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Fact Check: Is “Raam” with the photo of Lord Ram printed on it is the world’s most expensive currency

Raam is actually a "Bearer Bond”, it is not a legal tender issued by a sovereign state or a central bank

A claim is being shared on the social media platforms that the most expensive and strongest currency in circulation is Raam. According to the claim, the price of one Raam is equal to 10 Euros. The price of one Euro at the moment is around Rs. 88.65. In this way, if the claim is to be believed, the price of one Raam should be Rs.886.5. The Netherlands government recognizes the currency, and it is still in circulation.

Supreme Court advocate Prashant Patel Umrao shared the information on social media and said, “Maharishi Mahesh Yogi started this currency in Holland and the Dutch government has also approved it.” He added that the current price of one Raam Euros. The currency was launched in different denominations in 2001. Umrao also shared images of notes of 1, 5 and 10 Raam with a photograph of Bhagwan Ram inscribed on it. You can even notice “World Peace Nation” and “The Netherlands” written on the notes.

The claim went viral on the social media, and many people wrote that while Raam is being accepted as a valid currency, there are leaders in India who consider chanting Ram Naam is communal. That leaders hesitate to support Modi government on Ram temple to appease a particular community. Some users pointed out that Bhagwan Ram was born in India, but he is getting more respect outside India.

When OpIndia investigates the claims on social media, we found that the currency named Raam was used in some shops in the Netherlands. We also found a report by BBC dated back to February 2003 stating that the Dutch Central Bank made it clear that the currency issued by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is in sync with its regulation. At that time, more than 100 shops in the Netherlands accepted the currency.

History of currency Raam

Raam was launched in October 2001 by “The Global Country of World Peace.” The GCWP is a non-profit organisation based in USA, and its headquarter is located in Maharishi Vedic City in Iowa. Raam is issued in three denominations, 1, 5 and 10 Raams. The currency was accepted in some places in the Netherlands and USA at that time. The Finance Minister of Maharishi Movement, Benjamin Feldman, said that Raam could be proven to help eradicate poverty. He insisted that its use should be encouraged in agriculture.

Raam is commonly known as Word Peace Bond. The Maharishi Movement said that it would strengthen World Peace, balance the economy and fight poverty at the same time. In Europe, it is equal to ten Euros while in the US it becomes ten Dollars. The currency was used to build peace palaces by the organisation.

Although the currency was first issued almost two decades ago, the present status of its circulation is not known, as no recent information on it is available online. There is no information that it is used widely at present outside the Vedic city, where it is used.

Not a regular legal tender

Raam is actually “Bearer Bond” in financial terms, which is also known as local currency. Bearer bond is more an instrument of an investment than a regular transaction. Unlike a regular currency of a country, which is accepted by everyone in that country, bearer bonds may not be acceptable to all when offered in a transaction. The bond is convertible in Holland at the Fortis Bank in Roermond in Holland and in the Maharishi Vedic City in Iowa, there is no information of it being convertible in any other location.

Bearer bonds are generally issued by corporate houses or governments to collect funds, hence its basically a debt instrument. But no record is kept of the investors of the bonds, and therefore, whoever physically holds the bonds becomes the owner. For this reason, it can be used as a currency to exchange fund. But it is still not a regular currency, and bonds generally earn interests as it is a debt instrument.

Though it is priced at 10 Euro, as it is not a legal tender issued by a sovereign state or a central bank, it is not a regular currency. Moreover, it is not widely used as a currency. It is also not traded in the currency market and it has a fixed valuation against Dollar and Euro.

Another fact is, while Raam is valued at $10 and €10, bearer bonds with much more value are issued. So, it also not the most expensive bearer bond. Therefore, it is not a regular currency, and it cannot be called the world’s most expensive currency.

Global Country of World Peace has been trying to obtain a sovereign status by acquiring land and setting up a Vatican like independent city state. They tried to buy land from several countries, but none of them agreed to sell them land to set up an independent state. If GCWP is able to set up a sovereign state, then it will be able to set up a central bank, and its currency Raam will get the status of a regular legal tender.

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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