It is five years since the now infamous demonetization of high-denomination currency notes took place on 8 November, 2016. When the demonetization was announced, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had claimed that it would root out corruption and bring back the hoards lying abroad. During the election campaign, he had famously said that each family in India could get Rs 15 lakhs if black money from abroad was brought back. It turned out to be a ‘jumla’ or false promise. Neither was there so much ill-gotten money abroad, nor did the government know where it was, nor how to bring it back.
Demonetization has miserably failed to yield any positive result for the country. It has only created a nightmare for the citizens, which has lasted for the last five years. Many businesses have collapsed, people have lost jobs, industries collapsed, and lives were lost. PM Modi had said that he was ready to be punished by the citizens if things did not work out properly in the initial 50 days of demonetization. But Modi has never taken the responsibility for the mess created by him through demonetization. At the time of demonetization, long queues were seen outside the banks and ATMs to swap de-notified currency notes for new ones, so that life could continue. This situation persisted even beyond 30 December, 2016, the last day for depositing old notes. Economic activity was severely dented for months. What the ruling BJP thought was a masterstroke turned out to be a disaster. Sadly, the whole nation is now paying for the mistake of PM Modi.