What is that one thing that has become too easily accessible for our generation- more omnipresent in our lives than even God? Hint? You’ll find it in your feed, in Quora, Facebook, Twitter, etc.! That’s right- news; and to be precise, “trending news”! And if I were to ask, what has been trending the most rather, continuously for the past two months, we’ll have a unanimous answer, loud and clear- Demonetisation!
A word that until November 8, 2016, found its presence only in economic classrooms and financial discourses. An otherwise limited use jargon, which, by a sleight of the hand, PM Modi brought in everyday parlance. From routine discussions in streets, bus stops, cabs, homes, markets, offices, metro, schools, colleges to conversations with people known, unknown, colleagues, bosses, friends, doodhwala (milkman), chaiwala (tea-vendor), dhobi (washer-man). Quite literally, every Tom, Dick and Harry, seems to have become a passionate economist nowadays, prophesising not just the future state of the Indian economy but also the fate of the beloved Prime Minister.
Right from the minute Namo addressed the nation on the television, the (Indian) world seems to have been divided into two – one chunk of Modi haters, denouncing his every move and the other of the bhakts, eulogising their Messiah who seems to have taken the “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign)“ to an altogether new level.
While the debate on the virtuosity of this move is far from dying down any soon, let’s have a look at all the positives, that this apparent check and mate on the “black money hoarders”, has for us- the mango people!
With even the Mother Dairy, Vegetable vendors, autowallahs (auto-drivers) and the like, humming the tune of Paytm karo (a tagline by the company Paytm), financing daily chores has never been easier. Gone are the days when a khadoos (grumpy) milk vendor would say, “chhuta leke aao (bring change)” and be a spoiler for the entire morning, or a scheming autowallah would run away after giving you a torn and taped note, only to decorate your wallet for years unless you could slyly fool another into accepting it.
How many days, since the last time you ordered food? C’mon, this we can count on our fingers! Succumbing to excuses in the face of the mundane moong ki dal (lentils) or the khatarnaak karela (dangerous bitter gourd), browsing home delivery menus has become a routine. Well, what’s better if one could get a discount plus a cashback/ credits every time an order was placed online. Apps like Zomato, Swiggy, Foodpanda are revolutionising the food business like never before, using the big D just well to keep customers addicted to ordering online.
With frugal cash available, other than for essentials, we all had a really tough time keeping away from our beloved Sarojini, Janpath, Kamla Nagar to embrace this winter season. E-commerce start-ups en-cashed on just that, to bring the market at our doorsteps. Fighting out amongst themselves to maximise their revenue generation, giants like amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong and the like are fighting among themselves and in this fight to retain maximum clicks, consumers are the ultimate king. With the competition getting tougher, discounts are getting heftier like never before.
Compelled to go the digital way, so many people have been brought into the formal banking sector, saved from the blood sucking-money pinching moneylenders. So many, have got the confidence to use ATM cards where the facility is available rather than keeping a count of the low denomination tenners and the coins just for the sake of “chhutta”. We read that change happens overnight. Well if it wasn’t for the hushed preparation and the secrecy maintained to make India go the digital way, we wouldn’t have had so many of our respected elders showing confidence in online modes of transactions and enjoying its fruits (something the previous generations have been really wary of!)
Stating the above, not denying the pains that the first few days (read months) of the big announcement caused to the masses, yet if we keep a positive outlook we all will agree that this move gave Indians two things in abundance- loads of gossip to cover countless round trips of the mundane office/college-to-home daily rituals and if nothing else, good amount of experience to stand in queues and wait.