Boycott or a Backfire
By: Rounak Tandon
Ever since the Chinese and the Indian armies have been clashing at the LAC, there has been a humongous upsurge in the country to depart a wave that would seek vengeance for our martyred soldiers. This 'vengeance' by our countrymen for their soldiers has clearly been laid on the principles of boycotting all kinds of Chinese goods- by seeking to remove these goods from the Indian market- in order to make China undergo huge losses and devastate their trade benefits with India.
As derogatory and humiliating as it sounds for China, this movement in itself is wholly symbolic and superficial in nature. For what our folks’ desire is China's sufferance for its prolonged actions, these measures won’t necessarily fulfil the purpose; rather they are clearly expected to put India under adversities in the global market.
Blocking China from trading with India is not as delightful and appealing of an idea as it seems. Hereby, throwing light upon the trade statistics between India and China-
China accounts for 10.6% of our foreign trade but on the other hand, India accounts for only 2.1% of Chinese trade.
Also, 15.3% of our imports are from China, while 5.1% of India's exports go to China.
In 2013, China went on to become India’s largest trade partner by dethroning the United Arabic Emirates from the first position.
In 2019, even though the position was taken over by the United States, China still stands at a position where it occupies a major part of the Indian market by providing the consumers with abundant choices on a wide range of prices.
China accounts for around 73% of India's smartphone market. This is that part of the market which has a dominating presence in both consumers' demands and their choices. These brands have not only widened options but also made the omnipresence of the latest technology to all parts of the country, especially the rural ones.
All this data drives us to broadly speak that shattering trade relations with China will ultimately prove detrimental for India. Being carried away by the aura and the heat of the moment, Indians are failing to realise the fact that what we seek to achieve here is clearly out of reach. This movement is like suicide for the benefits of both the traders and sellers as well as the fellow consumers.
In a nutshell, boycotting China would eventually ruin the choices and prices of the marketplace.
This movement will curb the consumer-friendly prices of all goods, especially smart technology, where the Chinese have an increasingly dominating share in the market. With the movement gaining popularity, the consumers will find themselves facing major difficulties in buying the alternatives which are as cheap and efficient as the Chinese ones.
Recently, the Indian Government also took a major decision of indefinitely boycotting 59 Chinese mobile applications in the country, which included biggies like Tiktok, UC Browser, Shareit, Shein, Cam Scanner etc. These apps were in huge demand and cutting Indians' access to most of them has somewhat resulted in income loss for China, but it is our countrymen who have to suffer more.
Applications like Tiktok were the leading pillars in providing employment to a huge number of digital creators and suspending these will ultimately vanish their incomes, especially at a time like this which calls for the extraction of maximum profits. Instead, the government's priority was considered to be that of vengeance rather than looking after the interests of the fellow citizens of the country!
Talking about the recent events, it will be highly ignorant to not mention the public demand of the Union minister, Ramdas Athawale, who recently expressed his urge to boycott the restaurants preparing Chinese cuisine.
People have to understand that not consuming Chinese food in our country, which has been entirely prepared by Indian Chefs using Indian ingredients, is utterly ridiculous and stupid and is a baseless argument.
What we may also consider is that even though it sounds intensely captivating and fascinating, the message of ‘self-reliance' may be contradictory to the full and sole purpose of ‘globalization’.
Globalization is a movement that connects countries. It is what has established the markets as diversified and as variety full as we see today. Without globalization, there would have been complete absence of such world-class choices- choices that strategically lead to consumer benefits and consumer benefits that inevitably result in urbanization.
Urbanization has uplifted the standards of living of the countries around the world. Even if we try to keep the merits of globalization in ignorance, we still find it vital for a country because every country in the world suffers from scarcity, which is the lack of unlimited resources to fulfil the unlimited wants of mankind living at a particular place with confined borders.
With this new term of self-reliance being publicly discussed and evaluated, the people of our country have found it on their individual shoulders to actively boycott China, most of whom are not familiar with the repercussions of this movement and have clearly no idea of how to take this movement forward.
They don't find themselves wondering about the market with the absence of the Chinese goods, they have been fixated to merely achieve something which is not clearly discussed, distinguished or determined.
In conclusion, what we must do is to try uplifting and accelerating our development rather than diluting someone else's at the cost of our own.
Our government and our people have to realise that in order to achieve a high standard of economy, our country does not need to withdraw from globalization- a race of economies. If we withdraw ourselves from the competition, how will we ever win it? We have to stay in it and conduct revolutionary measures that are actually feasible, implement programs that are genuinely reliable and participate in movements that our economically imaginable.