"Is notebandi ke chalte, naye saal main kahin junta baaghi na ho jaaye"(amidst this demonetization season, I am afraid that in new year the citizens do not turn out to be the rebel), I hear an auto rickshaw driver breaking his commotion on demonetization. From November 8, 2016, the news has been all over, be it the press, the public or politicians. Every new policy of the present Narendra Modi government drapes itself into the idea of "achche din" (good days) - a hope toward an indefinite and unknown utopian world. And with the coming of demonetization, everyone has had a firsthand experience of the government's step towards the so called "achche din".
Creating a greater harm of ideological regimentation by early traces of fascism, the ruling party's chest thumping attitude towards demonetization has over powered the discrete squealing voices of the opposition. The Congress, TMC, AIADMK and AAP parties posing allegations to the government in power as corrupt and loyal to rich businessmen in the country, we need to see why was such a step thought to be taken? The prime minister with a fore view of curbing corruption in the country (as the central reason) took a stand in making 'cashless' transactions possible in the country; whose preceding preparations could have been seen in the decision of opening of Jan Dhan accounts. Manmohan Singh's comments reveal that he believes that this decision would run down the GDP, economic growth of the nation. However, the present government does not believe in the aforesaid comment. With lowest working of the parliament in this winter session, the step has taken an ugly face (as demonetization has become a central idea of debate between parties; leaving aside the state's issues) in the upcoming U.P. elections. Saying economically, such a step is desirable but more importantly the state of economy also matters. With increasing population of low per capita income, smaller local economies and illiteracy; the idea seems to be a star in the daylight. Moreover, all of black money is not stored in cash. However, the step is a progressive one, if implemented properly.
With hike in petrol and diesel prices, declaration of policies now and then by the government makes the decision declaration sudden, making it hard for the corrupt people to hide their black money hoardings. The suddenness of demonetization can be excused by stating its need for tracking crores of old and new currency, combating terrorism and to use the money for the development of the nation. With cashless transactions, it is easier to track the payment debited and credited and helps to keep an easy watch on the black hats but one has to wait to see how far can this be made successful. Most of the local economies (which are completely dependent on cash) have gone down in recession; there has been a recorded increase in the unemployment rate. The step to make India cashless, has left a large chunk of population "cashless", so much so that people have died or committed suicide due to lack of currency in emergency. With few ATMs working the problem of change of 2000 rupees currency note, poor/illiterate/account less/daily wage earners are being clueless and robbed, of this policy promoting online transactions. It has affected the personal lives of all seriously. But amidst all these hardships, one cannot neglect the crores of currency bubbling out of the hoardings of the corrupt every day. The income tax department has been successful in nabbing crores of money from businessmen, officers, white collar job people and many more. Such a strong step may prove the government to be working, but its efficiency is to be rated by all of us, individually. The Russian President, among other political leaders commented positively on this policy. Surveys by the media houses reveal that people are ready to wait and bear the temporary hardships of demonetization until 30 December. The New Year, hence, brings new responsibilities and challenges for the government; the bigger challenge being- to prove the need and effect of demonetization.
- PRATIBHA LOHIYA