Let Us Boycott

When an MBA student in Bhubaneswar suddenly screamed at his younger sister, their parents were surprised over the behavior of the young boy.  When they came to know about the reason of the boy’s yelling, they were further surprised. The sister was seeking her brother’s help to purchase an Oppo smart phone. The young boy made his sister clear that he will never allow her to buy a ‘Made in China’ product.

This may be an isolated domestic incident between the brother and his sister. But, the development signifies the mood of the Young India which is “hurt and angry” after Chinese aggression at the LAC in Ladakh in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.

China knows India with 135 crore population, is the biggest market for its products; still it opted for aggression against India. So the MBA student has rightly felt the pulse of China which can only be defeated through wallet in a peaceful manner, instead of the bullet.  

The people, particularly the youth, across India are in no mood to accept Chinese products anymore. Feeling the pulse of youth, Government of India has banned popular Chinese apps like TikTok, Live Me, Bigo Live, Vigo Video, Cam Scanner AppLock and several others on June 19 as these Chinese applications are alleged to hold privacy of the user at risk and is compromising the sovereignty of our nation.

Before 1991, when the economy was not yet liberalized, India was growing and building its special place across the globe. The Chinese products, in fact, entered the country after India opened up its economy. But, there is no harm to boycott a product made by a specific “enemy” country.

The call to boycott this time originated from Ladakh, and the voice was raised by 
a prominent environmentalist Sonam Wangchuk. He had started the slogans: ‘Boycott China', 'Boycott Made in China', 'Anywhere but China’ which is now finding an echo all over the country. The MBA student in Bhubaneswar might not be aware of the call from Ladakh. But, he is no less than Mr Wangchuk for Odisha. Both of them carry the same flame of patriotism and method of defeating the enemy in a non-violent manner, by wallet and not by bullet.

A recent WhatsApp message doing round also indicates the mood of the nation. A father, whose child cries for a Chinese doll, says: “To stop my child’s three minutes’ cry I cannot make our soldiers' children cry permanently.” This appealing message also invokes the patriotism for those who have seen the damages done by Chinese to India and its people.

The call to boycott Chinese products comes at a time, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a clarion call for making India self-reliant under Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission.
India imports 50 percent of its completely built units of consumer durables from China. With such a call, entrepreneurs in Odisha see it as a golden opportunity to develop its MSME sector. The state government should explore the possibilities of setting up manufacturing electronics and daily use items that are imported from China.

Both the government of India and the Odisha government should join hands and ensure that India also makes the consumer durables manufactured in China.
If the country can launch the Chandrayaan program, why cannot it make small toys or mini torch-lights for Indian consumers?

Odisha, which has all the potentials to emerge as a leader in manufacturing sector can also rope in Taiwanese, Japanese and South Korean technology which are giving a tough fight to China in the international market. Japanese, considered as honest people, can have good match and both of them can do wonders. Even Taiwan can also help Odisha in going ahead with its plan to develop the manufacturing sector.

In the hospitality sector, Odisha’s entrepreneurs depend mostly on the China market. Sources said Odia people consume more than Rs.100 crore of Chinese products every year which can be easily channelized in our favour.

The MSME Industries’ development is not at all a problem for Odisha. Odia youths are bubbling with innovative ideas. What is actually lacking is atmosphere and environment to implement their ideas. One may recall how an Odia youth in a remote district developed a hand sanitizer which operates without touching.

As such, there is not much Chinese investment in Odisha. Recently, the state government has accorded approval for a shoe factory with indirect Chinese investment of Rs.60 crore. One can easily scrap such project as government of India has done in some railway, telecom and other sector projects.

This nation has the history of evicting the mighty British from Indian soil just by “Civil Disobedience” and boycotting British products.

Now India certainly will be able to boost morale of our soldiers and their families, by ‘Boycotting Made In China’.

Such a boycott theory was also adopted by China. Therefore, they should be given the lesson in their own coin. The Chinese in 1905 had gone for a large-scale boycott of American goods. They had boycotted Americans just for torture. But, the Chinese have here killed our Jawans for no fault of theirs. Therefore, boycott of Chinese products will teach the aggressors a befitting lesson.
However, there are issues like China being the biggest importer of iron ore from Odisha. Mineral-rich Odisha is greatly benefitted through such a deal. Now the State will have to find out new market for its iron ore either in Japan or South Korea, which are eyeing for our natural resources.

Similarly, Odisha, which has rich deposit of rare earth minerals will be in a commanding position if this sector is developed in a proper way. The state government will have to take a call in this regard, feel experts in the mineral sector.

With overwhelming majority favor the boycott of Chinese products, the state government should revisit its policies before asking the people to shun Chinese products. And it requires faster decision-making and mid way policy correction, so that the ‘Shun China’ Call will not come out as Bad Economics.

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