Modi effect for translators and Interpreters in India

16. 11. 27
posted by: Ravi Kumar
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During evening hours on 8th of November 2016 our Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi declared a very strong move to ban the Indian currency notes of 500 rupees as well as 1000 rupees. This step, suddenly changed the life of the citizens of the country. It has affected all corners and strata of Indian society and population. The Government decided to put an end to the circulation of the notes of these two denominations in order to control the black market, the black money hoarders and all those tax evaders who had filled their houses with cash in plenty. Also, India had been flooded with fake currency notes that were being used to fund terrorist activities and to destabilize the government.

It should also be taken into consideration that the idea is to control malpractices that have crept into Indian system since Independence, and that have been hampering the growth of society at large. Common man in India has been suffering on account of corruption, bribery and cash demands from the government officials for clearing bills and files etc. For over 70 years of Independence, none of the governments dared to touch this issue in a strong way. However, hope is still alive, and it is expected that under the strong leadership of the present Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, some concrete steps will be taken. Banning of currency note of 500 and 1000 is one of the first steps whose impact and benefits will be unfolded in due course of time.

While certainly it has affected all of the population of India as the money lying in our hands first had to be deposited in the bank and later withdrawn in new currency notes. It is not very simple to do so, as banks often run out of cash and people have to stand in queues for long hours. Quite a large number of population has suffered as many of them are senior citizens and many of them are suffering from illness. Just for some cash, many of them have to take leave from their offices and daily routine and stand in front of the bank waiting for their turn for the small cash. Mind it, the government has put limit on the cash withdrawal.

However, a very strong message that has come from confident Prime Minister of India, majority of the population has welcomed this move, and people are willing to take the pain for a better India. The common man who works hard and pays the taxes as worthy citizen of India remains a happy and hopeful lot. On the other hand, a handful of population that has been running a parallel black economy are facing greater challenges therefore they are making big hue and cry. It is also evident that the black marketeers, the tax evaders and the corrupt people are unable to digest this drastic but a revolutionary change. As Modi says, “they have been trapped in a situation which they have never imagined before”. I call this phenomenon “MODI EFFECT”.
As as a translator, I find it little inconvenient to face the situation because I do not have much cash in my hands to pay for day to day activities such as paying for groceries, vegetables, food items, auto taxi, cars etc., but I also noticed that I can live without cash for a longer duration because in 99% of the cases I receive funds directly into my bank account and similarly release payment to my colleagues, translators and interpreters via bank transfers. This way my life is simple and I believe similarly my colleagues, translators and interpreters are not facing much problems as they are fine tuned with online payment gateways such as PayPal, Moneybookers, Internet Banking System, Paytm and alike online payment systems.

While I fully understand that in India, there exists a huge divide between the rich and the poor. In recent times, India is facing yet another divide called “ Digital Divide” which is more challenging and detrimental to the growth of the economy. It is not easy for digitally deprived masses to switch over to online methods for cashless payment. However, if we calculate the return on investment (ROI), it gives us a green picture and a brighter future. If we do our transactions online or through instruments such as cheque, this will encourage people to remain accountable to the government and the tax collection department. Similarly, if we pay our hard earned money as a tax, we will be more responsible and therefore we will have right to question the politicians as well as the government officials whose salaries are paid through our hard earned money. This way, we will also develop our self-esteem and it will become obligatory on the part of the officials to serve the citizens, hence social welfare and development activities will grow in the society that will in turn improve the quality of life of common masses.

Therefore , I appeal to the translators, Interpreters and language community of India to support this initiative and create awareness about the benefits of being a responsible citizen and help the initiatives taken by the government which is a strong step forward for making India a better place.
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