‘Bharat Mata’ and Chinese TVs: A Tale of Broken Goods From China
Here’s where things went south — some of us started breaking things.
India and China aren’t getting along. Soon after news of the violence at LAC broke on 15 June, a tidal wave of resentment took over social media. India had lost 20 soldiers' lives to the border scuffle and the anger needed to be voiced. Fair enough.
But, here's where things went south — some of us started breaking things. Now, what's wrong with breaking something, by way of an anger cleanse, as long as the the thing that you are breaking is yours to break? Let's detangle.
The suggestion (as perhaps construed from the Prime Minister's 13 June speech on 'atmanirbharta') was to stick to goods manufactured by India, going forward, in order to reduce dependencies on foreign imports but... that suggestion was perhaps lost to cosmic forces that were in a rush.
What remained was a peculiar Hulk-esque urge to break Chinese goods to 'avenge' what happened on the border. Now, here's why one can't justify the misplaced show of support.
China doesn’t feel hurt at all. Your pocket does. Because the money made from the TV that you broke is still in circulation in the Chinese economy.
Whom did we really hurt now? See, for example, the visible hurt in the video above, that takes the form of stomping and screaming, and might increase in intensity once realisation dawns that we lost a TV here and China didn't feel hurt at all.
It is unsettling that all rational next steps towards conflict-resolution were left to the government so one could single-mindedly take care of everything else? Armed with anger and indignation, the plug was yanked out, the Chinese TV set was scooped up and thrown off the balcony.
No sooner did it land with a crash, than other like-minded spirits took over. It doesn't end there. Some Resident Welfare Associations took over too, according to senior journalist and Twitter user, Sreenivasan Jain.
So while the rest of us are trying to piece together the Indo-China conflict, some have perhaps decided thus — We are not going to delay our anger just because we haven’t had time to think this through. So, out goes the TV sets, and other Chinese goods. In comes a sense of "national pride" at having renounced products/goods associated with a country that somehow still has the money made from selling all those goods.
Side Note: About 92% of India’s imports from China belong to the four categories: electronic, engineering, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. It is not just the TVs and the phones. Let's think about this a bit. The adrenaline can wait.
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