Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bharat Stores and FDI in retail

More than two decades into liberalization era, we are yet to fully fathom the subtle impacts it has made in our lives and those around us. Ironically, the changes have become so obvious that we fail to recognize them let alone get into the details. Latest addition to these developments is FDI in retail.

Bharat Stores tries to project the plight of small retail vendors in the present scenario. If change of our tastes and our growing fascination with mall culture have indirectly affected the traditional consumer vendor relationship, introduction of food coupons have forced us to walk up to the mall even if takes time to pick items ourselves and stand in long queues for billing. Scenes like these readily connects to you but it does not go beyond that. May be we have accepted that as a progressive change. That is why you feel somewhere the film misses the core point how lopsided development affects people in different social strata.
H.G. Dattatreya in Bharat Stores
Picture Courtesy :
But there are bright points too like portrayal of how traditional business marketing falls short of massive media campaigns of multinational conglomerates. I feel that one could have also included how consumers would be exploited later by these biggies once all the small vendors are removed and consumers are forced to buy what is dictated. One also feels that not being able to adapt to change is what lead to traditional vendors like protagonist Govinda Shetty's fall. Also, I also felt director could have included how the western model of development cannot be directly applied to India; it needs customization. Presenting a sorry picture of the situation would go down as one of those emotional dramas which is true here too. Overall, the film looks more like a one-sided documentary on cons of FDI in retail. But there are scary aspects of FDI presented here like how the retail giants are getting the fields leased out for them and dictating what crops to grow and how they should be grown too. I came to know similar stories about farmers leasing out their farms around Bangalore.

Passing thought : Overheard from the audience saying ironically that we were watching the film which is against mall culture in a mall. Also, fans were upset with the national award winning film releasing only in multiplexes. No comments about that!


  1. I liked the movie as a whole although it highlights negative aspects of FDI..There may be some positives with FDI like job creation, farmers getting good value for crops grown..local businesses are just wiped out in the process..which is bad for Indian economy. Multinational companies benefit from utilizing natural resource and paying minimal taxes to govt. Other aspects of movies which highlights importance of returning loan taken is very relavant in today's context which provides a model for others to follow.

  2. Thanks Anonymous for that detailed comment! Good points highlighted.



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