From BC to AD – A Calendric Switch

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BC to AD, these are terms known to each one of us, being used across the world in the Julian and Gregorian calendars to label or number years for time and date measurement.

Though well known in common parlance, the meaning of the terms are sometimes misunderstood. While BC surely stands for ‘Before Christ’, AD is construed to mean ‘After Death’, whereas the actual meaning ‘Anno Domini’ is a Latin phrase which means ‘in the year of the Lord’. The purpose of the BC/AD dating system was to make the birth of Jesus Christ, the dividing point of world history.

2016 AD would be remembered as the year which witnessed another calendric switch in the lives of the people in our country. November 8th to be precise, when we witnessed the division of Indian history on the basis of another BC/AD

Waking up one morning to realise that the currency in our hands is no longer legal tender was surely shocking news to every countryman. Time stopped still that fateful midnight of 8th November as our calendars were divided yet again into BC (Before Currency) and AD (After Demonetisation).

Hailed by many as a master stroke, ridiculed by few as a catastrophe, we all have to admit that this calendric switch at the stroke of midnight one fateful day has shaken the very ground of almost every Indian.

On the first day when the PM declared the currency demonetisation, most of us appreciated the move, on the second day some were arguing the pros and cons and the aftereffects. On the third day, the sentiment has quite evident, the ones hoarding bundles of the demonetised currency were angry, while those who did not have anything with them, saw this move as a silver lining.

Ever since then, our country has witnessed a wide array of emotions, depending upon how it has affected each one of us personally.

Almost close to 20 days since then, today everyone is struggling, either ‘with money’ or ‘for money’. Wherever we look, we see people going haywire in sheer desperation for either converting their black money into white, or in the need for money to meet their daily requirements.

Over these days while some feel that this is surely a welcome step to eradicate black money and corruption and a move towards a ‘cleaner’ India, some others are arguing about the feasibility and need for such a drastic measure. Till the end of this game on 30th December, every day is going to bring out new perspectives on this move, some sweet, some spicy and some even bitter.

The paradigm shift from BC to AD would surely bring in the following changes:

  1. Lots of cash will come in circulation with people not willing to hoard money any more.
  2. The fake currency in circulation today which was mostly in these demonetised notes will totally become redundant.
  3. The redundancy of the fake currency is surely going to adversely affect funding of the terror outfits.
  4. Most of the deposits into the bank account will be declared as income by the depositors thus resulting in higher tax collections.
  5. Many people who had opened bank accounts for any reasons but yet reluctant to operate the same would now start regular banking transactions; mostly those accounts opened the accounts under the Jan-Dhan scheme.

These changes are expected, may or may not happen:

  1. Corruption and black money may reduce, though surely in uncertain terms.
  2. With the economy flush with funds back in circulation, inflation ideally should go down. At least theory says it should.
  3. People having deposited lots of funds into the banking system can reduce the lending rates, a good sign for borrowers.
  4. Consequently, the deposit rates may also go down, here severely affecting the people who rely on bank interest for their livelihood.
  5. Several industries, which were relying to a large extent on cash transactions, like the real estate industry may be compelled to reduce their prices and thus resulting in property prices coming down.

And, these changes would surely not happen:

  1. No everyone hoarding their illegal currency will disclose the same as undeclared income and pay penalty on the same. Many would find out alternate routes in the grey economy.
  2. Bribes and corruption will not stop completely. As soon as the new currency is available in abundance, the parallel economy will start thriving again.
  3. Illegal transactions would not stop completely. The way businesses were being transacted in cash evading taxes would continue in the same fashion with the new currency.

While standing in long queues in front of the banks or the ATMs, people are surely facing a lot of inconvenience and losing their patience too, what is intriguing is that these very people are still somehow not really very angry with this abrupt step.

 

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