Friday, October 28, 2011

Rupee Devaluation - Size Matters

I usually avoid writing about politics and politicians because the subject is so vast and there is no end to how much the common people can crib.  I have been observing - what I think is the deterioration of the rupee.  A subject which has been playing on my mind a lot lately.  The Rupee seems to have lost so much weight owing to the diet of the politicians. While the Aana and Paisa has gone out of circulation the Rupee coin has become lighter and smaller. Wonder what is the reason? I recently happened to have a lot of change in my purse and found some old and the very recent rupee. See for your self (click on the images to view the larger than life version :P).

I noticed the latest one rupee coin is the same size as the 50 Paisa coin or slightly smaller! They have incorporated the new Rupee symbol on the coin alright but why make it smaller and lighter? The design I most hated was the one with a thumb on it...Thenga!! Its like they are mocking the person holding a rupee! What was that designed for, the illiterates? Are they acknowledging the illiterate population of the country!?

Here's a look at 2 Rupee coins.
The second coin seems like its bigger in size but its thinner and lighter.  Also again I'm glad they stopped the one with the two finger impression on it!

The latest  2 Rupee coin is the same size as the old 1 Rupee coin. I have got confused at times and handed out 2 rupee coins instead of one rupee. 
Wonder how the blind catch up with all these changes.  Earlier the coins used to be distinct and even the blind could tell the value.

Do you remember the days when you saw fresh and crisp five Rupee notes? They introduced five Rupee coins, again it started with a heavy fat coin that lost weight over the years. (I just gave away a latest shiny five rupee coin and could not include it) After seeing the illiteracy-special coins I thought the five Rupee coin might have a palm (also the symbol of the ruling party) on it.  

Heck! They even created 10 Rupee coins! People who got their hands on the coins first decided to keep it.  I have one too.  The minting factory tried to make it look like a Euro with dual metal thing but look at the size when I compared it with a Two Rupee coin made in 1999.

Utterly Shameful! I don't think any other country in the world has ever devalued their own currency at this rate and this low! The Government might blame it on the ever rising inflation (which they are suppose to manage) the Rupee strength reduced to almost like a leaf in the wind.  I don't understand the economics but as a commoner / part of the Aam Junta I feel the slap as inflation rises.  I am assuming the govt needs the extra metal to satiate the corrupt and hence trying to lighten our currency.  

Imagine how this will ease them in continuing their corruption - If there are notes / coins for higher denominations its easier to fill up bags and carry them around.  Do you know one Crore Rupees easily be packed in a duffel bag thanks to the thousand Rupee notes.

Another thing I would like to talk about is the picture of Gandhiji on notes of all denominations.  Now I understand he is the father of the nation and all that.. but he was not the only man responsible for the independence our country.  We have so many brave freedom fighters who gave up their lives fighting for this nation and all that they have to their name are few pages in the school history text books.  Again I think ours is the only country that has just one man on our money.  Why not Bhagat Singh, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel - The Iron man of India, Veer Savarkar, Chandra Shekar Aazad or our scientists even?  I think that is because of the way the ruling party wants to use the Gandhi name to their advantage. Do they think - Show Gandhi and people will vote for Gandhi? Digressing a bit away from currencies even the bridges, universities and roads are named after the current Gandhis who are in no way related to the original Gandhi. There's nothing personal against them but really aren't we paying for their Z security and for what? What have these new age, so called youth icon Gandhis done actually other than walk among the people around elections and try to show they understand what ails the common Indian.

Other countries who have fought for their freedom have the names and pictures of the martyrs on the different denominations, streets, universities, etc. Those who were always free have their scientists / politicians (good ones!) or Royals printed.  Ours I have to say is a very poor and sad state of affairs.

Just FYI on some know foreign currencies.
  • The highest denomination note printed in the US is the 100 Dollar bill. (Imagine packing a million dollars in a duffel bag)
  • The hundred Dollar bill has the US President Franklin on it while the one Dollar bill has George Washington on it.
  • One Euro weighs 7.5 grams and the design hasn't changed since it was introduced in 1999 (I think so).
  • The Arab Emirates Dirham notes have different motifs as per the denomination.

There's a lot more information out there.. but I guess you get the hint.