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Indian shopkeepers stage 'colonial' Tesco protest
Indian shopkeepers will tonight burn effigies of colonial East India company soldiers representing "evil" international supermarket chains like Tesco and Walmart.
Indian traders burn an effigy representing a Foreign Direct Investment Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP
By Dean Nelson, New Delhi
2:17PM BST 24 Oct 2012
They are using the Hindu Dusserha festival, which marks the triumph of good over evil in the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana, to protest against the government's decision to allow Western supermarket chains to open stores in India and modernise its Third World food supply system.
They claim Foreign Direct Investment [FDI] in the sector will destroy the livelihoods of millions of small shopkeepers throughout the country.
On Tuesday night small retailers in Delhi's Karol Bagh market burned an 'FDI Ravana' model while on Wednesday night in Indore thousands will watch as a 71 feet tall East Indian Company Ravana model is consumed by flames.
The model of the mythical character wears a company tunic and a cap with the letters "FDI".
Radhey Shyam Maheshwari, convener of the Confederation of All-India Traders in Madhya Pradesh, said the decision to allow foreign supermarkets like Tesco into India was similar to the historic decision to allow the East India Company to establish warehouses.
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"They came for business but ended up controlling India," he said.
"What will happen to the millions of small and medium traders? If big shops come, they will loose their livelihoods. We will not allow FDI in the retail sector in India at any price," he added.
About time these Supermarkets and Coffee Houses were taken to task . Tesco is not averse to dirty tricks, but where I live they opened a Tesco Extra corner shop in a suburb and what with Tesco Deliveries, people parking their cars anywhere it was chaos. The Residents got together and demanded a meeting with Tesco and voiced their concern and threatened to sue, Tesco closed the shop .!!!! In another case, Tesco opened up a hyper market in Grimsby but one canny Grimsby Councillor noticed Tesco had extended the building by 20%. A meeting was held with Tesco and the Council said they would not demand the Building be altered but no sales could be made on 20% of the building so an area was cordoned off to comply with the Council .
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