Vol. XL No. 48 November 27, 2016

Fight this “Cash War” on the People

THE “cash war” declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Indian people is exacting a heavy toll on the people. Scores of people, men, women and children have died as a result of the misery inflicted by the withdrawal of 1,000 and 500 rupee notes.  Till November 22, more than 75 deaths have been reported across the country and the number keeps mounting.

Some have died standing in the queues outside banks and ATMs in the interminable wait to access the money that is their own.  Some have died tragically committing suicide because they are unable to meet the expenses of their daughter’s wedding or as in the case of an 18-year old B Sc student in Banda district in Uttar Pradesh, who hung himself after failing to withdraw money from a bank to pay his fees for the examination.

Among those who have died because of the failure to receive timely medical treatment is the heartrending case of Nandini Namahta.  This 12-year old daughter of a CPI(M) district committee member in Ghatshila in Jharkhand typifies the suffering inflicted by the anti-people demonetisation scheme.  Nandini was suffering from cerebral malaria, but she could not be shifted to a hospital in Jamshedpur because transport could not be hired with the 500 rupee notes which her father had.  Her family had to watch helplessly as she died.

These individual stories of distress and tragedy are part of the overall crisis which has hit the working people who have lost their livelihood, meager savings and face starvation. 

It is these ordinary people visited by a calamity beyond their control who have been described by Narendra Modi as people who are rejoicing at his bold measure and as those who are sleeping peacefully at night.

The resolution adopted by the BJP Parliamentary Party lauding the demonetisation scheme has described the queues outside banks of the “common man and other honest people” as the “most profound statement ever made in our country in recent times”. There is not a word of sorrow or regret for the people who had to die standing in queues.  Here is a prime minister and the ruling party that is drunk with the arrogance of power, which has blinded them to the agonies and sufferings of the people.

The Left parties have given a call for a week-long protest from November 24 to 30 against this ruthless attack on the people.  The entire opposition has called for observing November 28 as Akrosh Divas.  A powerful protest must be mounted to give a befitting response to the inhuman Modi regime.

(November 24, 2016)