Ground Zero: Two marriages with vulgar display of wealth, Modi and demonitisation



Jagtar Singh

Chandigarh, December 11: Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues his tirade against the opposition leaders at his public rallies and his latest attack is on the issue of debate in Parliament. Modi says the opposition is running away from debate and he would like people to believe this propaganda of his as they believed him in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections. His ‘jumlebazi’ continues as people have not revolted against demonitisation so far despite what is being described as inconvenience. There have also been scores of deaths of people standing in queues outside banks due to this inconvenience. Perhaps it is also for the first time that people are dying due to just ‘inconvenience’.

The Congress has relented from its demand of debate under the clause that entails voting. The only condition is that Modi must sit through the debate. There is nothing unusual about this demand going by the history of Indian Parliament. Prime Minister, who-so-ever he or she might have been, used to be present during debate on sensitive issues concerning the country. Now Modi want people to believe that it is the opposition that is shying away from demand. This is just nothing but travesty of truth. India’s political discourse and value system seem to have entered another stage where people are supposed to be gullible and believe the ‘Leader’. This is the latest narrative from Modi.

However, while berating the opposition, he has been silent on the vulgar display of wealth at two recent marriages of the daughters of the BJP leaders. They are Union minister and former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari and  Karnataka mining baron G Janardhan Reddy. This has to be seen in the context of limit of Rs 2.5 lakh fixed by Modi for withdrawal of money from one’s own account for marriage.

Some of the guests chartered planes to reach Nagpur to attend marriage of Gadkari’s daughter. Perhaps all arrangements were somehow made by the Union minister within the limit of Rs 2.5 lakh imposed on withdrawals for marriage. It may be mentioned that this is the amount that a person even with multiple accounts can withdraw for a mariage. Moreover, no other person can withdraw money for the same marriage. The procedure has been made cumbersome when the country is moving towards easing governance rules.

Modi invokes the sympathy of crowds where he would not be questioned. However, in the Parliament, he might have to address some inconvenient and such embarrassing questions. How come such vulgar display of wealth continues by the people from the saffron brigades and his own cabinet colleagues? None seems to have put him this question ‘on behalf of the nation’. The nation must be wanting to know from Modi about the source of such wealth on public display after demonitisation that has forced people to postpone marriages.

Going by what Modi had said on November 8, all the objectives of demonitisation have been defeated. Such brazen display of wealth mocks at Modi himself.

The issue is no more of people standing in queues. It is the economy that is now getting hit with lay outs in the industrial sector on the rise due to forced production cuts. In a state of Punjab, industrial sector is already languishing due to various cumulative factors. Of course, the farmers have managed to carry on farm operations in this state. Reports have appeared about cycle industry in Ludhiana cutting down production by about 30 per cent in the absence of demand.

Modi and his drum-beaters continue to talk of plastic card cashless economy without telling the people about the cost of these cashless transactions. This cost is paid by at least one of the parties to a transaction.  Why e-wallet companies like Paytm should come forward in case there was no transaction cost involved? Banks have been charging cost of transactions on payments made through card.

However, none has to pay any transaction case in case of monetary transactions. When some e-wallet company inserts 4-page ad in multiple newspapers, one can imagine the investment level. The basic issue is who is to pay for the transactions?

Modi and his Bhakts must explain the source of the above mentioned two marriages and the cost of cashless economy.


Jagtar Singh


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