New Delhi, Dec 28: Why did demonetisation happen? To clean out the large chunk of black money from India, yes. To remove corruption, yes. However, the aim behind this is also to make India a cashless economy, as they say.

Since the decision to demonetise the country’s two high value currency notes was taken on November 8, most of us are relying on digital transactions such as net banking or Paytm. Even the local shops outside our offices and homes have started accepting Paytm. Calling it whatever you will, this did take off a hell lot of burden from our shoulders, didn’t it? You can just go around doing Paytm and using your debit cards all the time. Because we are well-read to at least use a smart phone and carry out transactions digitally. Hang on there! Then what about those who aren’t literate and do not own a smart phone and hence, access Internet? Well then, they have an option to stand in the never-ending ATM queues to withdraw their money and carry on with their daily lives. They might not get money on the first day or second day but they can come back again and wait for their turns right?

READ: Retired army man cries after losing his spot in a bank line: Demonetisation woes; Faces of India’s crash crunch

According to a report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), India has the highest population of illiterate adults at 287 million. According to 2015 estimates by UNESCO, the overall literacy of India stands at 72.1 per cent and as per Census 2011, it stands at 74.0 per cent. Now, if 27.9 per cent of India mostly rural and the weaker section stays illiterate and hence is nowhere near digitalisation, how do we believe that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization drive was a well-thought decision?

Then comes Internet connection, Mr Prime Minister, shouldn’t you first think about introducing Internet in all the villages in rural India so that they can make payments digitally? And the biggest blow was this tweet from Narendra Modi: “Pay digitally and you could be a lucky winner of the thousands of prizes that are going to be awarded over a period of 100 days!” Really now? Who are you saying this to? The people who need it the most in the time of demonetisation DO NOT even have Internet to go cashless. What do you have to say about it?

Recently, while I was trying to add money to my Paytm wallet through net banking, I was “horror-struck” to get a message that read “Your bank (SBI) has disabled this option. Kindly use another payment mode.” Here’s the screenshot of it:


Now that State Bank of India is the country’s largest lender and Paytm being what everybody’s been using to carry on peacefully in the time of “digital economy”, it is rather shocking that they do not connect. The State Bank of India had blocked wallets from using net banking to load money onto the Paytm accounts. What cashless economy are we talking about?

With a sudden surge in digital transaction since demonetization, this was also seen at one of the shopping stores at a metro city:

Source: Twitter
Source: Twitter

Modi’s 50 day deadline is approaching and the situation hasn’t been brought to normalcy. With no Internet, poor network and hence Internet connection, it seems like PM Modi should have given this decision a thought.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The writer is solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.