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Rupee has a new symbol: Aam aadmi's views

Last updated on: July 16, 2010 16:30 IST

Rupee has a new symbol: Aam aadmi's views

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Indrani Roy Mitra in Kolkata

IIT-ian D Udaya Kumar is a proud man. Thanks to him, the Rupee has a symbol like other major global currencies.

The Union Cabinet approved the symbol on Thursday. The Indian rupee is now the fifth currency in the world to have a distinct identity.

The rupee will join the elite club of US dollar, British pound-sterling, Euro and Japanese yen to have its own symbol.

Speaking to rediff.com, Kumar said: "My design is based on the Tricolour, with two lines at the top and white space in between. I wanted the symbol for the Rupee to represent the Indian flag. It is a perfect blend of Indian and Roman letters: a capital 'R', and Devanagari 'ra', which represent rupiya, to appeal to international and Indian audiences."

The Indian government had announced a competition in March last year inviting creative designs from Indian residents to represent the rupee in a simple form.

How do Indians react to this new symbol for their currency? Do they like it or do they feel it could have been better?

Rediff.com spoke to a cross section of the people and requested them to speak on the issue. Presented here are some common people's views on the issue. Some of the opinions are culled from what our readers said on the rediff message boards.

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Image: D Udaya Kumar, whose design has been selected for the Rupee symbol.

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Rupee has a new symbol: Aam aadmi's views

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Sarbani Dutta
Teacher, Jodhpur Park Boys' High School

For the Rupee to have a new symbol is indeed a significant landmark for India. It feels good to think that our currency now joins the elite club of Dollar, Euro, Yen...

My heartiest congratulations to the IIT-ian whose design got selected.

Having said this, I want to put forth a few questions to our Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee:

  • When dal has become a luxury for the common people of India, does this new symbol for rupee carry any signficance for them?
  • What purpose will it serve it bringing down the price rise which is almost throttlingour existence at the moment?
  • Also as a tax-paying citizen of India, may I ask how much money has gone down the drain because of this exercise?
  • Couldn't we have spent that money for better policies to tackle inflation?

I am an ordinary citizen. Perhaps, I don't have the rights to ask such tall questions. I am sure Mr Mukherjee knows very well what he is doing. He is such a learned man.

Now that the rupee has a new symbol, I am sure he would see to it so that the poor don't die of starvation.

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Image: The Rupee symbol

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Rupee has a new symbol: Aam aadmi's views

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Subhobroto Sikder
Small-scale businessman 

I congratulate the IIT-ian to have developed this design for our currency.

I feel proud as an Indian that rupee too will now have a symbol like that of dollars, euro yen etc.

We should have had it long ago. However, it's better late than never.

Having said that, I appeal to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to take some concrete steps so that inflation is curbed and people lead a comfortable life.

At the moment, the rise in prices of essential commodities is just getting out of hand and small scale businessmen like me feel threatened.

Things have got worse with the recent government decision to deregulate the fuel price.

The common people are just gasping for air.

Now that we have a new design for rupee, would it be too much to ask for a less inflationary economy?

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Image: Subhobroto Sikder.
Photographs: Dipak Chakraborty
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Rupee has a new symbol: Aam aadmi's views

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Dulal Chandra Chakraborty
Assistant sub-inspector, Kolkata Police

It's a wonderful feeling to know that our rupee too has been granted a symbol. Till date, we needed to write INR or Rs to indicate the Indian currency. Not any more.

My heart goes out to congratulate the brilliant mind that created this design. It's really a great feat that deserves kudos.

However, I also appeal to the governments now to do something about the rise in prices of essential commodities.

Riding on the happiness about rupee getting a symbol now, the governments must do something to make the lives of middle class and the lower middle class like us easier.

We are just being butchered at the behest of an acute inflation.

I am sure thoughtful brains that could plan to have a design for the good old rupee can come up with a plausible map to curb price rise.

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Image: Dulal Chandra Chakraborty
Photographs: Dipak Chakraborty
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Rupee has a new symbol: Aam aadmi's views

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A young painter (who did not want to be named or photographed)

This entire process of rupee getting a symbol should not be taken at face value. It's a hugely complicated affair. Lot of lobbyism and favouritism are involved in the process before a particular design is selected.

Hence, I am but forced to take the entire process with a pinch of salt.

Now, let me comment on the design part. To be honest, I don't find the design appealing at all. To me, it appears to be a forced mixture of Devanagari and English script. I don't see any logic behind this forced amalgamation.

Why couldn't we have any one script in the first place? The design could have looked a lot better in that case.

A lot of bragging is now doing the rounds that this new symbol for rupee will globalise it. I find this argument childlike and even ludicrous. A particular currency sttains the global standard for its value not for his design.

It's a pity that our economists and analysts don't realise that.

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What rediff readers feel:

Symbol
by Mac on Jul 15, 2010 10:27 PM

Just by making Rupee symbol does not make it strong international currency. Dollar, Pounds, Euro & Yen are much strong currencies than Indian Rupee.

These are Thursday's Forex Rates for Indian Rupee:

1.00 INR = 0.0215216 USD
1.00 INR = 0.0166893 EUR
1.00 INR = 0.0140007 GBP

******

Obsession!

by DilipVishnu maydeo on Jul 15, 2010 10:27 PM
We are obsessed with IITans. The job could have been better done by Commercial Art students of Calligraphy.

It should have been a joint project than a submission by a single individual. A consensus may be difficult to evolve to agree that it is 'Soft' The symbol is 'Harsh' and 'Jarring'

It may not become popular over long and people may continue to write Re. There is a possibility that gentle, artistic and aesthetic symbols might have purposefully disregarded.

How else can those in power show their superiority complex and iron hand! This has become their style. Deny everything nice and beautiful to the public.Highly sadistic!

******

Very apt

by Northern Barbarian on Jul 15, 2010 10:22 PM
The symbol looks like a big question mark. It is very apt to represent the rupee.

******

Rupee symbol

by suresh on Jul 15, 2010 10:19 PM
Tricolour interpretation of the symbol is not convincing. . .some pictogram from Harappan scripts could been great than Devanagari!

******

My Honest Opinion

by Gyaan on Jul 15, 2010 10:14 PM
Kudos to efforts of all stakeholders but I honestly feel this design has a flaw.

It's not as easy to draw as dollar or pound e.g. for dollar, after writing 'S', a perpendicular line shouldn't necessarily be at the centre.

Some (mis)alignment to the left or the right wouldn't change the look of the symbol. Same holds true for pound. One doesn't have to draw the symbol with perfection and it would still look like a pound.

Nevertheless, for our currency, top horizontal line has to appear right at the top of 'R' and second horizontal line has to appear at upper middle part of symbol or else look (and meaning) would be entirely different.

It will be a tough job for the math students who would have to write the symbol on paper.

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Image: Keyboards to incorporate the rupee symbol soon.

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Prasanta Roy Choudhury
Economist

It's a great feeling that after so many years, our Indian rupee will be getting international recognition. It's high time Indian currency had a symbol.

D Udaya Kumar made all of us proud. My heart goes out to him in appreciation.

Also, I like the new design. It brings out the spirit of India with effortless ease. The new symbol, I am sure will take care of the rampant entry of fake currency into India.

However, this new symbol is sure to breed some administrative problems. For some time at least, the government would have to use both the symbols for official transactions and then the old INR would have to be phased out.

This transition is going to be a complicated processs.

Kautilya wrote in Arthashastra that any currency of higher value always generates the risk of hoarding. Therefore, now that our rupee has a symbol, will run the same risk?

If so, that would have a great impact on the markets as well as the entire economy of India. The lawmakers of our country, therefore, need to handle this issue with utmost care.

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Image: Prasanta Roy Choudhury
Photographs: Dipak Chakraborty
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Amritansu Dutta
Executive, Allied Blender & Distillers

I really like the new design for our rupee. It's well thought-out and smart, of global standards.

Though many are of the opinion that such an expenditure was unnecessary at a time when India is reeling under inflation, I do feel it's high time India had a symbol for its currency.

However, having said that, I also think Indian media is going overboard on the issue. They should be little more balanced in covering this affair.

A lot was being discussed for some time and an end was inevitable. Now that end has come, why make such a hue and cry?

India is often touted to be the next superpower. If it is true, it should behave like one and refrain from falling for illogical media hype.



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