Why We Should Not Ban Chinese Goods?

Recently there has been a huge upsurge about banning goods from China. This upsurge has been the result of indirect Chinese support to the misadventures of Pakistan. The infiltration bid to enhance its claim on Kashmir by disturbing the shaky peace by Pakistan and its subsequent support by China has led to a social protest in form of a ban on Chinese goods. Though the idea of alienating China and to oppose it is correct but I by all dimensions refuse except banning Chinese goods as the way to do so. Now, there are two reasons for this, the first one being principle based and the second one based on facts.

First let’s recognize one of the most important principle on which our country is based, free market or capitalism or the doctrine of laissez-faire. Now in a free market, every producer has an equal right to produce his or her goods in the market and the good which fulfills the demand of the consumer the best emerges at the topic, others following suite. Now if we suppose ban Chinese products we are not only stopping the consumer from getting a product of greater quality but also making the industry of our own country static. Take the example of EU and the recent Brexit. The EU had effectively stopped competing countries like China and India from entering its market, this caused the industry in EU to become static and henceforth lose the will to innovate and make a better quality product than the outside world. This led to an overall economic breakdown which pushed the EU economy on a downward spiral which ultimately led to Britain breaking away from Fortress Europe. So you see by banning Chinese goods we are effectively denying the customer his basic right to have the best available product and at the same time hindering the ability of our industry to compete with the Chinese industry. The post-independence period had done the same and when in 1991 we finally accepted the rightful principle of free market the side effects of having a closed economy were humongous. Now some would say that china is only one country and that we can import products from another country. I would like to say to them that it is the principle that matters. It doesn’t matter that by what magnitude the principle has been broken, what matters is the fact that it has been broken. The proponents of banning Chinese products in my opinion lack ‘foresight’, they have been unable to look beyond the vengeful feelings they possess and are clouded by the fact that China supports Pakistan. Now, banning Chinese products is not only wrong by principle but could effectively stop India’s great growth rate. The opposition seems to completely ignore the fact that China supplies more than 85 percent of India’s medical raw material and the fact that almost all the products in the world are made in China including the highly shown of iPhone’s.

Therefore, I rest my case that Chinese products should not be banned and that we all should not let hate cloud our judgement

The author, Akshat Golia, is a student of law at SVKM’s NMIMS- School of Law, Mumbai.


Why I Supported Donald Trump

By the noon of 9/11(2016), all the ‘hilarious’ jokes on Donald Trump that had so far been sufficient to make anyone with an acceptable sense of humor to crack up, mysteriously ceased to be funny. The Lincoln Room of the American Centre, Kolkata, which had been the venue of a lively breakfast party hosted by the Consul General of the USA since dawn, suddenly fell silent. The ‘insane fanatic’ whom the majority in the room despised was at the verge of a historic victory.

My reaction, however, was somewhat in contrast with that of my peers. I saw hope in him. Unfortunately, this did invite some glares and comments from the members of the ‘Clinton Camp’. One of them did not retract from mentioning that my support for the man can be attributed to Trump’s “I love India, I love Hindu” comment, indirectly branding me a Hindu Nationalist. In my defense, I am not a Hindu Nationalist and the cries of ‘hindutuva’ and ‘gauraksha’ disturb me profoundly, just like it disturbs any other sane Indian; and my support for Trump had nothing to do with a comment as ill-considered as “I love India, I love Hindu”. Being a student of Political Science who shows keen interest in Geopolitics, I had been fully aware of Trump’s unacceptable views on Muslims, Mexicans, Blacks, the LGBT community and women, and his choice of rhetoric which I found extremely derogatory and unbecoming of a Presidential candidate, just like any other person did. With that, I must not fail to add that I hate evils like racism, misogyny, xenophobia and homophobia to the same degree that my contemporaries do. Then the inevitable question arises, “Why did I support Trump?”

No true Indian shall forget the 18th September Uri attacks(18 killed); neither will they fail to recall the fact  that the mastermind Hafeez Sayeed, and the perpetrator of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks(166 killed) Zaki-ur-Rehman Laqvi are leading  happy and peaceful lives in a country that has been a not-so-peaceful neighbor of ours since 14th August 1947. It is the same neighbour, that boasts of one of the best centralized intelligence organizations, which even after being shown more than substantial evidence of a palatial house and whereabouts of the mastermind of the 1993 Mumbai attacks(257 killed) Dawood Ibrahim in the city of Karachi, denies to have any information. Thus, when Donald Trump came forward and conveyed his strong stance against state sponsored terrorism, whereas Secretary Clinton indicated a continuation of the present policy of strengthening Pakistan militarily, my support went to him. One might just raise a cry that my support is against the idea of globalization and common good(which a very prominent individual did), but the right of my own countrymen to lead their lives without a constant fear of untimely death is far more essential for me than the rights of the LGBT community in an alien nation.

There was one more reason why he got my support that day. His immigration policy and resolve on making immigration difficult in his country, although it is highly unjust to certain people, made me see a bright side. Though I do not support or endorse banning the entry of an entire religious community into a country, there are some long-term benefits for India if immigration to USA is made difficult. USA observes the highest influx of Indian skilled professionals and white-collar employees in the world (Indian immigration to the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia is although the highest, they are mainly the blue-collar workforce). Our country has been suffering from this evil of ‘brain drain’ since the colonial era. The brightest minds our country produces (with exceptions of course) have chosen, since then, the opportunities the developed nations have provided them with over their own country, instead of making attempts to develop its infrastructure for the generations to come. Thus, if Trump’s immigration policies bar even a few of them and make them serve their own country instead, I believe, it will be a grand success for India.

Having said the above, all I am capable of doing is hope that President Trump turns out to be a man of his words, learns to differentiate rhetoric from real deeds and drives humanity towards a better future. If not, nobody shall be sorrier than me. Time is the best judge of events.

The author, Pranjal Mondal, is a student of Political Science at St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata.

A Trump Victory: What This Might Mean?

Donald Trump’s electoral victory has clearly shocked people worldwide. Angry hordes of Twitter users and activists denounce the results, talk about moving out of the country, and taking up the cause of minorities- to fight all the basic values Trump stands for. The website of the Canadian government has crashed, as American citizens panic and wonder if this is truly the end for them, and their democracy. This experiment with democracy has suddenly gone wrong, and the time has come for the world to re-evaluate the true meaning of democracy.

But not everything is as disastrous as it seems. We might initially think that with a completely Republican government, freedom of speech and expression, minority rights, women’s rights and sexual liberty will be clamped down upon in the United States-but we forget that half of America didn’t want this to happen, as well. And if Trump intends on taking his job as President seriously,he must be a leader for all the people- as ridiculous as that sounds. He must take the onus of responsibility thrust upon him seriously. This isn’t another Twitter war that he can win on his toilet seat, by spewing terrible rhetoric about sex tapes and ‘bad hombres’. He needs to come up with constructive foreign policy, handle NATO effectively, and maintain good relationships not only with the old drunk uncles at the international dinner table of nations ,but everybody else as well.

Now, you stare at your computer screen with incredulity- wondering if Donald Trump will actually end up doing this, whether he will actually follow political decorum, whether he won’t simply blow a country up for a misguided statement. But you forget that ultimately, he is a representative of the Republican party. Even if American politics are based on individuals and charisma, parties are proactive through the years. It is the responsibility of the Republican party to enforce the democratic institutions of the United States- it is their responsibility to make sure that Trump, as their candidate, will not destroy their reputation for all posterity. This is why the Republican party will be on its toes and keep Trump on his toes. So, perhaps, all is not lost in the arena of world politics.

At the same time, we cannot underestimate the damage this will do to many institutions of the country. Hate crimes will inevitably increase, white supremacist groups will join the mainstream, and they will have a President who has had a history of sexual assault. The ‘Blue Lives Matter’ movement will gain ground, and Planned Parenthood may even meet a crushing end. The Vice President believes in conversion therapy for homosexuals, and is virulently pro-life.

Donald Trump didn’t appear from thin air. He has taken advantage of divisiveness, discontent,anger- and he can only be countered with unity in the face of adversity. He has sprung from the ugly roots of racial, gender and economic privilege and has thrived off differences, widening them rather than celebrating them and finding unifying forces in the large country filled with differences.

Now, we all have to do the most uncomfortable thing-wait. Wait and see whether the United States collapses within itself, or stabilizes within the next four years- and fight, when necessary.