Thiruvananthapuram: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonitisation move has brought about mixed reactions from different parts of the society with a majority holding onto criticizing his fight against corruption. The oppositions have unitedly stood against Modi’s anti-corruption move. But what about the commoners and their plight ?
Reports suggest that millions of the lower income class people have been severely hit by the demonetization move. These people have been struggling to feed their children and get work to meet daily expenses. More affected were those who did not have any bank account.
A 70 year old man from Kerala has started a protest in his own way. This news has been shared on a social platform by Dr Ashraf Kadakkal, assistant professor at University of Kerala, His post narrated how the demonetization drive hit the old man and why he shaved off half his head in protest, and why he vowed not to grow his hair until PM Modi is voted out of power. The post is titled as “Mann Ki Baat from a small hotel owner to a former tea vendor,” Ashraf shared the story of Yahikkakka. Here’s a close translation of his Facebook post as per a leading national news portal.
“My name is Yahiya. Peers call me Yahi, others prefer calling Yahikkakka. I am nearly 70 years old, a native of Kadakkal Mukkunnam in Kerala’s Kollam district. I live with my wife and two daughters.
When I realised I cannot marry off my daughter from what I make from climbing coconut trees and working in farms, I sold everything I had and went to the Gulf. Nothing but a life of suffering awaited me there, a poor, uneducated man. I came back with whatever little I made. With that money, and a bank loan from Kadakkal Co-operative bank, I got my daughter married.
I handle the entire hotel myself, from cooking to serving to cleaning. So I chose to wear a nightie. My customers enjoy the tasty beef and chicken fry I serve from 5 PM till midnight, and stay entertained by what they consider a ridiculous attire for a man. Had I been running this store in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, I would have been hanged.
I had Rs 23,000 in cash, all in the demonetised notes. I tried my best to get it exchanged from nearby banks, stood in queues for two days. On the second day, blood sugar level dropped and I almost collapsed. Some Good Samaritans helped me to a government hospital.
Other than the loan account at the co-operative bank, I don’t have a bank account. Since all transactions at co-operative banks were frozen, I realised I cannot get it deposited anywhere.
How many days should I stand in queues to get the money I saved, my money, the money I made working hard for hours straight over the years, deposited?
When I got home from the hospital, I lit my choolah and burnt the entire Rs 23,000 in it. I then went to a nearby barber shop, shaved off half my already bald head.
I vow to grow it back only when PM Modiji, the man who, in a jiffy, burnt all my hard work and savings into ashes, is voted out of power and this country is saved.
Dr Ashraf ended his Facebook post saying, “Dear Yahikkakka, sorry for treating you like a clown all these years. Your protest is so powerful and meaningful that the bandh the strongest party in our state is conducting tomorrow.”