The Prime Minister has a wonderful tool to take down critics of his demonetisation plan: an opinion poll on his app.
Of course, there’s nothing better to gauge public sentiment than an online poll done on an app in a country where only around 30 percent of the population owns a smartphone. It’s a true test of how much smartphones have penetrated India, while also knowing what people thought about having to stand in a line, facing daily inconveniences and having to ration their use of legal currency.
The survey is also a wonderful example of how to rig an opinion poll. It’s not an exercise in assessing what you think of the move to demonetise currency and its fallout, it’s more an attempt to get you to contribute to something that the Prime Minister can throw in the face of the opposition.
So here are my answers to the most awesome opinion poll of the year:
1. Do you think that black money exists in India?
Answer: Can we answer no and not face trolling, abuse and mockery in future? Any child can answer this question and we know there is only one right answer.
2. Do you think the evil of corruption and black money needs to be fought and eliminated?
Answer: No, we like our corruption just fine. Everyone loves greasing the palms that make public services work. In fact, let me give you id and then tell you that I support corruption.
3. Overall, what do you think about the Government’s moves to tackle black money?
Answer: It is a good beginning. We now know exactly where large chunks of black money are abroad, we know which people stashed money abroad illegally in Panama. We’re sure its all coming back home shortly.
A pity the only option I have is to rate the decisions using a rotating button. Let me pick 67 percent because it feels like a nice number.
4. What do you think of the Modi government’s efforts against corruption so far?
Answer: Well the Prime Minister does speak quite eloquently against it. The Direct Benefit Transfer schemes and other ideas are also very good means to cut out the middle man. Could I point out though that it hasn’t really wiped out corruption in any way?
5. What do you think of the Modi Government’s move of banning old Rs 500 & RS 1000 notes?
Answer: A wonderful idea. Could I say it’s an well-intentioned move with poor planning and many tweaks that have only made it more confusing?
What? I only get to rate it? Ok, fine.
6. Do you think demonetization will help in curbing black money, corruption & terrorism?
Answer: I get to choose between it will have an immediate impact, medium to long term impact, or minimal impact? I am going to go with I don’t know, because really, I don’t know… just like most people who aren’t public policy experts. Maybe there should have been an option: I sure hope so.
7. Demonetization will bring real estate, higher education, healthcare in common man’s reach.
Answer: I have to choose between completely agree, partially agree and can’t say. Again am going to go with can’t say, because nothing has happened yet.
Maybe one option should have been: hopefully. Because that’s the only reason we’re supporting this chaos presently.
8. Did you mind the inconvenience faced in our fight to curb corruption, black money, terrorism and counterfeiting of currency?
Answer: Again I have to choose between not at all, somewhat but it was worth it and yes. I’m going to go with not at all. But then I’m a earning, privileged, smartphone-owning, opinion poll-taking, well heeled citizen of the nation. I’ve not stood in a line or missed a day of work to ensure I have enough cash to get by.
A pity we can’t find out from those who aren’t on the same boat.
9. Do you believe some anti-corruption activists are now actually fighting in support of black money, corruption & terrorism?
Answer: No, I cannot! Wait, is this question about Arvind Kejriwal? Or are we calling all our opposition politicians anti-corruption activists? Can I go with yes now?
10. Do you have any suggestions, ideas, or insights you would like to share with PM Narendra Modi?
Answer: Yes. May god put a smile on your face.
Face it, this opinion poll isn’t really to know about your pain or any inconvenience that you may have encountered due to the demonetisation drive. It’s a poll in which you will affirm what the Prime Minister would like us to believe about a contentious decision that has stalled lawmaking in the country.
There is no doubt that there are advantages to this move, and there are some experts who think that it can have long-term benefits. But the key to it is implementation.
And the fact that hundreds are still standing in queues is a clear sign that there have been problems with the implementation, which in turn have meant inconveniences for every one of them. Also, no matter the results of this opinion poll, the real test of just what people think of the Prime Minister’s demonetisation move will only come when the next election is held.
Disclaimer : The information, ideas or opinions appearing in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of ScoopWhoop.