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White Paper On Demonetisation

Some time has passed since the central government’s historical decision of demonetisation. At the same time, the Modi government too has completed three years in office. Yet, a few questions remain to be answered. People stood staunchly with Modi in spite of having to bear discomfort during demonetisation. Even today, despite some of the automated teller machines (ATMs) not working, people are supporting the Modi government. Why does the government not respond to the people’s needs in spite of the overwhelming support the people are giving it? People stood patiently outside banks in queues night and day to convert and deposit their hard-earned monies. In these crowded queues, no political leaders, industrialists or administrative officers were seen. What happened to their (black) money? Some banks/officers helped thugs in converting their black money to white. Has this happened in the case of these people too? The Modi government, in concurrence with its transparent governance, should put out a white paper on the effects of demonetisation. The government should declare the amount of black money, which has come back into the economy as white money. We earnestly feel that the government should be as ideal as that of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.



Learning Yoga the Right Way

There are many weird yoga practitioners and I was disgusted seeing someone holding beer yoga classes. Swigging beer whilst performing an asana, they say, is supposed to help relax a person. We claim yoga teaches us to move on the path of health, service, truth and with a higher consciousness free from obstinacy, perversion, selfishness and that the practice will imbibe us with tolerance, accommodation, cooperation, courage and justice. Asanas are a small part of our philosophy of yoga is what I was taught at the Swami Vivekananda Institute. I am, therefore, as disgusted as seeing beer yoga, as seeing the path that the BJP is taking under the supervision of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). I also fail to see how this path fits in with ‘Sab ka saath, sab ka vikas.’ We have given the world yoga, and if we want to show the world the way to a harmonious life, we will be hypocrites if we continue to propound division, hatred and polarisation in our country, which is an insult and disgrace to our great enlightened yoga masters.



Breaking Free From Age-old Prejudices

After the selection of two Dalit candidates for the presidential race, some intense questions are being raised every day. Can mere symbolism change anything? Should we consider demographic credentials like caste, language, religion etc of a person while selecting him/her as a presidential candidate? Should not we focus on his or her merit only? A country, which has a rainbow of languages, states, castes, cultures and religions can in no way ignore demographic credentials of a person in a political space. Indeed, all the Members of Parliament are being elected on the basis of their demographic credentials. Every state of our country sends as many MPs to the Parliament as in proportion to its population. No federal country can afford to do away with this system and introduce meritocratic yardstick. Indian cricket team where merit is the sole criterion of selection does not have any representation of many states of our country. It is okay for a cricket team. But it would be ludicrous if our Parliament fails to have representation of all the Indian states. Moreover, we need to give priority to demographic credentials. Mahatma Gandhi wanted a Dalit woman as India’s first president but his suggestion was turned down. At a public address on June 27, 1947, he said, “If I have my way, the President of the Indian Republic will be chaste and a brave Bhangi girl…if such a girl of my dreams becomes President, I shall be her servant and I shall not expect from the government even my upkeep.” Dalits have been projected as lesser humans for centuries. But can their symbolic representation at the top of our administration really help break ourselves free from the age-old prejudices? To get an answer, we will turn to the article, ‘What Obama’s victory means about race and class’ where Malik Miah said, “Obama’s victory, more than symbolic, represents a change in attitudes. But the symbolism in and of itself is powerful, because of the country’s racist history. It is that symbolism that every African American understands, including many of those on the right.”


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