Amidst the ongoing standoff between Indian and Chinese soldiers in the Doklam area of Sikkim sector, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has planned to step up the ‘Boycott Chinese Products’ campaign from August 1. According to RSS mouthpiece, Organiser, the RSS would launch a nation-wide mass awareness drive against Chinese goods between August 1 to 15. Apart from this, a country-wide campaign by RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM) is already on. SJM claims that the campaign has received the support from people in “good number” and it would conclude on October 29 at Delhi’s Ramlila Ground with a massive rally.
In an interview to the Organiser, SJM national vice-president Satish Kumar said around 87 lakh people across the country have pledged to boycott Chinese goods and the campaign is gaining momentum.
Revealing how the SJM is taking up the campaign, Kumar said people supporting the campaign have demonstrated outside the Chinese Embassy, mass protests in many parts of the country have been held and some market associations have also vowed not to import and sell Chinese goods.
The SJM has requested the government to impose anti-dumping duties on different sub-standard Chinese items. According to Kumar, the government has already done so in steel sector by imposing 18 per cent anti-dumping duty. “It is because of such actions that in power sector, the Chinese companies are out. They cannot now bid in power, steel, railways and plastic industries. We now want the government to impose maximum duties and restrictions on Chinese goods,” Kumar told Organiser.
According to Kumar, the aim of the campaign is “multi-dimensional”. He says this is a “positive campaign” to “boost” Indian economy. And, “it is not merely against the Chinese goods, we are opposing the GM crops too. We are for Swadeshi in every aspect,” Kumar said.
Kumar said that SJM has submitted 400 memorandums to the government to ban Chinese goods. Because of global agencies like WTO, BRICS etc, it is not “easy for any government to take such decisions immediately”. But, he said, consumers are free to buy what they want. Kumar hoped by Diwali this year, the entire country would be aware of “Chinese nefarious designs and not a single rupee Chinese product will be purchased or sold in the Indian markets.”
According to Kumar, Boycott Chinese Products campaign is aimed at promoting Swadeshi at a time when “globalisation model of economy is under question all over the world.” He says resentment against globalisation came to the fore after Brexit and even the US has started to emphasise ‘Be American Buy American’.
The SJM official said the recent Paris Summit “proved” that globalisation “failed” in saving the environment and led to inequality across the world. “Therefore, the Swadeshi thought is being accepted not only in Bharat but across the world,” he said.
Kumar further said most of India’s trade deficit is because of China (around 120 billion dollar) and if India doesn’t start domestic product immediately, “it will become a major challenge to our economy.”
Because of huge imports from China, Kumar said, India’s manufacturing sector is facing heavy losses. There have been shut-downs and employment sector is under huge pressure. “How can such an economy survive for long? If we have to save our manufacturing and employment sectors we have to return to Swadeshi. This is what we are telling the people,” Kumar said.
Kumar also advised China to mend its ways. “How can we allow China to make repeated bids to encroach our land and sell its goods in our markets causing heavy trade deficit to our country? China has to mend its ways.”