Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale on Thursday called for a ban on restaurants in India selling Chinese food, after the worst border clash between the countries in more than 40 years left 20 Indian soldiers dead. The clash along the Line of Actual Control on the intervening night of June 15 and June 16 has given rise to a lot of anti-China sentiment across the country.
In a tweet, Athawale also urged people to boycott all Chinese products. “China is a country that betrays,” he said. “India should boycott all products that are made in China. All restaurants and hotels that sell Chinese food in India should be closed down.”
The violent face-off between India and China, which claimed the lives of 20 Indian soldiers, is the first instance of casualties on the Line of Actual Control since 1975. It came amidst a “de-escalation” process in the Galwan area that was started last week, after a month-long standoff between troops at several points along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh and Sikkim. Though some reports said that around 40 Chinese soldiers died during these clashes, there is no official confirmation from the country.
After the border clash, demonstrations were seen in several cities, including Delhi, in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad and Surat, and Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, as people shouted anti-China slogans and called for a boycott of Chinese products.
In Sepoy Ankush Thakur’s village in in Himachal Pradesh’s Hamirpur district, a large group gathered in protest against China and shouted slogans against the country. Thakur was among those killed during the altercation in Ladakh.
In Delhi, the president of a Resident Welfare Association in an upscale neighbourhood declared a war on China. “Unfortunately we cannot take up guns and bullets but definitely there are other means,” the president was heard as saying in a five-minute audio clip, which is being widely shared on social media. “We can break China’s backbone economically and today I request you all, with immediate effect, shun Chinese goods and if you have any lying in your house, please throw them out.”
Residents of an apartment complex in Surat also smashed what appeared to be a China-made television set in the presence of reporters to register their protest, according to NDTV.