Campaigns to boycott Chinese products in New Delhi and other cities over China’s support to Pakistan in the ongoing cross-border tension have hit the businessmen in Jharkhand ahead of festive season.
Campaigns against purchase of the cheap-yet-innovative products from neigbouring China gained momentum across the country after the Uri terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir. Social media played an instrumental role in the campaigns with several Facebook pages readily sharing posts to discourage purchase of Chinese lights and gift items this Diwali.
Unlike the past years, this Diwali, no fresh launches from the Chinese electrical sector have made their way to the Ranchi market.
Shopkeepers say the wholesalers in New Delhi faced a tough time importing Chinese products, and a majority of retailers from Ranchi could only get a share of the already existing, “stale” stocks with Delhi wholesalers.
“Chinese lights have always been a hit with the masses. Every year, people expect something new and innovative. But. wholesalers are facing crisis of Chinese products due to the campaigns. Our business too has been affected since there is nothing new for the customers,” said Shahid Parwez, a shopkeeper from New Daily Market, the business centre of electronics and electricals in Ranchi.
“We received several messages appealing to boycott Chinese items in the last few days. This is why we brought fewer Chinese products, but a huge section is still crazy for Chinese items,” said Ashish Jindal, a Dhanbad businessman.
The unavailability of fresh Chinese products is forcing customers to switch to Indian goods.
“I have decided to only use dia for decorations this Diwali. China is known for manufacturing new and innovative products. No point buying stale products made in China,” said Rakesh Agarwal, a businessman from Mahatma Gandhi Road in Ranchi.
A segment of buyers are also avoiding purchase of Chinese goods to support the nationwide campaigns.
“I would only buy made-in-India products this Diwali. It may not make a major difference but at least help me feel satisfied about doing my bit for the country,” said Tanuj Thakkar, a resident of Kanke Road in Ranchi.
Namo Mantra Jharkhand, a social organisation run by local businessmen and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, has started distributing free earthen lights across the state to discourage purchase of Chinese products.
The organisation will also launch a special Rath (four-wheeler) that would go around the city in Ranchi and discourage purchase of Chinese products by announcing on loudspeakers.
“We need to understand that our local earthen light-makers are inching towards extinction due to our love for Chinese products. It’s our responsibility to think about their livelihood,” said Sanjay Seth, a member of Namo Mantra Jharkhand.