Friday, 6 January 2017

India's Demonetisation 50 Days In: The Great Assassinations

Exactly 50 days of mass murders and trembling fears later, we now have to ourselves the revived currencies. Not far from the great announcement, the majority of the population sat at home considering the temporary and ineffective nature of such announcements. Must be some regular troll, Aaj tak kuch nai hua, aage bhi nai hoga, ek hafta rukhte hai, dekhna sab pehle jaisa hoga and likewise. The other section of the ‘aware citizens’ brought down walls and emptied the lockers for treasures. Well, as it seems, the government did go through with its ‘whimsical’ policy.

And now, exactly 50 days later, we have to ourselves, shorter queues at the ATM, new shining papers in our wallets and still no change. This being the glimmering face of the situation, let’s lift the veil to reveal the actual blow this announcement has cost us.

The plight of migrant workers

Almost about 60% of the 25 lakh migrant workers who engaged in small and medium traders have found themselves at the receiving end in the aftermath of this effect. These workers have relocated to their native states for lack of jobs and money.

While the upper strata of society are debating the financial and economic outcome of the strategic strike and what it holds for the future of the nation, the immediate victims are strewn elsewhere and are not equipped to leapfrog into the electronic age and ease themselves into the so-called comfort of a cashless economy. They are being forced to silently bear the burden the new reform has brought in its trail.

Market imbalances

Switching to a cashless economy does not seem to be a viable option for people engaged in daily trade transactions. One such example is that of Pilkhuwa. It is the textile town in Hapur, Uttar Pradesh. A huge market for handloom textiles, the market has ever since the announcement runs dry. Thousands of merchants come to this mofussil town to sell their stuff from other districts. Most of the stuff comes from nearby towns of Sardhna, Murad Nagar, and Meerut. The market has been so hard hit that the majority of the workers have left for their hometowns and the traders are heavily disappointed with the turnover.

After Drought Effect

The arid Bundelkhand region spread across Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh is home to 8.2 million people, most of whom depend on agriculture for survival, they are either farmers, sharecroppers or farm laborers. Around 3,000 of these laborers were employed in Mahoba's famous stone market. The market was closed in the vicinity of the announcement and this left most of these people jobless.

This effect is even more gripping owing to the drought condition in the region. We were just recovering from a long lasting drought when this drought hit us. The situation may have improved in large cities, but, it would be foolish to hope for the same in this region", says Ashish Sagar, a Banda-based farmer, and social activist.

These are some of the very few situations that have affected the nation. The diamond market for that instance, where India has been positioned to be the biggest in the world has suffered a major downfall. The reason being, the lack of a transacting worth, fake bills for exchange and lesser workers who haven’t returned to their jobs post the Diwali break. The industry has been plagued by this announcement and has not given everyone an opportunity to recover.

While this move by the Government has worked wonders in legalizing the monetary world we are left at crossroads to analyze whether this merit overpowers the demerits. So, 50 days post this announcement, the stumbling Government should adopt to its moral responsibility to make major efforts to revive the economy and its imbalances.

Written by Sharvani Navangul
Student (National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi)

I’ve always been inspired by a quote by the writer James Baldwin: The world is before you, and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in. I am a greedy reader, a classical singer, an avid trekker and a major foodie. A self-driven, close to the culture, voicing out opinion kind of person, I’m the reflective of my passions.

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