Congratulations ! You are in Queue …
If you are the lucky one who did not have to wait in a long queue – Congratulations!
If you are the lucky mind who does not get upset with hardships people are forced upon – Congratulations!
If you are the optimist who thinks that ‘its ok’ to go through “some” troubles when the nation is taking a harsh step for its own benefits – Congratulations!
Congratulations for you have not met the ill-fate that visited some of your fellow citizens. Congratulations that you have a dead heart that doesn’t beat for the hardships of the poor. Congratulations that you are not the ‘poor’ mother who carried a child in her womb for nine months, was refused an admission to a hospital when she went into labor and subsequently lost her child! The baby died after a Mumbai hospital allegedly refused to take 500, 1000 rupee notes to admit them.
While the untouched jubilant social media-ites celebrate on virtual world, a life was lost. Being a mother, I cannot even dare to imagine how devastated the parents must be. How ridiculous this get? A newborn loses its life just because of the so called ‘radical move’ of its government!
While some in the nation celebrate this ‘daring’ move to arrest the 6% of black money in cash, I am wondering about the incompetence of the government, the finance ministry and the lack of concern of government towards its citizens.
Reports about the hardships being faced by urban India is all over the media. An intelligent government would’ve fathomed most, if not all, of those things that could go wrong with the late evening announcement; it would’ve taken measures to ensure smooth transitions. It would’ve equipped itself with solutions to deal with the impending situation. And we are yet to read about how life has been impacted in rural India where a good 60% of India resides. There are no excuses around the unpreparedness and incompetence that the government has demonstrated to this end.
The icing on the cake, to me, is the ‘timing’ of the announcement. A government, a body that is supposed to work in the interest of the country and its citizens, doesn’t weigh the impact of the ‘timing’ such announcements on its citizens? This is a time when:
– Northern India is facing one of the worst air-quality conditions. Those PM particles have made headlines due to their hazardous levels in the air. On 9th November, PM2.5 concentrations were about 500 µg/m3 in parts of Delhi. The health impacts of inhaled PM2.5 are deadly and yet, the government couldn’t wait for the air to clear. It chose to subject the population to stand in 2 km long bank queues and inhale this toxic air.
– The worsened air-quality conditions were in part due to residue crop-burning in North Indian states of Punjab and Haryana. Crop residue is burnt after reaping the kharif crop to prepare the fields for the next growing season. One, there was crop to be sold. Two, in the middle of the sowing season, farmers are running out of cash! This government has not shown a single responsible committed step towards bettering farmer’s situation. And of course it couldn’t have gauged about the problems they will face with the brazen demonetization announcement! This time, the farmers and the country will both be impacted. I hope government can anticipate a rise in farmers suicide and perhaps prepare to address that!
– This is the season of marriages! How on earth are people expected to meet their wedding plans by being able to withdraw only 4000 rupees a day? Does the government not have any understanding of our social structure? Does it not relate to the unwarranted societal shaming that families might have to bear? Does it have no knowledge on the statistics of what this means to a girl’s family in our country?
– And there is a long list of all those who rely on daily wages, who buy food every few days, the auto drivers etc.
I am surprised that there is a part of this nation who is not questioning this incompetence and lack of preparedness of the government and the finance ministry. That they have no empathy for the lost lives or the hardships endured by their fellow countrymen. Without an iota of doubt, only the middle or lower income families will be impacted. Other classes will live off of the plastic money. They may not even encounter that section of the society who are most impacted and whose percent population is higher than theirs.
Congratulations to the euphoric section of our country! Congratulations for your conscience in in queue; in a very long queue to awake …. to awake to humanity.
(Author of the article is Artti)