Few social evils are so dreadful as black-marketing and hoarding. Generally war brings them in its train. In a war, the powers of the fighting nations are engaged in the production of arms and ammunition. In consequence, there follows a dearth of the necessaries of life and other important commodities. On account of a great demand and a poor supply, the situation becomes tight which is not seen in normal times. The deep-rooted instincts of greed that prices soar and acquisition in man come to the surface. The business community, by hook or by crook, tries to exploit the consumers and takes the undue advantage of the conditions. The result high and black marketing thrives.
The origin of black marketing and hoarding
The lesson of the two World Wars has been such that mankind can never forget it. Everywhere in the world, the English and the French had to suffer from shortage of goods. In India, this legacy of war has been most dreadful. Not that Indians are most selfish and dishonest but they were given full freedom by the foreign masters during the Second World War to exploit the needy masses for their economic gain. The result was that the master called black marketing with its beloved hoarding and they came to exist in the society. This master created great disaster and caused a great suffering. The Bengal famine of 1943 was a creation of black marketing and hoarding.
The British regime
The Britishers left India but they left their monuments here which will perpetuate their memory. Black marketing is their greatest monument. Dishonesty, greed, selfishness and spirit of exploitation of too common man have become part and parcel of the Indian businessman. Mahatma Gandhi failed in his life to persuade the Indian Bania to be honest. In fact, the Indian Bania is like the man-eater who having once relished the human blood would taste nothing else.
The Congress Government and black marketing and hoarding
The people of India, in general, and the people of Uttar Pradesh, in particular, the groaning under the weight of black marketing and hoarding. The Congress Government in spite of its best efforts failed in eradicating this evil. The Indian Bania, the shrewd creature advanced money to the ruling party lavishly and became hold to use unfair means. Actually, the money which he gave to the ruling Congress party was his investment. At present, the situation seem to be incorrigible. It is really surprising that during the Congress regime, not a single black marketer or hoarder was ever punished for the offence. The hungry and suffering people, when they agitated, against black marketing and hoarding, were arrested and severely dealt with.
Measures against black marketing and hoarding
Certain effective measures can put and end to this evil. Price control should go hand in hand with the control of total goods available for distribution. If prices are controlled without sufficient hold on good’s stocks, the goods will go away from the open market. The freezing of stocks, however is no easy matter. Unless the Government machinery is very efficient and cautious, the dishonest businessmen would always have the upper hand. Secondly, severe punishments should be awarded to culprits. A little before independence, Pandit Nehru had assured that every black marketer would be hanged on the nearest tree. But the assurance proved to be a downright lie. Conclusion The responsibility of rooting out black marketing rests only on the Government or the blackmarketeers but also on the citizens, in general. If the average citizen refuses to buy in blackmarket and begins to boycott the black marketer, the latter will soon try to reform himself. The market should be flooded with the goods by speeding up production. This is the only real and permanent solution of the problem.