Post the Uri attacks, China backed Pakistan by blocking India’s bid to designate Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar a terrorist at the United Nations. Since then there has been an active protest to boycott Chinese goods in India. Recently, The economic wing of the Sangh Parivar – Swadeshi Jagran Manch too had called a nationwide boycott of Chinese goods. According to nationwide reports, the calling for boycott has affected the business of Chinese products in the festive season. The effect can be seen in Nagpur as well.
Nagpur vendors (in areas like Sitabuldi, Mahal and Itwari) trading in decoration items, fireworks, lightings, lanterns, electronics items and garments claim that there has been a big decrease in the sales of chinese products this Diwali. If they’re to be believed, the demand for Chinese lights and fireworks has declined by 30% to 40%, and electronic and other items demand has declined by 20% to 30%.
Deepak Chourasia, owner of Sangam Stores, Sitabuldi, who sells decorative items, says, “The sale of Chinese goods has taken a blow this year as many customers are demanding Indian products.” Mohammad Taufiq, owner of Mahalaxmi Phataka Bhandar, Agrasen Square, adds, “When it comes to fireworks, in the past, many customers would buy only Chinese fireworks as they are cheaper and creative than the Indian fireworks. But this year, due to the call for boycott, Nagpurians are preferring Indian crackers like ground chakkars, flower pots, parrot bombs, etc.”
Interestingly, many of the shopkeepers are themselves promoting Indian products instead of Chinese products. A shop at Bhandara road which sells lanterns has a board with a line, ‘Keep calm and Make In India’. Another roadside shop for Diwali items hung a board by the Swadeshi Jagran Manch urging Indians to boycott Chinese goods.
Echoing this patriotic sentiment, Dinesh Kumar Rahar, Owner of Tirupati Electricals, Sitabuldi says, “Chinese items are in the market from a long time. If Indians would have showed this awareness when China was setting up businesses all over India, this problem would have been never there. I think if this anger among people for China continues to exist, Chinese products will be wiped off the market in the coming years and people will start buying Indian items on a regular basis.”