WEEKEND LIGHTER: DISSECTING NOTE-BAN

WEEKEND LIGHTER: DISSECTING NOTE-BAN
(November 11/12, 2017)
Feel free to mail your views on this edition of WL to mgwarrier@gmail.com

Section III
 FEAR OF FEAR


I

Cover Story

Dissecting Note-Ban*

This refers to Puja Mehra’s analysis “Discordant notes”  (The Hindu, November 8) which takes stock of the rationale and results of November 8, 2016 ‘Note-Ban’
True, reasonably acceptable answers for questions like, why ‘Note-Ban’ was considered as an option to fight black money, why things went wrong mid-way, if they did and what was the role of RBI in providing backward and forward linkages in implementing the project ‘Note-Ban’ in its capacity as advisor to GOI and currency manager are still evading.
Averments attributed to Dr Raghuram G Rajan and R Gandhi after leaving RBI, even if they are true, do not explain the central bank’s policy stance on the issue. Dr Rajan had left RBI two months before November 8, 2016 and gave any view on the issue exactly a year after his departure from India and that too as part of the promotional talks while releasing his second book. Gandhi was very much inside RBI as part of the team that coordinated Note-Ban with Finance Ministry.
Dr Rajan is known for his clarity of thoughts and expression on monetary policy and central banking matters. His faultless book ‘Fault Lines’ and the recently released book ‘I Do What I Do’ carry enough evidence to prove this, if recorded evidence was necessary. But Rajan’s one year silence post-exit from Mint Road and sudden reappearance and expression of views on the functioning of RBI after he had left have confused even Rajan-Fans inside and outside RBI.
Rajan’s observation that his opinion against ‘Note-Ban’ was given ‘orally’ together with the talk about the existence of a document on demonetization prepared by RBI approved by Rajan (not in public domain), are enough to damage the already dwindling reputation of RBI.
Rajan’s observations make it abundantly clear that RBI was associating with the groundwork for demonetization from February 2016. Knowingly or unknowingly, Dr Rajan has exposed himself to the allegation of not getting himself involved in preparing RBI adequately to implement the ‘Note-Ban’, once a decision was taken by GOI. Perhaps Ex-Deputy Governor Gandhi may share the blame.
M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram
*A shorter response on the subject was published in Business Standard




II
Recent responses
RBI’s role in Note-Ban
Your editorial “The demonetization puzzle” (Business Standard, November 7) read with Subhomoy Bhattacharjee’s piece “The backroom story: How it all played out” demystifies the ‘Note-Ban’ of November 8, 2016. For those who have been following the happenings since November 8, 2016 and were not able to solve the ‘puzzle’ yet can find enough clues to move towards reasonably acceptable answers for questions like, why ‘Note-Ban’ was considered as an option to fight black money, why things went wrong mid-way, if they did and what was the role of RBI in providing backward and forward linkages in implementing the project ‘Note-Ban’ in its capacity as advisor to GOI and currency manager.
Dr Raghuram G Rajan is known for his clarity of thoughts and expression on monetary policy and central banking matters. His faultless book ‘Fault Lines’ and the recently released book ‘I Do What I Do’ carry enough evidence to prove this, if recorded evidence was necessary. But there has been an obvious deviation. Rajan’s one year silence post-exit from Mint Road and sudden reappearance and expression of views on the functioning of RBI after he had left have confused even Rajan-Fans inside and outside RBI.
Dr Rajan’s cautious observation about short-term economic costs outweighing long-term benefits of demonetization made almost one year after the event was a masterstroke. As the opinion against ‘Note-Ban’ was given ‘orally’ and a document on demonetization prepared by RBI approved by Rajan reportedly exists (not in public domain), enough damage has been done to the dwindling reputation of RBI.
Rajan’s observations make it abundantly clear that RBI was associating with the groundwork for demonetization from February 2016. Knowingly or unknowingly, Dr Rajan has exposed himself to the allegation of not getting himself involved in preparing RBI adequately to implement the ‘Note-Ban’, once a decision was taken by GOI.
M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram
Some useful web links:








III

Leisure

FEAR OF FEAR*
  
Tamil poet Bharathi has written a lot about 'Fear'.His famous lines
" uchchi meethu vaanidinthu veezhnthu ninra pothilum
achcahmillai achchamillai achchamenbathillaiye"
( Don't fear even if the entire sky falls on you")
Pages and pages have been written about the evils of fear ,different phobia ,particularly about'phobophobia'-'fear of fear'.
There are so many manthras/stotras in praise of Hanuman, Lord Narasimha, Durga and Lord Shiva praying for relief from fear.

It is always good to know the impact of what we do but sometimes not knowing the impact helps in keeping away the sheer fear of approaching the task we intend to do. When we start realizing the impacts more and more, we start fearing the negative impacts it might bring!

If we listen to our fears we may die never knowing how great we might have been.
'Darr se math  daro, darr ke aage jeet hai!' (Don't fear the Fear, beyond the Fear lies victory!). 
Many expansions are given to the word
'F E A R'
False Evidence Appearing Real,
False Experience Appearing Real and so on.

Either we may 'Forget Everything And Run' or
'Face Everything And Rise '-depends on what we choose.

It is very nice to listen to such quotes and imagine ourselves as 'embodiment' of courage and boldness without an iota of fear.

But practically speaking there’s nothing wrong with being a little afraid now and then. In fact, it has some real advantages.
When we think about 'fear' we usually assume it’s something we’d be better off without.

Fear has been in existence for millions of years.
Consider the example of prey animals and predators. Prey animals, like horses and rabbits, operate almost entirely out of “fear intelligence.” They’ve learned over the course of their evolution what they need to be afraid of (primarily predators, like lions, tigers and other creatures that might want to eat them), and how to avoid those threats as assiduously as possible. As a result, even in the face of considerable danger, their kind have survived quite well.

It is an undeniable fact that fear includes not only a hesitation to get involved in crimes and evils but also a hesitation to pin point the crimes of others, and keeping silent when others are in crisis.

Ultimately, each of us has to choose our battles. We have to know when to stand our ground, when to pause, when to pounce, when to turn and walk (or run) away. It is by consciously noticing and taking stock of our fears, by learning to accurately discern real threats from paper tigers, that we stand the best chance not only of surviving but also of succeeding to the fullest extent of our personal potential.

It is not wise to have superhuman immunity to fear. Rather, it is a willingness to acknowledge our fears, and then make conscious, high-integrity choices about how we respond to them.
Whether we are three or eighty three,it is a skill that is never late for any of us to learn.

While talking of fear very often we acknowledge'God fearing' as an appreciable quality in any individual.'The'God fearing nature is stated to give strength to turn away from evil,
offer knowledge and wisdom,provide the basis for contentment and so on.

I don't know whether the need for threat or reward( fear of God's curse or blessing) can drift one away from doing wrong.Suppose one is prevented from killing spree only because of his faith in God, what will happen if he has some reason to lose his faith?We see many people contributing 30% of the loot to Balaji Hundi in Thirumala.They don't fear even to include Balaji as a partner to their 'fearless' trade.
More than the fear of God, the awareness that 'we have to reap what we sow'may help better.
More than 'God fearing','Karma fearing people may better suit the society or at least may not endanger the society.Those who don't believe in Karma theory,let them fear their conscience.
For those who are proud to say that it is their conscience that induces them in wrong doings,let ' 'Time'teach them a lesson.
Do you still want to be totally 'fearless'?Choice is yours.
**************

* Received via email from Vathsala Jayaraman (Exrbites Group)


Vathsala Madam has taken us through various dimensions of fear, fearlessly with the ease of a "Guru" (teacher).
All along, may be till my retirement from RBI, outwardly and as perceived by others, I have lived a fearless life.
For me God was never, will not be ever, an individual or institution providing services on demand or against payment(sometimes deferred, sometimes with EMI facility). Mother, Father, Friend/s, animals, plants, teacher...all have performed, in my case, the duties assigned to God by many.
About being fearless, one word. When I open the switch board and check whether supply is there, i use a tester. Electricity doesn't know, I'm a fearless person. Same approach with fire, water and ignorant individuals. 
I'll not trouble you with Shankaracharya stories on fear.
M G Warrier


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