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The Impact of the Current and Future Globalization on India Essay Sample

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The Impact of the Current and Future Globalization on India Essay Sample

Introduction

Globalization means different things to different states and nations. This is especially so when one considers the levels of development of different states. At one end, we have the developed nations which are the major drivers and to some extent beneficiaries of the process whereas on the other side, we have the developing countries such as India that are still awakening to the reality of a global world. The latter already experience and hope for more benefits, suspicious of hidden costs and express concern of the apparent drawbacks such as the loss of cultural values, continued diminishing of power and influence of the nation state and general exploitation by the rich nations (Apodaca, 2002).

In the modern world there is a swift flow of information, less restrictions in the exchange of goods and services through a multitude of mediums. It is common for people to come across terms such as human rights, democracy, free trade and equality among the genders etc. However some of these ideologies are opposed to the religious and cultural practices of the Indian people. Not to mention the fact that the ideas are yet to take root in most of the developed countries though the countries strongly continue to advocate for the same in the developing countries.

It is for this reason that some Indian scholars remain skeptical of globalization labeling it as the new form of colonialism. The structural changes in society are purportedly embraced by the marginalized groups who view the alteration as the only means to recovery. These ones among many others view globalization as the only savior of the Indian people.

The reasons being the boom in the economy, incidences of unemployment and poverty being significantly reduced and most importantly the country has emerged as a major competitor in the global market. The culture of the Indian people which had been oppressive to a fraction of the population is fast fading off. This has enabled a universal culture that cuts across the cultural boundaries enabling the people to live together in harmony (Rudra N (2005).

The Indian economy

There are four major economic flows in a global society. There are the goods and services such as imports/ exports, labor that is characterized by the population, capital in terms of investment, technology, e.g. use of inventions and coming up with innovations of various kinds. The Indian economy has been able to grow considerably in the last decade or so years due to the opening up of the government on the much controlled and oppressed economy. This opening up came as a result of globalization.

The economic growth of the country have been quite high, there was a boom in the exports, reduction in poverty levels, rate of inflation and also the government has stopped begging for aid. Similarly the qualities of goods in the Indian market have improved as some of the local companies have ventured into international business by ensuring that they set companies abroad. The common man also benefits from the advancement in technology since commodities such as mobiles, clothes and services like transportation have been made quite affordable.

The industries in India are becoming more efficient and focused on the needs of the customers. Since the international market is open, industrial growth has gotten a major boost thus improving competitiveness (Apodaca, 2002). This is in terms of prices, costs, variety and quality of the goods. This impressive performance of the industrial sector would not have been possible if it were not for the globalization. The fact that the Indian industries have expanded their operations abroad the government has also allowed foreign investors in the country. This has been very significant as it has helped to improve the wage levels and the productivity of the workers.

In the agricultural sector there have been fewer reforms that would enable the stakeholders to benefit from globalization. However even with the little globalization there are farmers that utilize modern technology and got their goods into international markets. These led to improvement of the yields and secure competitive prices for their goods. The goods that benefited from the high priced exports include flowers, fruits, rice mangoes and spices. Similarly an Indian company dealing with mobile telephone has provided the farmers with an on line information on climate and market price.

This is on a real-time basis thus enabling the farmers to access competitive prices for their goods. In so doing the farmers are saved from the exploitation of the middlemen. There is however some resistance from politicians and traders such that the farmers benefit but little from globalization. These restrictive measures and policies have strongly acted in disfavor of the farmers attempts at more profitable large scale farming. These policies by the government have been major impediments in the agricultural sector thus limiting the benefits of globalization.

In India the service sector has been transformed by globalization. The most notable growth has been recorded in telecommunication, capital markets and entertainment industry. A boom in these sectors has greatly enhanced employment opportunities, created wealth and income to those that are doing the business. These sectors had remained inefficient and dormant under the government monopolies.

If it were not for globalization the citizens would still be getting poor services from these government enterprises. At the moment India boasts of capital market which is highly rated in the world, it is the leading in the software industry worldwide in addition to the continued thriving of a number of other industries including tourism, travel, steel, hotels, engineering and food processing.

Those opposed to globalization on the other hand argue that the economies of the rich and developed countries are likely to be the beneficiaries of globalization and not Indian and other developing countries. The foreign companies that are established in India for instance require highly skilled personnel that cannot be accessed from the local population (Gidwani and Sivaramakrishnan 2003).

This means the foreign companies not only repatriate profits but also guarantee employment to their citizens. The local labor force is employed for the unskilled and semi-skilled work that is not well paying. Equally globalization is in favor of free trade which encourages damping in the country. The continued flow of cheap and sometimes low quality goods and services from other countries threatens the existence of infant industries in India.

In India globalization has tended to lean so much on the service industry and the establishment of industries. This has been a big threat to the agricultural sector which continues to lag behind. The sector has been neglected over the years with little mechanization, the farmers relying heavily on traditional methods of farming.

Due to this trend agriculture has been wrongly seen to be less profitable thus most farmers are forced to sell their farms at very cheap prices to the industrialists. Soon there will be less land for agriculture with industries being established almost in all corners of the republic. The end results are the effects of pollution; already global warming is becoming a threat to the existence and survival of the human species.

Moreover there are arguments that the recent trend allowing foreign companies to carryout businesses in India will in future be counter productive to the country. There is fear the foreigner will soon be able to take over the control the economy. This is because foreign investors have more capital compared to the local investors, giving them an advantage.

Living Standards of the Poor and Disadvantaged

Globalization has been said to improve the living standards of the poor in various ways to the displeasure of the rich and privileged persons in the Indian society. First there has been access to information which has empowered the poor in the society. In the recent past mobile phones, television sets, internet etc had been a reserve of a few privileged groups.

In the current Indian state even the lowly placed individual in the society are able to own mobile phones, buy television sets and enjoys other services that were considered luxuries in the past. These gadgets are manufactured cheaply hence affordable. The same technology has enabled the poor peasant farmers to be able to access competitive markets for their produce either internationally or from the highest bidder in the local market. This was not possible in the past as the farmers were vulnerable to the exploitation of the middlemen.

The living standard of the poor who work in the industries has also improved tremendously. This has been as a result of international companies setting up business in India. These western countries have exhibited more concern for the welfare of the employees and therefore pay the workers reasonable wages and salaries. In doing so, the companies set standards for the treatment of the employees, meaning that they enjoy better pay and terms of service.

On the contrary there are those who have argued that globalization has impoverished even more the lives of the poor. The technological advancement for instance has rendered most of the company workers jobless. The majority find nothing to do after losing their jobs courtesy of the installation of machines and other equipments (Gidwani and Sivaramakrishnan 2003). Moreover most of the companies require highly skilled personnel meaning that the poor, majority whom are either unskilled or semi-skilled, lack jobs.

The legitimacy of the Indian Government                                                                         

 For many years there have been elections malpractices when the Indians went to the ballot. This was due to the sheer numbers of the citizens and the fact that the monitoring of the elections was not effective. The elections were therefore manipulated especially by the incumbent for his own advantage. With globalization however this has changed for the better in the Indian society.

The days for elections have been drastically reduced and so are the malpractices (Rudra, 2005). Similarly there is no delay in the vote counting which has significantly reduced on the level of anxiety that characterized the entire process. The Indians are now quite comfortable of the legitimacy of the government as most of the grievances arising from the elections have been effectively addressed.

Nevertheless there are fears that the government is losing some of its authority due to globalization. There is less government intervention in trade and general livelihood of the people. Most of the functions are being taken over by international organizations. Indian which had been steadfast in nationalism is losing out to external influence and cannot avoid conforming to values such as democracy, human rights and free trade.

The Indian culture                                                                                                     

     The Indian culture has been strongly influence by globalization. This has caused a lot of public outcry in some quarters whereas others simply welcomed the change with open arms. Most Indians appreciate the change in the caste system which tended to segregate some members of the society following their lineage. This taboo practice of the Indians has been in existence for many centuries yet internal forces could not challenge it. The “untouchables” were therefore able to enjoy equal rights due to globalization.

On a similar vein women in Indian have been oppressed for many years. The culture of the Indians did not allow women to participate in public life such that they remained like slaves in the society. The women were not allowed to participate in business and most of them were not given the chance to attend school (Ganguly-Scrase, 2003). This has changed over the years seeing more Indian women participate in business, girls being enrolled in schools and generally more opportunities being open to them.

In brief technology has brought in a new culture to the Indian people. Cultural boundaries continue to be swept out by internet, television, satellite etc. There is a tendency for all citizens to enjoy a global entertainment which has been behind the spread of western lifestyle and values. The local Indian languages are also paving way to English which is more neutral and cuts across cultural differences. It is a result of this that globalization has been viewed to bring in a global culture. This culture is responsible for the fading of the local community, state and the massive cultures of the Indian people.

          There are those who are very much opposed to this cultural change. The majority, who are influential persons in the society, argue that globalization is synonymous to colonization in that the Indian are fast taking on the culture of a foreigner whose aim is to dominate. However this attempt to justify culture by a section of the population has been seen as a way to boycott the advocacy for democracy and human rights in the Indian society.

Overall Quality of Life in India

There has been a great improvement in the quality of life of the Indian people. The poverty levels and the number of unemployed persons have reduced. The quality of goods and services has improved. In 1991 only 10 per cent of the urban population had access to a television set. This improved to 75 per cent in 1999 and in 2000 almost all households in India had a television set (Apodaca, 2002). This applies to the rural populations who have had the benefit of getting internet connection, and many other facilities making life to be easier and more comfortable.

The Indian youths are able to follow world trends in fashion, watch foreign movies and thereby change their world outlook. Almost everyone can afford a mobile phone thus rendering it a common gadget unlike in the past whereby it was a reserve of the rich. In general the Indians have become less conservative in behavior and attitude towards life.

They are more open and able to embrace much of the outside world. Money is no longer confined to few individuals or the urban population but also the peasant farmers can boast of having plenty of money. However, the effect of this trend could not go unnoticed as corruption has taken a deep root in the Indian society. This comes as a result of the craving to get rich quickly and longing for material possessions.

The Indian society is fast becoming polluted with too much exposure to sex. The youth can easily access pornographic literature, DVD’s, movies, go to night clubs and discos. The over exposure of the ladies and reckless behavior of the men has led to many rape cases being reported. Likewise the prevalent of the night clubs has ensured the thriving of prostitution and other immoral behaviors. This in turn has caused sexually transmitted diseases, breakup of families and disintegration of the society. The women just as the elders in the society are little respected.

Effect on Religious/Cultural Tensions

There are religions such as the Muslim religion which is more conservative compared to say Hindu. The latter will readily embrace westernization whereas the former views the entire globalization idea with suspicion. The conservative religions are so much against globalization as they are a witness of the deterioration of the morals in the society due to the high level of permissiveness.

This fact increases the antagonism between the different religions since there is failure to agree on one stand. Again the various religions view the Muslims with suspicion especially in regard to terrorism activities. This means that the global agenda that favors elimination of terrorists, perceived to be mostly Islamic extremists would further fuel the enormity.

On the other hand globalization seems to propagate shared values and lifestyle that no indigenous religions can claim to be heir to (Ganguly-Scrase, 2003). To a greater extent this will help relief the tension that exists among the various religions. In the present moment there is still reluctance by the religious groups to embrace some of these values.

This reluctance is a consequence of the uncompromising stand of the old and conservative members of the religions. However the youth in India today are more tolerant of one another and of the religious background. They share many interests including entertainment, sports and leisure thus making religion archaic and less contentious. This is significant especially in the future of India as there will be no differentiation between a Muslim and a Hindu regarding dress and mannerisms.

Conclusion

It is beyond doubt that globalization has had a major impact on life in India. This is not only in the present time but it a continuous process that anticipates ushering in major changes in the future. At the moment the economy of India is enjoying a boom as a result of globalization; Indian companies are able to compete in the global market and open up businesses abroad. The government has also opened doors for foreign investors in the country who have been of great value to the citizens. This is through job creation and offering competitive wages and salaries enabling the improvement of the living standards of the people.

The farmers and local entrepreneurs also benefit from the high prices as they are able to gain access to a larger pool of customers. Apart from the economy, globalization has had impacts on the social and cultural life of the people. The Indians have been known to be steadfast in religious practices and a strong cultural background. Some of the beliefs have undergone changes to the advantage of the people; the poor and the disadvantaged in the society have been relieved from the oppressive cultural practices such as the caste system, women are able to work in offices alongside men, young girls attend school and become competitive as opposed to the laid back and passive traditional Indian woman.

There are some drawbacks of globalization. The open and permissive society has led to moral degeneration of the people; there is lack of respect for the elders and women, prostitution has gone up and leaders have become more corrupt. Nevertheless the advantages of globalization far much outweigh the disadvantages. These returns are expected to increase in the future as the country’s economy becomes more stable and general improvement of living standards of the people.

 

References

Apodaca C. (2002). The Globalization of Capital in East and Southeast Asia: Measuring the Impact on Human Rights Standards. Asian Survey, Vol. 42(6) pp. 883-905

Ganguly-Scrase R (2003). Paradoxes of Globalization, Liberalization, and Gender Equality: The Worldviews of the Lower Middle. Gender and Society, Vol. 17, No. 4 pp. 544-566

Gidwani V. & Sivaramakrishnan K (2003).Circular Migration and the Spaces of Cultural Assertion. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 93 (1) pp. 186 – 213

Rudra N (2002).Globalization and the Decline of the Welfare State in Less-Developed Countries. International Organization, Vol. 56(2) pp. 411-445

Rudra N (2005). Globalization and the Strengthening of Democracy in the Developing World. American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 49(4) pp. 704 -730

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