Wednesday, February 1, 2023
HomeIndia‘My next phone will be made in India’: Some IAS officers call...

‘My next phone will be made in India’: Some IAS officers call for boycott of Chinese goods

An IAS officer said it is against the conduct rules of officers to opine on sensitive government matters unless they are authorised to do so.

Text Size:

New Delhi: With anti-China sentiment intensifying across the country in the wake of the death of 20 Indian soldiers in Galwan Valley, a section of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers seem to have joined the chorus against China on social media, and have called for a boycott of Chinese products and mobile applications. 

On 30 May, days after the first reports of incursions by the Chinese soldiers into the Galwan Valley were reported, Chetan Sanghi, a senior IAS officer who is the chief secretary of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, tweeted: “My next phone will be #MadeInIndia”. 

Sanghi’s tweet was accompanied with a picture captioned “Congratulation You are awesome, No China App found in your system (sic).”

A day later, Sanghi’s subordinate in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Anjali Sehrawat, a young IAS officer of the 2013 batch of the AGMUT cadre, wrote on Twitter: “Throwing away already purchased Chinese phones will not hurt their economy! Boycotting new purchases will!”  

Sehrawat was responding to a tweet by a user, who pointed out that a picture tweeted by Sehrawat was clicked by a phone made by Chinese company Redmi. 

Also read: IAS officers, Nobel winners, filmmaker — states gather their best to battle Covid crisis

‘Boycott is about refusing stuff before it is bought’

Another IAS officer of the 2013 batch, Rajendra Bharud, who is posted as a collector in Maharashtra, urged people to boycott Chinese products. 

“Salute the courage & sacrifice of brave officers/soldiers who laid their lives protecting territory of our Nation, condolences to their families — China must be sent a strong message registering India’s protest & anguish #IndiaChinaFaceOff #BoycottChineseProducts,” Bharud tweeted on 16 June. 

Aditi Garg, another IAS officer, echoed Sehrawat’s views Wednesday, and argued it was imprudent to first purchase Chinese products and then boycott them. 

“Mostly #boycott is about refusing stuff before it is bought. And not about paying for expensive, foreign stuff through your nose and then smashing it to pieces. A classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face! #JustAThought #BoycottChineseProducts,” Garg tweeted.


Rules prohibit officers from speaking on govt matters

An IAS officer, who spoke to ThePrint, said these are one-off cases, and the sentiment is not shared widely by all officers. 

He also said it is against the conduct rules of officers to opine on sensitive government matters unless they are authorised to do so. 

“Strictly speaking, the rules prohibit officers from opining on Indian or foreign affairs, while visiting foreign countries,” said the officer, who didn’t want to be identified.

“But the point is there are several other rules, which prohibit officers in general from opining on government policies… The problem seems to be that when you are on the same page as the government, no action is taken, and when you are not, then they invoke all those laws to censor you,” he said.

According to Rule 7 of the conduct rules: “No member of the service shall, in any radio broadcast or communication over any public media or in any document published anonymously, pseudonymously or in his own name or in the name of any other person… make any statement of fact or opinion, which has the effect of an adverse criticism of any current or recent policy or action of the central government or a state government; is capable of embarrassing the relations between the central government and any state government; or is capable of embarrassing the relations between the central government and the government of any foreign state.”

Referring to this rule, the above-quoted officer said: “If you want, you can use this against officers for saying they embarrass the relations of the country with a foreign government… But the point is who will?”

T.R. Raghunandan, a retired IAS officer and author of the book ‘Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Bureaucracy But Were Afraid To Ask’, said the conduct rules “are completely useless and archaic”.

“… They were drafted in the 70s when the only way for officers to communicate publicly would be by talking to the press or by radio,” he said. “They say nothing about social media, giving governments complete subjectivity to penalise some officers and look the other way in other cases.”

“Like in this case, one would imagine that the government would like this groundswell of patriotism so nothing would be done,” he added. “But if I was an officer, I would never ever comment on foreign policy as a matter of principle.”

ThePrint reached the spokesperson of Department of Personnel and Training Shambu Chaudhary via texts, who said he would get back with a response. This report will be updated when Chaudhary responds.

Also read: Punishment or scapegoats? Transferred IAS officers end up sharing blame for Covid management


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism


  1. While appreciating the patriotic fervor here, it is better those in services avoid joining such public clamor. Maturity is at such rare commodity in contemporary India.

  2. IAS officers do not represent the people who to follow or who to listen to. Since 2014 during the time of Narendra Modi they should search in the website as to what investment China has made in India and what has been made by India in China? Narendra Modi who while pronouncing much before the was nominated to be Prime Ministerial candidate for 2014 by his party read in newspapers and find his speeches on U tube as to how the statue of Sardar Patel would be installed in Sardar Sarovar and learn the story as to how his statue was built in China and installed in Sardar Sarovar by Chinese. If one has to boycott chinese goods there are millions of small shop owners who sell chinese goods from toys to so many things. while visiting Sikkim last year we visited Chhangu lake where all chinese goods market exists. We inquired if there are any Indian goods like cloths, umbrella etc. The answer was, no sir, it is all chinese goods market. We went round market at Mahatma Gandhi Road at sikkim where there were shops which has signboard declaring ‘ all Chinese goods’. while visiting Nagaland we happen to accompany our host Dimapur market and also Kohima where we found all chinese goods being sold and they were not all licensed one but that came through private channel.
    being faithful to one’s country is good and necessary but also we should be honest about our commitment to nation. One story must be told here – ‘ Once talking to some Tibbetan youth it so happened that we were talking about Tibbetan traders of whom mostly young sell goods that are all China manufactured. when I asked them that the occupation of Tibet by Chinese is illegal and all Tibetans who have left their country and are living in various parts of world as refugees you are selling chinese goods making china strong. Why ? They had no answer and I did not want to embarrass them. Death of Soldier is most condemn-able and we must not forget their sacrifices for the nation but it is the duty of of Govt. to take care of them after their martyrdom. No one says that one eligible person from the family must be provided with a job in the Army and the pension of Jawan who gave his life must be calculated as if he has served 15 years and family pensioners must be treated equal to the Jawan who normally retires after having served 15 years and not from the date he gave his life. Because each jawan must be treated to be the honourable citizen of India as such their family after the death of Jawan alre not in financially bad condition which is today.

  3. A big salute to our Indian army.
    Hope government comes in action now. Since last six years we are listening MAKE IN INDIA.
    Nobody is there to ask where is MAKE IN INDIA.
    The whole parliament INDIA GATE …..are Being beautified and lighted with Chinese products ( signify India – a Chinese company)
    Rrts project is given to Chinese company
    The whole Delhi Metro Rail corporation has been favouring Signify India product which comes under brand name of Philips. Solar projects have been captured by China.
    It’s time for ACTION which should be seen.

  4. Good. But, probably, the Indian phones will be made using components imported from China, or through some third country. India lost the race in Electronics even before it began in the late 1970s and 80s. Inspite of having mamoth companies like BEL and ECIL, India never got into making ICs, multilayer PCBs and the like. How many patents do Indians hold in electronics?

  5. I hope India independant from China economically. Don’t use rubbish products from China.
    I hope all death Indian soldiers rest in peace with Holy Hindu gods.
    I hope all Hindu gods protect all Indians under any circumstances.
    Wish all you guys luck.

Comments are closed.

Most Popular