Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to demonetise high-value currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations has come in for stern criticism from economists and Opposition parties.
The Congress party has been getting increasingly vocal with its criticism of the move, deciding to observe the first anniversary as a 'Black Day' across India.
Rahul Gandhi has also been attacking Modi and the NDA government in various rallies that he's held across the country.
The Congress vice-president also wrote an opinion piece in Britain's Financial Times newspaper on Tuesday, where he said demonetisation robbed the country of its economic prowess. He said it wiped out 2 percent of India's GDP and ruined the lives of millions of India's workers.
He also cautioned the government against emulating China's economic model, saying loss of the freedom of expression is too high a cost to pay for a liberal democracy like ours.
Here are a few excerpts from Gandhi's Op-Ed:
• One of the primary responsibilities of a state is to provide vocation to its people. China’s global monopoly on blue-collar jobs is a fundamental challenge to other states. This has created millions of disenfranchised and angry workers who express their frustration at the ballot box — whether in votes for Mr Modi, Brexit, or Donald Trump.
• China currently creates on average 50,000 jobs every single day; India under Mr Modi manages only 500. This advantage comes with a brutal cost — China’s people are not free to speak, to dissent or to question and those that do are swiftly and severely punished. This is not a model India should emulate.
• On the jobs front, while the west promoted globalisation, free trade and open markets as the road to the promised land, it also hollowed out its own manufacturing communities. Instead of managing the labour conflicts in their factories, western and Indian capitalists decided to offshore manufacturing.
• With connectivity but no threat from Chinese productivity, there would still be blue-collar jobs in the west and India. With Chinese productivity but no connectivity, economies would suffer but institutions would still function unchallenged. It is the combination of the two factors together that is devastating.
• Modi has damaged India by converting anger created by joblessness and lack of economic opportunity into communal hatred. He has chosen to hide behind a shallow, hate-filled political narrative. Anger might have brought Mr Modi to power but it will never create jobs or fix India’s institutions.
Published Date: Nov 08, 2017 12:29 PM | Updated Date: Nov 08, 2017 12:29 PM