外文标题：FDIez- India Cries-China Thrives..Sighs
FDI in retail has been put on hold in India. There are demonstrations led by the opposition, voicing concern that entrance of retail giants will kill poor shopkeepers who make their living by charging a small some over the stamped price on the merchandize. Small is a big word in India and all “halwaiees” qualify as petty traders even if they have shops in Connaught Place in Delhi or at Chowringhee in Kolkatta. In India there is no receipt for what you buy from a Kiryana shop, a bakery, a general merchant or for that matter any shop big or small, unless you want a receipt, asking which of all, surprises the shopkeeper. If you insist on one to safeguard you against a mishap within the guarantee period, the shopkeeper puts his signature on the back of his business card and gives it to you. Aap chinta mat karo jee, ham yahin baitthe hain.
All these people are doing business and for the lower level bureaucracy whose inclusion in Lokpal bill the government is dithering over, it’s the business as usual. The visiting inspectors find nothing out of order, the weights and measurement inspectors, the excise and taxation inspectors, the income tax officials, power theft squads, pollution inspectors, health inspectors, this inspector and that inspector, none of them find anything wrong.But the petty trader is an unhappy man. He finds it impossible to be upright even if he wants to be, for morals and principles aside, he has to cough up money to all these gubernatorial thieves. So it is a vicious circle so to say, a whirlpool in which every small businessman is sucked in.
The Mamtas and Mayas are appalled at the insensitivity of the central government. Uma Bhartees threaten to burn the outlets of retail giants if they set up shops in India. From Naziruddeenz to Tikaits, from BSP to BJP (let me name Neetish and Arun jaitley too so that people don’t blame me for picking on women) all have suddenly become concerned about the Vyapari vavyasaye Samitees and small vyaparees that I guess account for half of those who have their money stashed abroad.
Mamtas 和 Mayas 对中央政府的麻木不仁感到大为震惊。Uma Bhartees 威胁说，如果零售巨头进入印度就烧掉它们的店。感觉突然间，从Naziruddeenz到Tikaits等各路精英，从BSP到BJP等各党派开始关心小商贩的命运了，我估计那些在海外有存款的人群中，这些所谓的小商贩占了一半。
Long back when KFC set their first outlet in Bangalore there were incidents of smashing their window panes and threats of burning them down. Today I think almost every big city has all the leading fast food chain outlets and I don’t think the sale of Channa bathura seller has gone down. He is found busier than ever selling his chhole bathure right in front of a Mcdonald’s outlet . He even tears the canvas down of “ I am loving it” banner and uses it to protect himself and his customers from rain and sun.
很早以前，当肯德基在班加罗尔开第一家店时，出现过几起窗户玻璃被打碎的事件，有人甚至威胁烧掉那家店。今天，我想几乎在每座印度城市都能找到这一领先快餐连锁店了。与此同时，本土品牌Channa bathura的生意并未下滑。有位在麦当劳对面卖chhole bathure的人发现自己比以前更忙碌了，他甚至撕下麦当劳的“I am loving it”横幅给自己和客人遮阳避雨。
Our leaders think that the small businessmen, who pay little or no income tax and whose business largely is conducted verbally will be ruined. And these businessmen make a large chunk of the faithful vote bank..so their concern must be addressed otherwise they too will be ruined in the coming elections.
China is principally a communist country and therefore I have a reason to argue that no government policies or schemes overlook the interest of the common people. But Chinese government doesn’t bother about public opinion because it doesn’t fear getting voted out. It is there, staying put and becoming stronger every day. But there is a big difference, the policy makers are not high school literate or drop outs. They are not vanadals or student union leaders turned politicians. They have not inherited the position in the party. They are highly intelligent people, who are there on merit. So they don’t make big promises, they just deliver and I have seen and I am seeing this country achieve one mile stone after another, every day. I am seeing a massive transformation going on in this country. I am seeing what I have never seen before in my life. I have posted some blogs on the suburb “ Gaogang” where I live but I have never posted a blog on the main city “Taizhou” which is about twenty kilometers away. The city is connected to our suburb by bus service which has a frequency of about three minutes.
The local buses in China are shining, spick and span. There are four video cameras installed in the bus and the driver-cum conductor can see every inch of the bus. He drives with utmost caution and at the terminus mops, washes and cleans the bus too. You can’t point out as much even a scratch on the body of the bus. The flat rate fare of two Yuan is charged if you drop the coins in the drop box.The box is not a dummy box but it has an intelligent sensor in it. Once by mistake there was a lowly Indian rupee coin ( It is of the same size as the Chinese Yuan) in the change that I carried and when I dropped it in the box it raised and alarm and the alert driver looked suspiciously at me.You get a rebate if you by a card and the fare is 1.40 Yuan if you swipe the card. From end to end the bus covers about 30-35 kilometers.
In Shanghai the same “smart card” can be used for the buses, metro and even for paying the taxi fare. There is no need of hackling with the taxi driver, if he acts smart you just need to start walking towards the policeman who are omnipresent and see the colour drain out of the taxi driver’s face because the policemen are omnipotent too. Such is the fear of retribution here. The card can be recharged at any metro station and everywhere you are served promptly and with a smile..Kitna likhoon main. Jitna bhi likhoon kam hi hoga.
We go to Taizhou very often. Last Sunday when we went there, another huge plaza named “Wanda Plaza” had been thrown open to the public. No ministers inaugurate here, for if they were to do it, that’s all they would end up doing. I have seen this huge complex come up in this last one year that I have stayed here. This plaza has a retail giant “Carrefour” besides many big international brand stores. Taizhou is comparatively a small town but it has all top international retailers TESCO, LOTTE, Carrefour vying with locals “Hua Lin”, Sunning, Gomez etc. All international brands of clothes, food chains, luxury items are doing business here and all seem to be doing well. I haven’t shown you any pictures of Taizhou ever, so let me show some.
Without raking any controversy about whether FDI in retail would be good for India or not let me tell you one good thing about these retail malls here in China. You can return the purchase within two weeks. It is very convenient and it works. No questions are asked or at least they don’t ask us because we( me and my wife) communicate with them only through sign language. I once brought home an inflatable mattress but on opening the packing, I found that not only the pump for inflating it but also the nipple where pump is attached was missing. The mattress was useless so to say. When I went back for returning it, they didn’t suspect me of having ripped the parts which obviously someone had done before. In India, I am sure they wouldn’t have ever returned my money.
A few days ago, I bought a winter jacket which my wife didn’t approve of but I bought it to show who was the boss. Without revealing to you our secret let me tell you that after about a fortnight I agreed to return it on the condition that she will go and approach the return counter which she did and we got our money back there and then. I am sure if Mayawati and Uma Bharati learn about this attraction they will let these retailers do business in India because many Indians will queue up for returning things on one pretext or the other..after using it of course. It’s not that Americans or the Chinese are any better but if Indians are given such an option they will take the cake.
This reminds me of an interesting incident. Every time when we join a ship, we end up buying the Blues which consist of band master’s suit with stripes on the cuffs etc. and a sailor's cap. This suit is for some ceremony like of flag changing, naming ceremony, when taking over a new vessel etc. etc. But merchant navy is not Indian navy where more importance is given to uniform than work, sincerely I have never worn my blues. Once when I was on a ship that was in Bombay Mr. Rajiv Gandhi who was the Prime Minister then came for National Maritime Day celebrtion. Even Amtiabh Bachchan came to attend that function. We, who happened to be there, to make up a respectable gathering of the audience were asked to be present there in white uniform.
If you walk from Shere Punjab Dhaba at Fort Mumbai down Shaheed Bhagat Singh Road there are rows of tailor shops who cater to the needs of sailors of every description. I approached one an evening before the D-day with my urgent requirement. It wasn’t possible for him to stitch me a suit at such a short notice. So he asked me to try the one which was ready with him. Coat of the Indian naval uniform has “Bandh Gala” and it was tight around my neck. He asked me to wear it for the occasion and come back to him for minor alteration that he would later do. He didn’t know that I was from Merchant Navy and thus I won’t be needing it after the occasion. I had no intention to cheat him…at least until then. So I went to shake hand with the Prime Minister of India and possibly with his then bosom friend Mr. Amitabh Bachchan donning my uniform a little tight around my neck literally but it felt comfortable because I hadn’t paid for it.
从孟买的Shere Punjab Dhaba路走到Shaheed Bhagat Singh路，你会看到整排的裁缝店，他们能够按照水手的要求做出各种制服。庆典的前一天晚上，我走入其中一家裁缝店，要求其为我赶制一套。店主说没法在如此短的时间内完成，他问我要不要试一套成品。我试了一下，发现脖子勒得有点紧。他叫我先应付一下明天的庆典，回来再给我改一改。可他不知道我是商船队的，应付完这个庆典后就不再需要这套制服了。我无意欺骗他，至少当时是这样的。
I shared some “Dhakkas” (jostling) with the P.M. who wasn’t afraid of mixing up with the crowd and the suicide bombing wasn't heard of. I came back and returned the uniform for alteration. Later wisdom came to me in a flash that once in a while it’s OK to cheat as the world after all is not made up of saints alone and in this melee of rogues addition of another name won’t cause a turbulence...and I didn't go to get the suit.
..Now Let's take you to a trip to a brand new mall in Taizhou....Enjoy and marvel....Shhhhh...show shuru hone wala hai