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‘Look At The Larger Picture’

‘Look At The Larger Picture’

Finally the cat seems to be wriggling out of the bag. It was not black money issue. Even after demonetisation black money in crores is found in new currency. So, where will the hunt for black money end? In limbo? You make the political parties tax-free to save your skin. The latest is the Poll Panel’s findings that there are two hundred parties that exist only on paper. This adds to the worry of the Election Commission which reportedly suspects these parties are being used as cover to launder black money and for tax evasion. The government wants to quarantine them from snoopy RTI guys.  It stands exposed for having already failed in its promise to bring back black money from Swiss banks within the first hundred days of its regime, and thereby revealing its slip. So, the black money issue is being used as a front to administer Modi brand plastic therapy to the nation with surgical precision!

It was rather the cashless plastic money that was and is the hidden agenda. The idea conceived by Modi and his inner coterie was to flush out cash currency held by citizens and incapacitate them so as to make them run for cover under a cashless digital banking system.

That is what Modi Bhakts harbour in mind when they have been telling the nation to see ‘the larger picture’. Ever since Modi’s demonetisation on November 8, the nation has been humiliatingly subjected to the ruling party’s nauseating promptings to ‘look at the larger picture’.  Modi’s devotees, acting as national or party spokespersons, keep on parroting at press conferences, TV discussions or public gatherings the same stock phrase: ‘Look at the larger picture,’ meaning the Ram Rajya being ushered in by Modi with his 31 percent share of national votes! Taking for granted the myopic vision of a steamroller majority, Modi and his zealots have gone berserk with their ‘Thandav’.

What is the larger picture they are talking about? The larger picture is Modi Sahib wielding his magic wand to turn black into white. When GVL Narasimha Rao, BJP’s vociferous spokesperson, was asked to look at the ground reality of people’s day to day agony due to demonetisation, he had the answer on the tip of his index finger which he often flourishes to mark ‘point of order.’ Fervently he parroted the Modi ejaculation: ‘I understand these inconveniences. But one should look at the larger picture. Our leader is on a revolutionary mode to transport the nation to a rollercoaster trip.  Give him a chance.’  Then he goes into a harangue against the Congress which did nothing to curb black money and now wants to derail the ruling party’s honest attempt.

But what Rao and his colleagues should understand and acknowledge is that this so-called ‘honest attempt’ has unleashed a hornet’s nest.  Instead of seeing the soul-searching picture of suffering men and women, they are 24x7 engaged in justifying their actions after blindfolding themselves. The cries of a 71 year old army veteran after having been denied his deposit money by the bank do not send any message to them. A forty-eight year old man consuming poison to end his life because he could not withdraw money from the bank for his son’s marriage does not touch the heart of Modi bhakts. A seventy year old man crying in distress on the street because the crowd before the bank would not allow him access to the bank does not evoke in them any emotions of empathy. Nor do the many instances of death due to lack of cash for medication or due to stress suffered, while standing in the queue, merit national focus as far as the Sangh Parivar is concerned.  These are but ‘small instances’ or peripheral non-issues for an unfeeling generation of a political faction which is out to create Ram Rajya with the magic Modi app.   India is large. Naturally in many places such instances may occur. That is how they philosophise on the pathetic plight of the destabilized common people. Without any qualm the message they blare out for public consumption is that these inconveniences are not going to last long. The original fifty days may be a little more elastic. If needed, we shall extend the period. Let people have patience. All these smaller problems will fall into the slot to make the ‘larger picture.’ That is what is more important.

So, if a poor lady has delivery pangs on the road while standing in the queue before the bank and delivers her baby then and there, it doesn’t merit the attention of the Minister of Law and Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad. He wants us to look at the larger picture: the nation having birth pangs for a while. These pangs and convulsions will ease out once the outcome is delivered. That is what Prasad said during a recent TV debate. Understandably, he himself has no personal experience of delivery pangs. But, he would have surely experienced their convulsive thrust if his own wife were on the road caught in convulsive delivery pangs bore public gaze. Ravi Shankar too wants you to see the big picture: that of the big baby who will be delivered as a New Year gift to the nation in 2017.

So, senior citizens, please move out. Military veterans need patience. Students who cannot get bank cash for paying fees should not take rash decisions. Pregnant ladies should not leave their inner sanctum. Those who wait to be rushed into the ICU have to remain parked on the sidelines to allow space for the demonetisation motorcade.  Sacrifice a little for nation’s sake.

The big picture is cleverly bolstered by the skewed survey using Narendra Modi app. Answers to the survey questions are limited to three options:  ‘completely agree’, partially agree’ or ‘can’t say’.’ No room for ‘I disagree.’ Thus, the nation is fed with half-truths and manipulated survey reports. Isn’t there an old aphorism which says, ‘figures do not lie but liars figure?’

Modi’s favourite exercise of Congress-bashing comes in handy to justify demonetisation. Indira Gandhi did not do her home work! So thinks Modi. She did not demonetise Indian currency.  She should have done it already in 1971.  Modi’s itch is clear. In order to justify his policies and decisions mount an attack on the Nehru family, on the Congress, and on previous Congress governments.

The common man does not have to go through the gymnastics of divination to see the true larger picture. A frustrated farmer put it: ‘Bullock-cart age as part of Ram Rajya is coming. There is no let-up in petrol and diesel price rise. Every week this gymnastic exercise of upgrading oil prices goes on.’ No wonder, social media is bursting with projections of ushering in the bullock-cart age as essential part of Ram Rajya. Less fuelled vehicles will run and village artisans will have a heyday in making fuel-less carts which will help toward pollution-free Swachh Bharat. Modi’s goal post can easily be shifted. Alongside cashless digital plastic economy we shall have ancient traditional appliances and contrivances as essentials of our daily Mahabharata.  We think big. Our vision is clear. Our picture is large. In fact it will get larger day by day as we shift our goal posts at the drop of a hat in the holy name of demonetisation.

Amidst all this comes the call of two Bank Unions (All India Bank Employees Association – AIBEA & All India Bank Officers Association – AIBOA) for protesting against problems following demonetisation. Interestingly, one of their main demands is that the government should ensure transparency in cash supply to banks. Does it not indicate that there is something amiss somewhere, pointing to possible bungling in cash supply?  Within your own new system which you are trying to create there is the monster of corruption and black money raising its ugly head. So, demonetisation to what end?

(Published on 26th December 2016, Volume XXVIII, Issue 52)#