Noteworthy Choices Gain Currency
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.