Letters to the Editor

Print edition : January 06, 2017


PRIME Minister Narendra Modi should acknowledge that he went into the demonetisation plan, which many have compared to a tsunami, without adequate preparation (Cover Story, December 23). People are not only unable to access their own money earned by honest means but are also unable to spend any new currency they do get. Of what use are Rs.2,000 notes? Most of us need smaller amounts. No one is willing to accept the Rs.2,000 note. Surely common sense dictates that more Rs.100 and new Rs.500 notes need to be printed and distributed fast. How will the loss of those who died while standing in queue to get their own money be compensated for?

Nabeel Sidheeq, Kozhikode, Kerala

THE demonetisation has caused hardship and havoc. Even after one month, the chaos continues with no immediate signs of improvement in the situation. The Prime Minister’s goal to curb black money and terrorism in the country through demonetisation was definitely good. He thought of showing his strong will to curb black money in the shortest possible time, but his action seems to be not well planned. It is painful to learn that more than 100 people have lost their lives while trying to withdraw their own money. The government seems hardly bothered about the loss of lives.

The common man and farmers are getting inconvenienced every day. Parliament is getting disrupted every day because of this problem. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh termed the present financial situation “organised loot and legalised plunder”’. But neither the Finance Minister nor others have reportedly paid any heed to his remarks. BJP MPs are blindly shouting and forecasting good results in the near future. One waits eagerly for the same.

Jayant Mukerjee, Kolkata

EVER since the demonetisation exercise started, bank employees have been toiling day and night to serve their customers, but all they are getting in return are scoldings from the public. This is because the government went ahead with demonetisation without doing its homework. Certainly, those who planned it knew pretty well what problems the public would face if the scheme was implemented, but they wantonly went ahead with it. Their expectation was that the public would be forced to turn to cashless payments, and the time given for this transformation was from November 8 to December 30. Is it possible for a vast country like India—where the percentage of poor people and those dealing with cash only is more than 40 per cent—to become a completely cashless economy? The delay in the release of new Rs.500 notes was deliberately done to force people to use digital modes for transaction, though many of them, especially the aged and uneducated, have no concept of such things.

In the entire exercise, all the praise has gone to Modi, while bank staff have to bear the brunt of the public’s anger.

T.S.N. Rao, Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh

Fidel Castro

THE demise of Fidel Castro signifies the loss of one of the greatest revolutionary figures of the 20th century (“Valediction for the Comandante”, December 23). Cuba faced an existential crisis because of the never-ending enmity of the U.S., which tried to assassinate him innumerable times. Fidel Castro once remarked: “If surviving assassination attempts were an Olympic event, I would win the gold medal.” He never deviated from his anti-U.S. stance even after Barack Obama, an African American, became the President of the U.S. RIP Fidel Castro, the leader of the poor and the oppressed all over the world.

Buddhadev Nandi, Bishnupur, West Bengal

FIDEL CASTRO was a 20th century legend. He has left for the world a Left that is the only bulwark against the Right and, as the article by Aijaz Ahmad said, “may that unique legacy live forever”.

H. Pattabhirama Somayaji, Mangaluru, Karnataka

THE demise of the iconic Cuban leader Fidel Castro signals the end of an era. The articles of the Cover Feature were a fitting tribute to the legend. Fidel Castro was to Cuba what Mahatma Gandhi was to India and Nelson Mandela to South Africa. The hallmark of the late leader was his unflinching commitment to communist ideology, his rapport with the masses and his resolve to act according to his convictions irrespective of the consequences.

His demise is a setback for progressive forces at a time when neocolonialism is threatening the very foundations of the civilised world. What Castro said when the Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez passed away appears to be true in the case of Fidel Castro too: “Not even he knew how great he was!”

B. Suresh Kumar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu