As the first anniversary of demonetisation is drawing close on November 8, 2017, the bad effects on economy persist heavily and will continue to damage the country for times to come because the businesses that have been shut down cannot be revived even after prolonged efforts.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi played on the emotions of common man when he suddenly announced demonetisation by putting an argument that it will eliminate corruption entirely thus en-cashing it in Uttar Pardesh assembly elections.
Modi said that he deliberately announced the banning of high currency notes abruptly on November 8, 2016 so that the persons having black money could be cornered. But he fails to clarify even after one year that when the known amount of money was in circulation and the exchange of currency notes and transactions of money were being properly documented then the exercise only amounted to introducing cashless economy. This resulted in unnecessary pain and suffering to common man.
The rural and half of urban population that was dependent on cash transactions was drastically hit as majority of transactions in departmental stores, the daily purchases in India are done on cash and thus dwindled.
The people were largely affected as they had to stand in long queues outside the banks for 50 days and even for long hours to exchange or deposit cancelled banknotes rather than working or doing business and the PM Modi’s so called economic reform of demonetisation claimed more than 100 lives and government still has not compensated the victims rather Prime Minister termed it as sacrifice of the people.
Nullification of currency notes also caused breakdown in India’s commercial ecosystem as small and medium scale industries were disrupted, and cash-centric sectors like agriculture, fishing, and the voluminous informal market were virtually shutdown and are bearing the brunt till now.
The entire Indian economy came to a standstill for several months and is dragging at a very slow speed.
PM Modi said that his decision of demonetisation was planned in a secret by a small, tight-knit group led by him but he miserably failed to understand that he had to replenish the cash within hours of his announcement across the country for the people to exchange the old currency notes after the midnight so that they could the people could continue urgent medical treatments,tourists are not affected, businesses are safeguarded and the basic amenities continue.
India has done this before. In 1946, all 1,000 and 10,000 rupee notes were recalled. In 1978, 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000 rupee notes were demonetized. The stark difference in Modi’s faulty implementation and the previous cases of recalling the high value currency notes and demonetisation during 1946 and 1978 was that the Rs 500 and Rs1000 currency notes were being used by people on routine expenditure on daily bases as compared to the previous one as 5,000 and 10,000 currency notes were remotely used.
The immediate emotive issues being used by Modi government include
Creating the issue of Tipu Sultan as a brutal and communal ruler while he fought the Britishers which is acknowledged as a heroic death even by President Kovind.
Taj Mahal is alo being communalised with nasty arguments.
The legacy of Vallabhbhai Patel who was out and out a top Congress leader is being misappropriated as that of BJP, though he banned RSS.
Modi is bent of distorting Nehru legacy by questioning exclusivity of Nehru Memorial. Modi government is not in favour of honouring the first Prime Minister of India.
Communal feelings against the minorities have been stirred in Modi’s period and this poison has been added in the Indian society with an eye on elections.
By: Arti Bali