This Diwali, Haryana ministers fuel ‘movement’ against Chinese goods

Appeals are being made on social media — even by the leaders of the ruling BJP in the state — asking people to boycott Chinese goods, especially during Diwali.

Written by Khushboo Sandhu | Chandigarh | Published:October 4, 2016 5:11 am

WITH CHINA extending support to Pakistan in the aftermath of the Uri attack, blocking a tributary of Brahmaputra river and continuing to block India’s bid for banning JeM chief Masood Azhar, a movement against purchasing Chinese goods is building up in Haryana.

Appeals are being made on social media — even by the leaders of the ruling BJP in the state — asking people to boycott Chinese goods, especially during Diwali. BJP leaders are also advocating the use of “swadeshi”.

Leading the bandwagon is state’s Health Minister Anil Vij who has appealed to people not to use Chinese goods.

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“People should not buy Chinese goods. Instead, Indian goods should be used. Trade with China is affecting our country. China is not our friend nation. China can buy weapons with whatever money it earns. There is a possibility that the weapons are given to enemy countries. For every dollar of purchase people make, they may make armed goods. 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.”

The Haryana government has been busy wooing China for investment in the state. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, along with Finance Minister Capt Abhimanyu, who then held the industries portfolio, had visited Beijing to attract investment. A total of eight MoUs were signed during the visit in January this year. An MoU was signed with Wanda Group, China’s real estate giant, for setting up an industrial township at Sonepat. Investors from China were also present during the Global Investors’

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.

The use of Chinese lights and crackers during Diwali have over the years gained popularity among people, thus affecting the indigenous markets.

Rajkumar Saini, BJP’s MP in Kurukshetra, said if people start understanding that they should not buy products from outside, then the products of our own country will be encouraged. “Indian industry is being affected by Chinese goods. People should know that the products being sold here on cheap prices are sub-standard items. People are buying these goods as these are cheap. But later they face problems as there is no replacement or repair. If we purchase Indian goods, our youth will get employment,” said Saini.

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.