November 23rd Issue

Narendra Modi’s Black Money Move

Could India’s demonetization cause more harm than good? By Jyoti Malhotra India is either in the throes of a man-made cash crisis or on the verge of a new economic dawn. Depending on whom you speak to in the days following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision on November 8 to demonetize the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes ($7.5 and $15, respectively), the world’s largest democracy has either taken a crash course towards a cashless economy in the direction of the rest of the developed world—or could simply crash-land in its attempts to imitate it. To give some perspective of the enormous dependence on cash—and consequently the impending crisis at hand – the two demonetized notes, Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 together, account for 86 per cent of all currency in circulation; over 85 per cent of workers are paid in cash, a reflection of the unorganized nature of the economy, despite 25 years of economic reform; and over 90 (Read More)

The Men Behind Modi’s Demonetization Policy

By Arfa Shahid India made a major economic move by demonetizing 500 and 1,000 Rupee notes and introducing a new 2,000 Rupee note, but what many don’t know is that this policy was created and presented to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Arthakranti Sansthan, an NGO, founded by social activist and mechanical engineer Anil Bokil. “Arthakranti looks at this as a stop-gap arrangement put in place to address the severe liquidity crunch due to the sudden withdrawal of about 85 percent of monetary value in the form of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes. We believe this will get withdrawn once the currency circulation is stabilized,” Bokil tells Newsweek Middle East. The NGO was founded “with the aim of implementing this proposal,” Ashutosh Phalke told Newsweek Middle East. Phalke is Bokil’s partner at the NGO and one of the volunteers who presented this demonetization proposal to Modi in 2013 when he (Read More)

Inside Cover


The Displaced

Mosul residents fleeing Daesh’s hell to cold Kurdish-controlled camps By Cathy Otten During the battle to retake Mosul from Daesh, Nujud…

Down Time

Feel the Urn

The strange (and burgeoning) market of novelty urns By Joe Veix Rest assured that when you inevitably meet your demise, there…