Recently I had a conversation with distinctive friends. They wanted to buy different products and so asked for my advice. Some exerts
F1: I want to buy a phone.
Me: Go for Micromax. It is an Indian company and offers good services and applications. Or lemon (I advised looking into the increasing trade deficit between India and china).
F1: Are you mad? The name is no way an appreciable word in the public. Further, Samsung and HTC define the class status and also respect.
Me: Okay, you must go for them even if it costs more than 2 double for same specifications.
F2: Bro, I want to buy a new pair shoes. Which is the best brand??
Me: got to Bata or Lakhani. They offer wide variety in reasonable range.
F2: that is ridiculous. I cannot wear such shoes. Man, have you seen any celebrity like Messi, Viraat doing the advertisement of such brands. They are my reference groups and suggest some brand value product like adidas, nike or reebok.
You all, who are reading this blog, may come across such things in your daily life especially if you are living in urban areas. Whether it is clothing or any cosmetic product or any other bloody goods or services, people generally prefer to go for foreign brands. The ideology of consumerism has been injected into the minds of nascent and evolutionary middle class. It has become necessary to buy things that have appeal in front of others. That creates a sense of satisfaction in the minds of people. That reminds me of 1905 when Swadeshi movement which was first started against the economic exploitation and drain of wealth from India. (I mean to say the methods adopted.)
Liberalization, an aspect of globalization has provided a platform for acceleration of modernity and expansion of market to every sphere of society. Market usually located in public sphere has entered the private sphere of individual and this has contributed for enslavement of man. Even love is expressed in the market and quantified in terms of gifts exchanged and that too with exchange of cards from Archives. Visiting a food joint is more seen as a pilgrimage which has led to macdonalisation of consumption. One goes for a car not as a medium of transport but as a manifestation of life style.
Today, the same exploitation is happening but implicitly. India’s manufacturing base has declined to 16% of GDP. Even after introducing various policies, government has not been able to arrest the declining trend. Manufacturing companies are taken over by MNCs. Explicit economic exploitation is converged into implicit economic exploitation and that has send shock waves throughout the economy as can be seen from recent trend at the bourses. Despite 30% decline in value of rupee, Indian exports have not achieved that much growth. Trade deficit in merchandise still haunt the development ideology.
There is a rise I protectionism in case of America what they call as “BUY AMERICAN”. We want a contemporary Swadeshi movement that not only breaks down the growing culture of consumerism but also that supports Indian products, Indian services. Though it would be impossible to bar companies investing in India in this globalized village, one can change his needs according to the demands and evaluation of individual as well as collective interest of country.