Small traders in Delhi have hit upon a novel way to tackle the “menace” of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the retail sector: just burn the demon away. On Tuesday, the confederation of small traders says it plans to burn the “FDI Ravana”, referring to the ongoing Dussehra festival when effigies of the demon are burned. The Dussehra spirit should be lauded, but it is unlikely to keep foreign investors out or change the economics of opening the retail sector to foreign competition.
There will, to be sure, be some attrition in the sector, but fears of mom-and-pop stores being reduced to extinction are overblown. It is an exaggeration that large retail chains can vacuum clean all customers away from small stores.
Still, it is the festive season and rather than begrudge some small traders their incendiary kicks, may we suggest someone take a match to a corruption Ravana, a rape Ravana, or an inflation Ravana.