Indian PM Narendra Modi Abolishes 500 & 1000 Rupee Banknotes in a Bid to Fight Terrorism and Corruption

In a televised broadcast to the nation on Tuesday, Indian PM Narendra Modi announced that 500 and 1000 Indian rupee notes will not be legal tender as of midnight, calling the notes “just worthless piece of paper.”

The move is aimed at mitigating corruption and invalidating counterfeit currency notes that are being used by terrorist, "Black money and corruption are the biggest obstacles in eradicating poverty," said Modi.

In his speech, Modi explained that counterfeit Rs 500 notes are widely used by militants to fund terrorist activity, "Terrorism is a frightening thing ... But have you ever thought about how these terrorists get their money? Enemies from across the border have run their operations using fake currency notes. This has been going on for years," explained Modi.

The Indian Prime Minister said in his speech that Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes can be exchanged at bank branches and post offices from November 10th to December 30th. Modi also mentioned that new notes in denominations Rs 2000 and Rs 500 will be introduced as replacements.

Indian banks will be closed on Wednesday for the switchover. Modi urged Indians to be patient with the government as these measures are aimed at improving the economic and social fabric of Indian society:

“In country’s history, there comes a moment when people will want to participate in the nation building and reconstruction. Very few such moments come in life.”
The surprise announcement has spurred anxious Indians to start taking out cash at ATMs across the country. Photos of long lines at ATMs in India are pouring into Twitter: