– Dr. Rahul Kumar
During an interview on ABP TV News Channel on 6th June 2020, Baba Ram Dev, owner of Patanjali and popularly known half-naked YOGA GURU in India says “Hate China”. He did not stop here only. “Boycott all Chinese products”, he said. He stressed on betrayal by China in concealing the vital information on the pandemic of Coronavirus. Without having scientific evidence, he said, “this virus is man-made”. He also said “China is a demon. Chinese companies have plundered more than Rs. 1000 Lakh Crore ( approx.USD 13.2 Billion. During the interview he emphasized on the production of Swadeshi products and urged the political leadership of the country to develop modern infrastructure to stop Chinese products and companies. On account of slanderous propaganda by Baba Ramdev in India, Communist Party of China must file a court case against Baba Ramdev in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
In the past few days, it has been observed that some BJP friendly media outlets are inviting BJP loyalist, sympathizers, fund-raiser like Baba Ramdev to divert attention to China from the failure of the pandemic of Coronavirus. On his Tweeter account, BJP Member of Parliament Prof. Rakesh Sinha commented, “China is in delusion of its superiority. Isolated as it is now will face unimaginable consequences in case of its misadventure. Internal democratic rebellion of the Chinese masses against Communist authoritarian is inevitable”. If these BJP leaders have the political guts they should close down all the McDonald outlets in India. If these BJP leaders have the political guts they should shut all Japanese companies in Manesar(Haryana). If these BJP leaders have the political guts they shut all shops selling Chinese toys, furniture & mobile phones etc.
Why are BJP leaders making such provocative statements against China at this point in time? There could be one reason that is the callous failure of the Modi regime to tackle the pandemic of Coronavirus. The numbers of Covid-19 patients are doubling and tripling in India. The causalities are increasing day by day. The Narendra Modi Government has mischievously shifted the responsibility to the respective Chief Ministers and Chief Ministers shifted responsibility to District Magistrates and District Magistrate shifted their responsibility to the Block Development Officers. No one in the Narendra Modi Government knows what is to be done.
I want to take readers a little back when Maggi noodle of Nestle India was banned by Supreme Court in June 2015 for six months. Every sensible person in India and abroad knew about this case of false vendetta designed and foisted on Nestle India by some BJP leaders with the help of Baba Ramdev who wanted to sell his noddle made by Patanjali and capture the Indian market. Indian kids rejected Patanjali noodles and Patanjali had to remove a huge stock of Patanjali noodles from the market. Now- a -days Patanjali noodles are no more in the Indian market.
Nestle India’s legal case sent a negative message to the international business community that India is not a safe place to invest. So international investors are knowingly avoiding India because of legal hassles. Rather they opted to go to China and other countries in the South Asia and East Asia regions. Baba Ramdev must be held accountable for this huge loss to India on account of foreign investment.
Baba Ramdev failed in cracking the Chinese market with his traditional products. Abneesh Roy, analyst with Edelweiss Securities Ltd, agreed. “China is a tough market. No Indian FMCG companies have managed to crack that turf so far. There’s not much Indian expats in China who could be the first consumers for Patanjali products.” However, Baba Ramdev succeeded in entering into America, Canada, and a few Western countries. Indians living in these countries buy very limited products of Patanjali and over the years Patanjali sale plummeted sharply in these countries. It is also a fact that no foreigner in these countries is buying Patanjali products. Many Patanjlai outlets in India have been shut after Haridwar`s Ayurveda and Unani office found 40 % Patanjali products of substandard quality. This news spread like a wild-fire in India and abroad. One of my friend from Canada explained, “Most of the Indian –Canadian stopped buying Patanjlai products in Canada after this news of sub-standard quality was circulated on electronic and social media throughout Canada”.
Patanjali imports and exports several items from the developed and under-developed countries. China is a powerful country in terms of economy and military power. China while practicing Cheque book Diplomacy has already brought several countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Indonesia including Pakistan under its domination. Baba Ramdev is not fully aware of an alliance of Pakistan, Iran and Russia. Today, China is the most important emerging hegemon. America is losing its grip even in Western countries.
Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took reign of the government in India, he always promoted friendship and cooperation between India-China. The statements uttered by Baba Ramdev of Patanjali is going to add more problems to the already strained relations currently prevailing between India and China at the Line of Actual Control(LAC) in the region of Ladakh.
“Hate China” statement made by Baba Ramdev is a highly objectionable statement for China Slanderous propaganda by Baba Ramdev in India against China must be stopped by Prime Minister Narendra Modi without wasting much time. PM Modi must understand this type of negative propaganda against China would invite implications for Indian businesses, students in the future.
Dr. Rahul Kumar is an independent researcher and senior media columnist. His research & writing interest extends to macro social, economic, political & international affairs. The views expressed by the author in this article are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the paper.