The nation got a four-hour notice. The prime minister announced on national television that by midnight all the high-value currency notes would cease to be legal. This was Modi’s Pokhran moment. The similarity with India’s nuclear blast of 1998 was in more ways than one. First, the secrecy, which ensured only a narrow circle knew what was coming. In Mumbai, senior bankers had been summoned to the RBI, for an evening meeting, and were clueless until the last moment about what was coming. The surprise element was crucial.