Extraordinary circumstances demand extraordinary actions. If the situation has somehow meandered out of control, there is an urgent need for remedial measures to bring it back under control. Per many, demonetisation was one such step that had long been overdue. Corruption, black money and undisclosed incomes stashed in foreign accounts had taken a big toll on the nation’s economy. In the opinion of many however, such a strong step should only have been taken after a thorough consideration. Whether demonetisation is a game-changer for India or just another shot in the dark, only time will tell.
The ban on the Rs500 and Rs1000 currency notes was meant to hit hard on corrupt individuals and their practices and also the funding of terrorist networks. It is a well-known fact that the entire funding for violent, anti-national groups was being carried out in the denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1000. The ban on these notes and the introduction of new notes with additional security features is sought to stringently sever the link between terrorist networks and their providers. But there is another question that needs to be addressed and that is once the new notes are in circulation, is there any guarantee that these would not eventually fall into the hands of terrorists? Also, there are many within the nation who would be only too eager to help terrorists in future as far as their finances are concerned. There is no doubt that the highly complex, intricate, and deeply rooted circulation of fake currency in the nation has been stopped by this bold move, but is it a permanent solution?
There is another side to this story. According to government sources, this move had to be taken immediately and suddenly so that people involved in corrupt and anti-national activities do not find any time to take preventive measures. However, it is the common man who is at the receiving end.
Huge queues waited outside banks and ATMs to exchange old notes and withdraw new ones. Deaths were reported in different parts of the country due to sheer negligence of the authorities and minor scuffles were witnessed due to breakdown of law and order. The nation’s great thinkers felt that demonetisation came at the wrong time and banks should have been more adequately prepared. But big revolutions always come with sacrifices.
As far as the publishing industry goes, there is no denying the fact that it took a beating for some time. The lack of purchasing power saw decreased sales and the cost of paper, publishing of books and the final selling of books, almost every aspect of book publishing went up. However, circulation of a new currency seems like a silver lining for the nation and I sure hope to see more book lovers thronging the bookstores to buy their favourite books.