Towards Making India a Cashless Society
My beloved Goans, in particular, and my dear countrymen/women in general.
I am a Goan by birth, having been born in Portuguese India, generally known as India Portuguesa, a couple of weeks before India got its Independence, and, therefore, I have always prided myself as being the pre-India-Independence baby. Having said that, I have grown up in an orderly society where values of life were important and where the law and order was such that there was practically no sign of thefts, chicanery, murders, rapes or even inter-religious rivalries, where people lived through goodwill and compassion. More so, I was an adolescent teenager at the time when Goa was taken over and annexed by India in 1961, to see the Portuguese sent packing from Goa, the loot and plunder, rape and arson, the killings of the innocents that followed with the imposition of martial law, and, to be brazenly told that I had been liberated.
The mirror that was imbedded in my mind of what was Goa before and after 1961, the comparisons that could be drawn, made me a conscious adult ardent enough to want orderliness in our societal conduct, even more advanced than what Goa had experienced during the Portuguese rule, always wanting to improve the chaotic way of life that was introduced to Goa post 1961, thankfully, all within the democratic set-up, which was appreciated.
These dreams of an orderly society for Goa fructified when, through my perseverance and involvement with critical issues of mal-governance in my semi-retired life, Goa’s new regional political party was founded on August 31, 2000, wherein all those pragmatic ideals where inscribed on a piece of paper which became the constitution of the registered political Party named, through an elaborate democratic process, as GOA SU-RAJ PARTY meaning GOA GOOD-GOVERNANCE PARTY, in the understanding that if these ideals were accepted by Goans at large, this Regional Party could infuse confidence in others across Goa’s borders to assimilate these ideals of an orderly society to make it ‘INDIA SU-RAJ ’. But the essential ingredient that was the principle ingredient in the setting-up of this political party was that it would be a CASHLESS POLITICAL PARTY, much akin to what MODI SARKAR wants to make India, a cashless society. True to its founding principles where the slogan is loud and clear, which says ‘ SMALL MONEY FROM A LOT OF PEOPLE MAKES BETTER SENSE THAN BIG MONEY FROM A FEW’, this Party remains CASHLESS, even to this day, sixteen years down the line, awaiting the trickle to filter in from common people, out of their hard-earned savings, so that they can be the proud stake-holders of this impartial governance that will .protect and preserve the ethos of Goa for Goa’s posterity.
There have been two video clips that have been going viral in the social media which has fascinated me to the extent that I have been viewing these clips off and on for some time. While Justice Markandey Katju who is the Hon. Ex-Justice of the Supreme Court of India, has literally declared war on the Constitution of India as well as on the Justice system prevailing in India, of which he was an integral part of, by calling all present and past politicians as scoundrels, rogues and thieves who need to be hanged or shot, and that, the constitution of India should be pulled down and reconstructed like in the case of a dilapidated building which is beyond repairs. On the other side, Rt. Hon. Ram Jethmalani, who is the illustrious Advocate Emeritus of the Supreme Court of India, having won citations galore, an Ex MP and Ex Union Minister in the BJP governments, has, in his Part-1 and Part-2 public video clips, exposed not only the present BJP government and most of the creamy players at the top, promising to send them to jail as his mission in life before he returned to the Lord. He has also called Mr. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister himself, a master cheat, for having cheated the people of India through giving flowery promises, vowing to see him defeated in the next general elections, when he himself was gullible enough to contribute to his victory.
To me, the plan of the proposed cashless society which is sought to be implemented seems to be a pipe dream. If this is going to a reality, then let us take a reality check. Our existing major and mini markets which have been around for centuries trading with cash and cash only and which cannot be supported by the cashless transactions will have to be transformed into massive malls. Retail shops, however, would be no problem as most of them are already armed with plastic card swiping machines, as also the petrol pumps etc. But the daily bread man, the milk man, the fish man, the daily wage labourer, the chai-walla, the barber, the newspaper delivery man, will have to arm themselves with the plastic card swipers, not forgetting the occasional beggar on the corner of our streets. Backed by this reasoning, I confidently say that this becomes a pipe dream. Again, the ATM’s in the country will have to be consigned to museums. The demonetization exercise is an utterly unplanned exercise bordering on a massive flop, the analogy of which may be drawn from a medical procedure to drain the HIV infected blood from a patient. Is not the provision for the replacement blood a must before any attempt is made to drain the infected blood?. Should more be said on this surgical strike on black money, hitting the terrorists funding and the counterfeiting industry?
Instead of this lofty pipe dream of making India a cashless society, our political establishments and political thinkers would have done better if they had to put their heads together to work towards making India a CONSTITUTION-less country, to join the ranks of forward looking nations like United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, .Israel [which is generally considered democratic, but has no constitution], Canada, [which explicitly follows UK model], and New Zealand, [which has no codified constitution]. As according to Justice Markandey Katju, the constitution of India has been used by political rogues and rascals to interpret it or mis-interpret it to suit themselves through the various loopholes provided through the insurmountable ‘provisos’ at the end of every possibly sentence.
When Rt. Hon. Ram Jethmalani calls PM Narendra Modi a cheat, mainly on the promises he made at election time of bringing in every rupee in black money deposited outside India, I want to remind him to include India’s first PM, Mr. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, to his list of cheats for promising Goans that he will not coerse them to join the Indian Union against their wishes if they deliberately wanted to maintain their separate identity, but minus the Portuguese, and, his legacy, has continued the denial of Special Status to Goa under Article 371 of the Indian Constitution, even despite the passing of the UNANIMOUS RESOLUTION to that effect by the August house of Elected Representatives of Goa. Besides, even Narendra Modi took maximum umbrage of this sensitive demand by Goans promising the same if he was elected the PM of this country in 2014. This would be the right reason to see the Constitution of India repealed and thrown out through the window with no offence meant to Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, to make India a Constitutionless progressive country.
Justice Markandey Katju insists that a ‘revolution’ is the need of the hour for India, to bring it on the progressive path, where living standards of the people of India are enhanced. Goa Su-Raj Party, with its elaborately prepared ROAD MAP FOR GOA is that revolution that needs to be taken forward by Goans in Goa and Goans spread-out across the world, to showcase to India that we can yet have faith in people’s REVOLUTIONS to improve their miserable lot.
Floriano Lobo is the founding President of GOA SU-RAJ PARTY -GSRP