How fair is it to blame Modi government for all demonetisation-related deaths?

Many genuinely believe in the demonetisation policy of the government and are silently standing in the long unending lines

Since the day demonetisation was announced, there have been reports of deaths of some people who died due to shock or some others who died while standing in the long lines outside banks and ATMs. While these deaths have been highly unfortunate, how fair will it be to hold the government responsible for them?

Some deaths were due to people not being able to pay for medical facilities as the old currency had been declared an illegal tender. This is a valid criticism. However, there have been cases where people died due to misunderstandings or due to exertion. They may be called demonetisation-related deaths but are these really due to the government’s move to ban a currency?

The government has been trying to quell rumours in every possible way to dispel such misunderstandings. The decision to implement the ban was also announced by the Prime Minister himself and not some other minister, making it amply clear that the government understands the gravity of the issue and the rumours that it might create.

But misunderstandings remain. Here are a few examples.

1. A washerwoman in Uttar Pradesh died of shock when she got to know that Rs 1,000 notes were banned. She had two of such notes and she couldn’t cope up with the fact that they were now not legal tender.

2. A 55-year-old woman in Telangana committed suicide after she thought her savings worth Rs 54 lakh were now worthless.

3. A man in West Bengal murdered his wife because she returned empty handed from the ATM.

4. A man died of cardiac arrest in Bihar after he feared his daughter’s dowry won’t be accepted now.

5. A man died after falling off from the 2nd floor of a bank in Kerala while filling the deposit slip and died.

6. A man in Faizabad died after watching Modi announce the demonetisation scheme.

Do the above incidents really hint that the government was responsible for these deaths?

In all discussions on social media and face-to-face interactions, if you support a move by Narendra Modi, you are called his blind supporter. If you criticise him, you are termed an anti-national.

I support the move of the government to demonetise, and I’m not a ‘blind Modi supporter’. It is a good step to flush out the black money that is currently in circulation in the economy. Although, I have reservations regarding the implementation of the policy.

Since the government was already planning to take such a move, the circulation of notes of Rs 100 denomination should have increased. Many of those who withdrew even an hour before the announcement had got stacks of Rs 500 notes in hand. Shouldn’t steps have been taken to ensure that Rs 100 notes are more in circulation?

Also, the timing has been questioned by many as the rural sector which is already in distress, is facing tremendous hardships due to this move. This is the harvest season and people have no money to buy the crops of the farmers who have struggled for months to grow their produce. People have no money to disburse to the daily wage workers to harvest the crops.

Paramilitary and armed guards have been stationed outside ATMs and banks, bank employees are living in the constant fear of facing the wrath of agitated customers.

Many genuinely believe that they are working for the national good and are silently standing in the long unending lines. Let’s just hope this trust is not broken and that this initiative eradicates at least a major chunk of the black money that is degrading our economy.