Demonetisation: Human behaviour is like War
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has equated demonetisation as war, a war against blackmoney. Recent events prove that people believe Mr. Modi that this is war and are behaving as such.
The ban on Rupees 500 and 1000 notes has indeed created a warlike situation. The huge inflation during the UPA days, when food inflation was around 18%, had resulted in greater requirement of 500 and 1000 rupee notes. So when the Government announced that all the 500 and 1000 rupee notes had to be deposited in the banks, people were forced to deposit those. And since new notes were not printed, the Government only allowed people to withdraw 2000 rupees per day from an ATM, if you were able to beat the queue.
The situation is very tough as people don't have cash in hand. Most of the economy runs in cash. People often stand in queue in front of the ATMs for hours and return empty handed when the ATMs run out of cash. So there are frequent fights, fisticuffs, hurling of abuses at each other and at bank staff that goes on. A recent report also brought out the further ugly side of people. One person in West Bengal while standing in a queue fainted and the people didn't care to pick him up. The person lay there for 20 minutes before police found and shifted him to a hospital where he was declared brought dead.
In a war zone people don't grieve over dead bodies as they don't have time to retreat in view of the approaching army. They just move on to save their lives. Their survival instincts take over and ensure that they can do anything to survive. In one instance of a airline crash, the survivors were known to have turned cannibals and ate the dead people.
Our present situation has become similarly bad. Scarcity has induced a warlike situation and now people don't care to help someone who is exhausted and falls down resulting in deaths that could have been avoided.
Life and death has no value for people today. Concern for life has vanished. The cash scarcity will continue for many more months as some reports say that the total capacity to print notes is only 300 crores a month whereas the total number of notes to be replaced is 2300 crores. Since this situation will remain for atleast six months, there may be longterm implications as people will henceforth get used to only thinking about themselves and not concerned about others. A community succeeds if it stays united. When people lift each other up, then society moves up. When people only mind their narrow selfish interests, it causes great harm to society as the society is torn apart. In such times, it is easy to sow seeds of conflict. Government should be worried that terrorists can take advantage of such conflicts.