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Horsemeat scandal: 'Be Indian, Buy Indian' for the sake of your children
Wealthy Indians have always loved foreign things, be it women, wine or foodstuff. There was a time when India did not produce good products. Mahatma Gandhi said 'Be Indian; Buy Indian'. He saw the danger of economic slavery. India has a huge trade deficit. We need to 'Be Indian; Buy Indian for the sake of our country and our children.

Indians have always loved foreign things. Not many quality Indian products were available in India under the British Raj. Indian women were beautiful and made great wives and mothers. But many Indian men going abroad for studies were fascinated by western women and it was fashionable to bring in a foreign wife. Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, had recognized in the craze for imported products the danger of a return to economic and cultural slavery that had taken root during British rule. He recommended “Swadeshi” or self reliance and boycott of foreign goods as a part of our freedom struggle.

Things have changed. We are an independent and an advanced developing nation. Our industries have developed. Indian products can match the western products in quality in almost all fields. However, listening to fathers (of the nation or households) became unfashionable a long time ago. Showing off is the pastime of the rich and the upward mobile young Indians. They want everything, their cars, their clothes, their cosmetics, their jewellery, their whiskey, their wines, their perfumes, their deodorants and even their food to be western. But can we be sure that all that we import from abroad are of good quality?

Let us see the latest example of western corruption. 30 to 100 percent horse meat has been found in beef products of many top brands in 16 European countries. In mid-January, Irish food inspectors announced that they had found horsemeat in some burgers stocked by UK supermarket chains. But it was hushed up. Then in mid February 2013, up to 100% horsemeat was found in several ranges of prepared frozen food in Britain, France and Sweden. If Europeans can feed white skinned people with horse meat instead of beef, you can rest be assured that they can feed brown skinned Indians and black skinned Africans with meat from dead animals.

Even earlier it was reported that Western fast food chains have used animal fats for cooking vegetarian dishes. We do not have a proper system of testing cosmetics and other products that we import. Our regulators and inspectors are also well renowned to look the other way for monetary considerations. How can you say western products are better than Indian products? I use Indian products and always will.

Finally, “Be India, Buy India” is not a slogan of an old fashioned nationalists. It is essential for India to remain an economically independent nation. Every time we buy a foreign product, eat foreign food stuff like apples and almonds, food products tinned fish or ham or sausages or drink Scotch whiskey or foreign wine, whether made in China or the West, India has to pay for it in dollars which India does not earn.

India has a trade deficit of US$124 billion and growing. Of this about US$40 billion is our deficit with China. If this continues, our rupee will be further devalued. Today, the US dollar is fluctuating between rupees 53 and 54. It was Rs 38 to the US $ in 2004. In eight years, it has devalued about 40 percent. At the present rate of devaluation, rupee could depreciate to Rs 100 to a UD$ by 2020. That would mean rationing of petroleum products as crude oil will cost that much more in rupee terms. India may not have enough dollars to import our requirement of crude oil.

Buying foreign goods creates jobs in foreign countries and job losses at home. The US and Europe have been happily shifting manufacturing industries to Asia and buying goods produced in China and other developing countries. The unemployment rates in the US and Europe has been steadily rising. In some countries like Spain and Greece, it has crossed 25 percent. Poverty and hunger are rising in the developed world. The number of homeless is rising. Highly paid jobs in the manufacturing sector are going to China and the Asian Tigers. Only low paid jobs in the service sector like waiters, sales persons, etc are being generated. Are we going to learn from the plight of the people in the US or Europe or are we going to continue our profligate ways.

Be Indian; Buy Indian; not because some old fashioned nationalist tells you to. Be Indian; Buy Indian to secure the future of your country and the future of your children.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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