Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Demonisation or Demonisation

Demonitisation or De-demonisation

Money has been a dominating force in an ever increasing capitalistic world order. A banknote is  a promissory note, made by a bank, payable to the bearer on demand. It is a commitment that the bank will exchange the note with a sum equivalent to the denomination of the note. Banknotes were originally issued by commercial banks and had to redeem the notes for legal tender (usually gold or silver coin) when presented to the chief cashier of the originating bank. Commercial banknotes are now replaced by national banknotes issued by nationalised apex banks. National banknotes are a form of legal tender, an" I Owe You"  recognized by a legal system  to be valid for meeting a financial obligation.
     Currency, ideally is an instrument of legal  tender for validation and exchange of  goods and services and of course for commercial transactions. These instruments of transacting  however have totally taken charge of our lives. Money has become the yardstick of measuring importance, status and prestige it's source notwithstanding. The means no longer matter. Wealth certainly has wider connotations that transcend mere materialistic considerations. Ancient Hindu philosophy and mythology took a more holistic approach to wealth.
          Laxmi, is worshiped as  the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, both material and spiritual. The word ''Lakshmi'' is derived from the Sanskrit word Laksme, meaning "goal." Lakshmi, therefore, represents much more than just material wealth. She is not just an indulgence but the ultimate goal,  of existence.  She is depicted in a female form with four arms . She wears red clothes and  is standing on a lotus. The four arms symbolise  the four aspects of human life: dharma (righteousness), kama (genuine desires), artha (wealth), and moksha (liberation from birth and death).The Lotus on which Lakshmi is standing , signifies a detachment, while enjoying  wealth. Akin to a lotus that grows in water but yet does  not get wet by the water.
          Money  creates  a psychosis, a kind of obsession. Financial security has become the top priority for mankind. Earning money becomes the fulcrum of all existence and activities. It is almost a type of addiction. This endeavour never has an end point. It mutates into a pathological insatiable lust.
This tale of how stoking the flame of desire corrupts the mind is eloquent. Lakshmi the Godess of wealth is piqued by a poor woodcutter who has absolutely no desire for any wealth. He was totally content with the single gold coin that he got at the end of a hard days work. He never craved for more. The Godess felt very offended by his disdainful attitude. She asked Narad the wise one what could she do to remedy the situation. Narad offered a strange solution. He asked Lakshmi to gift him 98 gold coins. She could not understand the logic. She however plotted  for the  woodcutter to stumble upon a bag that contained 98 gold coins. He thereafter remained perennially restless and  became possessed with desire. Lakshmi asked Narad about this puzzling behaviour.
Narad replied - Need never corrupts the mind. It's greed which is the real culprit. Man stacks and stashes money in an effort to  get a sense of power and  a sense  of security. This very security harbours  the scourge of laziness, vice and hedonism in the future generations. There are many who pride themselves by proclaiming about earning  enough not only for themselves but for the next few generations. This security actually reflects insecurity in ones own descendants. Security is not about affluence, wealth or worldly possessions. Security is a state of mind.  Security is a sense of contentment. Security is a fearlessness, a reassuring self belief. Security is a sense of respect and compassion for others. Security lies in not getting threatened or intimidated by any person or circumstances.
            The recent demonitisation will have achieved it's true objective not just by flushing out stashed unaccounted currency. It's real success would be in de'demonisation'  of the perpetually lurking demons of insecurity, fear, greed, avarice.

Dr Deepak Ranade

( The author is a consultant Neurosurgeonon )

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