Sunday, November 27, 2016

Opposition Helped PM Modi On Note Ban Issue- Demonitisation

          The opposition failed in cornering PM Modi on the issue of note-ban. Instead, they are helping him directly and indirectly. They could not catch the real point to oppose and lost focus. Opposing on wrong grounds resulted in the loss of force of opposition. They opposed where they need to support the issue to garner public support and trust. This helped in enhancing support to PM on this issue.
          Banning 500 and 1000 notes on 8th November 2016 was a historic announcement  by PM Modi and India. He cited a few reasons for it. The ban is one more step in the fight against corruption to reduce  effect of black money. It would damage operation of terrorists and disruptive activities as they survive on cash. Forged currency would wash out from our monetary system. There are many more spillover benefits but he told the most important ones and intended for.
          Now, with ban two issues are there to do politics and to play the  role of opposition as duty assigned by the constitution. One is Ban. Two, the hardships faced by public due to this ban.
           It is evident that the right course for opposition parties is to support ban by heart and soul. And oppose hardships due to ban by 360 degrees. Here, opposition failed to point out, right point of opposition- right social and political product. As a result, opposition parties individually and united,  failed to garner public trust, support and to make it a issue of public.
          There is no doubt that issue is in nation's favour. It would help all citizens directly and indirectly. So, all parties should have appreciated this step to gain confidence of the public. Except three, none did this.  Bihar CM supported PM on ban. Likewise, CM Orissa also supported the decision of Ban. Similarly, Sharad Pawar too appreciated.
          Rest of them started opposing on different grounds. One , it is done in light of five fourth Coming  assembly elections - citing UP election as the main one. Two, oppositions are blaming ruling party for leaking this information  to their patrons.  So, they managed and it is well planned to target to oppositions to damage them financially.
          On the issue of supporting and opposing, the opposition is clearly divided. Two CMs are supporting the ban and rest are opposing. In this  way issue of ban got good and solid ground. This is a big blow to opposite parties for opposing  ban. They may be right in their logic to oppose, but they have failed to market it.
          The opposition  is not getting any visible support on ban-issue. Albeit, their continued opposition helps PM Modi to market this issue to general masses. Before ban, Black Money, fight against corruption, forged money were not so popular, as they are  after ban. Now, it is talk of the town.  This is the talk of each corner of our rural populace.
          Most of our citizens are now familiar with black money, fight against corruption and forged money. These three matters have reached to most of our citizens. This has built a good ecosystem to fight corruption in India. Now, it is a public issue. PM Modi  marketed this issue properly where opposition acted as invisible catalyst.
          After ban, suddenly hardships increased to unexpected level. Our economy has two systems - black and white- working in tandem and well knitted. Hitting black economy by banning is also affecting our white economy system too, as both were not separate. White system will take its own time to reach to new equilibrium. and it is not without pain.
          The apparent mismanagement in the name of secrecy and others was the catch to bold the government.  Opposition of hardships due to mismanagement was the point to hit hard the government via different political acts.
          Opposition would have demanded white paper on preparation before announcement and constitution of joint parliamentary committee(JPC) on preparation issue. They would have highlighted list of loopholes of mismanagement and misconduct of stakeholders. These acts would have brought public to their side. But, they focus on ban rather than hardships, so they lost ground gradually.
          PM Modi played well in answering the opposition by giving it emotional touch and sold it by wrapping it with nationalism.  PM played trick, he accepted the hardships and urged the public to face, cooperate and bear with him for next 50 days to help him in reducing corruption and delivering good governance. This trick helped him a lot in keeping public opinion and support with him. By this psychological therapy, PM always have upper hand over opposition all along.
          The process of taking feedback and changing rules time to time about exchange and delivery amount etc, he sold his solid intention about the fight against corruption. Changing rules about money exchange and deposit policy is another point where opposition could have cornered  PM as it has created some confusion and added hardships. This second chance is also missed by united opposition.
          It is a universal truth-no gain, without pain. In the other way, we can say merit and demerit go side by side. If ban issue has merits, it has some demerits too. In short term, it has more demerits than merits but in long term it is otherwise.  In long term, it may prove a boon. With this hope, mostly public is with PM's ban step.
          PM Modi got mandate for providing  good governance. To achieve this, he is taking steps one by one. In his first cabinet meeting, he formed SIT to comply Supreme Court order. This is a good indicator for the country to assess his mood.
          Thereafter, he started to enlarge banking services to make way for cashless economy. To check duplicacy, he started JAM- Jandhan account linked with adhar and mobile.  He tried to rescrutinise conditions with countries to get information about black money deposited outside India.
          India amended its 1988 act of Benami Property in 2016. To make it more relevant and effective. Punishments are increased in it.  He brought income disclosure scheme-2016 to dig out black money and give chance to wrong doers based on natural justice.
          Above series of steps to curb corruption is enough to prove the well intent of PM. His political history and career imply that he is mostly a winner and seldom a loser in his political life. His speeches and announcements on this issue, clearly indicates his emotional attachment and commitment to fight against corruption and to provide  good governance. This is good sign for the country if translated into reality.
          PM Modi is the first Indian PM, after the US President Obama , who is using ICT and marketing concepts in managing elections and running the governments on large scale. ICT and Marketing principles have acquired good space in social and political sectors.
          Both are good tools for public actors to use it with ease for achieving good governance. PM Modi is using ICT and Marketing as tool and means to fight against corruption.  JAM, digitised bank operation and digital India are a few good examples to prove this point.
          Corruption is social and political product. PM Modi is blamed by opposition as an event manager and marketer. PM Modi marketed his fight against corruption by banning currency notes so far strategically and fabulously. It appears to opposition that they are opposing, but in reality their act is helping PM. PM should thank them for this. Sometimes, good work is done by opposition unknowingly.
Heera Lal ( a research scholar and views are personal based on different sources)


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