A Political Masterstroke
Are the chips or the burger you ordered as advertised? Its likely that they aren’t but at the same time its also unlikely that things are too different from what you perceived them to be. Yes the chips are not as cheesy or crispy as they seem on the packaging or the adverts but they are chips nonetheless. Products and services have to ensure there's not a lot of variance between what's advertised and what is to avoid false communication claims but how wide and strong are these rules outside the world of advertising?
Politics and governance is one area which has consistently played with this idea and yet somehow not lost its audience. Every political move has a cause, a intention, an expectation and a result. Ideally all these variables should be in sync enabling a synchronized strategy and its expected perception by the audience but lately with strategies not delivering their expected results decision makers have to move on to strategies which aren’t what people expect them to be, to enable them to act in a way the state expects them to, or purely in some cases deception to implement the changes to achieve the results the state wants disguising them as the changes that the public wants, killings two birds with one stone
This simple surprise element is now core to the new policy initiatives especially when the same is of prime importance to the state or affecting the population. So if you are looking to understand a policy, it’s intended impact and actual effects it would be a good option to actually ignore what is communicated about the same and simply look at the data, or identify the major beneficiaries or the losers from such a policy, it’s often that these players are left out of the whole argument and it’s place being taken by minor elements who are nothing but a secondary audience thus ensuring the invisibility of the true picture and this is where the true mastery of the state comes into play
The recent currency change is a policy which deserves its place in this approach to public policy. If the public perception is to be considered then erasing the black money from the market would be the true intention of the policy and the people with black money being the most affected players along with a set of common audience who are affected by this change for the short term, but are they really the key players here? The policy in question isn’t new nor has been a very successful approach to attacking black money in the first place and with modern day tools to hide this money under the tax radar, this is not the best means to do so, but it does have an effect on black money and can be highly impactful if you identify its true audience
What goes under the radar is the question as to why would the state implements any policy, the true intentions. From the political standpoint the biggest incentive for a state to design and implement any policy isn’t electorate happiness or satisfaction but extended or even enhanced governance, there's always a moral responsibility but let's not complicate things. So given the intention and the expectation who could be the key players
If we assume for a moment that the true intentions are as stated then elections become the moment of truth, state and central. The central ones are already done and BJP has an accomplished majority so that’s out. The states that come up for elections in the first half of 2017 are Punjab which already has a BJP+ government, Goa with a BJP leadership, Utharakhand and Manipur which have a Congress led government and lastly the gem of Indian politics, Uttar Pradesh, again with a non BJP leadership. So that sets the base for our intentions but doesn’t seal the argument and to do the same we just ask a simple question, what does it take to win elections in India, the answer, election rallies, speeches, media coverage, ads, powerful leadership perception, election promises and a lot of vote incentives, but what links everything together is Money, specifically black money and that gives us the cause. If we leave out betting, election takes a lead for black money spending in India, what better way to lay low in the eyes of the financial analysts of the election commission and yet execute the planned promotion strategy for the election. It would be not a crazy assumption that INR 10K or more of black money will exchange hands prior to the election and it can also be assumed that none of the political parties have an unfair advantage in this play and most of this planning would be already underway. But with the currency change everyone and everything is affected, some get the advantage and some otherwise. Given that India is the birth place of jugaad, this policy also shall give birth to means to bypass this policy and everything shall again come to balance but this shake off will cost some dearly and benefit some immensely and the elections in the coming year now become very interesting
This policy change in a way does affect black money and a set of audience but the same argument lies hidden in the chaos of communication where in a lot of people praise this policy for the wrong reasons while another set who raise their concerns due to the weight they bear or simply being against it, but in a game of chess hardly ever does one think of the pawn over the Queen. This change or policy, communicated as a effective economic policy is nothing short of a master stroke and after long from my point of view have i seen someone changed the game rather than simply playing it as is and the BJP deserves praise for its brilliance