600 million Indians don’t have bank accounts in India.
Even before demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid emphasis on a digital Indian economy. This idea of digital economy has become even more obvious with shifting focus from the problems faced by the poor due to cash crunch to the future that can be through digital economy.
History of cashless economy
The first country to push cashless economy is Denmark along Norway and Sweden. Among others, Australia, UK, South Korea is also pushing for cashless society.
What’s wrong with cashless society?
Today, we live in a world that is highly unequal, especially when it comes to distribution of wealth. A cashless society will further jeopardize this situation for the poor and uneducated who have no access to such knowledge.
In such a scenario, the govt. openly shouting for a cashless society and PM Modi asking party workers to promote this idea seems unrealistic and ill fated when we know that the poor are going to be left behind.
Not only that, BJP has euphemistically ignored the impact of demonetisation on the poor. The deaths that have been caused, the decreasing payment of daily wage labors and loss of livelihoods for many farmers among others has been ignored completely by the ruling political parties.
How can the government that claims to be ‘pro-poor’ talk about a cashless economy when they know that only the literates, affluent and technically learned people will be the true beneficiaries of this idea. While the poor, illiterate, child labours, women labours, daily wage labours and many more will be excluded from its success.
Developed Scandinavian countries, Australia and UK among others can afford such a plan for their small number of population as compare to India and almost 100% literacy. But laying too much emphasis on this plan in India and at the same time failing to educate and improve literacy will definitely push further the increasing gap between the rich and the poor.
Such a plan is not pro poor, but pro rich and middle class, attractive to the bourgeois and mostly effective and feasible in cities. There are only 800 per million card swiping machines in the country. What’s even sadder is the ignorance of media to educate and debate the impact of this intention. The government is hiding behind big bang schemes to hide its malfunctioning and we people are foolishly standing and enjoying as the world changes in front of our eyes and the poor are thrown aside like a garbage bag.