Who drove India’s play for a cashless society

Over the course of 2017, India made a vigorous attempt to drive its diverse population toward a cashless society. Prime Minister Modi was regularly quoted as claiming that it would support his overall objective to reduce corruption and improve transparency in the economy. This is widely seen to have failed.

Arguments abound about the pros and cons of the cashless society but the most vigorous have been that it was an attack on the poor who are least equipped to move away from traditional payment methods. The Conversation, for example, published a detailed analysis of the impact on the poor using the example of a local recycling business, among others, to prove the point.


Indians stand in a queue outside a bank to withdraw cash in Ahmadabad, India, in December. AP Photo/Ajit Solanki

Naturally, there was a geopolitical dimension to the move, with US organisations assisting the Indian government to implement and promote the policy in an attempt to thwart Chinese influence in India. One of the best researched and reasoned of these pieces appeared in Global Research in January 2017, two months after the initial move by Mobi’s government, then republished with more evidence in November.

For the purposes of this article, the significance is that the drive to a cashless society is certainly convenient for customers, and can be sold as a method for creating greater transparency in the economy but it ultimately shifts power toward those who control the financial system, whether that is a national government or international financial corporations.

As an informed customer, you need to decide, do you support the centralisation and automation of transactional data on the basis of your personal convenience, or do you resist such centralisation in the interests of privacy and independence. Of course, there is the separate argument that the system we are building goes well beyond individual concerns and we should all participate in the matrix for the greater good. Just be sure you have your blue pill before you make the decision.

Leave a Reply