BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy has said he was in favour of inscribing the image of Goddess Lakshmi on banknotes which could “improve the condition of the Indian currency”.
Swamy was speaking to reporters on January 14 night after addressing a lecture series titled ‘Swami Vivekananda Vyakhyanmala’ in Madhya Pradesh’s Khandwa district.
Responding to a question about the picture of Lord Ganesha printed on the Indonesian currency, Swamy said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi can answer this question. I am in favour (of this). Lord Ganesha removes obstacles. I rather say that a picture of Goddess Lakshmi (on currency notes) may improve the condition of Indian currency. Nobody should feel bad about this.”
For an economy that is projected to grow at the lowest pace in last 11-years in FY20, the advice of a senior party leader is worth pondering.
As such, the idea isn’t new. For instance, Indonesia which has Lord Ganesha (remover of obstacles) on its currency notes. Why not something similar in India? In fact, India has lot more options other than Goddess Lakshmi. For instance, Christian parliamentarians could propose image of Jesus Christ on Indian bills; Budhha or Guru Nanak can bring good luck as well. The Indian currency could do with some divine intervention, given that it has lost nearly 11 percent in the last two two years between 2018 and 2020 (64 to 71 against US dollar).
While those possibilities can be debated, one thing is certain. If at all the Goddess of wealth has improved anyone’s financial condition in the last fiscal year, (2018-2019), it is that of the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). In FY19, BJP has amassed Rs.1,451 crore through electoral bonds and is ahead by a huge margin compared with the principal opposition party, Congress which managed only Rs.383 crore, according to latest report by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR). BJP has shown the highest income amongst the National Parties, an income of Rs 2,410.08 cr during FY 2018-19. This forms 65.16 percent of the total income of six national parties during FY 2018-19.