Mumbai, November 11: There is a lot of positivity about the bold move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, taken against black money. Although all of us were caught off-guard when Modi said in a surprise announcement that notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 will not be legal tender from the midnight of November 8, most Indians reacted by expressing happiness. Despite a whole lot of inconvenience regarding availability of change, the atmosphere is generally encouraging and Indians are willing to bear the inconvenience, if it means flushing black money out of the economy. Amidst all the hullabaloo over demonetization, there are bizarre stories of Indians will a lot of cash scrambling to either spend it or burn it away.

There was the case of the large hordes of burnt currency found in Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh. Then there were reports of a surge in AC-I class bookings, with the government reacting with the keeping a check on unusual booking patterns. On Friday there was another bizarre incident with thieves robbing a man’s wallet, but then returned it to him, after finding only Rs. 500 notes in it. What took the cake, was when the robbers slapped the guy for not carrying change, while returning him his money! While one can imagine the agony of the man who was first robbed and then on top of it, attacked, the incident indicates there is much to be celebrated. The thugs’ were the real losers and we cannot help but enjoy them scampering around, being forced to RETURN wallets!

(Burnt currency discovered in Bareilly, a day after PM Modi’s announcement)

But if you are still not convinced about what harm Modi government’s move has done to black money hoarders, you will be, after reading these real life stories of such people. These stories bear testimony to the fact that we needed such a bold step to being such people to books and punish them for stashing away the taxpayers’ money. A Reddit user ARflashasked other Reddit users if they knew any of their friends who were black money holders and who were affected by the currency ban. The replies that his thread got, is all the evidence you need, to establish the credibility of the vision behind the historic move.

  • “Friend’s uncle is a senior IAS…
    He had some 4-5 cr of black money deposited with various middlemen. Now the middlemen have told him to take it back or forget about it. He is trying to split the money into lots of 40-45k and ask his maid, driver, househelp to deposit in their accounts so that he can withdraw later. His salaried relatives might help with 1-2 lakhs each. Still, he will lose almost 80% of his unaccounted money because there is only so much you can get back in the system this way.”

    (Posted by Reddit user FauladiSingh)

  • “There is a property deal going on with two of my neighbour..
    (one is moving so he sold his property to another one). Buyer paid around 30-40 lakh (black money) to sellers 3-4 days back and now seller is in tension as what to do with the money. You know the fun part they both were doing this for the first time(neither brought or sold property earlier, their properties were brought by their parents). Property dealer gave them idea of black money to save taxes. Buyer had to ask money from his relatives as he didn’t have black money of his own but the idea of saving huge amount of tax lured them both.”
    (Posted by Reddit user gaurav2982)

  • “This happened to our family,…
    was in the midst of selling an apartment, 25% was black. We wanted white anyway since we would’ve bought another property immediately and long term capital gains wouldn’t matter, the buyer bitched and bitched saying he doesn’t have that big a white source. So we took the money few weeks ago. Today we called him up and asked him to take back the money and give us in white or cancel the sale, we’ve no written agreement. So he’s screwed.”
    (Posted by Reddit user TheVinci999)

  • “My uncle (father’s brother). Diamond business in Surat. Amount of black money there is ridiculous…
    Wedding gifts for his daughters meant 300g gld necklaces for each. Regardless of whose wedding it is. Would buy a smaller car even though he could afford Mercedes. He bought smart TV “without warranty” for 70,000 while they were selling for 110,000 with warranty (i.e. with an invoice). My another uncle (he is in construction business). This guy even stole electricity and went around telling relatives that it was us who informed the electricity board about his theft. Fuck this guy in particular. My in-laws. I don’t know how much but they said they have lot of raddi now. My wedding is in less than a month so not sure how they’ll manage but I am not going to feel sorry for them.”
    (Posted by Reddit user indiathroaway)

The move has move has been harsh on a lot of doctors who have been sitting on hordes of cash, probably collected by fleecing innocent people by prescribing expensive treatments to them. Reddit users described how large numbers of such doctors have spent many a sleepless nights, ever since the move was announced. “Another friend whose parents are doctors with 50L of cash at home is freaking the fuck out”, posted a user. “Yup, doctor friends (husband and wife) are in tears, they are saying we are only looking at the real estate people but most of the doctors are screwed big time too. Most doctors who have clinics are crying now”, posted another.

Whatever, the outcome of the decision be in the long term, both on economic and individual fronts, it has certainly started stirring the pool of muck that had accumulated at the end of the Indian economy. Complete cleansing might take some time, but steps are being taken to follow up demonetization with careful monitoring of unusual bank activities and transfers. Change is slowly, but certainly coming.