Demonetization seems to be the latest fever which gripped the nation with its endemically motivated spell. A lot has been written about this bold move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, reading between the lines of the initiative itself and ongoing repercussions of this move, led me to believe that Modi, a shrewd politician which he is, seems to have done a Neo Marxist implementation of the old classic Marxist theory. A cursory look at the title would dismiss this as an oxymoron, however, a little bit of context might help. Marxism revolved around the revolutionary concept of “material forces and production”. By highlighting the roles of proletariat and bourgeoisie, Marx highlighted the pragmatic differences between the roles of dominant and the oppressed classes in the society. Although, several decades later, the ideology struck a chord with the common man. By implementing the financial crackdown on black money hoarders, Modi seems to have successfully mimicked a mellowed down, philosophically plagiarized version of Marxist tenet, which emphasized the growing emotional and financial disconnect between extreme ends of economic classes. He successfully highlighted a thin line between the haves and the have-nots, whose messiah he seems to claim. With every passing day, the line only seems to grow thicker and the proletariat erratically drifting closer to Modi.
By constantly claiming to be a messiah, by promising justice to common man by recuperating all the illicitly hoarded black money, by highlighting the benefits of cashless society (thereby ensuring a clandestine implementation of a digital and cashless society), by promising perks for going cashless, by incorporating training platform in the likes of ‘Digishaala’, all at the same time, Modi seems to have tentatively stopped the juggernaut of ‘public revolt’. By constantly appealing to the public, Modi indeed proved that there is bigger house of the parliament, bigger than the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha combined, ‘the Jan Sabha’. By hectoring his way into taking on the elephant in the room, “corruption”, he seemed to have represented the feelings, frustration and wrath of a common man. With his keen sagacious acumen, Modi seemed to have transmogrified the financial context to an emotional one. True, the initiative had its pitfalls and seems to have ongoing resistance, primarily from the political opposition, but, the common man seems to have consecrated the repercussions as a peccadillo, realizing the sanctity behind the ulterior motive.
Subconsciously furthering his efforts, the opposition with their myopically stiff and overt resistance, seems to have walked right into Modi’s trap. The more the opposition, the more the common man seems to have made up his/her mind in identifying who are truly on their side and who are successfully securing their own future. I can’t help but recollect one of the influential quotes of Chinese genius Confucius. “He who sling mud, lose ground”.
This does not mean Modi got away with a possible wrath of common man, mostly from businesses in unorganized sectors. I can’t help but reiterate one of the quotes by Karl Marx in my favorite work of his, Das Kapital. “As, in religion, man is governed by the products of his own brain, so in capitalistic production, he is governed by the products of his own hand”. Every time I read this reformist and revolutionary biblical equivalent, it reminds me of how much of a genius Marx was. To put this in the context, Modi, should and would be credited or discredited for the result of this gigantic political gamble. On one side, it can be argued that Narendra Modi has plunged into a possibly, deep political abyss with the bold move on currency crackdown, risking his political future, more importantly in the context of the upcoming, arguably, the most important state election of Uttar Pradesh. On the flip side, his name would be etched forever in the annals of history of Independent India, should the effort succeed.
As proven, time and again, it takes bat of an eyelid for the emotions of the voter to dominate the empirical. How successful would this experiment be, only time can reveal.