After carrying out an online campaign against the use of Chinese products for several weeks, members of the Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP) hit the streets on Tuesday and made a bonfire out of China-made tablets, mobile phones and decorative LED lights.
Around 200 members of VHP and its youth wing Bajrang Dal gathered at Shyambazar Five Point crossing in north Kolkata for the protest.
VHP leaders said they were boycotting China-made goods because the country had lent its support to Pakistan after the Uri terror attacks and has also vetoed India’s move to get Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar listed as a global terrorist by the United Nations (UN).
“China has, in support of Pakistan, blocked a tributary of river Brahmaputra besides blocking the move on Azhar at the UN. We Indians should abandon the use of Chinese products and instead promote our manufacturing industries here. Let us take a pledge during this Diwali, the festival of lights,” said Chandranath Das, VHP vice-president (South Bengal).
The movement was initiated in Malda district, where posters and placards urging people to boycott Chinese products had been set up by the Bajrang Dal. “The movement, which had begun online through Twitter and Facebook, would be spread across the state with Kolkata playing a pivotal role,” said Sourish Mukherjee, media in-charge, VHP, Kolkata. He added that the VHP, which had over 20,000 members, alongwith wing organisations such as Bajrang Dal, Durga Bahini, Go Seva Dal and Dharma Jagran Manch, would be part of the movement. “They will be going to places where Chinese products are sold, meet businessmen who deal with such products and try to dissuade them from doing so. We will ask them to get indigenously-made alternatives so that not only does our country earn more revenue, our youths will get employment opportunities as well,” Mukherjee said.
Recently, BJP activists too had burnt Chinese products in Kharagpore. BJP MLA from Kharagpore and state party president Dilip Ghosh said he supported the movement.