Note­wor­thy Choices Gain Cur­rency

The Economic Times - - The Edit Page -

A women sup­plant­ing a man on the next batch of US cur­rency notes is the per­fect pre­cur­sor to the pos­si­ble elec­tion of the first fe­male US Pres­i­dent this year — un­less trumped by cir­cum­stances. That the head of the new cur­rency’s is­su­ing au­thor­ity, the US Fed­eral Re­serve, also hap­pens to be a woman for the first time is a co­in­ci­dence. Of course, the new $20 note fea­tur­ing Har­riet Tub­man in­stead of the seventh US Pres­i­dent An­drew Jack­son will only come into cir­cu­la­tion when the win­ner of the 2016 race will prob­a­bly be in the thick of the 2020 cam­paign. Even so, the mes­sage is un­mis­tak­able, es­pe­cially with seven more leg­endary women lined up for place­ment on the re­verse of $10 and $5 bills as well: five on one and two on the other. Given that all th­ese ‘note­wor­thy’ women are stal­warts of the suf­fragette and anti-slav­ery move­ments of the 19th cen­tury but hail from the East Coast, Amer­i­cans must be com­mended for not rais­ing is­sues of per­ceived re­gional dis­crim­i­na­tion in their se­lec­tion. In­dian au­thor­i­ties should be com­mended for clev­erly ob­vi­at­ing all such po­ten­tial protests by de­cid­ing that only the be­nign vis­age of Ma­hatma Gandhi fits the bill for all In­dian cur­rency notes. This choice can­not pos­si­bly be chal­lenged on any grounds ex­cept the in­con­gruity of putting a per­son who has be­come a by­word for sim­plic­ity on a .₹ 1,000 note.

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