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Matching intentions with actions

by IT Web Admin
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After a relatively austere Christmas, people in the country- a majority of us anyways is set to sail through the new year with much the same dampened spirit and enthusiasm. Modi, in what is proclaimed as a bold move to root out corruption and black money in the country has demonetized high value notes of 500 and 1000 rupees since December 8, much to the chagrin and untold inconvenience to everyone. He pacified or tried in rather pompous fashion with dramatic waves of his hand that after 50 days things will get much better and India will be changed for good. Now except for those who are receiving bribes and abusing their authorities to enrich themselves beyond their actual means, there would not be a single rationally thinking individual who would not want to stop corruption. But is demonetization and severely restricting the supply of money the surest way of achieving the popular objective? What makes the central government absolutely convinced that after the old notes are taken out of circulation, the scourge of corruption and menace of black money will be wiped out? And has the ploy of the Modi government being paid off-or is likely to be? Will the present scramble and impotent frustrations of the public be over after the promised 50 days? While the steps being taken up by the central government including the Adhaar payment App are promising and will definitely ease some of the inconveniences currently plaguing the common man, the fact that there is still an acute shortage of supply of new currency notes remains a big cause for concern to everyone. The unease assumes greater proportion in Manipur with the ongoing indefinite economic blockade being imposed by the UNC since November 1 causing untold misery and added difficulty. If the central government is half as committed to easing the sufferings of the public and even the unfortunate loss of lives trying to secure the bare necessities with their own money deposited and restricted by the banks, then such measures have to be implemented without any delay so that the much touted ‘Cashless society’ will start taking shape or at least some semblance of normalcy is brought about. The biggest hurdle which could very well prove to be a dampener to the whole concept of a cashless society is the volatile and restive social atmosphere in the state. For reasons known unto themselves, the state government have banned private service providers from operating in Manipur since December 18 and the internet service is effectively blocked till now. Online payments and any other conveniences which the internet could have provided is out for now, and while the service is supposed to resume from today, nothing has changed for now. Ironically, the state government ordered the shutdown to prevent further escalation of communal based violence in the state by preventing social media sites from exchanging potentially communal and inciting messages and tweets, the blanket ban have raised speculation and induced independent groups to carry out unrestrained acts of violence and vandalism while efforts by various groups and organizations to pacify and bring some semblance of peace and normalcy has been adversely affected. If the national highways have been opened using the state and central security forces, things would have not gotten as ugly. As for the issues of corruption and black money- nothing will work until radical changes in the system are made with provisions for transparency and punitive actions for the perpetrators are put in place.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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