Devanagari numerals on new notes invalid - Error or Rumor?
Demonetization and new note controversy just doesn’t seem to die down. One after the other they keep pouring in. The latest one to hit the rack is the Devanagari numerals used in the new Rs. 500 and Rs. 2000 currency notes. Madras High Court has questioned the government to explain why Devanagari was used along with the regular numerals.
Finance ministry has been asked to present its explanation on the matter after hearing which the court will take its stand on whether it is an error or a rumor on the notes not following the norms.Error1. Norms:
According to article 343, only international form of Indian numerals can be used for official purposes of the Union. It would be against the Indian constitution to allow circulation of notes that violate the norms. It might even be called invalid if government doesn’t have a very strong reason to support its stand.2. No law passed:
If Devanagari script usage in currency notes or other purposes of the Union was to be put into effect, the government should have passed a law citing so before the parliament so as to remove the doubt of the matter. Without following the right procedure, this move would certainly be called erroneous.3. The official language act:
The official language act of 1963 doesn’t recognize the usage of Devanagari script numerals. Without getting an affirmation from the President a sudden implementation of something that has not been officially recognized is either an error or atrocious nature of the government sending out a message that they could do whatever pleases them. It could have been made valid if President’s nod was taken before the action.4. Reasons:
It is clearly stated that for scientific, statistical and technical publications only international numerals should be adopted uniformly in all publications. The exception can be taken into consideration when there is a need for the usage of Devanagari in the publications by central ministries. Without laws and permits, there are greater chances of it being called invalid and erroneous.5. Central board:
It is also being observed that there are other grounds for the notes to be cited invalid. The Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, has no provisions to print Rs. 2000 notes without a recommendation from the Central Board. This was also a step that was bypassed during the printing process of the new currency notes.Rumor1. Breaking trends:
Privileging one’s own language over the other language should never have garnered negative response unless people simply wanted controversies so as to impede the cash cleaning movement by PM Modi. In India, our own currency doesn’t need to scrap out our very own script just because no provision mentioned it earlier.2. Arabic to Devanagari:
It is the first time ever that Devanagari numerals have been used along with Arabic numerals that have so far dominated on our currencies. If one is not capable of accepting and being proud of one’s own culture and script, and have to give it twists for controversy, that shouldn’t make the new notes invalid.3. A sudden and secretive decision:
We must understand that the decision of scrapping new notes and bringing in the new currency notes had to be kept as secretive as possible. Following the procedure of getting it passed from the parliament or taking the President’s consent would have drawn doubts and the whole purpose of catching black money holders by surprise would have been lost.4. Reviving old debates:
The old debate of languages being given more preference over the other is being revived so as to pressurize the government to roll back its stand on demonetization. Opposition fears dominating popularity of BJP and hence is using small tantrums as such as this to create loopholes and make the move invalid.
Madras High Court has asked finance ministry to answer on why Devanagari is used without following the proper procedure of publication of notes. They will soon be submitting their report on the matter and we will get to see what prevails.