domenica 5 maggio 2013

Ikea in India

Soon in a house of Varanasi or Pune, in a hut of Bihar or in an apartment in Mumbai will never find a charpai or four-poster beds, simple wooden shelves, mirrors framed with bamboo canes and teak  or mango wood tables. We will find the library Billy and  armchair Karlstad, bed Malm and the coffee table Lack.
Well, yes. The Indian government has finally allowed Ikea to open ten stores in India over the next ten years and fifteen more in subsequent years. The first phase of the investment is worth almost $ 2 billion.
Laws to protect the small shops that have so far hindered the realization of large retail supermarkets and attempt to land as the American Walmart were not used to lock the Swedish giant. The Indian law in fact permits foreigners to carry out retail chains if the products are monobrand, as in the case of Ikea that  sells only products under its own brand, while the multi-brand sales (i.e. supermarkets) have restrictions.
And because the Indians should not have what we have, cheap furniture? Maybe, but this homogenization saddens me and scares me.
I do not want to bore you, but I have to mention one more time that Mahatma Gandhi was convinced that India had a mission to accomplish in the world and should be for all other nations a beacon to indicate a  peaceful and different from that Western pattern of life.

Gandhi in Young India on 11 August 1927 wrote:

"Wisdom is no monopoly of one continent or one race. My resistance to Western civilisation is really a resistance to its indiscriminate and thoughtless imitation based on the assumption that Asiatics are fit only to copy everything that comes from the West. I do believe, that if India has patience enough to go through the fire of suffering and to resist any unlawful encroachment upon its own civilisation which, imperfect though it undoubtedly is, has hitherto stood the ravages of time, she can make a lasting contribution to the peace and solid progress of the world."

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