Indian public wants to ban China products, but how would PM Modi, the “brand ambassador” of Reliance Jio reacts

New Delhi, October 11: A movement against purchasing Chinese goods is building up in Haryana. As China is extending support to Pakistan in the midst of the Uri attack, blocking a tributary of Brahmaputra river and continuing to block India’s bid for banning JeM chief Masood Azhar, it is time for India to act or at least defend these moves.

Appeals are being made on social media — even by the leaders of the ruling BJP in the state — asking people to boycott Chinese goods and advocate the use of “swadeshi”.

Health Minister Anil Vij has appealed to people not to use Chinese goods. “People should not buy Chinese goods and we Indians shall use Indian goods. Trade with China is affecting our country. China is not our friend. China can buy weapons with whatever money it earns. These weapons are given to our enemy countries. For every dollar of purchase people make, they may make arms. We should focus on Make in India,” said Vij. The Health Minister said there could be difficulties at the level of the government. “So, this needs to be a social movement and it is up to the people what they would do.”

An appeal by BJP president Subhash Barala not to purchase Chinese goods is also doing the rounds on social media. Barala said he had stated this in reply to a question that was posed to him by someone.

“I was asked that since China is stopping water of Brahmaputra, so there is a discussion on boycotting Chinese goods. I said it is a good thing. We celebrated Gandhiji’s birthday yesterday and he gave stress on Swadeshi. If we adopt Swadeshi, a large number of people will get employment. On Diwali, if an earthen lamp is lit, the potters will benefit. Through use of Swadeshi, our foreign exchange will be saved. I used to be part of the Swadeshi Karyakarta Manch. I feel this issue should be looked at,” the BJP president said, reports

Haryana Agriculture Minister O P Dhankar said, “Customer is the king and can buy anything. No one can stop him. However, a feeling of Swadeshi will give a boost to our economy. Without any restrictions being imposed by the government, if the customers take this path, the economy will grow stronger.”

The opinion of the BJP leaders has, however, come under criticism from the leaders of the opposition.

Ashok Arora, the president of Indian National Lok Dal, says the leaders of the BJP make such statements only to divert attention of the people.

“If they talk of using swadeshi and boycotting Chinese goods, there could be a retaliation and other countries might decide not to use our products. Trade relations will be hampered. People can talk about such things, not the leaders,” said Arora.

The Commerce Minister however said that complete ban of import from any country is not possible now due to WTO rules even if we have problems diplomatically, territorially or militarily.

While some opposition members asked to impose a blanket ban on Chinese goods, the minister cited safeguards available to restrict import of poor quality goods as well as trade defence measures such as anti-dumping and countervailing duty, she said ‘India has an elaborate and robust legal framework and institutional set-up to protect its environment, life and health of its people, plants and animals.”

A Gram Kachahri (village court) in Bihar’s Aurangabad district on Saturday banned the sale and purchase of ‘Made in China’ goods, after declaring China an enemy for supporting Pakistan. It also passed a provision with consensus to punish people found violating the order by imposing a fine, officials said.

It is a first of its kind happening in the state when a village body banned ‘Made in China’ products. The village court of Obra panchayat decided to ban the products manufactured in China, impacting the sale of Chinese goods in the panchayat area with a population of over 10,000, a district official said.

Gudiya Devi, sarpanch of the village court, said that she had called a meeting that was attended by members of the village court and local residents. “We have decided to ban ‘Made in China’ goods and appealed to people not to use any Chinese goods,” the sarpanch said.

“China is an enemy as it is supporting Pakistan against India,” Gudiya said. A village court member, locally known as ‘Panch’ Baban Mehta said: “We should not purchase and use Made In China goods…that would weaken its economy.”

While all these are under discussion, attention must be called to the current boom of Reliance lyf. On the launching day of Jio lyf, most of the national dailies filled their front page with Reliance advertisement, along with prime Minister Narendra Modi’s face.

The connection between Reliance lyf and the Indian Prime minister is nothing to be discussed here. But as there is a mass urge for banning Chinese products, Reliance Lyf handsets would also come under consideration. Most of the handsets sold by reliance is of Chinese origin.

Let time prove whether India would ban China products and even the trade with China.