Innovator Sonam Wangchuk has urged people of India to boycott "Made in China" in response to Chinese aggression at the border in Ladakh over the past few weeks. "Give up all Chinese software in a week, all Chinese hardware in a year," said the man who inspired the character "Phunsuk Wangdu" in the blockbuster "3 Idiots".
The innovator said he was giving up his Chinese-made phone within a week, and went on to explain why.
"On one hand, our soldiers are fighting them and on the other hand, we buy Chinese hardware and use software like the TikTok app, we give them business worth crores so they can arm their soldiers to fight against us," he said.
Sonam Wangchuk's video, set in Ladakh with the Himalayas and river Sindhu in the backdrop, has been widely shared on social media. "What is your responsibility as a citizen, in this India-China border tension," asks the 53-year-old inventor, talking about fighter jets flying overhead not far from where he sat.
"I am getting rid of my phone, which is made in China, within one week and in one year, anything that is made in china, I will throw out of my life," he shared, urging each citizen to spread the message to 100 others.
"Tension is rising... thousands of soldiers are beig deployed. Normally, when there is border tension, we sleep at night thinking soldiers will respond to it. But today I want to say, there should be a citizen response too. Citizens like you in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru..."
Mr Wangchuk said he believed China's moves, not just at the border, but also in the South China Sea, were more about managing an internal crisis and rising public anger.
"China's biggest fear today is its own people, its 140 crore population, who are treated like bonded labourers, without any human rights, and who make the government rich with their labour. After coronavirus, factories have been shut, exports are hit, there is rising unemployment. People are angry," he said.
This time, India's wallet power rather than bullet power will help, the Magsaysay award recipient said.
"If 130 crore people of our country boycott Made in China goods and start a movement, it will have a worldwide effect. It will also help our own industry, our own workers."