A petition campaign on Avaaz.org ,” Mr Narendra Modi: Say Sorry for the Disaster of Demonetisation and Resign!“, has called for Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi’s resignation. The petition asks Modi to take responsibility for the hundreds of people who have died as a direct result of his disastrous demonetisation scheme, apologise to the Indian people and resign.
Mr. Modi, you need to take moral responsibility for the hundreds of people who have died as a direct result of your disastrous demonetisation scheme. All those who suffered heart attacks while waiting long hours in endless bank queues… Their blood is on your hands.
All the bank staff and employees who died under stress while on the job in the mad crush… Their blood is on your hands.
All the innocent victims ‐ farmers, artisans, daily wage workers ‐ who have committed suicide in despair over their lives being wrecked by the cashless existence you imposed on them… Their blood is on your hands.
And what about the millions of people who can no longer buy food or medicine for themselves or their children? How many tens of thousands of these will fall sick or die as a direct result of your suicidal policy? The news media is largely silent about this national tragedy, but their blood is on your hands.
Immediately after making your late‐night speech on November 8th banning 86 percent of India’s currency, and plunging the nation into havoc, you waltzed off to Japan. That’s ironic, because if Japan’s top leader had inflicted on the Japanese people what you have inflicted on India’s population, the Japanese premier would resign out of shame and guilt.
Yet you strut around, arrogantly defending your demolition‐job on India’s economy and people, with self‐serving speeches that show no hint of remorse. You boastfully fantasize about a “cashless society” or a “digital economy”‐‐‐one which may happen twenty years from now, while hundreds of millions of people are suffering right now as a result of your rashly conceived note‐ban.
Mr. Modi, you need to resign immediately. You need to accept full moral responsibility for your reckless and immoral scheme. You have, indeed, an awful lot of blood on your hands.
Mr. Modi, your supporters have tried to shift the blame onto your top advisors‐‐‐the two or three cronies with whom you secretly shared your plan, unbeknownst to the Cabinet, the Parliament, or the people of India. Or else your apologists blame the Reserve Bank of India for poor planning. But you are the one person who hatched and carried out your disastrous demonetisation scheme by arbitrary decree. The fault for the monumentally poor planning rests entirely with you. Do not attempt to pass the buck, Mr. Modi. Resign.
Didn’t you know that over 90% of India’s economic activity is done in cash? Weren’t you aware that an estimated 80% to 91% of India’s villages and rural areas are BANKLESS, i.e., without a bank or ATM machine? Did you expect the inhabitants of these areas to walk hundreds of kilometres to a bank to exchange their outlawed currency? Didn’t you know that only 16% of Indians use smartphones, and many or most of these people avoid using them for financial transactions? Didn’t you realize that your currency‐replacement scheme would involve recalibrating 200,000 ATM machines with new hardware and software…and that printing up the new replacement bills will take four months to one year?
What country are you living in, Mr. Modi? Certainly not India…the real‐life India to which you have dealt a body‐blow. Mr. Modi, your draconian currency‐ban scheme has failed abysmally by your own yardstick. In terms of productivity, the billions of man‐hours and woman‐hours lost‐‐‐as people wait in endless bank queues‐‐‐cancels out any gain from catching black money. Even your supporters are now starting to admit the gain will be modest at best, so they have shifted the discussion from black money to the brave‐new “digital economy”, completely ignoring the reality on the ground as people suffer, businesses fail, supply lines dry up, shopkeepers shut down, and farmers perish.
Mr. Modi, you made an election promise that you would go after the big holders of black money who stash the cash overseas. But you never followed through on that campaign promise. Why? Would you end up catching your own financial backers and major donors to your BJP party? There are several methods available to reduce black money, but you did not utilize any of those methods‐‐‐instead you used a draconian, dictatorial approach, which is rapidly proving to be ineffectual while spreading massive misery, especially to the poor and working classes. One has to wonder if there was a hidden agenda to your seemingly insane scheme.
Regardless of that question, you need to resign. Because even if one life was lost through your folly, your demonetisation scheme would not be justified. And your scheme has already resulted in over 100 documented deaths, while uncounted millions of people no longer have cash to buy food for themselves or their children.
Own up to the human disaster you have single‐handedly created. Do the right thing, for the good of the country and your soul. Roll back the demonetisation immediately, and step down.
We are still at a point in this sorry episode where the people of India will understand and even forgive you – if you say sorry and resign !