Voice Of The People

Demonetization Diaries: Showing perspectives from different sections of the society

Pradip Bhandari and Akriti Bhatia, the Founder and co-Founder of Jan Ki Baat take to the road to capture the public mood in the backdrop of Demonetization. Attempting to catch perspectives on the government’s decision from different sections of the society, Bhandari and Bhatia spoke to a number of people. Chotelal, a rikshaw puller, represented the effects of demonetization on the informal sector. Chotelal, who used to earn ?500-700, saw his wages reduced by more than a half, post-demonetization. Hinting at similar effects on other social segments, he said that even shopkeepers are complaining of being hit, with their supplies crashing. Ajit, a police constable, said that though he could understand the government’s efforts to rid the country of black money, demonetization and the consequent lack of currency in the market was proving itself as a serious obstacle for people all over. The Business Association’s representatives, however, had an opposite reaction; emphasizing on the need of public support, the Representatives remarked that such a change is inevitable. The immediate need to erase the notion of the government’s policies being anti-businessmen is required as it’s a false accusation; the government’s only against the interests of the hoarders of black money. One of the Representatives, also, hailed demonetization as the golden chance to correct one’s past errors.

When PM Modi declared his, and his government’s, idea to sweep the nation, on 8th November 2016, the demonetization drive had begun. Getting rid of black money was a major portion of BJP’s 2014 list of goals. Sudden withdrawal of the legal tender of ?1000 and ?500 was questioned by many. Though demonization was lauded for its noble goal, it was at the same time critiqued for the in-built flaws it had.

The effects that demonetization has had on the residents of India have been poles apart, with some calling it a good enough cause to unite Indians and cultivate honesty and others seeing it as anti-poor, anti-middle class policy. The diverse reactions to it need to be recorded to understand the variety of effects financial policies have on different social classes and sections.


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