Saturday, February 27, 2021

'Opportunist patriotism' sold out in under 90 seconds

Redmi Note 9 and OnePlus 8 phones have gone out of stock within seconds during their flash sale on online e-commerce portals. And this has completely exposed the ‘Boycott China’ campaign, so zealously being pushed by so many Indians on social media, as hollow and ineffective.

Let us accept it – we Indians are more pragmatic and self-centred than patriotic. We take worldly decisions based on our canny tendency to strike the best bargain for ourselves. We don’t carry our patriotism outside heart, at least never in our purse.

It would not be completely true to say that we are not emotional. Yes, we do cry and shed tears when we read about the valour of our martyrs and how they fought hard with bare hands even after being outnumbered in the ratio of 1:5. We also are quick in putting likes on the photos of martyrs, their families and their regiments.

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However, this does not mean that we will not be quick to appreciate a good deal for ourselves on any e-commerce portal. After all, we are hard-nosed and pragmatic too. Redmi 9 Pro and OnePlus 8 mobile phones going out of stock within seconds during flash sale on e-commerce portals is only a reiteration of a well-known fact – we are self-serving deal-seekers first, patriots later.

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There have been a slew of articles and voices in Indian media telling Indians how it would be harmful for their own country if they persist with ‘Boycott China’ policy. Some top publications have unashamedly written articles advocating a continuation of trade relations with China.

You cannot argue with those who are pre-determined in justifying a policy. However, it would be wrong to blame the elites, when the masses too start showing the same self-centred apathy as the elites.

It is not impossible to boycott Chinese products. But for that, Indians would have to control their pragmatic and opportunist penchant for a good deal.

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