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Globalisation and the Human Empire

Globalization refers to diminishing of the barriers predominantly economic and to a lesser extent –social, cultural etc. among the different countries. It refers to view the entire world as a single market and a single manufacturing base. The supply chain of a product may transcend all political boundaries. For Example: A Dell laptop being sold in India may be composed of sub-assemblies from China, Korea, Japan and mind you Dell is an American company.

Although Globalization is a recent phenomenon, it has been practiced in crude form since time immemorial. Even Ancient Civilizations of Indus Valley, Mesopotamia and Egyptian Civilization did not live in isolation and had trade linkages. In the medieval times, Arab Traders provide a vital link for trade between India and Central Asia, Europe. Industrial Revolution in England and other European countries resulted in mass production and market for surplus goods had to be found in erstwhile colonies. However, with the end of colonial era after the Second World War, this form of globalization of colonial nature also came to an end. After few decades ,the newly independent Nations relaxed the self imposed restrictions and opened their economy thus , paving the way for a newer form of globalization- which was not coerced but self enforced, which would serve their national interests and was for their development and not exploitation. India was bit late to join this race compared to its Asian companions–Asian Tigers of South –East Asia and China .India came up with the New Industrial Policy in 1991 popularly known as LPG –Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization. This policy marked a paradigm shift and totally transformed India –economically as well as socially. India of today is a totally different from the India of 1990.Gone are the days of Licensing Era where people had very few choices and had to be contented with whatever was available. People had to wait for years for even getting a scooter due to the quota system in practice. Today's consumer is flooded with choices and it has led to a consumption driven economy where consumer is the undisputed king.

The process of Globalization ensures that the "have not" do not suffer due to non –availability of required techniques, expertise and it thus prevents "Reinventing the wheel". Even the people of developing world can make avail of the latest equipments and gadgets. For Example, even with no major Indian mobile handset manufacturer, India has more than 500 mn mobile users .Globalization has thus bring the world together and has enabled to share the resources in a better and a effective way leading to human development .Globalization has redefined the political relations among the Nations and world leaders realize that economics has to take over politics. US and Russia have move closer .US is selling Treasury Bonds to China to get out of recession and thus fostering a new US-China relationship. The process of globalization has played a vital role in breaking the ice between the nations.

Globalization is not just a economic process but it has a much wider social and cultural implications. An Indian working in a BPO in a metropolitan city has a totally changed life style. He sleeps when America sleeps, is awake when America is awake, his food habits may become more American than Indian. This may result in a cultural shift of a nation and may lead to a hybrid culture. We may get a generation whose thought process is not polluted from age-old evils like caste system, dowry etc but at the same time may not exercise moral restrictions like on premarital sex, extra-marital affairs resulting in the collapse of the basic family structure in India. Thus, such a hybrid culture, which may evolve-has both positives and negatives and an approach to curb the negatives should be adopted.

The globalization has no doubt transformed many nations including India however , there are certain aspects of globalization which needs to be questioned .Is it really a good for all models or just a form of neocolonialism? The dumping of goods by a developing country in a developed country destroys local manufacturers. The process of Globalization also goes against the Gandhian Philosophy of Self Sustainability of Indian villages and self dependence in rural economy. It also widens the rural urban divide. It also leads to a unplanned economic growth and economies jump from primary stage to tertiary stage. A economic crisis in one country creates havoc all over the world. As it was said of the current recession –"One person's cold leads to pneumonia to the other person". Sub Prime Crisis in US transformed into a global crisis- eating jobs of lakhs of people around the globe and leading to bankruptcy of many companies and financial institutions

Globalization on the one hand has transformed the economies of many nations including India, China and has brought them to the fore of the world politics; on the other hand it has raised doubts in the minds of developing and under developed nations about the intentions of developed countries. They found themselves at logger-heads with each other on various platforms like WTO and Climate Change. The time has come for resolving all such differences and make suitable reforms and modifications in the existing institutions and structures. Emerging Nations like India and China can play a vital role in eliminating the existing misunderstanding and evolving a "Win-Win" situation for all. If it happens, the day would not be far when we would realize the philosophy of "Vasudhev Kutumbkam" – in letter and spirit.


Prashant Singh

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