Friday, July 01, 2005

Dawn of Slavery

Poverty is going to be eliminated because every one who is poor is going to die in impoverishment.

That’s precisely what globalization is doing. All right now I know fingers are being pointed, you will have things like creation of tremendous job opportunities, initiation of technology transfer, and economic prosperity of middle class to mention. Let us not be so selfish, I know at individual level and that too only to individuals of a particular section of society, globalization is doing good, but when it comes to economics the main emphasis is on the poor not the already rich.

We have had quite a bit improvement in the number of employment opportunities in our nation since last ten years or so. There has been large number of industrial setups with opening up of the economy. Cheap labor and resource exploitation was the buzz word in the era of colonization, and say what, it is the same even today under the name of Global economy and development loans to the poor country. I know this is something, which is really hard to escape, seeing the fact that we do need loans and we do need technology for rapid development. But there has to be a check, there has to be a filter which ensures that we only pick the stuff that we really need and be a little wiser at our policy making substance.

I will give a simple example. We have a canteen called KLS (which serves good food at fair prices), and then we have the Nescafe’s in our campus (which provides coffee, maggy and muffins, equally good, at least not better). Now the differences and what makes us prefer Nescafe over KLS (which is totally domestic), first of all, the fact that it is not open 24 hrs a day. The next, perhaps unconsciously or consciously but surely because of the way things are served. Looks matter; we again unconsciously or consciously, like those fancy cups and maggy dishes. Seriously it might sound trifling but it is a fact. And see how the Foreign shit exploits us, KLS just revised its rates once, raising prices by 50 paisa, and this counterpart of his raising maggy from Rs. 8 to Rs. 12 and Coffee from Rs. 3.50 to Rs. 5.0. How small, isn’t it? How much does it take, a mere difference of 1 or 2 bucks? Hardly matters to me or to you. But you know what he did with it? He is sending all that profit to a foreign country. The guy a Nescafe is paid Rs. 4000 per month and same for the guy at KLS, but the guy at Nescafe looks smarter. He says hello to all his customers for nice repeated visits, which the KLS man does not. The result is loss of business for him (a domestic industry at the part of a foreign industry). And can you guess what is ultimately going to happen, few years ahead we will have a pizza hut in IIT, pizza corner and KLS would be gone. (A case of domestic industry being over seized by a foreign industry).

Similar thing happened in case of most of the cottage in our country! Similar thing happened with ‘Thumbs Up’ if I am remembering it correctly. Ludhiana is known as the Manchester of India, all clothing is made there only, but it gets tag of Levis, Reebok, etc and is sold under a brand name for hefty prices. And see who is buying it? Rich or the middle class who can afford it, they could have any ways bought it.

I am not totally anti globalization; I know it something we just can’t escape from. All I am saying is that we need a good quality control at all points. If the leather is made in Jalandhar why can’t we have the similar quality under the name of some Indian brand than a foreign one? And we need a little bit policy improvement at some points like not letting our own industries subside due to a foreign industry, because that would eventually end up in the displacement of our domestic industry by them and that is going be the dawn of slavery!

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