Friday, December 09, 2005

Globalisation for a few or for all ....

The world is getting closer and flat and is in fact true. There are many positive facets of globalisation and they definitely outnumber the negative ones. Had it not been for globalisation and open market, the scenario and feel good factor that pervades in India circa 2005,would not have been possible. I am a total supporter of all this positive changes but there are few things I am totally not in favour of or don’t share my views with in totality.

Today the whole world is wired and plugged into the TV programmes, movies, news, music, lifestyles and entertainment from all over the world. Satellite cables, phones, walkmans, VCDs, DVDs, shopping malls and retail giants and other marvels and wonders of entertainment technology are creating the mass marketing of culture. People in India today of all ages are exposed to the same music, the same sporting events, the same news, sitcoms, soap operas and the same glamorous lifestyle as is witnessed in any other country. Young people in India aspire for the kind of adult relationships found in ‘Friends

Young people in India are the largest consumers of the global culture and global corporations are racing to get a piece of the market, even children are not spared (the other day I was reading a blog by my friend Aketa @ Foreign pop brands and local versions and renditions of the same synthesised beat is imitated here with the same stage sets, manoeuvres and costumes.The penetration of global music has resulted in the marginalisation of traditional music. Today, allotropic versions of western music and its local variations can be heard in all social settings from weddings to religious festivals and birthday celebrations. Young people have lost touch with traditional harmonies and traditional tunes; songs and dances, which are specific to the particular region. Transnational sound has destroyed cultural diversity everywhere. Ironically, as Indian artistes consciously imitate their western counterparts, western musicians and pop bands as free global commodities have hijacked indigenous music and genres. Global entertainment is addictive to the young because it is selling an experience and an image. It gives the illusion that we are all connected in this global world. Last weekend while I was rushing home saw a performance of local artists near “Big Bazzar, Koramangala” on occasion of “Bangalore Habba”. There were hardly 50 people cheering the performers but next day morning when I opened the newspaper, I came to know that there was a concert by “Rasmus”, the Finnish band at Palace Grounds and the crowd was close to 20,000. Well well.. I am not advocating any side, I am just citing a simple scenario in my day-to-day life where in I felt the way we are influenced by globalisation.

In India, globalisation has served to heighten the stark contrasts between the poor majority and the rich few. The opening up of the economy has benefited the elite further. Increasing westernisation of the Indian elite, the rat race for personal wealth and glory has contributed to the loss of equilibrium. The stress on material values rather than moral or spiritual values, increasing consumerism, fuelled by myriad satellite TV channels so that the rich now ‘drive around in foreign cars, wear branded clothes and patronise expensive discos and five star hotels have contributed to the suicide frenzy in the economically deprived communities. Dazzled by the riches of the Indian elite, the poor take increasingly to crime. Some 44 percent of the population is under the international poverty line of US$ 1 per day. In the midst of this, corporate food chains vie to capture a dedicated following among the rich and the young, for the new tastes and lifestyles that Pepsi, Coke, Pizza Hut, McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken offer. There are lot many malls coming up in the cities, Bangalore which two years back never had one today houses atleast three as far as I know and from daily newspaper scans have come to know that few more are going to hit the Bangalore landscape soon.

All this is fine but we need to preserve our culture, our people and not be swept by the current of globalisation.

Remain connected and more to come.


At 7:52 PM, Blogger Kutti said...

i think it is more of a personal issue. if one has no originality; he apes the west;there is no way u can impose tradition onto him.

Note: The so called "west" was conservative once upon a time. they had classical music and similar stuff. it is all gone.

The elite ur referring to are snobs who managed to get the chunk of money to realize their trait.

At 5:37 PM, Blogger Sankaran said...

Hi tanay,

Its an evolving world alright... Else we would all be doing the egyptian dance today... Well this cultural infusion is not just one way, How about the best restraunts in London, they happen to be serving indian cuisine, tandoori chicken et al.. talk abt the asian influence to the brit pop music... the punjabi balle balle mixing with hip-hop... diwali celebration in White house..

Talking of the riches, yes the rich are getting richer no doubt but the rift between the rich and the poor is not as bad as some of the other better known countries... Well for a growing country if we talk of reaping benefits at the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid, it is just not possible that we have a fat bottom and a flat top...

more in the next...

At 6:32 PM, Blogger remainconnected said...

what you wrote in the first part makes sense and i agree with you to an extent,leave the food part,what you talk about culture fusion is something i dont agree to at all,else the moment you open any of the indian music channels you wont comment that..
the part as you say in the second part is something i dont agree to at all,else the divide between rich and poor what was there before 10 years and now is almost the same,though i dont have the exact figures..(reason - for instance why has the theft cases risen in bangalore in the last 5 years.this is the time frame when bangalore saw the greatest rift between the rich and the poor )


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