WHAT MAMATA ANTI-DEMONETIZATION HINDI TWEETS TELL US

Mamata Banerjee is very active on Twitter (@MamataOfficial) and basically tweets in English and sometimes in Bangla. But she is using Hindi as well, and strategically, in order to reach a wider cross section of people on the demonetization issue which she is vehemently opposed to. A scroll down her Twitter feed will show that increasingly most of her tweets on demonetization are in both languages. She has tried to emerge as a central figure of the anti-demonetization front and her outburst began on Twitter only when she termed the Modi government decision ‘a financial chaos and disaster let loose on the common people of India’ after Narendra Modi finished his address to the nation announcing the decision that has kept India hooked since then.

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Her Hindi tweets also indicate that she is now looking for a wider canvas politically, something that the ensuing chaos in the aftermath of the demonetization drive can give her. She has hit Delhi streets and has held meetings and parleys against demonetization since the Parliament’s winter session began on November 16.

Now that the opposition parties have decided to launch a pan-India anti-demonetization protest with ‘Aakrosh Diwas’ on November 28, they all will try to mobilize masses as much as possible and Mamata’s use of Hindi to reach out and appeal to people, along with her image and streets-smart style politics of ‘Ma-Mati-Manush (Mother-Motherland-People)’ will come in handy here. Demonetization pangs have affected people across the country and speaking in a language that reaches out to the maximum number of people is certainly a logical idea. Also, now that TMC is a national level political party, speaking and tweeting in Hindi makes sense when the heart of India’s political landscape, Uttar Pradesh, a Hindi speaking state, is going to polls in the next few months.

©SantoshChaubey

DEMONETIZATION MUST NOT END UP LIKE JUST YET ANOTHER POLITICAL ISSUE.

The whole country is trapped into the demonetization debate.

For its proponents, it is discourse. For its opponents, it is an illegitimate force.

Like always, there are many who are caught in the grey zone.

The trial and error juggernaut is marching ahead and it has been a mixed report for the government so far – in giving people their hard-earned money – in new notes and in old notes.

And this trial and error nature of it has given the political opposition a golden chance to score some brownie political (and electoral points in the season of state assembly elections) points by trying to corner the government. For them it is an illegitimate force and they have left no stone unturned in spreading this notion.

And what about people – commoners like you and me?

Well, either they don’t matter or if the systems looks taking care of them, it is like it is extending some sort of favour.

It is said that the common man is the basic entity of a democracy and the processes of a democratic nation should revolve around him.

But we live in the times and in a society where the common folks – people like you and me – are only given some value or hearing when either there is a massive civil agitation like Vinoba Bhave or Lohia or JP or Anna Hazare could do or when there is some court pressure – as we see from time to time – in enacting pro people laws – in interpreting the existing laws to prevent their misuse – even in bringing erring elitist people or organizations in line – like we are witnessing in the BCCI case.

There are many who are complaining. There are many who are resolutely supporting it. They are commoners like you and me. Like always, they must not be duped by our political establishment because they are supporting this demonetization drive in spite of massive inconvenience it is causing – hoping there will be fundamental changes to their lives after it – once the things start settling down.

And stakes involved here are enormously high – specially after reports of many deaths in bank/ATM queues.

The government needs to answer them – and to them who are complaining – because they own it – and they own the processes on every stage. If they are compromising, the government must also compromise to become sensitive to them.

Demonetization must not end up like just yet another issue to play politics. As the government has promised, it must do the promised cash clean-up to filter out Black Money from our lives.

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Cartoon: Ragini Chaubey

©SantoshChaubey