Demonetisation: Despite fortnight of hardship, cash-strapped India stands by Modi

With the inconvenience to the common man caused due to demonetisation refusing to end, and faulty implementation uniting the Opposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to his favourite medium of communication — the digital platform — to get a thumbs-up

Debobrat Ghose November 24, 2016 07:29:30 IST
Demonetisation: Despite fortnight of hardship, cash-strapped India stands by Modi

With the inconvenience to the common man caused due to demonetisation refusing to end, and faulty implementation uniting the Opposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to his favourite medium of communication — the digital platform — to get a thumbs-up, and to silence his critics.

Demonetisation Despite fortnight of hardship cashstrapped India stands by Modi

Representational image. Reuters

The staggering support to his call on the ‘Narendra Modi App’ — 90 percent responding that the government's move to tackle black money was brilliant — proves that despite the snaking queues outside banks and ATM counters, and despite the sudden cashlessness making daily life a trifle difficult, the public is ready to endure hardship to see an end to the plague of corruption and black money in India.

At least, the smartphone user in India is.

The BJP, obviously, was thrilled at the results of the survey announced last evening.

“A common Indian in this country is honest and would never support terrorism and corruption. The survey result that has received an unprecedented response from the common man shows that they have hailed the prime minister's demonetisation move as they want to get rid of deep-rooted corruption and black money menace. No true Indian will ever support terrorism, corruption, funding terror activities through counterfeit currency etc. Those who opposed this move have thoroughly exposed themselves,” New Delhi MP and BJP national spokesperson, Meenakshi Lekhi told Firstpost.  

Many of those who responded to Modi's questionnaire also took to Twitter on Tuesday evening, hailing demonetisation and reiterating their faith in the war against corruption — from MNC executives to school teachers, housewives and college students.

“Modi won the 2014 election on the plank that his government would eliminate corruption and black money from our system. Demonetisation is a step towards actualising the promise he made to his electorate. The survey result though representing a minuscule section of our 125 crore population, proves that despite hardships due to dearth of cash, people chose to support move against black money,” said Raipur-based Tapan J Dey, a senior executive at a multinational pharmaceutical company, who took to Twitter to express himself.

Added, Nagpur-based teacher of computer science Madhavi Laghate, “I too participated in the survey, as I felt it was a good move that would benefit common man in the long term, rather than providing immediate relief from corruption.”

The survey conducted by the prime minister to seek the opinion of the public through an app has received an unprecedented response — more than 90 percent of the respondents feel the government’s move to tackle black money is above a four-star rating.

While, more than 93 percent of those polled support the move to demonetise the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, more than 92 percent of respondents either rate the government as ‘very good or good’ on the overall fight against corruption.

In just over 24 hours since the launch of the survey, more than five lakh people from over 2,000 locations across the world participated and expressed their opinion — which is a staggering number by any stretch.

Demonetisation Despite fortnight of hardship cashstrapped India stands by Modi

Representational image. PTI

A Kalkaji-based auto-rickshaw driver Santosh Kumar, who also owns a smartphone to use an e-wallet and beat the cash crunch in the market remarked, “Theek hai kuch din dikkat hogi, par aanewale saalon mein agar kaala dhan khatma ho jaye to isse achcha aur kiya ho sakta hai. Aaj tak kisi pradhan mantri ne aisi himmat nahi dikhai (It’s fine that there may be hardship for a couple of days. But if the black money menace ends in the coming years, there can’t be anything better than this. Until now, no prime minister has shown such courage).”

However, there have been contrarian voices as well.

“I don’t think it’s a meaningful survey. The issue is not about how people have perceived of it, but what’s really going to happen to the economy. Demonetisation that is supposed to target black money has no significant impact on it, but there are severe economic costs that people and vulnerable sections of society have to pay due to a lack of work and loss of income. A lot of economic activity has come to a standstill, as the movement of money has stopped. The government could have done it differently,” said economist and professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Surajit Mazumdar.

“Since I haven’t downloaded the Narendra Modi App, I don't know about the survey being propagated and the kind of sample survey that has been done. However, I personally believe that a majority of Indians have supported the government’s demonetisation move, as people are fed up of corruption and are ready to support any move that would counter it. As a result, those who faced problems due to demonetisation, also supported it. I call this move a good decision with poor and shoddy implementation that led to public frustration,” added Anupam, national spokesperson of the newly-formed Swaraj India.

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