Literature festivals see an amalgamation of people across the cross section of the society, the young and the experienced, across all professions come and listen to eminent speakers whose topics range from Literature to Politics to everything that moves the society now. How could demonetisation not find a space in the Kolkata Literary Meet, patronised by Tata Steel in the city? Like every year, Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet had the attendance of the best of speakers, Paul Beatty, Anita Desai, Shashi Tharoor and Sunil Gavaskar being the highlights of the festival that happens with the backdrop of the mighty and elegant Victoria Memorial Hall.
Demonetisation was discussed on Saturday, January 28th. The former finance minister Mr. P. Chidambaram was in conversation with Rajdeep Sardesai, a journalist of repute and personally speaking, one whom I take a note of, for his presentation skills. No prizes for guessing what P. Chidambaram had to say about the demonetisation move of the present Indian government. What took me by a surprise is the candour with which he spoke, the interaction and that almost the entire ensemble opined that things have not normalised yet.
Mr. Chidambaram was certain about the fact that it would take a hit on the GDP growth, however if the cash reserves in the bank would lower the interest rates and later would benefit the nation, is something to be seen and appreciated if it does. When asked about the change in Congress’ face, the former finance minister said that AICC peoples elected representatives would vote for Mrs. Gandhi at any point in time and in her absence, it is the junior Gandhi. When a person asked why the opposition failed even when the people realise that demonetisation is probably a bad step forward, Sardesai said that the opposition lacked credibility. Somehow PM Modi is still accepted as credible in the world of national politics.
Mr. Chidambaram concluded by inferring that the three most important personnel of the finance ministry were either not consulted or they had opposed it. They are the finance secretary, banking secretary and the chief economic advisor.
Personally speaking, we are happy as long as we achieve transparency, our anxieties and problems are solved and not exploited for better election results in the next state.