After Pakistan, public anger in India has been directed towards China. This sentiment has escalated after China blocked a tributary of the Brahmaputra. Since, the last few days, there have been calls to ban Chinese goods by Indians on several social networking sites. Now, State Minister for health, education and finance, Himanta Biswa has jumped into the bandwagon and has appealed to the masses to completely avoid buying Chinese goods.
‘This Durga Puja people should avoid buying products made in China. Instead they should buy lamps, decorative lights and household utensils made in India,’ he told journalists.
Significantly, the minister’s appeal also follows Beijing’s declaration last Saturday that it has blocked a tributary of the Brahmaputra, to construct a dam for a major hydro-electric project in Tibet. It is not known if blocking the tributary will affect the volume of the Brahmaputra which flows across the length of Assam.
Sarma, however also said that ultimately it is the personal choice of an individual. However, he opines that people should refrain from buying goods which has ‘Made in China’ marked on them.
ULFA-I backs Chinese goods
Each year between Durga Puja and Diwali, Chinese products including decorative lights and lamps, gift items and firecrackers worth hundreds of crores of rupees are sold across India.
Last month, leaders from the Assam unit of Hindu Yuva Chatra Parishad had appealed to people in the state to stop buying Chinese goods in order to hurt the neighbouring country economically.
Soon after the appeal, ULFA-I issued a statement asking the group and its leaders to stop its campaign seeking boycott of Chinese products. It said consumers have the right to buy goods which are cheap.
‘Besides, neighbour China has age-old friendly ties with Assam and provides an alternative to Indian traders who have only profit in mind,’ the statement read.