The Covid-19 virus, the Ladakh standoff and the Indian Prime Minister’s stress on self-reliance have led to multiple calls for the boycotting of Chinese products and the Asian country in its entirety. With the government announcing a 20 lakh crore package and Sonam Wangchuk detailing the various reasons to boycott Chinese products, the call for self-reliance has only gotten stronger.
The Make in India campaign has so far been unsuccessful in fulfilling the vision that the BJP led Indian government had set out to accomplish. However, it was a step in the right direction as the much-needed impetus for the Indian economy. Yet a total boycott of a country and it’s products is not feasible for a country like India and will take time. The superior quality Chinese products at affordable pricing are what led to the invasion of Chinese products in almost all countries including India. The “Atmanirbhar Campaign” will act as a catalyst to the dwindling “Make in India Campaign” that has underperformed.
However, a total like to like replacement of the Chinese hardware and software will take a lot of time. The current Indian hardware and software fail to match up to the Chinese standards. Yet the Indian industries will fail to develop and mould itself quickly unless there is a surge in demand and a dire need to do so. Thus the exclusion of Chinese products is a necessity for the Indian industries to develop which in turn will lead to a creation of jobs that will serve the economy and aid in much faster growth.
Indian citizens have been quick to attack Chinese products and softwares from its creation of the, “Remove China Apps” app that removes Chinese applications installed in your phone. TikTok, a Chinese app that has 467 million Indian users has contributed substantially to the revenue generated by the Chinese application. Initially, Indian netizens had first attacked the Chinese application over a feud between a TikToker and a Youtuber which led to the app being downgraded to a 1.3 rating from its initial 4.9 ratings. However, Google was quick to remove all the recent one-star ratings from the application. With Google pulling down the recent 1-star ratings, Indians have started uninstalling TikTok along with other Chinese applications like UC Browser, CamScanner etc over the Ladakh feud and with Sonam Wangchuk leading the campaign to remove Chinese apps within a week and Chinese hardware in a year. India imports goods worth more than 50 billion dollars from China in contrast to a miserly 2.5 billion dollars in exports to China.
If India proceeds with putting a halt to the Chinese invasion in its market, India would suffer from a paucity with regard to capital goods, machinery, electricals, chemicals to go along with intermediate and consumer goods. India’s heavy reliance on China makes it difficult to put an end to imports cold turkey. India should focus on a gradual decline in imports while developing a sustainable infrastructure for the production of goods in their own country. A sound infrastructure and production in India will give a major boost that India is in desperate need of. India can then finally be independent and their over-reliance on FDI can diminish.