Demonetization by Modi: Civil Unrest Spreads in India

People of India Protesting Against Narendra Modi Government on January 18, 2017
People of India Protesting Against Narendra Modi Government on January 18, 2017

People are now demanding the resignation of the RBI governor, who is not expected to resign because many believe he is working as a slave of the Modi government.

By Rakesh Raman

As the people of India have been suffering because of the demonetization decision taken by the government a couple of months ago, a civil unrest has spread all across the country.

After massive protests by the opposition parties of India, hundreds of thousands of people came on the streets on Wednesday to express their anguish on the continuously failing policies of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who – many believe – behaves like a dictator.

Reports suggested that hundreds of protesters were arrested by the police while the protests are likely to continue in all parts of India.

Modi had demonetized currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 on November 8 with the belief that his decision will help check corruption in the country.

But Modi’s decision has caused a total chaos in India. Nobel laureate and world’s top economist Professor Amartya Sen says Modi’s demonetization decision has showed the authoritarian nature of the Indian government.

Similarly, former Prime Minister of India and leading economist Dr. Manmohan Singh said in India’s Parliament that Modi’s demonetization scheme is a case of organized loot and legalized plunder.

Dr. Manmohan Singh
Dr. Manmohan Singh

He reminded Modi of the unfortunate deaths that have already taken place in India because Modi government is not allowing people to withdraw their own money from banks.

Last week, Dr. Manmohan Singh also said that Modi has brought India on a path of disaster and the worse is yet to come. Moreover, he said, the GDP of India after demonetization is expected to fall drastically to 6%.

[ Click here to know more about demonetization and its impact ]

While the country’s economy is completely damaged under Modi’s rule, it is said that Modi’s rich friends – who financially help him win elections – are benefiting.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist), for example, reports that because of Modi’s pro-rich policies, the wealth of the rich has been increasing while poor are suffering.

Mamata Banerjee at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on November 23, 2016
Mamata Banerjee at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on November 23, 2016

Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has given the slogan “Modi Hatao Desh Bachao (dethrone Modi, save the country) and demanded that a ‘National Government’ be formed to save the country from him.

Role of RBI

Most analysts are increasingly criticizing the role of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in imposing demonetization on the people in the country.

Although RBI is supposed to work independently toward the best interest of the Indian economy, it is observed that the RBI – particularly the RBI governor who was recently handpicked by the Modi government – allowed the government to attack its autonomy.

Last week, RBI employees wrote a letter to governor Urjit Patel, protesting against “operational mismanagement.” They said the autonomy and image of RBI has been “dented beyond repair” after the demonetization decision of November 8.

As the people of India are suffering, major opposition parties have been protesting aggressively against the note ban decision of the government.

The Congress Party besieged 33 RBI offices across the country on Wednesday – January 18 – as the party believes that the Modi government in connivance with the RBI governor has destroyed the autonomy of the RBI.

Opposition Parties in India Meeting the President on December 16, 2016
Opposition Parties in India Meeting the President on December 16, 2016

People are now demanding the resignation of the RBI governor, who is not expected to resign because many believe he is working as a slave of the Modi government.

Similarly, it is observed that Modi has complete control over the Indian media and judiciary which are not being allowed to work independently.

Almost all the newspapers, TV shows, online news services, and radio programs deliver false news and data about Modi’s work and they are totally focused on promoting Modi – who is actually a naive politician.

Prashant Bhushan – an Indian lawyer, activist and politician – who has revealed information about Modi’s own corruption said that even the Supreme Court of India is not working freely and has refused to take appropriate action against Modi.

The opposition parties have even met the President of India also many times during the past couple of months. But it appears that the President is also scared of Modi and has not taken any decision to resolve the conflict.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a government award-winning journalist and social scientist. You also can visit the REAL VOTER – Politics in India Information Center that he manages.

Photo courtesy: Congress, CPI(M), All India Trinamool Congress

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Rakesh Raman