India’s quest for increased foreign investment is ill-served by its opaque laws and failure to provide a level playing field between domestic and foreign businesses. Without a fair and competitive market for both sets of players, foreign investors may remain reluctant to invest in the country. As it is, governments, Centre and States, succumb under the pressure of domestic corporations to try and impede operations of foreign companies.
Of late, this is becoming increasingly apparent in the case of the two big US e-market behemoths. These are sought to be hobbled through arbitrary change in rules and regulations by various authorities, in order to help big domestic operators who have belatedly entered the growing sector. Seen in this light, even the vandalism last week, by a handful of hoodlums claiming to belong to the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena of Raj Thackeray, should not come as a surprise.
Periodically, the MNS indulges in such attention-seeking gimmicks to advertise its existence. Not that the orginal Sena was any better in its formative years, though. But now that its leader Uddhav Thackeray is Maharashtra Chief Minister, it is his responsibility to ensure that the perpetrators of naked 'goondagardi' do not go scot-free. The attackers on the Pune warehouse of Amazon must be booked as per the law. And, if following an FIR, the court has summoned Raj Thackeray, he should heed the summons. He cannot claim to be above the law.
The demand for the use of Marathi language by Amazon is a decision best left to the company. If it finds it technologically and commercially viable there is no reason to believe it would not use Marathi to market its products. It is actually a matter of when, not if. Amazon is known to be most customer-friendly. This is how it has grown into the world’s best and biggest e-marketing platform. But it is not known to buckle under intimidation and bullying by vested political and commercial interests.