The pandemic situation has left no choice for people rather than looking at their mobile phones, laptops, TV screens and other devices. The highlighting factor on that is, it proves to be useful in getting the job done at home without the fear of roaming around. Many people are benefitted from digital technology but the biggest fear in this world is that of fake news circulation. Since most of the people are online, some people are trying to use it to their advantage for spreading baseless news.

WhatsApp forwards is more fearful than any other information on the news. As it is a private conversation tool, sending irrational news might seem legit in the eyes of the majorityof people. This has caused panic in many households and the effects are faced by the inexperienced section of the society. Let us discuss the recent significant rumor that the majority of people have stumbled upon.

Privatization of PSU banks:

The recent circulation on social media was the privatization of PSU (Public Sector Undertaking) banks which stated that the government guarantee will be removed by the private owners. The PSU banks are majority-owned by the government and by privatization the government’s return policy or safety is gone into the hands of the private company. This caused a big alarm to the people who have savings and fixed deposits in these banks. Ankita Roy, a Kolkata-based housewife got the forward recently and was in a state of fear as all her saving was split into two major PSU banks. Such messages are creating serious fear and panic among the public even though the news is mostly unfounded. Such startup stories have inculcated dismay among the public.

Main reasons for panic:

Though reports about the possible privatization of banks in India have been indicated by the finance minister NirmalaSitharaman, there have been no concrete announcements to support the statements. This was the main reason for causing grave fear among the public. The possible after-effects of privatization have also been circulating on various social media instilling the minds of common people. Many people would withdraw all their savings and fixed deposit money, leaving banks with no repayment capacity leading to the collapse of many banks. The misinformation could also cause a dire consequence on the country’s financial system if not directed properly.

Handling the public:

The majority of banks were facing bulk withdrawals due to the forward messages leading to the intervention of concerned authorities. The founder of MyMoneyMantra, Raj Khosla had stated that the circulation of the messages is understandable even though unfounded, but people should know the facts of the privatization process even if it happens. He said that the government will always retain a small portion of the bank’s stake in the privatization scenario, retaining its shareholder position. If bulk withdrawals happen, the government would step in to capitalize on the bank for longer sustainment. We haveseen the case of Yes Bank Ltd, where the government has no shareholding but SBI came forward to stabilize the bank with protecting the interest of the depositors.

The most affected people would be the small-scale business or overnight startup success stories companies who have just entered the business field if it happens for real. Also, no account holder or a depositor of the PSU banks has to worry about their savings being wiped out completely in the process. The government will definitely save the interest of the bank’s customers even if the bank goes under.