Lo ji main fir se aa gai! I am back! But not alone this time as I am being accompanied by the issue of demonetisation for this fortnight again.
“What? It’s frivolous issue. How dare you say that? It is impacting our lives,” I uttered while having a telephone talk with one of my regular readers who calls me every fortnight to know what I am writing next and when I hinted about my topic then he punched me with heavy words. Aaah! As poking by Ankit was not enough for me! Doesn’t matter how much I try to get away from them or go underground they are able to locate me to give free ka advice on what to write and what not to write.
So, this Being You fan had just told me that demonetisation is a frivolous issue. I am not surprised though. If the Finance Minister of the country can say that two-type-new-currency-note-issue is ‘frivolous’ one then anyone can have that sort of opinion.
If you don’t know when this word was coined then let me tell you some history. It all started in the Rajya Sabha when the Congress alleged about two kinds of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes being circulated in different size and design. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley then said that Congress was bringing up a frivolous issue. Though the opposition displayed copies of differently sized notes and later Congress held a press conference too to demand answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi but the Finance Minister was not bothered to give explanation. The Congress party also gave a presentation on the features of the notes, saying that such currency is a threat to the credibility of the Indian economy.
The process of demonetisation apart from leading to nearly 200 deaths has also incurred loss to the whole Indian economy, as predicted by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The opposition has got the valid point in highlighting various discrepancies between differently sized Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes. For me, the role of every opposition is to notify the public about all the malpractices done by the ruling party and also, alert the citizens if there is any difference in what is expected from the government and what it is actually doing. In bringing up this issue, Congress and other parties here has played a justified role and proved that though in opposition, it is doing its homework properly. Every citizen of India deserves the right to know about the work done by the chosen government and whether the work or policies executed are beneficial to them or not. That’s the reason we are called a democratic nation and not the dictator-ruled country.
As pointed out by Kapil Sibal, the official website of RBI- https://paisaboltahai.rbi.org.in has given full features of the new series of notes. In its Know Your Bank Notes section, RBI states:
“With a view to bringing the identity closer to the cultural heritage of the country as also for showcasing her scientific advances, a new series of notes in a new design is being launched.”
While none of the countries has ever come up with one note-different-size move, why and how India planned to come with this step if it has. And if it has genuinely come up this innovative move, why the RBI has not thought to mention it on its website? However, it clearly mentions the size of Rs. 500 note as 66mm x 150mm and Rs. 2000 as 66mm x 166mm.
If we go further, the salient features of Rs 500 and Rs 2000 as mentioned at the RBI website are as following:
RS 500 The new Rs 500 notes in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series are different from the present series in colour, size, theme, the location of security features and design elements. The size of the new note is 66mm x 150mm. The colour of the notes is stone grey and the predominant new theme is Indian heritage site – Red Fort.
Rs 2000 The new Rs. 2000 note has the motif of the Mangalyaan on the reverse, depicting the country’s first venture into interplanetary space. The base colour of the note is magenta. The size of the new note is 66mm x 166mm.
So, clearly the issue is not frivolous at all, rather it is one of the highly important matters which concerns not only the citizens of the India, rather the country as a whole.
To get a claim on the Indian currency, feminist Yashica Jalhotra has just called at her printing press in Nasik to change the colour of Rs. 500 to Pink as she has been told since childhood that Pink is only for women. Send her few notes, I mean letters at [email protected]