MODI the dictator is a better way to describe the Prime Minister than Emperor Modi, for there were emperors with a soft heart (Cover Story, January 20). A dictator never feels remorse. The demonetisation process has taken the lives of more than 100 people, but to date Narendra Modi has not expressed his condolences to the bereaved families, who are mostly from the lower middle classes. One by one, all the tall claims the Prime Minister made in his November 8, 2016, speech have turned out to be false. More skeletons will fall out of the closet in the days to come. Modi thinks that he can win over the minds of people with demagoguery, but people have begun to see it for what it is.
S.S. Rajagopalan, Chennai
MODI came up with the slogan “minimum government, maximum governance” in his election campaign in 2014. Unfortunately, we are seeing Modi dismantling the democratic principles built over the years by the stalwarts of the independence movement. A year ago, L.K. Advani cautioned us that India was moving towards autocratic rule and that is what we are witnessing now. Demonetisation is a classic example of this.
N.C. Sreedharan, Kannur, Kerala
WHEN the government appointed Lt General Rawat as the new Army chief, it bypassed two officers, but there was no need for the issue to be politicised (“Farewell to norms”, January 20). This is the second time in a few months that politics has been played around an issue concerning the Indian Army, which is the last thing it wants from politicians. The government has the prerogative to choose who will lead the armed forces. And considering that India has seen a deterioration in its relationship with Pakistan in the last year or so, it is critical that someone who has significant experience at the Line of Control leads the Army. In this context, it was a right decision to appoint Rawat.
Bal Govind, Noida, Uttar Pradesh
THERE is no iota of doubt in my mind that what prompted Lt Governor Najeeb Jung to resign was Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal constantly crossing swords with him on every issue (“Under close watch”, January 20). However, Kejriwal should not feel Jung’s absence as a great relief because hopefully the new LG will be tougher than Jung and teach Kejriwal a lesson for dragging Modi into all unrelated matters and revelling in criticising him. People will not accept Delhi Congress chief Ajay Makan’s conclusion that Jung was unceremoniously removed from office. They are aware of the tendency among some Congress leaders to blame the BJP for everything that goes wrong in the country.
K.R. Srinivasan, Secunderabad, Telangana
MODI has discharged his duties with care and met his obligations with earnestness, and hence the country looks up to him with reverence. As demonetisation was carried out to end black money, corruption and terrorism, we hope to get a positive outcome in the long run.
A.J. Rangarajan, Chennai
CASH remains important for the vast majority of people in the country for small everyday transactions (“Cashless and clueless”, January 20). Cash transactions also ensure privacy. Every transaction of citizens need not be tracked by Big Brother. One understands the need to track high-value transactions to detect tax evasion or money laundering. The vast majority of cash transactions are legitimate, and the majority of cash users are law-abiding citizens. Making life difficult for a small percentage of criminals at the expense of millions of law-abiding citizens is an extreme step. A cashless economy is a difficult proposition because its prerequisites such as literacy, connectivity and cybersecurity are inadequate in the country. Reforms on the scale the present government is considering must be sensitive to the needs of low-income households.
H.N. Ramakrishna, Bengaluru
THE demonetisation monster has sent shock waves across the country, with people in rural areas, the urban poor and the middle class bearing the brunt of it. The government’s argument that demonetisation has made life difficult for terrorists is farcical. The attack at Nagrota and the jailbreak at Nabha tell a different story. The BJP’s claim that the results of the local body elections in Maharashtra show that people have accepted the demonetisation drive should be taken with a pinch of salt. The entire opposition should unite on a war footing, both inside and outside Parliament, to take the message to the common man that Modi’s demonetisation is calamitous and will ruin the economy.
S. Murali, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
THE government’s demonetisation measure takes me back to the late 1960s when there was a nationwide debate over the RBI’s move to change the wording on currency notes from “I promise to pay the bearer on demand” to “I promise to pay the bearer”. Now, that wording should be “I refuse to pay”. The current times are also reminiscent of the Emergency when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi imposed a wage freeze. Widespread resentment was the result, and it led to the defeat of the Congress party in the next election.
The proponents of capitalism believe that production for consumption instead of production for demand is the solution to economic depression. Demonetisation is a retrograde step as it imposes a freeze on spending. Stagnation will be the result. Black money is invested in real estate and other non-productive industries, the profits from which are stashed in overseas banks. The best way to counter the menace of black money is to liberalise the flow of “white money” into the market, not curb its flow. There is black money with political parties and in the election process. Demonetisation is adversely affecting the nation.
S. Neelakantan, Salem, Tamil Nadu