Published: 08th November 2021
What happened on November 8: India was hit by demonetisation, United States was hit by Donald J Trump
This day in the year 2016, marks the beginning of a new era for the citizens of two countries continents apart
A. Chinnakannu is a 65-year-old visually impaired destitute man living in Tamil Nadu's Krishnagiri. The New Indian Express recently reported that it was only now that he found out his savings in old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes are worthless. He had saved Rs 65,000. It all started on November 8, 2016, when the Indian government suddenly decided to outlaw the two notes.
While the initial media reports labelled the move as "bold" and a "masterstroke", the impact of the move in the days that followed was borne by vulnerable and poor people like Chinnakannu. It was chaos for everyone, but more so for people in medical emergencies as private hospitals and medical shops refused old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes -- credible news reports tell stories of people, infants dying due to this.
When the announcement was made, the Prime Minister said that the move would end black money, eliminate counterfeit currency and end the financing of terrorists. The goal post was later changed towards being a cashless economy. There is much debate and criticism on whether those goals have been achieved and it is hard to definitively point out what the rationale behind the move was.
On the day India was hit by demonetisation, the United States elected its 45th President, Donald J Trump. He was voted out of power earlier this year. Trump left behind a controversial legacy -- he was the first American president to be impeached twice. He disseminated unscientific information during the COVID pandemic and all throughout his tenure, he called his opponents and unfavourable media coverage 'fake news'. While Trump may have been unsavoury to the media, it is noteworthy he is credited to have been always accessible to reporters via press conferences.
However, many believe that Trump will be most remembered for the time he claimed that the US elections were stolen. This is mainly because reports suggest that this led to the Capitol riots of January 6, 2021. Thousands of Trump supporters stormed to the US Capitol with guns. A police officer was beaten, a rioter was shot, and three others died during the rampage.