Shortly after prime minister Narendra Modi dropped the demonetisation bomb on Indians on November 8, reports emerged that the brainchild behind the move was a Pune-based mechanical engineer named Anil Bokil.
Why is he important?
Covered by almost every media house, Bokil, a member of a think-tank called ArthaKranti, told journalists that it was at his suggestion that Modi took the extreme step of scrapping 85% of currency in circulation.
Though Bokil's claims were never verified by any government representative, till date no statement has denied his involvement in the note ban either.
Why are we talking about him again?
So it wasn't a surprise that when America's popular podcast Planet Money, produced by NPR (National Public Radio), decided to do a series on demonetisation in India and its impact, a key person they talked to was Anil Bokil.
What did Bokil say?
Bokil began with talking about the wonders of the step and how his nine-minute presentation to Modi charmed Modi. But it was his statements on deaths occurred in the following weeks of note ban that have left us shocked and disgusted.
Towards the end of the podcast, the interviewer asked Bokil his reaction to the mess that demonetisation brought to people's lives, which surely it did.
Bokil: "It's inconvenience. It's not harm."
NPR: "There was some harm, I mean some people lost their businesses. There were people who died standing in lines."
Bokil: "People are used to...die in bed also... We are not that emotional."
NPR: "You aren't emotional about it?"
Bokil: "We are sensible, not emotional."
NPR: "But you are such a compassionate person. I mean all of this is to help the guy on the end...Did you feel responsible for that (deaths)?"
Bokil: "He is not new to this kind of suffering...It was a necessity, it was a must...The treatment may feel like some kind of a pain, but it's for the correction of the disease."
Old man cries in Gurgaon after missing his spot in a long queue... and they said only the rich will cry.Photo by @parveenkumar_ht pic.twitter.com/Cn4Hkp3BD7— Anupam Thapa (@anupamthapa) December 14, 2016
But after listening to Bokil, we want to ask the prime minister: Does the loss of lives mean nothing because 'people die in bed also'? Is any step you take claiming good of the nation fine because 'Indians are not new to suffering'?
We are worried.