It is not only the filthy rich, Narendra Modi’s sudden move of demonetization has severely affected the common people also. Panic and a frenzied rush for deliverance are evident everywhere in the country. The target of Prime Minister Modi’s move may have been the rich which has lakhs and crores of rupees black money stashed away in their personal lockers and counterfeit currency runners. Yes, the hoarders of black money and the coffers of the ultra rich, and also politicians have been devastated. It will take years to fully recover from the shock. The timing of demonetization will surely have an impact in the state assembly elections slated early next year. Elections were a festival in the past, when money and liquor and even drugs are plenty. But this time, it may be a low key affair. But who knows, politicians have their own ways of finding alternatives. Rumours doing the rounds are that, politicians have begun distributing advance payments in notes of higher denominations to voters in some constituency. State BJP leaders have no other option but to support PM Modi’s decision. But this move is going to affect not only the Congress, but ticket aspirants of BJP and other parties also. Well, this is the story of the rich, black money hoarders or counterfeit note runners and corrupt politicians. But we must not forget the impact of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to demonetize currency notes of higher denominations have given to the common people. Everyday life has been thrown out of gear. The poorer sections of the society and daily wage earners have also a few notes of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 in their savings. They have been affected and also it is the middle class which have severely hit by this surprise announcement. In Manipur also, both wholesalers and retailers including smaller ones in the Leikais have down shutters. As the wholesale dealers refuse to accept Rs 500 and 1000 notes, the stocks of retailers have plummeted while the dearth of Rs 100 notes have severely affected business. Of course, some shops are open and accept the banned notes, one has to buy essential items and other commodities worth either Rs 500 or Rs 1000 in full. Imagine the plight of the poor families which had to part with their precious savings. In short, the economy and business is in chaos. Mr Modi said, oil pumps and hospitals should accept these notes. Here in Imphal, most of the oil pumps are closed while the hospitals do not accept the notes and demand notes of smaller denominations. Pharmacies not accepting these notes have further added to the woes of the sick and suffering. Commoners have been running from pillar to post in a mad frenzy to do away with their higher denomination notes. Precious time has been wasted while their minds were all day occupied with the worries. As the banks opened, there were long queues everywhere. People left their everyday business and office-goers shirked duty to either encash or deposit their 500s and 1000s in the banks. Someone said, PM Modi is a person who fully analyses the existing conditions and the likely impact before taking a decision. The question is, did he not foresee the consequences of his decision on the common people in his singular obsession of weeding out black money and fake currency business.
Leader Writer: Irengbam Arun
Source: Imphal Free Press