A dear friend of mine from USA sent me this mail regarding the demonetisation in India.

Somebody in your country needs to organize something like Gandhi’s salt march against the monetary situation. They need to go to government sites and protest peacefully.

Look at Boston. If we can do this, so can people in India! Mobilize, I recommend!


This is my reply to her.

Dear EM,

Yes, this exactly what India need. I wrote that in my last article too

Unfortunately, I don’t see it coming, not in the near term future. That’s the sad plight of India.

There are several reasons for this.

  1. India is deeply polarised, much more than USA with the Trump shadow looming large
  2. The larger than life figure of Modi still is still appealing to a large section of the people.
  3. Modi & Co succeeded in the initial propaganda of pitching demoentisation as a fight against black money and corruption and it still sticks with major part of the public
  4. The Media has been bought over, co-opted or coerced that it is largely innocuous. Result, there is no counter mechanism to fight the Govt. propaganda
  5. The opposition is largely divided like the Weimar republic. One-upmanship, political opportunism , clear lack of leadership and vision
  6. Modi propaganda succeeded in dividing the society in ‘class lines’ ie pitching demonetisation as a fight against corrupt rich (simply glossing over the fact that it is prescribed by the neo-liberal elites to aid the super rich and big corporates and implemented with fascist ruthlessness which stunned even the neo-liberal masters) and a major section of the people believe in this lie and secretly smiling believing that the rich will be suffering now. Many middle class people I talked to showed this tendency, many media reports also suggest similar behaviour of the middle class and even poor.
  7. In India it takes a lot of time for information to percolate down especially because large portion of the people are illiterate or semi-literate and the literate media consumers are targeted by the propaganda machine 24 X 7.
  8. India is a diverse federation of states with so much linguistic diversity loosely held together by the Nehruvian concept of ‘India’. The Modi government is trying hard to destroy the federal structure and force upon it the fascist monlithic Hindutva ‘Nationhood’.
  9. India is a caste ridden and highly hierarchical society. It takes a mammoth work to unite these diverse sections of the people. It becomes even more hard since the main sufferers of demonetisation are the lower castes and the decision makers are the upper castes.
  10. Civil Society groups are being silenced and destroyed by the current government. Even political parties are witch hunted and silenced. A growing climate of fear grips India.
  11. There is a certain kind of lethargy to the Indian society. It is slow to wake up to reality. Even Gandhi emerged after 400 years of foreign occupation and rule

In this context I don’t see any united political opposition emerging as in Venezuela or Boston.

Yes, a Gandhi like figure may emerge, I can see it happening only after the tsunami has been hit and the dead are counted and buried.

Even when Gandhi was in the highest of prowess India buried over 6-7 million people in Bengal who died due to British induced hunger. Sadly the two British induced Bengal famines of 1770 (which killed an estimated 10 million people) and the 1943 Bengal famine which killed an estimated 6-7 million people are not even in the footnotes of Indian history. And that is India for you!


Warm Regards


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  1. Farooque Chowdhury says:

    well-written. thanks.

  2. K SHESHU BABU says:

    To counter right-wing centre, Gandhi may not be enough… Many others are necessary! The militancy of Bhagat Singh, the mobilisation skills of Dr Ambedkar, the zeal of birsa Munda, the determination of iron Sharmila, the ceaseless pen of Mahasweta devi, the perseverance of kobad Gandy and a lot more inspiring people…
    But, at present, any mass movement against demonetisation is far far away …Eople are under ‘ hybernation’ …

  3. Surendra S Gandhi says:

    The writer appears to be shallow and totally biased and not in touch with modern India. I am not qualified to opine on any thing happening in India because I left India half a century ago.As an unprejudiced observer I would like to share my impressions. The barriers the author is talking about are mere relics. The linguistic lines are more or less obliterated. The social media and real time availability of information has created an unprecedented massive awareness. After decades of rule of corrupt governments, a man has the moral strength and confidence to uproot the wide spread cancer of corruption and deeply entrenched establishment which did nothing, nada zilch.If you are objective enough you will find that the same evils have plagued the nation for decades. If the previous governments did anything it was to stuff the deeper pockets of itself and its benefactors.The people who amassed obscene wealth must be held accountable and subject to punitive measures. This is not fascism, dictatorship or autonomy. This is called law enforcement in its fullest extent.Many points illustrated by author are nothing more than hearsay. Is there any proof that media is bribed? By the same token is there any proof that all the previous governments were honest, not fascist, any inkling that in spite of being aware of corruption and black money did any one do any thing about it? Do you know why opposition is spineless? because it is casted from the same age old dye.If opposition is not cohesive, it is not the fault of the current PM.My dear sir it is the matter of draining the deep swamp . If any one can do it, it is commendable. It is time to leave aside your hollow PUNDITRY and give the measures implemented a fighting chance not premature predictions, Do you think that your narrative is not divisive or inflammatory or full of negativity? I am sure there is something worth mentioning about the current situation……..

  4. Viren Lobo says:

    Combine Suresh Babu and Surendra Gandhi and you have my answer. Modi has just captured empty space. How big is chest is will be seen in the years to come.

  5. Chandrasekaran Valadi says:

    Baba Amte used to say ” Public Tragedy has become Private Comedy”. Gandhi Bashing and Modi Bashing and bashing has become a business.
    Kindly look at empathetically without preconceived predetermined notions. You will see the nearer true picture.
    Satyameva Jayathe.
    Mahatma Gandhi Sabari Aashramam,
    Chatti Post, Chinthur Mandalam,
    East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh- 507 129.
    Mobile: 9490109328, 88297976970

  6. Dr Vacy Vlazna says:

    Dependence on a leader is so UN-Gandhian!

    Sacralising leaders is India’s core debility, and that weakness applies to all countries.

    Celebrity fetish is a hangover from feudalism..its a form of slavery, of gifting our power to undeserving idiots.

    Individual power is dignity, action with integrity. Individual power is the essence of the Gandhian demand of us. Individual power is the fundament of democracy. Laurens Van Der Post’s urges:

    “At the moment people are saying, as if they’re bewildered, ‘Why haven’t we got any great leaders? Why haven’t we got another Churchill [Gandhi]? Why haven’t we got another Roosevelt [Mandela] or somebody to show us the way?’ Well, it’s simply because nature is telling us it’s projection [projecting ie transferring our own strengths onto idealised others].

    “The age of leaders has come and gone. Every person must be his or her own leader now. You must remove your projection, and contain the spirit of our time in your own life and your own nature, because to go the old way and follow your leader is a form of psychological imprisonment. We want to be emancipated from that age, and the answer is to profoundly reappraise your systems of government and everything else.”