all their might. We observe the realm of Modi’s India in a coherent context. And find partiality and political bent to feed the majoritarian impulse.

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CAA, the abrogation that exonerated Muslim Community

For the first time since Independence, Indian citizenship got overtly granted on a religious basis. The act was feared to be a pretentious consensus to discriminate against the Muslim Indians. While Muslims protested in the face of disenfranchisement, citizens from all religions came out to defend the secular values. The protests sparked a fire when Parliament passed the Citizen Amendment Act on December 11, 2019.

The act provoked unprecedented nationwide protests against the legislation and government policies that succumb to the interests of Indian Muslims. The exclusions of the Muslims coupled with a proposed National Register for Citizens feeds into the Hindu Rashtra Dream of the BJP. The exonerated perspective has always been to allegedly throw the rights for the Indian Muslims out of the legislation. Such an unprecedented incident had not occurred in the history of India’s constitution.

It exactly portrays the absurdity with which the nation has been enraging protests across states and communities. The revolts were initially confined to the North-Eastern states but perplexing the threat of surrendered down by the government the, arylation exasperated across Universities. What could be raveling and frightening than the Nation’s youth being lathi-charged and detained.

Atrocious! Galvanized by the spirit of youths, the middle and the upper-class joined the protests in widespread regions. The students went on shouting slogans and holding placards that manifested communal amenity. Demonstrations of infuriations among all the castes and the religions kept reeling against the government.

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What was Demonetization and How it Surfaced in India; Ironical and Contrasting in Allsorts?

Demonetization is the act of stripping a currency unit of its status as legal tender. It occurs whenever there is a change of national currency: The current form or forms of money is pulled from circulation and retired, often to be replaced with new notes or coins. Sometimes, a country completely replaces the old currency with a new currency.

Removing the legal tender status of a unit of currency is a drastic intervention into an economy because it directly affects the medium of exchange used in all economic transactions. It can help stabilize existing problems, or it can cause chaos in an economy, especially if undertaken suddenly or without warning. That said, demonetization is undertaken by nations for several reasons.

Demonetization has been used to stabilize the value of a currency or combat inflation. The Coinage Act of 1873 demonetized silver as the legal tender of the United States, in favor of fully adopting the gold standard, to stave off disruptive inflation as large new silver deposits were discovered in the American West. Several coins, including a two-cent piece, three-cent piece, and half-dime were discontinued.

The withdrawal of silver from the economy resulted in a contraction of the money supply, which contributed to a recession throughout the country. In response to the recession and political pressure from farmers and silver miners and refiners, the Bland-Allison Act remonetized silver as legal tender in 1878.

Lastly, demonetization has been tried as a tool to modernize a cash-dependent developing economy and to combat corruption and crime (counterfeiting, tax evasion). In 2016, the Indian government decided to demonetize the 500- and 1000- rupee notes, the two cosmic denominations in its currency system; these notes accounted for 86 percent of the country’s circulating cash.

With little warning, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced to the citizenry on Nov. 8, 2016, that those notes were worthless, effective immediately – and they had until the end of the year to deposit or exchange them for newly introduced 2000 rupee and 500 rupee bills.

Chaos ensued in the cash-dependent economy (some 78 percent of all Indian customer transactions are in cash), as long, snaking lines formed outside ATMs and banks, which had to shut down for a day. The new rupee notes have different specifications, including size and thickness, requiring re-calibration of ATMs: only 60 percent of the country’s 200,000 ATMs were operational. Even those dispensing bills of lower denominations faced shortages. The government’s restriction on daily withdrawal amounts added to the misery, though a waiver on transaction fees did help a bit.

Small businesses and households struggled to find cash, and reports of daily wage workers not receiving their dues surfaced. The rupee fell sharply against the dollar. Following the shook-up, validation of the money that went under the radar got demanded by the public.

The government’s goal (and rationale for the abrupt announcement) was to combat India’s thriving underground economy on several fronts: eradicate counterfeit currency, fight tax evasion (only 1 percent of the population pays taxes), eliminate black money gained from money laundering, and terrorist financing activities, and to promote a cashless economy.

Individuals and entities with lucrative sums of black money gotten from parallel cash systems got forced to take their large-denomination notes to a bank, which was a law required to acquire tax information on them. If the owner could not provide proof of making any tax payments on the cash, a penalty of 200 percent of the owed amount was imposed.

The RBI report on demonetization has again stirred the political debate that had practically subsided in the country. An analysis of demonetization gains and losses in the wake of the RBI annual report.
– Only 0.7 percent of demonetized notes did not return to banks
– RBI dividend to government reduced by half post-demonetization
– Government hopes to gain from black money that entered the banking system.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has come out with its annual report giving a balance sheet of demonetization implemented 21 months ago. Of Rs 15.41 lakh crore demonetized currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations, only Rs 10,720 crore did not reach the banks or the RBI.

This means only 0.7 percent of demonetized currency notes were junked in the exercise. The government had initially expected that approximately Rs 3 lakh crore of demonetized currency notes would not come back to the banking system, thus shedding the substantial weight of black money.

While announcing demonetization on November 8 in 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had outlined three broad objectives to fight black money, corruption, and terror funding. These objectives have always been debatable for the lack of accurate verifiable data.

“Indian economy lost 1.5 percent of GDP in terms of growth. That alone was a loss of Rs 2.25 lakh crore a year. Over 100 lives were lost. 15 crore daily wage earners lost their livelihood for several weeks. Thousands of SME units were shut down. Lakhs of jobs were destroyed,” Chidambaram said in a series of tweets. The Congress demanded an apology from PM Modi.

Was Demonetisation a success?

Officially, yes. The government says so. Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg says so. Garg explains, Demonetisation achieved its objectives quite substantially. The currency in the system now is 87-88 percent, that is, about Rs 3-4 lakh crore less currency than it would have been in the system would have continued in the old manner. Another argument has been an assault on the counterfeit notes post-demonetization. However, the RBI report says that detection of fake Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 decreased by 59.7 and 59.6 percent after demonetization.

There was, though an increase in the detection of fake notes in Rs 100 and Rs 50 denominations. The RBI says, “Compared to the previous year, there was an increase of 35 percent in counterfeit notes detected in the denomination of Rs 100, while there was a noticeable increase of 154.3 percent in counterfeit notes detected in the denomination of Rs 50.” On black money, the government had in August 2017 said that nearly Rs 3 lakh crore that had remained out of the banking system was deposited in banks post-demonetization. It claimed that over Rs 2 lakh crore of black money reached banks.

More than 105 people had died in the post-demonetization rush for cash across the country. Demonetisation also hit small-scale businesses. According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), demonetization caused the loss of about 15 lakh jobs. The CMIE compared the employment data for January-April 2017 with the figures for the September-December quarter of 2016, when demonetization was implemented.

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Farmers Protests: A Conundrum Which Shook Up Many Innocent Lives

A fresh war of words has ensued between the supporters and opponents of demonetization broadly aligned along the political divide. Was demonetization a success or failure? It is for the readers to decide in the view of known demonetization facts. The protests didn’t halt as a new Dilemma prompted up last year when the farmers were left stranded on the cliff. Farmer protests in India have come a long way.

The efforts made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to localize the agricultural sector in the country and reduce the government’s intervention into its processes and functioning. The farmers with the current set of protection laws and policies are still exploited to a very greater extent. Ignoring the biggest hindrance of the Indian economy, corruption, the farmers fear that fewer state interventions will leave the agricultural industry at the mercy of the greedy corporates that would not only extract produce wrongly but would also contribute to rather degrading their quality of life.

Whether it comes to fighting for basic rights such as pricing of the produce, subsidiaries, tax policies on farm products, improving their standard of living, etc. or making their demands heard through various ways and means, the farmer although the biggest community in India accounting for more than 70% of the population, have been largely suppressed. What stems from such protests in the farmers is the lack of accountability and responsibility on the part of the government that should be contributing towards the betterment of this sector.

The recent farmer protests have yet clearly laid out how powerful butt ignored are the farmers of India. How did those protests turn violent is yet another issue that needs to be addressed? The farmers marched out in huge rallies in Delhi to demand policy changes that would serve for the betterment and would in turn mean the upliftment of the community.

The farmers suggest that the violence in the protest stemmed from the government’s end whereas the media suggests that it was the farmers that performed provocative acts that would instigate the officials to take actions to target farmers that would force them to fall back and eventually end the protests. Rather the protests ended up injuring over 300 policemen and a protester killed.

Farmer protests have been a permanent event that has repeatedly occurred since the LPG movement. Newer technologies have evolved throughout leading to agricultural processes becoming more systematized and easier going. This also meant attracting investments and higher involvement of the private sector. However, these factors leave the agricultural sector hanging due to a holistic scenario as an accumulation of the various events related to it.

A Sum-Up of India’s restlessness and strive to Survive

Political reformers jotted the ineptitude in their comments and asserted that it’s the sign of a paranoid and insecure regime. Looking over the years, the secular foundations of India have torn apart and the implications it had to the crippling state of affairs were enormous. The fight which commenced with snatching the rights from the Indian Muslims has strangled way too long. The government’s defense of these acts has been atrocious. False narratives, false allegations, and constant violence on the protesters have been the fundamental pattern of India since 2014.

Which India are we currently thriving on? The country which is banked on for being secular and sovereign or is it becoming more of strive for a struggle for the communities? Overhauling disruptions and congregations posed by the government have made India stagger its integrity and recognition that it has gained. Modi’s regime over the years has imposed hastenings by bombarding contentious laws. It has rigged apart India’s administration as we continue striving to survive the bewildering. Acche Din was a well-worked notion to decore a fallacy to the Indian citizens. We are getting to a point where the government’s rule is ascertaining vibes that Acche Din could never improbably come to India under Modi’s regime.

Tanish Sachdev

Tanish seeks new opportunities as a professional content writer and writes on several fundamental topics like businesses and economics. The focal point remains on expressing opinions on critical aspects concerning the economy.

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