If this has been a bad move Modi will lose both the UP election early next year and the big election in 2019.
Demonetisation politics unfolds as a vast morality play. Its imagination unleashes the state on you, in the name of protecting your own virtue.
It would be churlish not to recognise that it comes from the prime minister’s depth of conviction and sincerity. But that is exactly its danger. What it threatens to institutionalise is a new kind of politics. This is politics as a vast morality play whose three central elements are personification, puritanism and punitive imagination. A new state is emerging and it is not what you think it is.
It is manifested in this odd distinction between black and white money, forgetting the elementary fact that whether money is black or white depends on where it is at in the cycle of circulation. Hence they have perpetuated the illusion that we can extract the black, without hurting the chain of circulation of the white. It is not an accident that this measure will largely be a wealth tax on those not sophisticated enough to launder; those who have laundered will go unpunished.
be very wary of the institutional imagination that underlies it. It will again unleash the state on you, in the name of protecting your own virtue. What starts as a morality play will end in more statism.