Ever since 1991 when globalization was set in, foreign brands entered India like any other Asian country that has opened up to liberalization.
But the underbelly of an anti-foreign goods remained strong in certain quarters but hardly did it raise its head until now when Patanjali products under Yoga guru Baba Ramdev began a new Vande Mataram slogan prompting people to boycott foreign goods.
Now that Jallikattu agitation in Tamil Nadu showed how strong people’s sentiments are, some trade associations and unions have declared war against Pepsi and Coca-Cola on the grounds that they are usurping India’s water resources.
In the forefront are Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peramaipu, a trader’s union claiming about 6,000 associates and about 15 lakh members and the second one is Tamil Nadu Traders Federation.
The opposition from Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peramaipu has been there since 1998 against foreign brands but consumers heeded little to their arguments. Now that Jallikattu has brought forth a common perception among the protesters, the call has gone out louder this time to boycott ‘foreign’ beverages.
Tamil Nadu Traders Federation is planning to organise awareness against foreign beverages before effecting a boycott from March 1 this year.
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev has gone a step ahead seeking the centre to impose “Sin Tax” on these products, which may not be feasible in an already globalized Indian market. Armed with home-grown Baba Ramdev’s Rs.10,000-crore Patanjali brand of products disrupting the FMCG market already, the new wave may upset the globalization in India.
Nor can we ignore the fact that out IT industry owes largely to the American market for its survival and any boycott of Indian firms in return would upstage the Indian economy.