For over a millennium one of the recurring debates among Indian philosophers was whether this world was real or a mere dream. To be more precise, the claim was, we are all part of Maha Vishnu’s dream as He sleeps peacefully on a giant serpent, with a lotus blooming from His navel.
– Satya Sagar
Paradoxically, those who preached most passionately that our senses mislead us and everything around was Maya or an illusion, went on to corner the largest chunk of material reality.
Behind the smokescreen of clever mythology, it was they, who grabbed the lion’s share of everything tangible over the centuries – from land, water, natural resources to hard political and social power. Worse still, using a mix of brute force and religious mumbo-jumbo, they consolidated the exploitation of those who work by those who merely cook up tall stories, through the nightmare of the caste system.
Today the politics of Maya is well and truly back in play with Narendra Modi’s ‘Mahayagna’ a.k.a. demonetisation promising a digital Moksha through the tapasya of a ‘war on black money’. Once again, as in India’s sordid past, the biggest losers of this devious push for a cashless economy are going to be those right at the bottom of the Indian caste hierarchy.
From all evidence so far it is clear, that the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, who make up a bulk of those surviving off India’s vast informal economy, are the worst affected by the sudden disappearance of cash from the economy. Labour in agriculture, construction, fishing, textiles, micro-enterprises, the urban and rural poor – mostly from these marginalized castes – have been pushed to the brink of starvation or worse due to loss of jobs and income.
The other sections hit hard, are small and medium sized farmers, who are overwhelmingly from the different Backward Castes and artisans, mostly from poorer Muslim communities. It is true that demonetisation has also hit the economically and caste-wise better off trading communities, but they seem to have been sacrificed in the quest for complete domination by global and national corporations – who pay our politicians to run the country on their behalf.
The most apt way to describe what is happening in India today is perhaps through a completely new term – dwijitalisation. Under the new rules of the dwijital economy only the dwij – or twice born as the Hindu caste elite call themselves – will climb still higher up the social and economic hierarchy, while kicking the ladder down to ensure no one can follow. …
India’s Demonetization Triggers Extreme Poverty and Famine
– Gideon Polya
The demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is disproportionately impacting the poor of India. Presently 4.5 million Indians die avoidably from deprivation each year and demonetisation will make this worse by increasing poverty, deprivation and disempowerment. Indians must reject this callous and deadly attack on the poor, reject deadly pro-One Percenter neoliberalism and demand social justice via social humanism (democratic socialism).
Countercurrents.org editor Binu Mathew has written:
“In a cashless / digital money India Big Brother would be watching 24/7. The digitally illiterate vast majority would be driven out of circulation like the old notes. It’s a long process, perhaps more lethal than Hitler’s “Final Solution”. More people died in World War II Bengal famine (1942-45) than Hitler’s gas chambers. Did it make it at least into the footnotes of Indian history? Demonetised India doesn’t need gas chambers, hunger will do the job!” .
Unfortunately Binu Matthew is essentially correct and indeed quite conservative in his estimation. Poverty and disempowerment combine to constitute a deadly deprivation in India today that is already linked to an annual avoidable mortality of 4.5 million Indians each year as estimated from mortality data from the UN Population Division . Avoidable mortality (avoidable death, excess mortality, excess death, untimely death, deaths that should not happen) is the difference between actual deaths in a country in a given period and deaths that would be expected if that country were at peace and subject to humane governance .
Demonetisation will make this horrendous Indian avoidable mortality holocaust worse by increasing poverty, deprivation and disempowerment. …