When the Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonitisation on November 8, he said it was against the black money and to end the source of funding for the terrorism. Kashmir was the usual suspect. But the way the demonitisation unfolded in Kashmir, everyone was shocked.
The sight of long queues at banks and ATMs across the country after the notes ban was missing in Jammu and Kashmir, where there are more bank accounts than people. The population of Jammu and Kashmir is 1.25 crore, and according to official records, there are more than 1.50 crore bank accounts in the state. Even daily wage workers have bank accounts, and payment by cheques is a way of life for majority of people. Nearly three decades of turmoil and militancy has played a role.
Worried about keeping money in their homes, a generation that has witnessed militancy in the state has opted for what is believed to be the safest option – the bank. But like everything else in Kashmir, even the rare normalcy is taking political overtones. People are exchanging old notes to discredit claims by Delhi that large sums of unaccounted money fuel trouble in the Valley. Had there been black money, the rush at banks would have been longer, Kashmiris are pointing out with a sense of pride.
Treating Jammu & Kashmir as a sensitive state, the Centre has taken special concern for it. Not only in view of militancy-affected state, but the GOI has also tried to normalise the situation of cash crunch in the state to smoothen the transactions of the security personnel of different agencies working in the state.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.