As electioneering gathers speed one notices with great irony how the anti-demonetisation campaign has lost steam with the sails flagging. The opposition campaign against demonetisation – especially led by the Trinamool Congress, the Congress and the left parties – was never strong and relied more on theatrics and mis-information. As a result the entire phalanx of accusers has collapsed.
Strangely one does not see them making the demonetisation a point of debate in the campaign for Assembly elections anymore, perhaps because they want voters to forget how successful it has been. This section of the opposition has in fact failed to build up a narrative counter to demonetisation, its massive and wide success, acceptability and strengths have pierced deep holes in the flawed debate that these parties have tried to foist on the people in the immediate aftermath of the move.
What came as a surprise is that almost all these parties and their leaders have fallen silent on the issue – making only perfunctory references as if to test the reaction of the masses. In fact, the real truth of “post-truth” is that people have refused to be swayed by false propaganda, have stoically undergone difficulties in course of the entire process with the firm faith that the whole exercise was meant to cleanse the system and arrest the menace of counterfeit currency, arms and narcotics trafficking and to deal a decisive blow to anti-India forces who have operated with impunity for a while now.
The demonetisation drive saw wide endorsement from citizens across the country and also from eminent economists and thinkers across the world. Economists such Kenneth Rogoff, Jean Tirole, Mohammed Yunus, Jagadish Bhagwati and a host of others have supported the effort and unlike the biased critics have also suggested measures that can enhance its effect. But it has become the norm in our public discourse to place a lid on these views so that a genuine debate and discussion can be avoided and the entire narrative remains limited to claptraps and propaganda.
But this time round with Prime Minister’s energetic drive, his systematic and tireless outreach efforts and his direct samvad – with the people, dissolved whatever false opposition that the move faced. His repeated emphasis on the need to eradicate black money, the menace of terrorism and of groups inimical to India’s national interest found resonance among the ordinary citizens. For the first time a large number of anti-India groups have actually faced the heat and have melted away as well.
It has become the habit of a section of the opposition to create certain issues, generate a false debate and deftly ensure that entire Parliament sessions are wasted away. But each time these issues are exposed and a section of the opposition’s positions is proved false, displaying an acute lack on their part of a sense of national responsibility. This time round, one hopes that they display more sense and accountability. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi’s effort at cleansing the system and ridding it of rot and rust continues to receive support and plaudit.