CONSUMERISM

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CONSUMERISM AND CONSUMER MOVEMENT IN INDIA:

CONSUMERISM AND CONSUMER MOVEMENT IN INDIA

CONSUMERISM:

CONSUMERISM

Meaning::

Meaning: Consumerism is a movement to inform consumers and protect them from business malpractices . The term "consumerism" is also used to refer to the consumerists movement, consumer protection or consumer activism, which seeks to protect and inform consumers by requiring such practices as honest packaging and advertising, product guarantees, and improved safety standards.

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The term "consumerism" was first used in 1915 to refer to "advocacy of the rights and interests of consumers" but in this article the term "consumerism" refers to the sense first used in 1960, "emphasis on or preoccupation with the acquisition of consumer goods."

Origins::

Origins: Consumerism has weak links with the Western world, but is in fact an international phenomenon. People purchasing goods and consuming materials in excess of their basic needs is as old as the first civilizations . A great turn in consumerism arrived just before the Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century . At that time, agricultural commodities, essential consumer goods, and commercial activities had developed to an extent, but not to the same extent as other sectors . Members of the working classes worked long hours for low wages – as much as 16 hours per day, 6 days per week. Little time or money was left for consumer activities . For the first time in history products were available in outstanding quantities, at outstandingly low prices, being thus available to virtually everyone. So began the era of mass consumption, the only era where the concept of consumerism is applicable .

Criticism::

Criticism: Alternative lifestyle . Consumerism can take extreme forms such that consumers sacrifice significant time and income not only to purchase but also to actively support a certain firm or brand.

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Opponents of consumerism argue that many luxuries and unnecessary consumer products may act as social mechanism allowing people to identify like-minded individuals through the display of similar products. Critics of consumerism often point out that consumerist societies are more prone to damage the environment, contribute to global warming and use up resources at a higher rate than other societies .

CONSUMER MOVEMENT IN INDIA:

CONSUMER MOVEMENT IN INDIA

History::

History: India has an ancient history of consumer protection. Consumer protection was part of ancient culture and formed the core of its administration. But the introduction of boundless commercialisation of activities eclipsed the old rich heritage. Kautilya's Arthasasthra was the basic law of ancient India and the same was strengthened with provisions to protect consumers. Sale of commodities was organised in such a way that general public was not put to any trouble. If high profits put general public in trouble, then that trade activity was stopped immediately.

Consumer Movement in Modern Period::

Consumer Movement in Modern Period: Consumer movement in the present form came into being only in the 1960's in India. The basic objectives of consumer movement in India are as follows: To provide opportunity to the consumers to buy intelligently. Recognition of reasonable consumer requests. Protection against fraud, misrepresentation, unsanitary and unjust products. Participation of consumer representatives in management of aspects affecting c onsumers. Promoting consumers interests.

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Increasing consumer awareness. Declining quality of goods and service. Increasing consumer ,expectations because of consumer education. Influence of the pioneers and leaders of the consumer movement. Organised effort through consumer societies.

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aConsumer Forum(CF) Consumer Education Centre (CEC) Indian Association of Consumer (IAC) Bombay Civil Trust (BCT) Consumer Guidance Society of India (CGSI) Baroda Citizen Council (BCC) Surat Consumer Association (SCA) Karnataka Consumer Services Society (KCSS) Visaka Consumer Council (VCC) Trichy District Consumer Council (TDCC) Consumer Groups in India