Remember in Diwali when social media was full of posts asking Indians not to buy Chinese-made fireworks? Their logic was that our money spent on them would benefit China (and indirectly Pakistan, because China supported Pakistan on sensitive issues). Social media nationalists sought to churn nationalism by turning the Chinese-fireworks issue into one of national sentiment and calling those buying it as anti-national. Then following demonetization in November, many of these Bhakt nationalists started posting about the need to use digital payment methods, to show their support for the demonetization move. This included support for platforms like PayTM, the popular mobile digital app which has seen a windfall gain in usage post demonetization.
But they are now changing their stances against PayTM, and have announced anyone using PayTM will be declared as Anti-National! Why? This is because these Bhakt nationalists realized China is the largest investor in PayTM. China’s Alibaba, directly and through associates, owns 40% of PayTM, and is its single-largest shareholder. So every transaction that Indians do on PayTM, eventually benefits China, since profits are being repatriated to China – the same way profits from Chinese-fireworks benefited China; and possibly eventually benefited Pakistan if China invested its tax-incomes in Pakistani projects. In short, the nationalist Bhakts were asking Indians to support China (and Pakistan) – while they had asked them to do the exact opposite in Diwali. Realizing the utter fools they made of themselves in front of 1.2 billion Indians, they are now trying the clear their image by declaring that any user of Chinese-owned PayTM will also be deemed an anti-national, just like those who had bought Chinese-made fireworks.
While the Indian government had only raised objections about safety of chemicals used in Chinese-fireworks and that PayTM is a fantastic user-friendly platform that allows digital payments with ease, these nationalistic bhakts had made the fireworks issue into a political affair to flare up nationalism sentiments. Since the fickle nature of their arguments got caught now post demonetization, leaving them embarrassed; they are now covering their faux-pas by declaring PayTM users as anti-national.
However, while the nationalistic Bhakts have redeemed themselves by this new declaration, they are yet to address issues like potential black-money creation on digital payment platforms like PayTM. After all, neither is there a limit on the number of mobile sim-cards one can buy in India, nor does PayTM restrict using only one login id on a single mobile phone instrument. One can login with any number of login ids on the same mobile instrument, provided he has bought several sim-cards on which to download the app and make multiple logins. Multiple logins (and sim-cards) is needed because there is a restriction on the maximum transaction amount allowed per login without declaring one’s KYC. Which means distributing the undisclosed money by breaking it into multiple login ids up to the maximum allowed amount. All this sounds cumbersome, but it’s a one-time effort. Those desperate to keep income unaccounted and continue to evade taxes, will find it justifiable to make that one-time effort. But the nationalistic Bhakts are yet to raise slogans on such potential black-money creation on digital payment platforms, despite declaring users of PayTM as anti-national.
So while most citizens, including this reporter, support the government’s demonetization move and use a fantastic user-friendly platform like PayTM, the nationalistic Bhakts seemed to have made it difficult, but not now!