Using social media to spread information and misinformation alike has become a popular tool for arm chair activists of all kinds including political partisans. While breaking political news and updates will always have a place in social media, it ought not to be the place where we form immovable opinions on larger issues, simply because a “balanced piece” in social media is a rare entity. Take for instance, the recent social media war over demonetisation initiative between the Bhakts and Libtards, ever since it was announced by the Prime Minister on November 8th . It has almost become impossible to find a piece of article on social media that describes both sides of the coin – demonetisation is either all-good or all-bad !!!.
Demonetisation is neither Ram vs Ravan nor Amitabh Bachan vs Manmohan Singh nor Aishwarya Rai vs Amartya Sen as many seem to portray in the social media. The fact is economists themselves are divided over the impact of the present demonetization initiative. While there are economists such as Amartya Sen, Manmohan Singh, Arun Shourie and Kaushik Basu who are negative about its impact, there are other leading economists such as Surjit Bhalla, Arvind Virmani, Bibek Deb Roy and Kenneth Rogoff who remain positive about its long term gain. Surjit Bhalla is a former professor at Delhi School of Economics and he has formerly worked at the World Bank, Arvind Virmani is a senior economist who has formerly served as both India’s representative at IMF and as a chief economic adviser of GOI. Bibek Deb Roy is both the member of the Niti Ayog and a policy think-tank for the GOI. Kenneth Rogoff is a professor of public policy and economics at Harvard University.
While we must and should criticize when we see shortfalls in the implementation of the demonetization drive, we must not perpetuate the idea that it is celebrity vs economists or that it is either an only-gain policy or only-pain-policy, such a binary narrative would simply be untrue and biased. The economists are divided over it, with some pro and some against it, that is the way we need to see it. If we do feel hard pressed to judge, then let it be without being judgemental and in time.