Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said that the Modi government's demonetisation plan was inspired by Dalit icon B.R. Ambedkar, The Times of Indiareported today.
Addressing a public function at the B.R. Ambedkar in Hamirpur village of Gorakhpur, Adityanath said, "If we peep into history, the idea of demonetisation has its roots in Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar's economic principles. He had said if any democratic country wanted to strengthen itself economically and curb the circulation of black money and corruption, it must be ready to change higher denomination currency notes at regular intervals."
This is not the first time a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has linked demonetisation to Ambedkar since the Modi government banned the ₹500 and ₹1000 notes, last year. The Centre claimed that it would drastically cut black money in circulation and combat corruption.
The BJP then claimed that Ambedkar had recommended demonetisation every ten years. With the note bank wreaking nationwide havoc in the run up to elections in crucial states, the BJP's attempt to rope in Ambedkar was widely regarded as an attempt to woo Dalits.
In November, Prakash Ambedkar also toldThe Indian Express that his grandfather had recommended demonetisation. "It was way back in 1923, Babasaheb (B R Ambedkar) in his book titled 'Problems of Indian Rupee' had recommended that the Indian currency should be replaced every 10 years to end the menace of hoarding of rupees and checking inflation," he said.
But a report published in The Wire said that there is no mention of demonetisation by replacing currency every ten years in his work The Problem of the Rupee: Its Origin and its Solution. "The basis of Prakash's claim, if it was not misreported, is, therefore, unclear," the report said.
The Wire report further said, "References to demonetisation are also made in the chapters entitled 'The Silver Standard and the Dislocation of its Parity' and 'Towards a Gold Standard'. All such mentions in The Problem of the Rupee are in the context of demonetisation of metals and not paper currency."
Also on HuffPost India: