TAKING A BREAK FROM THE U.S. OF A. AND POLITICS

INDIA’S “DENOMINIZATION” CHAOS IS MUCH MORE SANE



 Having arrived at Clayfingers this morning at the ungodly hour of 4:30 AM after a 12 hour flight from D.C. to Doha and an additional 4 hour flight from Doha to Kochi, then a one hour road trip to Thissur, I am sitting on the porch of our cottage after a couple hours of sleep, a breakfast of Keralan coffee, dosas, samber, and boiled bananas (a breakfast staple here) in the sunshine, a nice warm breeze and temps of 81 or 82 surrounded by palm trees and banana trees waving languidly in the morning freshet.

CLAYFINGERS
And there you have it – how a slight shift in location (all right, nearly halfway around the world, but never mind being so damned picky!) and all seems calm, peaceful and serene in the world.  I am ever so glad to be out of the daily terror of Trumpian mechanizations.  Yes, I did check the Washington Post and the New York Times just a few minutes ago but meh.  Who cares?  Now, I am plunged into India’s latest chaotic scheme (there’s always one or two just to spice up life here on the subcontinent) now that the government has removed (made illegal) trade in the current/old R 500 and R 1,000 notes.  One might note that these notes are pretty much the ones most of India’s urban folks use every day with rural folks tending to trade in the more mundane R 50 to R 100 and the R 500 notes maybe not so much.  Now that Prime Minister Modi has declared denominization, it has put the country into what one might call a self-imposed national crisis – maximum ATM withdrawals of R 2500 per day, long lines at banks and post offices to exchange old notes for new ones (or just to get sufficient cash to pay for veggies at the neighborhood stand) and much confusion everywhere about what the actual versus the “informal” rules are.   But hey, just like every other Indian crisis, folks will patiently see this one through (or not, on occasion) and life in India will go on.  
  
 So I’m taking a break from U.S. politics - aka the national shitstorm sewage dump  - for a few days.  At least until I can get sufficient cash to pay our Clayfingers bill if they don’t accept credit cards.   But at least India’s latest chaotic situation is one that is being undertaken for a good cause rather than what’s happening back in the USA – eliminating black money from the underground economy – as opposed to rounding up illegals and Muslims and whatever else our President Elect wants to do to shred every fundamental belief we share as Americans.  

 India too has societal splits, Hindus vs. Muslims being the prime one, the one that the British as they left India managed to propel into the country’s future, but not the only one.   Remember too that Narendra Modi, India’s current Prime Minister, comes from the BJP Party, which has a history of fomenting sectarian strife and is known for it’s radical, hard line pro-Hindu philosophy.  But Modi has chosen to lead India in a very non-sectarian manner even though he hasn’t escaped retribution for fomenting religious strife in the past.  On the other hand, unlike Trump, he was Chief Minister of Gujarat, one of India’s most developed states and was elected to this position several times.  And, unlike Trump, Modi actually does come from humble origins and hasn’t led a life of luxury.  He’s had to work for his successes and he worked hard for many years before becoming India’s chief leader.   He is an experienced, practical leader not a demagogue and so far has done a reasonably good job since he his party overwhelmed the Congress Party back in the election of  2014.    

Well, time for lunch. 


See you later.

PS:  Dark Blue D.C. voted for Hillary Clinton by a margin of 92.8%; 4.2% for Trump and 3% for Others.  We are the Bluest state in the nation (even though we aren’t a state) even Bluer than California and New York.   

 And DC's "too young to vote" high schoolers are not pleased with the election results.  


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