Reference: – When slaves become imperialists (Sunday Spin column, The New Sunday Express, 13.03.2005)
Dear Sri. Ghosh,
I don’t agree to your comment that we are slaves of the West in some aspects, not political. When you compare the qualities of the same product, one local and the other foreign, you will have to admit that the nod of your head will favour the foreign product 8 out of 10 times. Such is the capacity of their machinery and the quality of their products. Because there wasn’t any pizza or burger available here to a wider extent, people started going after the 5-minute McDonald’s, Pizza Huts and the Dominos Pizzas. Of course, these are expensive. But now, our local food makers have also started making these stuffs and these are available fresh, with fewer additives and with a big reduction in price. I won’t recommend any McDonald’s or similar varieties because of the ‘add-on ingredients’ in them and for that matter itself no Coke, Pepsi or Mountain Dew.
Paying a lot towards the brand name not only happens with the foreign products, but it happens with the local products as well. If the made-in-Tirupur underwear costs only Rs.60, the same cannot be considered as equal to the quality of the apparel used by a foreign manufacturer like Jockey or Tommy Hilfiger. I can guide you to a local manufacturer of such things near my place where these products cost only Rs.20. My question is; will you take trouble to buy it because it is Indian? Never will you.
Again, when you buy some established company product, more than 45% of your money goes toward the brand name; no matter it’s a local one or an outlander. It is very much similar to Aishwarya Rai demanding over Rs.2 crore for one film and say Mahima Chaudhary demanding a lesser amount. If you need quality services, you will need to pay accordingly. If I offer you an Ambassador Grand and a Mercedes, provided you can take only one; I am damn sure that you will automatically pick the foreigner, the three pointed star – Merc. Here the considerations are comfort and security, other than space. Tell me, how many of our local car makers offer air bags in their security measures. It is for this, that we are to pay heavily, like in the case of Aishwarya Rai to whom we need to pay heavily for her life-like expressions. We cannot ever say blindly; we shouldn’t use this or that, for it belongs to a foreign company. Tell me which is your mobile phone make, Indian or foreign? Why don’t you use Rediffmail or Indiatimes Mail, which are Indian, and instead went for Yahoo, which has its base in the U.S.? Then why the ‘reverse apartheid’ to Levis, Tag Heuer and Ray Ban? Mind, we also export goods. If such a decision is taken by the foreigners, then Samay Quartz will have to cut down their export deals from over 100 countries to just two or three. The same thing can happen with spices, furniture, BPO’s and even the ‘NRI workers’! If we are to rebuff such foreign services, then we should hold back from going abroad for studies and jobs thinking we would badly need to use their services and goods there! Even the person whom you were referring to – MK Gandhi – had studied and worked abroad! Jawaharlal Nehru had as many cars waiting to pick him up at all the gates of his college, needless to say, all foreign made! What about Sonia Gandhi, a denizen, becoming an M.P., rather the Virtual Prime Minister? If there is anyone who can be blamed for the poor development of the local industries and the flourish of the foreign ones, it’s the ruling class. They are the ones who ask over FDI’s and do little for the growth of our own industries.
Please don’t talk too much about the National Dress and other outfits. Remember, our sportspersons today don’t have the right to sport the National Colours on their garbs. Poor, isn’t it? Another thing worth attention here is that we needed almost half a century to remove The Union Jack from the flags of our major forces! Now tell me who is loyal to the West; the Government or its people?