Mahatma Gandhi

Often, Mahatma Gandhi is invoked to oppose the entry of Walmart. This writer believes that he would not have done any such thing if he were alive today. He would have opposed an arrangement in which the US trader is given access to the Indian market and reciprocal access was not given to the Indian trader in the US or global market. This indeed is not the present case. This is the time when Indian traders are flourishing in the US. Another aspect to remember: Gandhi did not ever want to impose his idea of self-sufficient villages and simple living in such villages on the population. The Gandhians have all the freedom today to propagate the Gandhian ideal of simple living. To oppose the entry of Walmart in the name of Mahatma Gandhi is illogical. The entry of Walmart does not also imperil initiatives like Maveli stores of Kerala if they are run efficiently. If a Walmart outlet is opened in Kochi, the government stores must be able to sell at competitive prices without incurring a loss. The government initiatives in retail trade can co-exist with private initiatives, both Indian and foreign, on the basis of efficient performance and not on other grounds.

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