Discontent in RSS rank & file on Modi’s demonetisation

MT Bureau

Nagpur: At a time when the sudden demonetization move by the Narendra Modi government is drawing widespread protests, the BJP’s ideological mentor – the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – seems happy with the decision. However, the rank and file of the organization still feels the decision was hasty and without appropriate pre-emptive steps to mitigate the consequent crisis.

A senior Swayamsevak here, who preferred anonymity, said farmers are unable to sell their produce while the middle class segment is running helter skelter to find an ATM to withdraw much needed cash. “A large section of the society has been hit hard, especially those who have a wedding at home,” he pointed out.

The RSS, which immediately welcomed the announcement the withdrawal of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is now maintaining a studied silence and is keeping a close watch on the developments.

The growing protests as a result of sufferings by the common people has caught the senior leaders of the Hindutva fountainhead on the wrong foot. “We are worried about the protests on the issue all over the country,” the senior Swayamsewak added.

However, former RSS spokesman MG Vaidya welcomed the move and said it would give good dividends after a few years. He dismissed argument that the common people were unhappy with the demonetization decision. “Yes, people are suffering for a few days to exchange the currency. But that does not mean that they are unhappy and against the decision that would wipe out black money from the country,” he said.

Vaidya claimed that neither he nor his son faced any hassle when they went to an ATM to withdraw money and exchange the invalid notes.

RSS observer and analyst Dilip Deodhar too felt the RSS has welcomed the move. “If they (the RSS leadership) are keeping mum, it means they are happy with the move,” he said and claimed, since the high-currency notes were demonetized, terror funding has come down to zero.