ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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In the Name of ‘Common Man’

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The editorial, “Theatrics on Black Money” (EPW, 12 November 2016) has critically deconstructed the demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1,000 currency notes in India. The Narendra Modi government has justified this measure in the name of the “common man.” To put it in Modi’s words: “This government is dedicated to the poor. It will remain dedicated to them … In the past decades, the spectre of corruption and black money has grown. It has weakened the effort to remove poverty … This step [demonetisation] will strengthen the hands of the common man in the fight against corr­uption, black money, and fake currency.”

Only time will tell the outcome of demonetisation. But what is important in Modi’s speech is that the fight against black money and corruption has been linked with the fight against terrorism: “For years, this country has felt that corruption, black money and terrorism are festering sores, holding us back in the race towards development.”

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