An article on globalization

Globalization and homogenization are now being carried out not by nation states, but by global powers that control global markets. “Free Trade” is the ruling metaphor for globalization in our times. But far from protecting the freedoms of citizens and countries, free trade negotiations and treaties have becomes the primary location for the use of coercion and force. The cold war era has ended; the era of trade war had begun.

Nowadays two other words i.e... Globalization and liberalization are doing rounds at almost all the international conferences. World banks are working overtime to liberalize national economies and (thereby) globalize their citizens. Interpretation of these terms by different people at different forums leaves one totally confused about the real objectives and intentions. The official version is that it will usher in prosperity, equality and justice for all. But is that entirely true?

Human history replete with instances of such socio-economic processes aimed at perpetuation of a certain way of living at all times. That ‘certain way’ is always that of the domineering section of the society is something to be taken note of, It is worth remembering that in all such ventures, the declared objectives have been different from the real intentions of the protagonist. The real intentions will always remain shrouded in sugar coated declarations.

While Sanskrit education was the tool for ‘brahminisation’, English education provided the excuse for ‘Anglicization’. Brahmin leaders who spearheaded the roomer movement knew that they can always maintain the upper hand in a society that is struggling to learn Sanskrit. It is an unfortunate fact of our history that such a highly developed language is still neglected due to the animosity generated by its close identification with a very narrow section of our society. The next process that caught the imagination of many sections of Indian society was ‘Anglicization’. At one stage, all rich Indians wanted to learn English, dress like Englishmen and even live like them. The British set off this process with the declared objective of ‘enlightening’ Indians but the real intentions were to develop an army of clerks for East India Company. And their ultimate objective was to mould generations of Indians subordinated to their language, culture and British monarchy. They could succeed partially in the first two but miserably failed in the third is a simple fact.

Again, computerization (and mechanization) as a state policy was initiated by those who already had the privilege of mastering it. We cannot question the intentions of all because at least some would have had only the good effects of computerization on the society in their mind. But as it happens in all such cases, the process got hijacked by a few smart leaders with ulterior motives. Their intentions were only the resultant acceleration of consumerism and the profits that will accrue to ‘brothers’ in select industries. Nobody in power dared a debate on the merits and demerits of computerization in a vast country with millions and millions of unemployed youth. The social impact of millions of jobs that it cut down in and overpopulated poor country has never been recorded fully. Several of our young men could utilize the opportunities and raise to world fame after years of struggle is another matter.

Some years back an MNC (Multi-National Corporation) released a special variety of cotton seed (in India) with ‘terminator’ genes built into them. This is an incident highly symbolic of the times we live in. most of the MNCs are Western dominated and similar ‘terminator’ genes are hidden in all their means and ends. Liberalization being the deed and globalization being the end, we should all be wary of the real objectives in any ‘isation’ process that affect our lives. In very trivial terms, there are hidden elements of borrow & speed, lease & lend, coat & tie and even fork & knife culture in the process of globalization as desired by the West. Those are the ways they are good at and they want the entire world to follow the same. This is in sharp contrast with the Indian ways of conserve & save, give & take, & dhoti and hand & fingers.

We can consider Indian efforts in globalization as successful when an Indian living in New York or London or Chennai or Tokyo can save a good part of his/her salary, move around in Dhoti & Kurta and walk into any five-star hotel to eat Roti/Curry or Curd Rice with clean bare hands. On the other hand, if we have to necessarily carry a credit card, wear a three piece suit and are compelled to use fork & knife, the terminator genes have really succeeded in their objective. Then we can only aspire to live as second class citizens in any part of the world including our own country.