ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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US-EU Trade War over Bananas

benefit in inciting violence on a large scale. Even so. the communal incidents reported above should cause concern. Communal feelings are being kept alive and major incidents can be provoked whenever these communal parties find it in their political interests to do so. Also, BJP rule at the centre and in some states has emboldened members of VHP and Bajrang Dal to terrorise minority communities. It was during this year that Christians came under systematic attack US-EU Trade War over Bananas C Satapathy INDIA is the largest producer of bananas in the world and accounted for 9.5 million tonnes out of the world production of 54.5 million tonnes in 1995 according to FAO. The US and the European Union (EU) are the largest importers of bananas. Their imports were 3.7 and 3.5 million tonnes, respectively, in 1994 according to FAO and EUROSTAT. Sadly, India's exports of bananas to the US and the European countries are not much. As per trade statistics published by DGCI and S, India exported a meagre 27.7 tonnes to the US. 17.4 tonnes to the UK and 42 tonnes to Germany in 1996-97. As such, India has no direct interest in the current banana trade war raging between the US and the EU, but its significance in the context of multilateral trading arrangements should not be lost. Moreover, the recent showdown between the US and the EU stemming from the disputed banana regime of the latter could not have come at a worse time. The meltdown in the emerging economies in Asia, a near collapsed economy in Russia, the Japanese economy shrinking, and economic gloom spreading to large parts of the western world have all contributed to put the global trading system under great strain. While the emerging economies sec a way out of the crisis through more exports, the developed countries feel threatened by cheaper imports. Suddenly protectionism is on the increase and many are questioning the merits of globalisation. This is a time that by the saffron family, particularly in Gujarat where the BJP is in power The VHP and the Bajrang Dal are acting as if it is an unbridled Hindu Raj, No wonder then that in the recent state elections the minorities, particularly Muslims, rallied round the Congress again from which they were alienated after the demolition of Babri masjid. If such communal incidents, as in Gujarat, continue more Muslims and Christians would rally round the Congress which may be revived even in states like the UP and Bihar.

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