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White to Black

By Ananya Guha

Now after seeing red, we are witness to black. Black everywhere, in queues, lines, shops and markets. We have been blackened,so the change is on. Black to  white is  the mantra. Then the change to  banks for white, to the shops, to the banks who refuse to do anything else, except  chanting the white or black mantra. Even my normally white face is changing to black.

Then money stashed away in houses is  black. Earlier it was pure, as pure as gold. Oh gold, talking about gold, there is also the conversion from black to gold! But gold after a certain limit is also black. Black  times have come, but  we are determined to change all this into pure pure, unsullied, white.

So,why did it happen? It was a silent revolution. You see all these years the people of  our country were colour blind. They could not distinguish between black and white. So they had black holes, doors, corridors, rooms in their houses. And they  thought that these were ideal places to stash money. No one would know, and  they could continue praying to God thanking Him for all his blessings. After all, a  few crores of rupees, make a lot of  difference. You can buy a few houses, sell them off and so  on. You  can make foreign visits, and of course you  can  buy  that  unalloyed thing called gold. It almost sounds like a fairy tale, doesn’t it a house of pure gold?  Then, of course their children won’t have to study, they can do  business in gold, enter politics. Black is so  symbolic, that it can  saddle you firmly anywhere for as long as the Income Tax departments are looking the other way and not seeing red or white.

So  our country now is colour splashed: black, white, and red. And some people thanks to income tax raids are red faced.

In the midst of this silent revolution, people are weeping, shouting and sadly enough dying because some unscrupulous people are not accepting black. They want only white they say. So they will give you four hundred white for five hundred black. But our people  have such a fervour for white, that they greedily accept  it  without  fuss. So we are on a white campaign, irrespective of caste, community or religion. Hai Hai Black. I just hope we are not  becoming racist.

In the meantime there are  whispers that there are income  tax raids a la black ( money). The poor say ” we do not have any income, so let them raid”. The rich smirk ” like Ambani we have converted black to white”.The rumour also has it that  there will  be conversion tables and charts. The  long lines  that I see maybe also for that. Hurray, our conscience is taking a beating. All over  the message is, “Good let them have it, these thieves”. But who they are we cannot underpin, because in this country they are ubiquitous, they change colours,  black to  white.

In the meantime it is  heard that some great man spent a few hundred crores on his daughter’s wedding. She must have descended  from the heavens, and the money must have come from there, otherwise why is it white? From tomorrow I am going to wear white shirts. We need apartheid in money, as its colour is changing into despicable black.

In the meantime also,  people are dying, heart attacks, money attacks, income tax attacks. Some are committing suicides out of sheer anguish. Some do not have identity cards, or pan cards, they are used to stowing cash  in their houses.

The conversion charts better be ready, before macabre death converts us. The other day a new perspective has been developed on  the black money theory. I had  switched on  one of the  television news channels ( to fall asleep, as the sedative was not working) when I  heard a  booming voice  say that there is very little black money. If  you hoard it  doesn’t  mean that this is  black money. In other words the colour can’t change, and anyone can hoard- the rich, the poor, the good, the bad, the ugly. Very interesting I  thought. The discussion went on in its in its inimitable manner. The sufferers are in the villages, someone thundered. I looked at  those five hundred and thousand rupee notes in  my  wallet. They looked  unblinkingly at me. Now we have one question at the centre stage. Who owns black money,and how much of  it has been deposited in  banks? And the next question, a corollary; where does it now go  to? Will there be a vigorous cleaning up  from black  to white?

And now the lines. they been mostly well behaved, although some people have died out of irritation, exhaustion and compulsion. Compulsion, because they have been compelled to wait. Now if all money is black, certainly we have to wait for the inquisitor to examine whether it is still white or not. A few deaths do not matter, where only about one hundred and forty died the other day, but that was in a train accident, and not because of black money. The few instances of black money deaths can of course be pooh- poohed in larger national interest. While good money is driving out bad money let us embark on a massive national campaign to vote out bad people as well.

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