Recently a video of famous educator and innovator Sonam Wangchuk went viral, calling people for complete boycott of China made products.
It is not just Coronavirus which can spread like a wildfire. In this age of Internet, videos go viral reaching entire nation in matter of single day as well.
Before we dwell more into Sonam’s call for boycott, let me inform you that Chinese business is badly is affected even before the end customers shout out for boycott. I remember in March when the lockdown had just begun, many Chinese friends of mine did share that Indian traders are avoiding them, blaming China for the virus and how it has affected India badly.
Not just India, it has become difficult for China to sell to other countries as well, including cancellation of many contracts. Some of my friends who are small time manufacturers and suppliers are so badly hit that they have to sell their houses just to pay debt for being harassed by loan providers.
But again, as the lockdown 2.0 was called off in India, many distributors have started buying chinese made masks and other hygiene products to be sold in India.
A few months ago, I was shared a WeChat fight where Indian trader was fighting with her Chinese supplier alleging the China to creating this problem and hampering his source of income and hardship. On which, the lady got furious and made racist comments and depicted India as a third world country. Even I did share a similar incident in a blog where a Chinese argued with me claiming the virus didn’t originate in China and how his country is helping the world fight this pandemic.
The problem is not with ordinary Chinese citizens, they are just like us. They don’t even know that the entire picture and say what they are being fed by state controlled media.
All they know that China is in Cold-war with the US and it is the one painting bad picture of China around the world.
As far as I know, given the fact that neither I am a journalist nor a well know columnist. All of my statements are based on what subject matter experts, reliable columnists, scientists, journalists, activists speak or write.
As also mentioned in my previous blog, China is trying to create tension in its neighbourhood be it India, Australia, Vietnam, Philippines to give a double folded message. First it is disturbing those countries who more or less have either sided with the US or will support given the chance. Second, it wants to give clear message to these countries as well as the world about who the Big Brother is, and the consequences you have to bear by going against China.
The Boycott movement did not start via Sonam Wangchuk, as soon as the Modi government came to power, it has always emphasized to go local. Make in India is a direct threat to China, although the effect intensified with the lockdown and the clarion call by Sonam Wangchuk.
This developments did have effects on Chinese products sale in India and many B2B aggregator companies saw delisting of Chinese suppliers from their platform.
Any developing nation’s market will have a significant dependency on cost as a factor. Given the size of India and its massive middle & rural class buyers, we Indians keep buying China made cheap products. Any Indian trader only moves to China because it provides cheap low quality products which has the potential to sell among the taste of Indian consumer. On why we Indian manufacturers are not able to match the same, is a different discussion in itself. This lockdown has dented the sale here as well for China due to boycott.
Question is why China is now instigating India, why when its own hands are full of Coronavirus claims, pre-Cold war phase with US, Hong-Kong fiasco and South China sea issue. There are multiple reasons to it.
First, it is giving India a stern message who’s the Boss and especially after India’s bonhomie with US, given the fact that Mr. Modi did make a statement that WHO needs recasting hinting that it is controlled by China.
Second, it was bound to happen, and one needs to be Geopolitically ignorant to let go of the fact that our Home minister have been making many statements and we have taken many actions. Ladakh was made Union territory and many contested areas like Pangong Tso lake are part of it. Moreover, Mr. shah did make statement that they will do whatever it takes to get back Aksai Chin. The Chinese were listening and were just waiting for the snow to melt and kick into action.
Third, President Xi is today at his weakest as his own strictly controlled people are questioning him at-least on Social media and he is being challenged internally. What’s better than the best way to deviate the topic from his own failure and do a time-tested method of regaining power by inciting nationalism in the population through skirmish with other countries. Recently president Xi, addressed the Chinese army that it should be ready for war as Coronavirus issue is threatening the nations security.
Recently, in a physiological war, a Chinese channel broadcasted a video showing 6 Indian soldiers tied and beaten up followed by racist comments. A same reciprocal video is being circulated in India where Chinese soldiers were being tied & beaten up. A lot of Pakistani’s did not lose the chance to bank on this and made fun with memes.
Today however, I am not discussing the cold war but the “wallet war” and “Chinese boycott”. Not going deep dive, let’s try to find out the answers to few questions:
Is it practically possible to completely boycott Chinese products where we just don’t have local manufacturing?
Even though a final product might not be assembled in China, the parts are made in China itself. How to deal with these products. That’s the exact reason India backed out to RCEP.
While we want to be vocal about local, we can’t simply ignore the fact which shows the majority of these products in our homes are some or other way linked to China.
How ready are we even after many years of Make in India initiatives?
While a lot of people are rallying and supporting the cause, a new app has been launched which scans and removes all the Chinese apps that one is using. In no time, millions of people downloaded the app with enviable rating of 4.8. It’s hashtag started trending in twitter and I will share some reviews I found over there.
This is how twitter is reacting.
Many celebrities have joined the rally on banning Chinese apps like Milind Suman, Arshad Warsi and even some TikTok stars as well.
The main agenda and motive here is to make the real Dragons the citizens of China to wake up and question their suppressive reign.
It is not just the fault of China by inventing and launching a social media app. Two yrs. ago, when I got introduced to this app, even I made lip-syncing video but later felt that it is not suitable for me. I even tried launching my English classes videos as suggested by a Chinese friend but it didn’t encourage and motivate me as the blogging did.
Chinese use TikTok for their business a have become a huge platform over commercial purposes. On the flip side in India, we saw disturbing videos encouraging acid attacks, rape, animal violence, religious fanatism and many such acts. Recently the founder of TikTok ‘Zhang Yiming’ said in an interview that he made the app for “jobless and unstable people” but he didn’t knew that India had so many. It is not just jobless, even employed, students, stable people mostly use this to showcase their talent limited to dance and drama. At the end, we are all “papa ki pari”.
This blog has become too long to continue with more discussions. Allow me, to resume in the next chapter because we have too much to discuss a boycott of Chinese products, China-India LAC issue. Upcoming Cold war and World War-3.
This is actually not a current news, on 2nd April, 20 the board of executive directors of World bank approved an amount of $ 1 billion to help India.
The support will cover all the states and union territories of India and will help India to prevent detect and react to the pandemic.
This fast-track project will help India rapidly ramp up its capacity for early disease detection, management of future outbreaks and strengthen the containment of the pandemic through better screening, contact-tracing and lab diagnostics
Sameer Kumar Khare (News by World Bank Press Release )
On 3rd April, The government of India and the World Bank signed the project.
The agreement was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare who is the additional secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Minister of Finance and Junaid Ahmad, country director on the behalf of the World Bank
PM announced to deal with the coronavirus and make the country self-reliant (atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan).
Modi announced an economic package of 20 lakh crore to fight with coronavirus.
The package will cover land, labour, liquidity and laws.
It will also cover the industry and enterprise of all size.
It will also cover the middle class, farmers and entrepreneurs.
He has asked 130 crore population to be self-dependent.
PM has offered his condolences to the families of coronavirus victims.
He said that now the country needs to resume its work with all safety measures.
Lockdown 4.0 will be more strategic and unique.
The detailed information will be provided before 18th May.
While there are a few countries who are arranging press conferences and responding to the questions and counter questions, a live video where our Prime Minister continuously speaks reminds me of someone who continuously keeps on saying and praising and when it’s done hangs up the call.
The lockdown doesn’t mean switching on and off the key. It requires a psychological change. The opening itself is a transition.
Now as we are already in lockdown 3.0, the economy which had already plummeted has been lifted up with spirits.
However, the government is trying to open up markets in certain areas and giving relaxation.
This is subject to analyse, study, discuss.
Rahul Gandhi has said the people are very scared. We need to make people understand that remaining in a lockdown state won’t help. The government have to turn the fear into confidence. It is not a dangerous disease for all. However, a segment of people who are aged, hypertension patients, diabetic etc the virus can turn out to be deadly.
So what kind of precautions and measures should be taken to fight with the pandemic?
But then the government is itself asking citizens to live with the virus and we have to. We Indian citizens have worked day and night to make India reach to bring India in the ranks of the top ten economies of the world. We can’t afford to lose such status…!!!
Why the Kashmiris have so much hatred for Indian army and India in general?
Imagine you are on the road and anytime you can be asked for your ID card, army and police forcibly entering your home and taking you away without any charges. Is the high collateral damage to a normal Kashmiri in lieu of finding out the actual culprit is the reason for such dissent?
Mostly it is seen that these terrorists attack the Indian army establishments or personnel. Is this an upmanship game between the army and terrorists?
A lot of keyboard warriors simply abuse the act of valour. Should these people, be slapped with sedition charges and the same treatment be extended to them just like Dubai protested when Indians started commented?
Does the Quran really say to kill all the non-believers as quoted by Taslima Nasreen?
This lockdown has brought in many perspectives that are happening in the world, brings out inherent human nature to the forefront and history will remember every action we as an individual, society or as a country do. Remember, the world will remember this. Our maiming by this virus has brought the finest and ugliest of us.
As the famous proverb goes, a small ant can make the elephant dance to its tune, the same has happened to us and actually we have been doing the same to mother nature as well. Just compare the size of an ant to elephant, virus to human and human to the size of the earth. Still !!!
The demand to hold China responsible for hiding facts and letting the world slip in this precarious situation is growing spearheaded by the US. Australia, Japan and some countries have joined the blame game. West Europe is still cautious due to many factors; however, East Europe is praising China for its help to them. India as a major stakeholder in world politics is as always diplomatic and cautious, a strategy which has worked for it most of the time.
From now on, countries will rally against China to disrupt the world order. We have realized that China under Xi Jinping is too authoritarian and is detrimental to global peace. While it gave the world a pandemic, due to its ruthless regime it was able to control it and now flexing its muscle in the south china sea, while the countries are a busy fighting virus. Same goes with its selling of PPE’s, faulty masks and test kits.
However, I don’t believe this is a society in general in China. Today its clout has helped saved itself from being penalized for such grievous and deliberate mistake and still covered up by WHO itself.
It got Pakistan the emergency bail-out package, and in repayment the very next day Pakistan blocked an area in the Arabian sea to test out anti-ship missile and armament testing, giving India a solid hint through Pakistan that it should not have suggested recasting of WHO.
We are still intrigued by why paradox has happened. West Europe and the US with great public health Infra saw high infection and death, and on the other hand South Asia somehow miraculously escaped the wrath of Virus.
India is a special case, rotting health infra, lack of doctors, not enough money, lack of protective equipment’s and many more and still, we showed the world, on why India’s frugal approach is efficient and effective.
Well, many factors are at play here.
Did universal BCG program help us?
As a population have our bodies developed a better defence against the virus as we are always exposed to the unhygienic situation?
Not sure enough. But what we know is that we implemented lockdown early, we gave priority to human lives rather than economy and we remained steadfast despite a lot of hurdles like religious gathering, attack of doctors and police, communalization and many more.
While the world is fighting for Ventilators, PPE’s, masks, we are doing our best by making some and importing some. Salute to ICMR, which quietly deviated from WHO guidelines and stood grounds on its plan.
The Economy is in shambles, the majority are losers, but some are winners as well. Radhakishan Damani, the owner of Avenue supermart running as D-Mart I believe should be the only winner in this lockdown where he gained from panic buying.
Let’s move from an individual perspective, we saw the Kirana store as the real winner brought to the forefront during these difficult times. E-commerce and supermarkets collapse suggest that slow and steady wins the race, and old is gold!! We will not be surprised to see now that manufacturers shifting gears towards channel programs benefiting these mom and pop stores. Remember, Kirana stores are much more street smart and ingenious, as another channel have too much dependency, be it delivering personal, corporate formulated protocols and supply chain or many more. We definitely will see a lot of behavioural change, government prioritizing public health spending, R&D spending and many more.
If you ever thought the defence sector is going to take a hit after this, you cannot be more wrong. We saw an increase in digital payments in some sectors which traditionally not have had much traction, maybe people will have some apprehension in exchanging cash for time to come.
We saw China’s opportunistic takeover and Gov. of India bringing new laws in FDI policy. If we look closely, everything is intertwined in itself. China increased its stake in HDFC and HDFC in Reliance Capital. Majority of investment in the digital industry can be traced back to one country. Guess who is the majority investor in Paytm?
Geo-politics and economy are intertwined in itself in this globalized world. Let’s analyze this correlation in major economies.
The US wants to maintain its supremacy and by attacking WHO, we know who it is attacking.
China recovered early and hence its economy is back on track, forcing the US to accept the deaths yet not slow down the economy. Japan, Germany, Australia coming together and trying to hold China responsible. India despite being in lockdown mode not leaving any stones unturned to make sure Its adjoining countries do not shift their gears again towards China and also use its soft power. Be it allowing exports of essential medicines like paracetamol and Hydroxichroloquine or donating to Nepal and Bangladesh.
RBI accepting Sri Lankan gov. offer of deposit as bonds. China flexing its muscle in South China sea and threatening Vietnam by allowing illegal fishing of Chinese fisherman backed by its navy in Vietnamese waters because it recently did an exercise with US Navy or making sure Pakistan gets emergency bailout and the very next day Pakistan testing missile and doing gunnery exercise, giving India direct message that it is not happy with India’s proposition in recasting WHO.
India bringing new FDI scrutiny to save itself from opportunistic takeovers yet government deliberately not falling into trap of blame game as it needs help from wherever possible. It remains to be seen how it handles again the 5G war which has again returned due to US and China strife. Major world power rushing to help Africa, not actual help but showdown to grab as much goodwill possible and remove China’s clout. Russia sending in planeloads of the mask and other essentials as a goodwill gesture to the US, and North Korea and Iran using this apt time to fire as many missiles as possible as the world is busy saving themselves.
Bringing forward these perspectives help us see through the prism that how we behaved during these times which will have major ramifications for the time to come.