Over a month ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in an attempt to rid the economy of black money. Since then, there have been enormous queues outside banks and at ATMs.
It wasn’t long before the government claimed that the attack on black money was only aim of demonetisation: it also aimed to get India to go cashless and do all its transactions digitally.
While digital transactions shot to popularity in cities, it’s been rather different in rural areas.
West Bengal’s Brindabanpur village, for instance, has gone cashless due to the cash crunch in the banks. With no access to the infrastructure required for digital transaction, agricultural labourers and farmers have had resort to a rather-more basic way to conduct transactions – the barter system.
This video by BBC India shows how the locals are unable to meet their everyday needs through bartering.
Not everyone is impressed by this display of ingenuity. “Currency was invented as a means to abolish barter,”noted a Facebook user.