Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

Demonetisation 2.0

February 1, 2017

In his February 1st, 2017 article, Professor Varshney reflects on his recent travel to India and makes the argument that economics does not drive demonetization; politics do. Varshney argues that the three most plausible hypotheses are:

1. The grave importance of UP elections, producing a desire to affect disproportionately the election finance of the main political rivals in UP
2. The need to re-fashion Mr Modi's grand political narrative, as swachch bharat (clean up India), achche din (good days) campaigns are faltering.  Attacking corruption could in principle be a new defining narrative
3. The need to reduce BJP's dependence on the RSS, which is organizationally fueled by religious and cultural themes, not by economic policy.  The BJP-RSS links can't be broken, but if the RSS overwhelms the BJP, it can hurt electorally. 

Read the full article at The Indian Express