I spoke on the telephone today with a friend in my home town Allahabad. He told me the economic condition among businessmen is very grim. He had been to Civil Lines recently and found very few customers in the shops there, which had a deserted look. Even for essential groceries people were doing online shopping through Amazon etc, and these were cheaper. So shopkeepers were suffering as they cannot compete.
Amazon is a huge American giant with worldwide business. It deals in bulk quantities, and can therefore sell cheaper. Moreover, shopkeepers have to have employees to whom they have to pay salaries, they have to pay electricity bills and other maintenance charges, etc. So they can’t compete with Amazon. I was told the same is the situation in Delhi and other Indian cities. A businessman in Delhi told me he has little work and is surviving on his savings.
Unemployment is rapidly increasing. It is estimated 12.2 crores ( 122 million ) Indians lost their jobs in April 2020. This trend seems certain to continue, and that foretells large scale hunger riots and civil unrest in the times to come, as happened before the French Revolution of 1789, or the Russian Revolution of 1917.
I fear terrible times are coming in the country. And our Neroes are fiddling while Rome burns.
(The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s own and do not reflect the opinions or views of The Rational Daily.)
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