I’ve skipped this topic ever since Note Bandi exercise took place. But not anymore.
The topic I’m talking about today is discretion.
Note Bandi or demonetization of 86 percent currency hit an ordinary citizen’s right of choice as well. It happened on many fronts. Firstly, it made the currency notes in hand of limited use. Secondly, it started a surprising trend where the Government not only started telling the money owners how much to withdraw, but also how to withdraw. By the 4oth day of the note bandi exercise, you’re also being told the specific way you must withdraw your own money. For example, you’re being told to use mobile wallets or use cashless transactions. Those who’re under the more strong hold of the Government (such as the Haryana Government employees) are being ordered: “You Employee!..Make at least one eTransaction of that much amount a week”.
This is a weird situation as this is curbing a common man’s right of choice. In democracies, Government’s govern on behalf of people. It’s the people who choose the Government. If Governments start dictating the way people withdraw or transact their own money, then the people are simply listening to the orders and not questioning them. This is a serious matter as the negative repercussions of every action takes some time to become clearly visible.
On the other day, the Prime Minister of India was telling people present in a rally in Gujarat that he’s not speaking in Parliament as he’s not allowed to. That’s why he chose to take the matter directly to the people. Frankly speaking, the note bandi exercise doesn’t show that sentiment of the PM. Because on the note bandi front, we’re simply being ordered and told what to do. We’re not being taken into confidence. If that be the case, then the PM would have answered every question in the Parliament itself.
Actually a rally of a couple of thousand or Lakh people is not India. India still exists in the Parliament. Irrespective of who has majority in which house of Indian Parliament.
If the country is actually becoming intelligent and young (with highest young population), then the PM must stay present in both houses of Parliament, listen to the debate in its entirety. Note down key questions raised and at the end of the debate in each house, answer them without attacking the opposition in a non-emotional way with concrete facts. The TV advertisements linking the demonetization or Tax obedience to contributing our Army spends etc. means nothing. As such linkages make issues unnecessarily emotional and distance the listener from more appropriate answers. The answers a sizable section of India wants to hear.
As far as media houses are concerned, they must run live the complete coverage of these debates in Parliament. This will be great service to the Nation, as it will help people exercise their right of choice better!