New Delhi, Nov 18: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regime at Centre has successfully mixed politics with geopolitics in a bid to create a right-wing frenzy across the nation. While anti-Pakistanism turned into the core agenda of Indian patriotism, it was followed with anti-China-ism. In the past month, the swadeshi movement attempted to revive itself via the social media, with the message of boycotting Chinese goods at all cost. China was accused by far-right opinion makers of not only assisting Pakistan in all its misadventures against India, but also crippling the livelihood of domestic producers of India by bombarding the market with cheap alternatives. Also Read - Brucellosis Outbreak in China Affects Over 3000 People: Know All About This Highly Contagious Disease
While the conservative voices, hailing from the same ideological background as the present government, gave the call for ‘Boycott China’, the Narendra Modi government has dialled up the communist neighbour at the eleventh hour. According to an Economic Times report, hardware components for the recalibrated ATMs are being supplied from China. At present, only 22,500 ATMs of the total 202,000 ATMs have been recalibrated. The remaining ATMs would be reset only after the magnetic components get supplied to the banks. Only the recalibrated ATMs could eject the new notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2000. Also Read - Amid Border Tensions, Chinese Vessels Spotted in Indian Waters Last Month; Indian Navy on Constant Watch
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The Swadeshi Jagran Manch affiliated to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) participated pro-actively in the movement to boycott Chinese goods. They were supported by other RSS-affiliated groups who advocated a complete ban on the import of Chinese fast moving consumer goods in India. Their primary argument was that the use of Chinese goods is damaging the indigenous industry. Conspiracy theorists also pointed that India’s wealth drain is being used to pump finances of Pakistan, which in turn is diverting it to further its covert foreign operations against India.
The triggering point of ‘boycott China’ movement came after Beijing became the sole nation to prevent the listing of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as UN designated terrorist. Even mainstream political commentators in India were firm that China will choose Islamabad over New Delhi at any given point of time, even if that leads to compromise on the issue of terrorism.
Will ‘nationalists’ boycott use of recalibrated ATMs?
‘Nationalists’, perhaps the hyper nationalists took a vow on social media to boycott the use of all chinese products. It would be interesting to see if the same jingoists do not refrain from withdrawing money from ATMs recalibrated using products imported from China. These ‘nationalists’ could instead line up in queues outside banks and replace the old currency notes. By using ATMs recalibrated with products of China, the hardline nationalists who supported the boycott China movement would appear as hypocrites and betrayers of ‘Bharat Mata’.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in the article are personal views of the writer.