A Swadeshi movement against China’s anti-India policies was organised at Dabra in Gwalior district on Sunday. Many people came together to boycott Chinese products.
About 111 years ago, the Swadeshi movement, part of the Indian independence movement, was introduced as an economic strategy to remove the British Empire from power and improve economic conditions in India by following the principles of swadeshi (self-sufficiency).
Strategies of the movement involved boycotting British products and the revival of domestic products and production processes just like the present-day movement against China. It was introduced by Mahatma Gandhi back then.
“In October 1905, the Swadeshi movement had formally begun so we also chose the auspicious time to begin our new Swadeshi movement. In 1905, Indians had burnt clothes and boycotted English salt and sugar. This time we burnt Chinese electronics products,” said Raju Narayan, a businessman.
“China has always been bullying us, and it has now crossed its limit. We cannot tolerate it anymore. We need to teach China a lesson as Beijing is now supporting Pakistan,” said Dr DS Thakur, a paedeatric doctor, adding, “China has been using India to dump its cheap quality products. We are calling it the second Swadeshi movement which will be people-centric, without involvement of any political parties.”
Social media websites played an important role in bringing the people together. Doctors, engineers, businessmen, students, housewives and even children came from far-off places to register their protest.
Chinese clothes, electronic goods and show-pieces were thrown into bonfires to set the beginning of the new movement. “We had enough of Chinese products, it is high time that we begin making everything for ourselves and boost our economy,” Dinesh Gupta, a businessman, said.
“They (China) should understand that we follow Gandhiji’s path of peaceful protests, and if India stops importing, China’s export-based economy is going to collapse,” Saurav Dubey, a student, said.
To strengthen the movement, the new generation Swadeshis formed a human chain at Dabra, which was followed by a quick session of protest speeches against China. Everyone was asked to bring along from their homes and shops every product made in China.
The slogan --- Na China ka saman gharidenge, naa bechenge (will neither buy, nor sell Chinese products) -- resonated the length and breadth of Dabra on Sunday evening.