In an apparent attempt to control the fall-out of his decision a fortnight ago to demonetise 86% of currency notes in circulation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched a survey of the public mood through his official phone app.
The problem, as many social media users pointed out, is that the ten questions Modi put to potential respondents have little room for candid feedback. Instead, they seemed designed to elicit answers that the government wishes to hear.
Questions include “Do you think that black money exists in India?” and “Do you think the evil of corruption and black money needs to be fought and eliminated?”
If Modi was aiming to garner genuine feedback, here are ten questions he should have asked.
1 How much time did you spend at the bank or ATM to get your money from your account?
2 Did you get the amount you needed? If yes, after how many attempts?
3 What do you think the problems you faced indicate?
a) This was an inevitable consequence of the government’s resolve to fight black money.
b) This was inevitable problem in a country of 1.25 billion people.
c) There was a complete lack of planning on the party of the government.
4 Do you think that since Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, terrorists have been starved of the currency they need to carry out their operations?
5 Do you support the decision to issue Rs 2,000 notes, when higher currency notes are thought to be friendly to corruption and make it easier to hoard black money?
6 The new Rs 2,000 note does not possess any additional security feature. Do you think it will be counterfeited and used by the terrorists?
7 What do you think the primary motive for this move was?
b) It was a strike against corruption
8 Did the time you sacrificed at the bank or ATMs and the problems you are facing were in national interest or are you paying the price for someone else’s blunder?
9 Do you think the stories of people dying and suffering in the aftermath of demonetisation are fake and politically motivated?
10 Do you think the decision to ban the notes and the way in which the policy was implemented are separate issues and there can be two different, diametrically opposite opinions, about them?