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The Local And The Global
|by Ananya S Guha|
When we starting coining the phrase: the world, a global village, immediately the dialectics of the local and the global, or the local and the global gained currency. By this many meant that the local and the global should co exist. That is why we talk of community participation, the community, the communitisation of education etc. Suddenly as it were we were clinging to roots. Was it, as if we were threatened by the global and globalization.
The expression of the world being a global village had one or two significant connotations. One is, that the internet revolutionized life as never before. Communication technologies sped up correspondence, contact and interaction as never before. There were hardly any time zones. Without knowing what time it was, we were communicating with people in different parts of the world and, even speaking to them free of cost! This of course will continue to happen, and the breakneck speed by which technology is developing, with rapid fire, it is not only mind boggling, but we have 'killed' time, space and distance.
Negroponte, one of the architects of the use of communication technology, and the maker of laptops, even made the oracular statement, that distance is dead! Do we wish such a 'death' or is it because of powerful inexorable forces of technology, the concomitants of which are end users, we human beings. But, when driven by technology, should we capitulate to it, or use it as a veritable means to a larger end, such as literacy and education?
Negroponte of course has contributed tremendously to literacy by inventing cheap lap tops for school children. The Government of India has also responded by way of the Aakash.
The second feature is, globalization, which means a world market economy. This led to foreign investments, corporate houses investing business, not only in metropolitan cities, but also in smaller cities. Soon there were malls around everywhere. The plastic culture of the com-modification of life and the ghastly culture of consumerism had begun. Technology also assumed the proportion of 'toys', which people especially the young adult could use randomly for even nefarious activities.
The recent decision of the Government of India to allow FDI Investments to the foreign agencies and retailers has been stiffly opposed by many and the opposition parties. This would mean a check to local retailing. It would also mean a push button of sales for the rich and upper middle classes. The decision does little to encourage local goods and it is a foreign investment by way of importing goods.
In other words instead of exporting we are emphasizing on importing.
Globalization thus is under pressure from the bigger markets and the local markets will suffer. Moreover, there is a desire of the country to be dubbed as a super power. A super power cannot progress unless the disparities in the very lower levels of income and poverty are totally eradicated. And that, as we know will take years of toil and perseverance where at least full square meals a day are ensured to every citizen. In talking of the local coexisting with the global with bated breath, we are actually doing away with the former especially small businesses and trade. Yet we talk of indigenous knowledge.
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