This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Subham Rath. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

‘One Decision Drove An Entire Nation Berserk’: Open Letter To PM On Demonetisation

By Subham Rath

Dear PM Narendra Modi,

As an Indian citizen, I congratulate you on your intention to make India a black money and corruption-free land with the recent ban on Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 rupee notes.

However, this decision too was met with numerous criticisms. But I am unable to figure out the answers to some fundamental questions that I deem very pertinent and crucial to this ongoing ‘anti-corruption’ drive.

Does this massive operation ensure the prevention of further generation of counterfeits and black money, once this massive operation gets over? With no additional special security features introduced in the new Rs. 2000, 1000 and 500 rupee notes, how do you propose to stop corruption, counterfeits and black money as a result of tax evasion and intrusion of fake currency notes from Pakistan in future?

How are we doing in terms of fighting the black money stashed in various forms abroad in Swiss banks and in tax havens like Mauritius, Panama and other such places ?

Moreover, do you have plans to interfere with probable surreptitious temple donations (‘hundi‘) made during this time ? If not, why?

I agree with you on the fact that at least some amount of ‘black money’ will be recovered and it will definitely give the hoarders sleepless nights. But it has also given, millions of people, who don’t have any connection to black money, sleepless nights.

Banking officials too are having terrible times.  There are already cases of vandalism and loots, taking place throughout the nation.

A number of people have reportedly died while waiting in queue to exchange their currency notes.  A baby died yesterday awaiting medical attention, due to the refusal of a doctor of the Rs. 500 note.

Who is going to take the responsibility for all of this? Clearly this was not an accident.

I must commend your efforts. Your efforts did one thing for good. It exposed the rotten skeleton of class disparity, where a privileged neo-liberal middle class with absolute certainty failed to comprehend the plight of the downtrodden majority in the nation. And in such a heterogeneous nation like India, how can we even forget the caste disparity as well?

Now coming back to the topic of prevalent chaos, was your government prepared to deal with such a pandemonium? Because all that we hear is news of havoc wreaked by that one decision no matter how noble its vision may seem.

What plans do you have to help the nation get rid of this bottleneck situation in the upcoming days, given the fact that the ATMs will still require sometime (in weeks) to recalibrate?

Daily wage workers, like tea plantation workers for example, are not getting their wages with which they make their ends meet. This period also coincides with the harvesting period of kharif crops in West Bengal. Most of the earnings of the farmers are exchanged in cash which clearly seems unavailable at the moment for one reason or the other. How do you intend to salvage them from this situation? Clearly, mere salutation for their sacrifice will not suffice.

Moreover, the Centre approved changes to an anti-corruption law that protects government employees from being investigated by agencies. This came as a shocking revelation and stood completely paradoxical to your aims to fight corruption. How will this help to fight corruption when there is already a lack of transparency because of the shield provided by the Centre?

The situation seems unprecedented and calls for immediate ‘catastrophe management’.  It appears that a single decision drove an entire nation berserk.

I sincerely hope that this decision of yours would not continue to put ordinary people in such trouble and misery.


Subham Rath

You must be to comment.
  1. Joshi Vaishnavi

    Mr. Shubham Rath, very well written. I agree with you that this step will not totally clear the black money and corruption. But why are you so worried about standing in lines at the ATM? Even I am facing this problem but why do u expect that only the government should work and we should not be affected in any way when some revolutionary step is being taken? That man(Mr. Modi) is working day and night for us and why aren’t we ready to support him? Just 50 days! I know it is tough but was staying in this corrupted society easy? No pains, no gains! This is the time when we should focus on the result and not the journey. Thanks!

More from Subham Rath

Similar Posts

By Shaharyar Khan

By Kritika Nautiyal

By shakeel ahmad

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below