Merrymakers: Post the old notes purge! 

In the last 96 hours, too much has happened. The world almost seems like a different place. Two quakes, not measurable by seismographs has shaken our lives. India has begun its biggest movement to counter corruption, and the world has seen Donald Trump making his victory speech. Though the latter wasn’t entirely unexpected (I mean he ran a campaign for 500 days), it was deemed beyond the ambit of possibility. As for India, Narendra Modi has just pulled off a masterstroke. PM Modi declared that the old high denomination notes (no longer legal tender) should be replaced with new high-tech coded notes of Rs500 and Rs2000. Apparently, worldwide this move has been appreciated; vehement criticism or opposition can invite suspicion not only from Arnab Goswami but also from the Vigilance Department! So, even guilt-ridden individuals have had to put on a happy face in the public eye, in spite of not getting a wink of sleep since PM Modi’s announcement.

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However, a vast majority of Indians see this move as a wave of much-needed change. So, here is a list of merrymakers at the turn of this tide:

1. PayTm Head

Earlier this week, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the CEO, was so distraught about Delhi’s smog that he temporarily headed to Mumbai in the last flight for the day. However, on the evening of 8th November, he had every reason to forget the apocalyptic pollution.

PayTm and other mobile wallet services registered unprecedented growth since Modiji’s announcement. PayTm had 1 million new visitors from 11 pm to midnight and experienced a seven-fold increase in overall traffic. These stats may just be representative of the trend that is likely to ensue. PM Modi’s demonetization move is undoubtedly the biggest boost to Digital India and the cashless revolution. With this step, NaMo has deftly killed two birds with one stone.

2. Reserve Bank of India

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Inflation charts are a clear testimony to India’s inflationary trends. Though overall inflation has been curtailed significantly since the turn of the decade, it remains one of RBI’s constant headaches. Reserve Bank of India has had to tame inflation like a ringmaster in a circus consistently; thus earning itself the title “Inflation Hawk”.

With the demonetization scheme and withdrawal caps, the average Indian consumer (who predominantly transacts in cash) will have little money to spend. As a result, inflation automatically reduces in the short-term.

As for long-term, the primary objective of waging such a war is to curb the circulation of black money. Therefore, if a system is in place to eject black money, the future looks just as promising, if not better.

3. WhatsApp Joke makers/ standup comedians

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WhatsApp Joke makers, meme manufacturers and stand-up comedians have been working round-the-clock to bring out the finest content. After a lull period of low subject matter, they suddenly have so much to joke about. Comedians perform an all-essential function: making people (who don’t read papers) aware of the current state of affairs. As ridiculous as it sounds, a significant number of people get their daily dose of information from WhatsApp forwards.

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The timing and speed of the fashioning and circulation of such jokes is impeccable. Comedians seem to have the defense (at their disposal: jokes) ready even before the bomb is dropped, which is why, I think that comedians get a funny feeling (no pun intended) about such events and start preparing in advance!

4. Gujarati Family

For the Blah family, this moment unquestionably does not call for a Dandiya party with Falguni Pathak; but the Blahs are definitely the lucky few revelling in the recent depletion of their kala dhan. Sometime in August, The Blah family aggregating 25 members (from the oldest Dadaji to the youngest Dikro) took their most expensive holiday yet: a comprehensive 45 day trip across Europe (Comprehensive: from Iceland to Montenegro, from the most popular to the vaguest of locations), which came to an end with a Baltic and Scandinavian Fjord cruise.

This year, somehow, the Blahs experienced a supernormal inflow of Lakshmi Devi’s blessings. The trip, therefore, was not enough to redeem all the aashirvaad. So, dadaji made a timely call and decided to get solitaire necklaces as dhanteras gift for the betis and bahus. #aashirvaadredeemed 

As a side note: the thing about stereotypes is that they tend to be funny, but they’re not always true. In this instance, two Gujaratis at the top (Narendra Modi and Urjit Patel) have made the anti-corruption movement a reality.

5. Rajinikanth

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NaMo’s initiative is indeed praise-worthy. However, it is just as important to give credit to the man who (with his movies) has shown us the path to tread on: Thalaiva!!!

Rajini made Sivaji – the Boss even before Narendra Modi considered running for Prime Minister. In the movie, Rajini singlehandedly fights corruption and takes on a mega cash cleanup to purge black money. Doesn’t this bear an uncanny similarity to the current state of affairs? Thalaiva is truly a visionary; this just goes to show why he is such a phenomenon.

6. Sindhi Aunty

The BlankAnis had to attend the wedding of DashAni’s daughter on 9th November, the day Bipasha Basu had to borrow to buy eggs!!!. So, the previous afternoon, the BlankAnis got into a discussion on the amount to be given as token cash gift. It was not long before the conversation turned into a heated argument; BlankAni uncle strongly felt that an envelope of Rs1001 will be respectable and appropriate. But BlankAni aunt didn’t want to give one paisa more than Rs501. When BlankAni uncle told that it is Chindi (stingy) to gift so little, Aunty gave a fitting reply: “We are Sindhis, and our birthright is to be chindi. See, it rhymes also.” The baffled uncle said no more.

Then, later in the evening, the news of the currency ban broke. BlankAni Aunty’s joy knew no bounds as she could now gift Rs101 and get away with it!

7. The honest taxpayer

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For the first time in history, the middle class has felt richer than the so-called upper class. This move was brought about to protect the earnest tax payer’s interest and has led to a feeling of fear and helplessness among currency hoarders. Some such hoarders have already taken extreme measures (putting in temple hundis, burning to ashes, send it floating in Ganga) to wipe out their currency hoard. Everyone is subscribing to the real idea of “less is more”. Therefore, it won’t be long before this initiative becomes a success story.

Many perceive this war against corruption as the biggest milestone in India’s financial history since 1991. The best part of this movement is that ordinary citizens have a powerful role to play. Though PM Modi may be the one to run with the torch and ignite the anti-corruption flare, each and everyone needs to lend their cooperation to keep the flame ablaze.

This is democracy at its best!

Manasa Anand

Stock Market Enthusiast

 

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