Zee News has been running this campaign called ‘Boycott China by giving a missed call at this number‘, for a while. Everyday they will harp about it by screaming at the top of their voice and saying something along these lines, “As of today, over 75 lakh calls have been made on this number. Support ‘Made in India’ initiative by giving a missed call on this number now.“
Now, can anybody help me understand how giving a missed call will help and support the ‘Make in India’ or the ‘Made in India’ initiative? What does giving a missed call prove or achieve? That you know how to operate a phone?
Isn’t giving a missed call to support an initiative or a campaign just a token gesture? Every single Indian wants his/her country to be self-reliant. How will giving a missed call further the cause? Can somebody please explain?
Okay, some people will say that the very act of picking up the phone and calling proves your support for this campaign. No, it doesn’t!
Giving a missed call in support of this Zee News initiative is just a sentimental gesture that appeals to your emotional self. It does nothing to further a cause or campaign.
Let me give you a few examples, and there are hundreds of other examples I can use, to elucidate this point. But let me keep this very simple.
Run to God
Have you noticed crooks and politicians offering prayers or invoking God and their religion whenever they are in trouble? That’s a token gesture. It means nothing. They think by running to God they can prove that they are decent human beings and they are absolved of all the wrongs they have done.
No, it doesn’t prove anything. They think their gesture of embracing religion makes a difference to who they really are, but it doesn’t. Because eventually they are going back to their old ways of hurting people and destroying everything they touch. Basically, there is no follow-through. They don’t walk the talk. They do what is easy to fool the public. And, unfortunately, the public falls for the act and believes them.
Second example. Buying flowers, chocolates or cards on Valentine’s day to show your love/affection for someone. This act is another token gesture, something of sentimental value and an insignificantly small one might I add. This might mean a lot to you and your lover, and make him/her very happy. However, what it doesn’t do is prove your love for him/her. It just proves that you remember Valentine’s day and the “custom” associated with it. Proving your love for someone takes a whole lot more than just buying flowers or chocolates.
Third example. Do you remember, post demonetization in 2016, the pledges made and oaths taken by Indian citizens to avoid cash and only use digital payments and wallets going forward. This, too, was a token gesture, because the entire campaign fell flat very shortly. A few years after demonetization, cash was still king in India compared to digital payments and wallets.
Matter of fact, there is more currency in circulation now than before monetization. As per RBI, as on July 10, ₹26.8 lakh crore of currency is in circulation, a jump of 21.4% year-on-year. Yes, due to various restrictions in effect due to the pandemic, people are making more card and mobile payments. However, once we have this pandemic under control, I feel that people are going to go back to cash as the primary mode of payment.
Final example—wishing someone a ‘happy new year‘ or a ‘happy birthday’. Another token gesture. People even wish those they hate under social/peer pressure. However, they certainly do not mean it.
Same’s the case with Zee news’ boycott China campaign by giving a missed call. It is just a token gesture, and the gullible few have fallen for it.
By the way, how many callers are using Chinese made phones to give those missed calls? Because Chinese smartphones have cornered a whopping 66% of the Indian market. And that data is from 2019. Therefore, if anybody is using these smartphone—Xiaomi, Huawei, Honor, Vivo, iQOO, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Motorola, Lenovo, Tecno, iTel, and Infinix—to give a missed call to Zee News, then, obviously they are being a hypocrite.
Furthermore, and not to rain on their parade, with a population of 1.37 billion, if only 9 million people have made this call, does Zee News realize that as of today, less than 1% of the population have given a missed call. A statistically insignificant number.
You will also note that Zee News have covertly associated this ‘act’ of giving a missed call with nationalism. According to them:
So, according to Zee News, people should call this number if they ‘want’ to boycott China-made goods and promote Made in India. The operative word here is ‘want‘. Don’t they realize that ‘wanting‘ something and doing something to be able to achieve that want are two different things altogether.
Wanting something is easy. There is little to no effort required. Making that want come true requires patience, grit, determination, sacrifice, and hard work. For e.g., dreaming to be a rock star is easy. Sit on a couch, close your eyes and start dreaming. Realizing that dream takes effort, sacrifice, hard work, practice, and a lot of luck.
In addition, I hope they do realize that anybody can give a missed call. It is easy-peasy. Even a monkey can be trained to make a call to a particular number? Will it prove anything other than that the monkey has been trained to perform a set of steps. Nope.
Next, how exactly will India become self-reliant and China be defeated, and Made in India be strengthened by a missed call? I am not able to connect those dots. Pardon me for saying this, but a missed call at the number provided will achieve diddly-squat. This ‘give a missed call’ call-to-action will achieve absolutely nothing.
This is basically a marketing campaign by Zee News, a publicity stunt, meant to increase their TRP. This is fake nationalism at its worst, and fake nationalism sucks. Fake nationalism is what is ruining our country. If they want to effect a real change, then their call-to-action cannot be just give missed calls, but has to have a follow-through actions, too.
I have some ideas, which I’ll list down below. However, first, some facts.
Almost 14% of India’s imports are from China. This cannot be changed overnight.
India imports electrical machineries, nuclear machineries, organic chemicals, fertilizers, iron & steel, optical and medical instruments, etc., from China. You cannot stop importing these products on a caprice. It will take years if not decades to set up manufacturing to reduce and eliminate this dependency.
In addition, China supplies over 80% of Advanced Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) to India. If you are taking a medicine, then it has probably been made using APIs from China. This trend cannot be changed with a missed call.
Most clocks and watches, cheap toys, musical instruments, sport goods, idols of Hindu Gods, even Rakhis are imported from China. For Raksha Bandhan, India apparently imports ₹4,000 crore of Rakhis from China.
You want to stop our country’s dependence on China then there has to be a huge investment in and support for local manufacturing. There is no magic wand to fix this dependency. It will take time.
Action items for Zee News
Now, Zee News, if you want to really leave a mark and hurt China economically, then, let me give you some concrete steps that will make your campaign extremely successful.
- First, ask all Indian citizens to mail their Chinese made phones to you. In return you buy them a non-Chinese manufactured phone. Okay, this may get expensive for you. So, offer them a 50% discount coupon for buying non-Chinese phones.
- Second, using your deep pockets, buy all Chinese manufactured cellphones and have them crushed by a bulldozer. Next, raze to the ground all their manufacturing units, local offices, stores, point of sales outlets and customer support centers.
- Third, destroy any Chinese electronic equipment you are using in your studio. Fry them in a microwave oven if you enjoy watching sparks fly.
- Fourth, burn down any and all Chinese made furniture in your offices and homes.
- Fifth, if any of you are on any medication, stop taking them if they were manufactured using Chinese APIs.
- Sixth, travel length and breadth of India to find all Chinese manufactured electrical machineries, nuclear machineries, chemicals, fertilizers, medical instruments, etc., and destroy them all. Basically find everything Chinese and burn them all down.
- Finally, send the hosts of your shows to the Indo-Chinese border. The way the host(s) of your shows scream on live TV, I am sure that if they were to unload their vociferous screams on PLA, those poor buggers will flee for their life. Then there will be no need to fight a war and lose precious lives.
Now, having taken care of the destroying part, let’s get down to the building part. Please usher in a new era of economic boom and prosperity by investing billions of rupees in the Indian manufacturing sector.
Follow Google’s lead. They are investing billions in Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance. If Google can do it, which is an American company, you can do it, too. After all, what better way to show your patriotism than investing in your own country. Nationalism at its best.
Basically, your objective should be to make India self-reliant in all industries where we are dependent on China. You should first start by fixing India’s API dependency problem, because remember you are going to stop taking medicines made using Chinese APIs; hence, for your own sake, you need to make India self reliant on manufacturing that essential ingredient.