Free Press Journal

‘Mr Prime Minister, there is no shame in roll-back’


New Delhi : Congress mouthpiece National Herald on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Modi to learn from stronger leaders in history and roll back the demonetisation, stressing that “weak leaders persist in their follies; strong leaders have the confidence to roll back theirs.”

“Persistence in your folly might inflict great harm on the cause you profess and ultimately even you. A roll-back in time from your misstep, on the other hand, will make history more charitable in its overall assessment of your contributions,” it said, citing two major decisions rolled back by Indira Gandhi, a strong leader with bold decisions.

Indira Gandhi was persuaded to believe that the wheat trade nationalisation would help fight inflation, abolishing middlemen and discouraging hoarding. She took back the decision as soon as she realised its negative effects and found that in the absence of any farm to retail mechanism, farmers were unable to sell their produce.

The National Herald said even more momentous was her decision to relax a draconian Emergency, release political prisoners and call for free and fair elections. It said Indira Gandhi’s courageous retraction in favour of democracy put her political neck on the line and she lost power.

“Our current Prime Minister might invisibly covet Indira Gandhi’s image of a strong leader. His rhetoric conveys as much. His demonetisation move is intended to be as far reaching in its effect as Indira Gandhi’s bank nationalisation was. One might also be favourably inclined towards Narendra Modi’s professed intention of fighting black money and terror financing through counterfeit currency. But the accompanying untold miseries inflicted on the common people and the long term disruption of productive economy that sensible economists have pointed out as the outcome of a move not thought through, generate ominous foreboding.

“Learn from stronger leaders in history, Mr Prime Minister. There is no shame in roll-back.”