In November 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an emotional appeal to wait for 50 days before the cash crisis got over. Choked with emotion while delivering an impassioned speech in Goa, he said: “This is a 70-year-old disease. I have to eliminate in 17 months … I am looting what they had accumulated over 70 years.” He also said “Give me 50 days. Burn me alive if I am wrong.”
Next month, coming down heavily on Opposition parties for criticising his government for junking high-value notes, he said: “I am fighting this war for you and what will those accusing me do? Are hum to fakir aadmi hain jhola leke chal denge (I am a fakir, will leave with my belongings).”
On Wednesday, social media exploded over Reserve Bank of India’s annual report that revealed ₹15.28 lakh crore, or 99 per cent of the ₹15.44 lakh crore scrapped currency notes, was legally exchanged or came back into the system after demonetisation.
Angry social media users not only recalled demonetisation-related deaths, loss of livelihoods, adverse impact on small scale industry, farm sector, overall economy and GDP but also reminded the Prime Minister of his past theatrics and boisterous statements.
While several netizens asked Prime Minister Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to apologise to the country and tender resignation over the demonetisation disaster, others mocked the Finance Ministry’s defence of demonetisation last evening.
A picture taken by HT photo journalist Praveen Kumar that showed an old man breaking down outside a bank in Gurgaon, and several other images that became the face of the country’s hardship following the government’s demonetisation move, also surfaced on the social media.
Here’s a collection of notable reactions from twitter users:
The RBI report, besides reminding the confusion, gloom and horror that became synonymous with demonetisation, also provided enough fodder for humour and satire to some social media users. From jokes on demonetisation disaster to memes, cartoons and caricatures, social media sites were brimming with hilarious reactions too.