New Delhi: The struggles and sacrifices of India and Indians over the past 50 days was the focus of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on New Year’s eve. His post-Diwali ‘Shuddhi Yagna’ (cleaning ritual), the PM said, had the complete support of the people who sweated it out in queues to withdraw or deposit their own money. There were no more surprises as India was dreading. In fact, it was more of a vote of thanks.
The battle against “Sachchai” and “Achhai” (truth and righteousness) the PM insisted was needed to ensure a bright future for India. There was a clear bid to tell the nation that the honest Indian will be come out triumphant in the end and the corrupt with pay for their sins. This is one message that will win in India, whenever it is uttered.
Lauding the effort of the average Indian, he said what our country witnessed over the past few weeks was unprecedented in the history of the world. He also lauded everyone who helped make the move a success, especially the bank employees who worked hard to help people convert their hard earned money. In the same breath, he also admonished those who tried to throw a spanner in the works by helping the corrupt launder their money. He said such people would not be spared. Again, a message that will find widespread currency across the country.
Modi also shifted focus on the poor and middle class Indians by asking banks to look at ways to become more useful to these sections of the society as soon as possible. The PM also rewarded India for their support by announcing many new welfare schemes. For instance, Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana will now help people get loans of up Rs 9 lakh and Rs 12 lakh at discounted interest rates in urban areas, better access to loans for small businesses, monetary aid for pregnant women.
The only missing link was more clarity on when the banking economy will be back to normal with the cash flow that we are used to. There was no date on what currency withdrawal limits will be lifted or when newer notes will be brought in the one message India was really waiting to hear.