This might seem a big jump but…. when I first began to realise how senior civil servants were appointed and shifted at a moments notice, here in Karnataka …. I just couldn’t believe it. I previously was a senior manager in U.K. local government. I just couldn’t have done my job if I was continually looking to protect my own back to check that a politician wasn’t going to ‘punish’ me if I’d acted to challenge unacceptable practices or somehow crossed an invisible political red line. How does someone such as a District Commissioner locally manage on a day to day basis or for example challenge corruption, especially where politicians are concerned if in an instant they can be effectively demoted and sent to the back of beyond!
I write this at a time when we’ve just gone through a period when civil servants have been regularly changed as if passing through a revolving door. I mean very senior people shifted every few months, even weeks! How can an organisation function? Maybe that’s the point.
I write this as today we will get the results of the Karnataka state elections.
Biscuit (aka Brexit) pales into insignificance. UKAOs just seems so small and so less relevant.
India was MODI-fied, over two years ago, with the election of the BJP party to govern India. Today in a country of one billion people Modi announced that OVERNIGHT all large denomination notes (500 and 1000 Rupees) would be abolished, imagine that? In a country with so many people, where the majority have a stash of notes at home and a significantly large minority aren’t known by the tax authorities, operate in an under-the-table-informal economy will now have to take their cash to the bank to get it exchanged. It is intended to tackle counterfeit notes, bribery, corruption, ‘black’ money and add to other polices such as IDs, bank accounts for poor people etc. that together help contribute to formalise society fully onto the ‘radar screen’.
There will be much more to come. Banks are closed, ATMs not working. Once they reopen cash can be exchanged up to a maximum of 4000 Rs per day or put into a bank account within the next fifty days! These new notes will be issued in limited quantities from Thursday.
But it’s India so somehow it will all work out.
Next, we can now look forward to a President Trump!
There’s an Elephant in the room.
Is this another example of how people in UK and now the US have become so disconnected with the political classes, the establishment power and the orthodoxy they represent? People are angry and are providing a strong message, wanting a different future.
Meanwhile, ‘laid-back’ Manjula relaxes, munching on the Roses Chocs I smuggled in (equivalent of five tubs) from the UK. She gives them out to friends, neighbours and relatives…..