Exactly one year ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetization of the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes in India. It was informed the move would go into action at midnight, and the announcement made at 8:00 P.M., in the evening.
People were in shock, many were unaware how to react or what to do for that matter. The announcement also stated ATMs would be shut for three days causing panic among the working class.
Many rushed to ATMs and stood in line for hours to withdraw Rs. 400 to avoid getting a demonetized note. Then the government gave a deadline to the people of India for exchanging their now useless money. This led to even more chaos as people waited for hours at banks to exchange their hard earned money.
The government tried to convince everyone the step was for the betterment of the country. But the long lines and the constant worry of where the money would come from said otherwise. Although it was said ATMs would be functioning within a few days, only a handful were in reality functioning. But by the time most people got to these ATMs the money was exhausted.
Then instead of introducing the new Rs. 500 note, our brilliant government gave out Rs. 2000. This caused an even bigger problem for the common man to get change as the only high currency notes available were Rs. 100 and Rs. 2000.
For nearly 6 months people faced a cash crunch and had to revert to online transactions. The online transactions were easy for the ones already with smartphones but the ones without suffered the worst.
Yes, Demonetization was a good idea to curb black money in the country but even the common man had to suffer. The method of implementation was wrong causing chaos among the citizenry. The long lines at ATMs and banks led to nearly 100 people losing their lives across the country.
Modi brags about the good that Demonetization has done but has neglected to see the bad weighing down the good. So, let’s remember this for the next time we decide Agli Bar Modi Sarkar.