ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The New Moral Economy

Demonetisation, Digitalisation and India’s Core Economic Problems

Convincing billions of Indian citizens that demonetisation and digitalisation is a panacea for the country’s growth challenges and a solution to its core economic problems requires constructing a new moral economy, and a “different” imaging of India in the minds of the people. Incorrect economic arithmetic and the illusion of digitalisation are not the only problems to be negotiated. The moral political project overtly and covertly being attempted, is of far greater significance.

Indias foremost political economist, Krishna Bhardwaj, writing about market economics, said that more often than not, overtly or surreptitiously, dominant economic ideas have always impacted societal views of social change (1986: 1). This influence on thinking towards social change is as valid today as it was 30 years ago. The economic thinking behind demonetisation is one recent example of this. 

India continues to face many developmental challenges: inequality, poverty, access to education, health and housing, absence of sustainable livelihoods and a living wage, worsening environment, caste and gender discrimination, and crumbling institutions, to name just a few. Involved inextricably with the problems and the manner of their resolution are conflicting interests of classes. Therefore, the vantage point of looking at these challenges is of utmost significance to decipher what problems will be addressed. In this contested terrain of views, building unconscious and uncritical habitual modes of thought of ordinary citizens is useful for the governing regime of todays India, which is ruling the country on behalf of domestic and international corporate interests. One of the powerful initiatives in this process is the recent phenomenon of so-called demonetisation.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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