India Begins “Day of Rage”

India Begins “Day of Rage”India Begins “Day of Rage”

Thousands participated in nationwide protests in India on Monday against the government’s ban on two major currency notes.

Most opposition parties have said they will participate in the so-called “day of rage”, BBC reported.

Earlier this month, the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes were banned overnight, causing chaos as people lined up at banks to exchange their old currency.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has defended the decision saying it was an anti-corruption measure. But opposition parties say the move was mishandled. Last week, they stalled parliament and demanded Modi should apologize for the decision.

Correspondents say it is unclear how much public momentum a day of protests will generate as many Indians have supported the move, despite the inconvenience it has caused them.

The southern state of Kerala, ruled by the Communists, is likely to see a shutdown, while a major protest rally has been planned in the eastern city of Kolkata.

In the southern city of Bangalore, the main opposition Congress party will hold a protest march, where several thousand people are expected to participate.

About 90% of India’s transactions are in cash and many people don’t have a bank account. The two banned notes accounted for about 86% of the cash in circulation.

In his first national address since the ban on notes, Modi called on Sunday for people to embrace digital payments and use less cash.

Last week, former premier, Manmohan Singh, said the government’s move to ban the much-used banknotes was “monumental mismanagement”, and that the country’s gross domestic product would fall “by about 2%” because of the move.

Modi announced that 500 and 1,000 rupee notes were no longer legal tender as part of a crackdown on corruption earlier this month.

There have been chaotic scenes in India ever since. People have been queuing for hours outside banks and cash machines that are fast running out of money. In some instances, the police have had to be called in to manage queues of anxious customers trying to change their savings in banned notes for legal tender.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints