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10

This is just speculation, but drastic changes in the BJP's propaganda seem to indicate that a rollback of demonetisation may happen.

We began with demonetisation being Modi's special, secret project. The BJP and its formidable social media machinery has consistently defended demonetisation in the face of increasingly grave reports of losses and worse, nationwide. Even Modi supporters who are fully aware that the demonetisation is a disaster and little else seem committed to going down with heads held high no matter the cost to themselves or others.

However, unlike the supporters conditioned to sacrifice all for the greater good, there are increasing signs that the BJP would like survival for itself and Modi. There are subtle signs that Modi is increasingly being distanced from the mess and the missing RBI governor, Urjit Patel has manifested out of nowhere as well.

Reading the writing on the wall, I think demonetisation has failed and will soon be rolled back.

Here are the things I noticed.

  • Starting from last week, almost all talk of black money and terror funding and what not died down and the new focus is on a cashless economy - not so surprising since people have to survive the cashless situation created by Modi and given that there are no arrangements for required within a short time, the only alternative is to minimize damage. What likely was expected to be a bonanza for Fintech companies has now turned into the government's lifeline.
  • While the BJP may dismiss losses and deaths suffered by the common man, there are increasing signs (and they were there all through - no idea why BJP didn't expect them) that business losses will be staggering. The last week has brought news of massive layoffs, flight of foreign money and entire fortunes wiped out in the stock market. This sort of pain registers on a party that has basically floated to power on money from such very sources.
  • SBI head Arundhati Bhattacharya (also being considered for a nomination to the World Bank) has been the weather cock on the demonetisation all through to the point where a lot of ignorant citizens probably thought SBI handles national currency and RBI just prints it or something. Statements endorsing the demonetisation, even as the Banker's Association was talking of 11 employees dead in 10 days of work. Parroting the government line on plenty of cash being available even as banks and ATMs ran empty on a daily basis in the organization she heads. Today she demanded that banks should be compensated for the losses they suffered.... because of *cough* "RBI's move".
  • Increasingly, extremely "planted" news points to the RBI and Finance Ministry for the demonetisation. A notable example being (note the language emphasized - this is classic BJP propaganda):
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is working “more than ten hours a day” just on ensuring that the 8 November money measures announced by him ensure a smooth landing for the economy rather than turbulence. This despite the fact that the plan actually owed its origin to the Reserve Bank of India and the Ministry of Finance, who persuaded the PM to go forward with an idea which will affect (and has affected) over a billion citizens of this country. Prime Minister Modi showed moral courage in coming forward and accepting ownership of the currency swap scheme announced on 8 November, and has since then publicly backed every twist and turn in that policy by the monetary and fiscal authorities. Senior officials say “Prime Minister Modi was presented with the issue in such a way that turning down the scheme was out of the question”. Through the plan, concerned officials wished to “shield those in high positions in banks across the country from the consequences of the crony-oriented lending that they had been doing, specially since 2006”, the year when Narasimha Rao’s liberalisation policy was fully substituted by the UPA into a faux Nehruvian economic policy that combined Fabian socialism with Wall Street ways. “Officials argued that a windfall of up to Rs 550,000 crore would flow to the banks through the enforced extinguishing of currency notes issued by the RBI, and that this would recapitalise several banks that were in effect bankrupt, thereby allowing them to lend again”. The Prime Minister was assured that “steps would be taken to ensure that the common man suffered minimal discomfort” and that “the informal economy would accelerate its absorption into the formal without jobs being affected”...

      Needless to say, this is the line that will now be taken by the party. Such stories don't reach journalists via anonymous "senior officials" and "sources"by coincidence. So the strategy seems to be to downplay the fact that Modi announced the demonetisation and to present it as something he was reluctant to do but compelled by other forces covering up Congress actions. He himself is hardworking and has citizen interests in mind. Etc. This is a big gamble to play if he people pointed out as real culprits aren't seen to suffer some consequence. Thus, I think Jaitley and Urjit Patel are now the scapegoats. In completely unrelated news, around the same time these developments happened, there was a photo of Amit Shah holding a goat, which I found totally hilarious.

This is a development. RBI is increasingly blamed for the demonetisation and any overflow perhaps to hit Jaitley while Modi is the great humanitarian who reluctantly was compelled to announce it and is now shouldering the responsibility, etc.

This wouldn't happen if the BJP were planning to go through with the demonetisation - it would want to be seen in solidarity with RBI to instill confidence in the success of the demonetisation. Also would be too much risk of the RBI saying inconvenient things that could still nail Modi if demonetisation stress continued.

So my guess is Urjit Patel is the fall guy, Jaitley will be thrown under the bus in some minor way if that is not enough (many say he is too big to be a fall guy), Modi will go scot free after rolling back the demonetisation to save country from these two.