While the Centre kept the secrecy maintained of the entire plan to ban currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 on Tuesday, the news was anticipated seven months ago by a Gujarati journal. An image of the clipping from the Rajkot-based evening paper-Akila-left many befuddled in which the demonetisation plan was published with its every aspect on April 1, 2016. But soon the image went viral on social media, its editors called it a spoof news report.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought a shockwave across the nation with the announcement to ban old high-value currency notes to curb corruption and black money on Tuesday. After the decision made headlines, the newspaper clipping started doing around Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp raised question on the secrecy of the plan. The news reported that whoever has Rs 500 or 1000 notes, should go and change them before June 30. It also mentioned that the government’s move will have no impact on ordinary people and is only meant to expose the corrupt and those functioning with black money currency.
However, the news turned out to be a part of April Fools’ Day tradition in which several Rajkot based journals publish such stories on April 1 without disclaimers. Akila published a clarification in its November 10 issue mentioning “This news item was purely a prank for the All Fools’ Day”.
The journals also denied any buzz that government officials leaked the news to it and said that demonetisation had been discussed for long. “There is no substance in reports that it was based on information leaked by officials,” the clarification noted.