Rs 500, Rs 1,000 ban: It’s our turn to play soldier; present discomfort a small price to pay….writes Bikram Vohra
If the India Today report on the selling of a set of printing presses from Nasik in an open auction with the dyes intact has even 10 percent truth in it, it’s is horrific. Although the Rs 1,000 note went into service in 2000, the first report that the Indian currency was being printed across the border came in 2003 and the presses were activated under Al-Qaeda control, and it is said that as much as Rs 30,000 crores have been generated. Over Rs 3,000 crores were being used annually to finance terror operations against India.
There were vague arrests and some investigations, but how was it okay to sell currency and a stamp paper printing system when dismantling and destroying it and throwing the pieces to the winds was the obvious thing to do. How could good quality currency be printed in massive numbers across the border without these machines and who helped in getting them there.
When you think of the possibility that for over a decade we have had the mickey taken out of us, this decision to make these two notes illegal tender is actually a war of the 21st century and each one of us is a soldier.
Suddenly, we have an army of 1.2 billion men, women and children, and with the confirmations coming in that much of the money was being used to kill our people and our soldiers, our present discomfort is really a small price to pay.
My whole thinking has transformed in a day. We’ll manage for a week, two weeks, whatever it takes and only hope that the infirm, the elderly and the very young are not denied medical facilities.
Here is our turn to play that soldier seriously and help the neighbours.
But that emotional outburst aside, it is vital, nay mandatory, that the whole gut wrenching, sickening slimy trail of corruption that led to the sale of the printing presses is focused upon again and every individual who was party to it called upon to explain.
I know India signed a deal with Komori, a Japanese firm after its agreement with Russia cracked up and created the first surge of counterfeiting as a cottage industry, but I don’t believe many of us had any clue that older machines had been auctioned.
If so, we need to reopen this investigation on all fronts and ask why, for 13 years, this awareness that imitation Indian money was being funneled through diplomatic pouches, from Nepal and Bangladesh and was of such great quality being printed on our supposedly auctioned presses that it was tough to detect their flaws.
It is so mind boggling to even consider that between the bureaucrats at that time and the governments and their collective awareness they actually allowed presses to be sold and not destroyed.
It is alleged there is a guy in a Bengaluru jail called Abdul Karim Telgi, who was one of the midwives for these deliveries. Let’s wake him up and begin to follow the clues and no matter who gets caught in the net or which party he or she belongs to we deserve to know how these presses were sold.