One month on, the terrible cost of the demonetisation drive, involving huge logistical problems, in terms of related deaths (the casualty has risen to 90) and suffering has shown no sign of a let-up.
An egregious move
One month on, the terrible cost of the demonetisation drive, involving huge logistical problems, in terms of related deaths (the casualty has risen to 90) and suffering has shown no sign of a let-up. In the initial stages the Modi-worship-syndrome and the capacity for obedience appeared to have persuaded the common herd to take an indulgent view of the exercise. The very same people who looked docile and willing to queue up without asking why they should are now unhappy at being dispossessed of their hard-earned cash and precarious livelihoods. With one month of financial difficulty passing without any reprieve, people are becoming increasingly impatient at the worsening situation on the ground. Despite his slipping popularity, prime minister Narendra Modi continues to maintain that his demonetisation decision was essential to fight black money, counterfeit currency, terrorism, Naxalism, step into a cashless economy and usher in a social transformation. While he passed the scheme off as a big-bang reform, internationally renowned economist Paul Krugman termed it a disruptive move with significant costs, but without significant gains. On the one hand, the prime minister says ‘the people are my high-command’ and tries to play Robin Hood. On the other hand, he remains callous to the plight of the underdog on account of demonetisation. The social cost of the hare-brained scheme cannot be glossed over. However, there is no dearth of money in banks and ATMs located in posh areas, whereas banks and ATMs in impoverished localities easily run out of cash.
G David Milton, Maruthancode