As demonetisation and the consequent thrust for a cashless economy have become a cornerstone of the Narendra Modi government, the Prime Minister is leading the way. The PM has become the first person in the ruling BJP to get a lifetime subscription of party mouthpiece Kamal Sandesh without using cash. According to the magazine staff, Modi paid with a State Bank of India cheque, also becoming the first right-wing Prime Minister to get life membership of the publication.
"Since demonetisation and under the inspiration drawn from PM Narendra Modi's vision of a cashless economy for India, there had emerged a lot of demand for such a move. Since we have gone online and now cashless, there has been a massive surge in membership to Kamal Sandesh," said Shiv Shakti Nath Bakshi, the executive editor of the magazine and also the head of the publications and journals department of the party.
Others to follow suit - they also became life members of the mouthpiece through cashless modes - were finance minister Arun Jaitley, minister of state (MoS) Arjun Ram Meghwal, defence minister Manohar Parrikar and HRD minister Prakash Javadekar, apart from many other MPs, MLAs and party functionaries. Modi announced on November 8 that India was banning Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 bills with the aim to crack down on corruption, people with unaccounted wealth, and counterfeiting of notes.
He has also called for the nation to become a cashless society. The magazine is accepting money through cheques, drafts and through netbanking along with credit and debit card payments.
The publication also started a QR code, which can be scanned and subscription money paid. Kamal Sandesh is using the multibank payment service Chillr app for this.
The saffron outfit's mouthpiece was refurbished and launched in a new avatar recently by party president Amit Shah who inaugurated the membership and subscription drive on December 6.
Shah oversaw the magazine taking on a "modern" look and while it was also launched online in Hindi and English, the website was also made a gateway to the 23 other mouthpieces of the party in other Indian languages. "Since the previous edition of Andhra Pradesh has gone in the kitty of Telangana, we shall soon be launching Kamal Sandesh's version in AP. Moreover, we have revived its Delhi version, which is called Bhajpa Sandesh. Another edition will be launched for Assam and one for Uttarakhand," Bakshi said.