What is the net result of demonetisation?

Dear Editor,
Kudos to Salil Gewali for his brilliant letter titled “Cashless economy with caution”(February 13).
It is nice to notice that when blind support to demonetization has become the ultimate yardstick to “prove” one’s “patriotism”, when the slogan of “going cashless” has become the ultimate “proof” of one’s “modernity”; there still exist shining exceptions like Mr.Salil Gewali who refuse to join the “nationalist” “modern” mainstream and dares to call spade the spade.
Right from the very first day, the “historic” step of demonetisation was nothing but a farce. One and only insane, foolishly “optimists”, blind “nationalists” and hardcore BJP admirers had believed that following the “boldest decision in independent India”; all the vices of black money, counterfeit note and terrorism would at last get wiped off from the Indian soil for eternity! Had the Income Tax authorities, Central Intelligence and borderer security forces been sternly asked to perform their duties sincerely or get ready to face consequences; the menace of black money, counterfeit notes and movement of terrorists across borders could have been tamed. There was absolutely no need to go through the antics of demonetisation.
And what is the net result of demonetisation? More than 100 innocent souls have lost their lives prematurely either in stampedes in inhuman queues or after being refused medical treatment due to lack of “legal cash”! The Himalayan ordeals of billions of Indians(specially vulnerable ill senior citizens) day after day were to be seen to be believed ! Innumerable wage-earners, farmers and small time traders have lost their jobs and suffered huge loss in business thereby compelling many of them to commit suicide. Yet far from offering a bit of apology or compensating the families who had to bear inconsolable economic and physical losses; the “nationalist” brigade, while residing in the safe distance of high ivory towers of their own; not only went on issuing sermons after sermons to endure “short-term hardship” for the “cause of the nation”, the heartless lot even went to the extent of character-assassinating the critics of demonetisation as “anti-nationalists”, “hoarders of black money” and “supporters of terrorists”!
Demonetisation has wreaked havoc upon the nation through severe losses of lives, business and economy. Even the greatest supporters of demonetisation have been left speechless due to lack of any solid proof or statistics through which they can demand success of the “historic” step. So they are left with no option other than to launch vulgar attacks against critics like Manmohan Singh or Amartya Sen!
And demonetization has “gifted” us the baggage of “cashless society”! The vast majority of the country is already languishing in this Indian society with virtually no cash leading to the vices of hunger, malnutrition, illiteracy, child labour and human trafficking. It seems that to hide this supreme darkness, shame and scandal of cashlessness in real terms, the glitter and glamour of the technological jargon named “cashless society” has been adopted! The whole world would think what a “developed” nation has India emerged into! While the plastic card companies and Paytm(which had hailed demonetization as the “boldest decision in independent India” and published its advertisement with Narendra Modi’s photograph right on the very first dawn following the “historic” mid-night declaration) are laughing all the way to bank; the repercussions of “cashless society” would have to be experienced by the common man! As Mr.Gewali has mentioned, cyber criminals are enjoying a field day in the society. Though India is yet to become full-fledged cashless, yet we hear about so many cases where hard-earned money of poor and middle class have been siphoned off through electronic jugglery. The Savings Bank Account of one of my colleagues had been manipulated by unscrupulous parasites 6 months back and almost Rs.50000/- had been withdrawn. But no organization is accepting the responsibility of the severe loss that have been suffered by my colleague. Right from the bank management to police to Government — all have washed their hands of the matter and my innocent colleague has been left to fend for himself! Moreover there also exist innumerable barriers like software malfunction, link failure which have already taken a heavy toll on public life. Now if all financial transactions and records connected with our day to day life are forcefully digitized without any hardware or hardcopy as back-up, just imagine the havoc it would bring in the society if the overhyped “modern” machines and software malfunction or get hacked! Are the “modern” messiahs of the nation aware of the fact that even the highly technologically-developed nations of the West are slowly returning to manual amenities like typewriters and physical files so that all records do not vanish if software get manipulated?
It is indeed a matter of utmost disgrace that in order to award benefits to the plastic card companies and impose a false sense of “modernity” through the instrument of technological jargon named “cashless”, an extremely dangerous scenario is being ushered in the Indian society.
Yours,
Kajal Chatterjee,
Kolkata

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