“CAN INDIA GO COMPLETELY DESI?” This question has become most discussed in recent times after the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi urged the people of the country to buy and support local products. In his speech, he also gave a slogan “Vocals for the Locals” which means to support locally produced goods. Can this really happen? Is this actually possible? Let us know through this article.

To understand whether we can become completely self-reliant or not, we need to understand our foreign imports, our strengths, and weaknesses. Before knowing them to let me clarify that India is Agriculturally rich since its birth. It can be known through the products we export to other countries. India’s major exports are cotton, food grains, textile-based products, jewelry, chemicals, and pharma products. We import oil, electronics, heavy machinery, plastic, iron, and steel from other countries. As we know, India mostly imports goods from China and the USA.


It is well known that India imports are higher than its exports to China which causes trade deficit. India’s trade deficit has been declining for decades. According to 2017-18, India imports were $76.4 billion and exports were $13.3 billion. This shows how India is relying on China. One of the major imports from China to India is Cellular products, mobile phones, cheap plastic goods.


Absolutely not! India cannot completely boycott China and its goods. Because we cannot produce what they can and they cannot produce what we can. For example, India exports cotton and food grains to China and we import mobile phones from China. Kg cotton export price is 200/- whereas a single phone imported from China costs around 10,000/- (prices may vary based on features). So, the product we export has less value than the product we import.


The only reason China having more production than India regarding cell phones in China is Electronically sound whereas India has a good export base in Agriculture and Pharma products. Cell phone manufacturing companies like Celkon have emerged but failed to grab the Indian market attention because of its quality. To produce more phones, India needs to attract US companies like Apple which is yet to establish a manufacturing outlet shifting it from China. India needs at least 3-4 companies to establish manufacturing units in India.


Absolutely not! No country would alone become completely self-reliant. Everyone needs other support for producing something. Earth’s behavior is so. Raw material produced in one place will not be available in another place. But, we can partially stop using China products. One such example is buying a soft drink. A soft drink produced in another country is sold in India for 50/- whereas, if we buy a coconut or sugarcane juice we are helping local farmers. Things like phones which are available cheap from China are being used in India. But, cheap coconut is neglected for a costly soft drink!!! 

The majority of Indian automobile companies like TATA, MAHINDRA are producing quality vehicles. So, while buying a car you can opt Indian models rather than foreign. As we have been discussing, India is rich in Agriculture. So, while buying food products from supermarkets we can ignore foreign goods and opt for Indian manufacturers. Especially, the textile industry has a very good manufacturing capacity in India. But, still, we chose foreign brands. Jhonson and Jhonson’s baby products have a very good market in India before. But, as Indian herbal products have got good demand, the J&J market fell down. This is how we can stand for India.


As said above, each country will be relying on others for one or another thing. Banning a country’s imports will result in the banning of our exports. When Indians start buying coconut water instead of coca-cola, the production of coke gradually decreases. To meet the demand the Indian government will help farmers in producing more coconuts. This is how a market is built. Instead of banning imports, we should focus on reducing them.

This can’t be achieved overnight. But, the gradual reduction of imported goods can make a difference. Just remember one thing I may be posting this stuff using a China-made laptop but a person in China who made this laptop is eating the food we produced, wearing the clothes from the cotton we produced! Jai Hind!

-Krishna (FrontlinesMedia)


  1. 1.India need to setup manufacturing units and import raw materials for products. The end product must be from india. In such cases the dependence will be decreased.
    2.MSME need have edge when compared to foreign goods , for MSME products there isn’t much publicity unlike foreign products.
    3. Swadeshi stores will be a good idea to implement.
    4. Infrastructure facilities for agriculture will be key. Investing in Agriculture will be crucial.


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