India: Millions Protest Over Supermarket Plans
There have been huge protests across India over government plans to allow multi-national retailers to set up shop.
Millions of people have taken to the streets to vent their anger over a move which could see the likes of Tesco, Carrefour and Walmart entering the lucrative Indian market.
Opposition parties claim the law will tear apart the country's social fabric.
India is a nation of small shopkeepers and farmers and it is feared they would be put out of business by the new liberalisation law called Foreign Direct Investment.
Shaina NC, a member of the opposition Bhartiya Janata Party, says FDI will slowly strangle small business.
"The question is whether FDI (foreign direct investment) stands for foreign destruction of India, whether it's looting the common man and the middle class, how the five core traders are going to be completely displaced."
But pro-business groups claim that is nonsense.
Growth in the Indian economy has slowed dramatically and foreign investment is vital if the country is to move forward.
For example, 30% of the fruit and vegetables in India rot before they reach the consumer. Big business would, it is argued, change that by bringing in investment and technical know-how such as better transportation and refrigeration.
India's legions of shopkeepers are unconvinced.
Surinder Dua runs a small clothes shop with his sons. He believes big supermarkets will be bad for business. "I am just small they have the power and the money, we will not survive."
The government though is determined to push through with its reforms which will allow foreign retailers to own a 51% stake in a business in India.
The UK supermarket giant Tesco is cautiously optimistic.
It told Sky News: "Tesco welcomes this positive development but we await further detail on the conditions. We already have a successful franchise arrangement with Tata's Star Bazaar stores and we are hopeful that this development will allow more Indian consumers, businesses and communities to benefit from world-class retail investment."
But much of the public opinion in India is against FDI with the trade unions and opposition parties saying they will continue to strike and protest until the government backs down.
That has happened before.
In November, the Congress-led government introduced the same laws, only to overturn them in the face of widespread anger.
The big retailers are now watching this space very closely.