Chaos struck India on Wednesday. People faced a haphazard situation a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi invalidated the large currency notes of Rs 500 and 1,000 in a bid to crack down on unaccounted wealth, corruption and terror financing. With all the action being taken for public welfare by the PM its manner of implementation caused utter chaos in the life of the common man.
The current rules being implemented in the country can be well related to major historical events of India. Lubna Irfan a history scholar puts it as “When Modi pulls a Mohammad Bin Tughlaq”. It is believed that though Mohammad Bin Tughlaq was a capable and farsighted ruler, yet his policies were discordant with the socio-political structure at the time. Modi’s new scheme to fight corruption is affecting the common man much in the same way. The liquid money which the house wives, street vendors, local shop keepers, auto rickshaw drivers etc keep, are making it difficult for them to buy even the essentials.
As of now two death incidents have been reported in Uttar Pradesh due to the chaos. A washer woman who had turned in all her change in exchange for a thousand rupee note is believed to have died out of shock when she learnt that the currency is no longer accepted. The death of an 8 year old has been reported when her father could not reach the hospital on time. His vehicle ran out of gas and when he gave the petrol pump person a note of 1000 he refused to take it, the delay cost him his daughter’s life. Keeping apart the incontinence and loss being caused to the lower middle class, if we look at people of rural populace and farmers, the condition gets worse. In such short span of time to understand and act according to the new changes might not be readily accepted and worked upon by these strata. Although on Tuesday the government announced that Rs 500 and 1,000 notes would be accepted at petrol pumps, milk booths run by government and also to buy medicine, nothing has been stated about the areas that have the nearest access only to a private venture.
The vendors are unable to buy vegetables from the wholesale market for lack of low denomination notes. This is making it difficult for the common man to buy them. The labor hired on daily wage basis has suffered greatly. As they are paid in the denomination of 100 and 50 the local contractors are avoiding to hire them as they would have to spend the change. “I earn on a daily basis. And buy my food with the money I earn. The constructor for whom I was working lately said I should not come to work as he does not have the money to pay me with. “Said Manoj, a painter who is originally from Bihar staying at the labor market at okhla, Delhi. Even the e-commerce hasn’t been left out from facing a crisis due to this sudden implication of the government. India’s biggest e-commerce websites Amazon and Flipkart have stopped taking cash-on-delivery orders (COD) post PM Narendra Modi’s move to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes. Snapdeal another e- commerce website hasn’t stopped taking cash on delivery but has specified that no 500 and 1,000 notes will be accepted. With 80% of the consumers opting for COD the e-commerce is looking at the face of a drop in profits. Chaos reigned as people rushed to government petrol pumps, milk booths and post offices to get change for their large bills. “The government should have provided us with adequate change, especially 100 rupee notes, before implementing such a big decision.” Brij Bhushan Tiwari, a Delhi petrol pump owner told IANS.
The new rule implemented is for preventing corruption but it is turning out to be a mode of increasing it. Some of the traders and shop keepers are charging a commission of Rs 100 to give change of Rs 500. The wedding season is here. This chaos has not speared the families preparing for wedlock ceremonies. People don’t have enough money to pay to the labors and other people managing the wedding arrangements, creating a chaotic situation.
“Modi’s move is expected to bring out in the open the undisclosed money stashed in the country and check its flow. But the way of implementing the measure has caused utter chaos and inconvenience to the general mass. It wasn’t just the rural populace but also us the hostellers who are facing difficulties. Its exam time, and I dont have change in my pockets, it is difficult to even buy tea from the canteen nor can I go out ” Said Soumya Abidi, a student of linguistics at Women’s College Aligarh Muslim University.