By Afshan Khan for BeyondHeadlines
I hear at least three stories everyday related to the adverse effects of demonetization. My own relatives’, friends’, and father’s income has gotten affected by this inconsiderate and arbitrary decision of note ban.
An online journal had quoted a very relevant question, “will demonetization cure the disease and kill the patient?”.
We are living in an economy where 70-80 percent of the transactions are cash based, 30% of the population still live below poverty line, unemployment rate is increasing instead of decreasing, only 24.3% of people have access to internet, nearly 50% of the population do not have an account in a bank. In this case, should we fantasize for a cashless economy?
It is true that the common man and the poor have suffered the most. In this case, there arises an important question, why are we not seeing massive protests against this decision? Why is there no uproar among people?
The answer is that the kind of rhetoric that the BJP led government has used, is gaining them success in keeping the critics silent.
Prime Minister Modi has equalized the decision of demonetization of 1000 and 500 rupee notes as a moral and ethical decision claiming that it is a battle against corruption. He himself praises his move as a brave one.
Whoever criticizes this move is considered as less patriotic and declared to be a Pakistani. On the other hand, those who support this step are called nationalist and patriotic. Though common man suffers the most from demonetization, shows his hope that it will help the nation in the long run.
The common man of our country thinks that all those who held black money are in trouble. Therefore they extend their support to this decision.
This makes me feel pathetic, because for me the life of a single person is far more important than any other concern. The lives of hundreds of people in India have been sacrificed and still, neither P.M. nor any BJP minister has shown concern over this sensitive issue.
The mango man is being cheated because they are the ones who stand in queues hoping that the amount of black money will come to their accounts.
We need to understand the political motive of our government, like who is being revealed, shown corrupt, who is protected and who is showcased in front of all the nation.
We know that a lot of BJP leaders who were doing an advocacy of demonetization were caught with huge storage of 2,000 rupee notes. In such kind of scenario, the NDA government needs to be careful with its own ministers instead of giving baseless statements about any other person or party.
The idea of democracy is baseless without the principle of transparency and accountability which has remained only a hope after the 2014 elections.
This government often compromised on its responsibility towards the citizens. The government has also forgotten that the elected government has to be responsive towards the demands of not only those who gave them votes but the citizens of India as a whole. But unfortunately we all are victims of the insensitive attitude of government towards people.
P.M.’s statement has to be considered as critical, when he said that the corrupt will face the ruin after 30th December. The reality has remained almost opposite of it. Those who are honest and earn after doing a lot of hard work had to stand in queues and struggle for getting their own money and that too on the conditions applied by our government. The capitalist class,big business men and politicians did not face any trouble, in fact government remained very lenient towards them.
The people who are most adversely affected with this single decision are farmers, street vendors, rikshaw pullers, fishermen etc. P.M. Modi said that he will not let the sacrifices of people go in vain. We need to counter this argument by questioning why should the poor of this country is expected to sacrifice and not you and your companion.
Can our Prime Minister sacrifice his trips to abroad for a decision taken in favor of country? If not then nobody should be asked to make a sacrifice. Instead, the smart and sensible move will be to try to engage with people and knowing their problem, provide them opportunities and solution to their problems.
The government has remained stubborn and does not accept ever that any of its decision can harm the economy of India. Manmohan Singh, the former Prime Minister of India predicted 2% decrease in growth rate due to demonetization effect.
Even if his experience seems irrelevant to BJP, it should have reacted by giving some logical statements based on reasons, facts and figures. BJP minister reacted irresponsibly by saying that he is the one who remained the leader of the most corrupt regime.
In this case people remain helpless, as they do not understand, where should they go and who is trustworthy and therefore they experience unpleasurement in a democracy.
The kind of attitude our leaders have adopted whether it be the governing party leaders or the leaders of the opposition has remained a matter of worry. This has created distress among people.
We the people of India needs to decide whether this government deserves to be given a second term in 2019 elections or not. The people who have not read the constitution neither practice it cannot claim to be the protector of our rights.