Impact of Globalisation
Impact of Globalisation
Globalisation is the result of privatisation and the opening up of a country's economy to outside companies. But its meaning has been misinterpreted from time to time and the term evokes several concerns. People are afraid it could lead to political and economic hegemony. But globalisation is, in a sense, not a new phenomenon. It is as old as recorded history, starting with the migration of people across landmasses. However, recent developments in computer and communication technologies have accelerated the process of integration, with geographic distances becoming less of a factor.
Globalisation as a phenomenon has to be distinguished from globalisation as a process. Globalisation leading to breaking of distances as measured by time is a hard fact. This is a phenomenon that will only gather further momentum. Globalisation as a process is further identified with uniformity of structures and approaches. But these are not essentially so. Even in the industrially advanced countries, economic structures are not identical. The state-market mix varies from country to country. All that is required is that every economic system should be capable of meeting the challenges posed by globalisation as a phenomenon. We need to grow at a rate substantially higher than our historical trend, and recent experiences give us hope. We must first achieve sustained growth rate between six and seven percent before accelerating it further. At the same time the focus should be on quality and pattern of growth so that it embraces all sections.
A hallmark of globalisation has been its unpredictability. The deep pockets of large organisations are extremely useful when they know exactly what is to be done. But several turning points in the process of globalisation have been brought about by new ideas whose consequences could not be predicted. Globalisation also allows players of less developed markets to cater to emigrants from their countries. This phenomenon is reflected in the growing market for Indian films in several Western centres with a high concentration of immigrants from the subcontinent. Technology not only provides improved access to commercial films but also allows the films to be marketed through the Internet. It is even possible that over time, markets for culture specific industries may be better understood in terms of Diasporas rather than individual nations. In such a situation, smaller players from economically weak but culturally strong parts of the world could nibble into the market share of developed countries.
Another aspect of globalisation is the million-dollar question, "Will it destroy cultural diversity?" If one looks at traditional Indian culture, we find that it denied women basic rights, declared one- sixth of the population "untouchables" and forced them into the most degrading, unhygienic occupations, blessed polygamy, practised child marriage, and ostracised those who crossed the black waters into foreign lands. Yet India today has one million women in local governments, has exacted laws that ban old cultural traditions from child marriage to untouchability and eulogises the 20 million Indians who made their fortune in Silicon Valley, the Gulf and elsewhere. Since change is gradual, the old values have not disappeared by any means, yet they no longer constitute the Indian culture.
Globalisation has created a powerful anti-globalisation movement. This is perhaps the best proof that diversity is not in danger. No major movement arises without provoking a reaction. Today when India has entered into the globalisation process, although lifestyles have no doubt changed, yet family traditions and social customs have become stronger. So it can be safely concluded that globalisation will not and cannot destroy cultural diversity, rather it will make the world a better place to live in by expediting the communication process. The "Global Village" is, at best, an expression that the world may never achieve, but equally, it will not be possible to remain in "splendid isolation".