New Orleans Dharmendra Kumar, campaign director of the India FDI Watch Campaign (www.indiafdiwatch.org), an organizational affiliate and campaign of ACORN International, has been emailing and telling me for days that the outcry against the Indian government’s recent announcement that it would open foreign direct investment to multi-brand retail was intense and unyielding in Delhi and throughout India. The present has been led by small traders, street sellers, and birani shopkeepers. Parties on both the left and the right have been united in opposing the government’s announcement. Stories in news outlets in the US have focused on the huge opportunity they claimed would now be available to Walmart and its cohorts among other global big-box operators. Kumar tells me that they are counting their chickens before they hatch.
In recent days the India the FDI Watch Campaign has indicated to me that they believe the government will be forced to suspend their announcement of the FDI modifications in multi-brand retail. Our default position for years has been to point out to the government that even when FDI in retail has been modified in other countries, it has often been done over lengthy timelines, like the 10 year rollout in China. Countries that have moved too quickly, have always paid huge prices in terms of domestic discontent and marketplace confusion.
Watch this story. This is a political fireball in India that could scorch the government and everything in its path unless finally our demands are heard and time and due diligence are provided for existing business, communities, and workers.