Jun 01, 2023
Jun 01, 2023
India has developed and indeed, is developing fast.
But, do these developments really contribute to the better living conditions in the society? Though a section of people enjoy certain privileges which were not there earlier have become possible in the present.
For example, owning a two or four wheeler was considered a luxury at one point of time. Today, we hardly find any family without a bike and car. Same thing with housing; many middle class families today own a least two flats since their wards are invariably placed abroad and earn in dollars, dinars, and euros.
Flight trips and foreign sojourns were once the prerogative of the rich and affluent. But, now every family, the younger generation is compulsorily placed in USA, Middle East, Singapore, Europe and Australia. Therefore, not only the children and their families but the aged parents also take a foreign tour once a year or once in two years.
Computers and internet have connected almost every nook and corner of the world to our houses. Hotels, restaurants, entertainment parks and multiplexes do roaring business.
When I say all these, there may be million voices rise shouting these or only in the metropolitan cities and not in villages. Well, accepted. This may be true as for as Northern states of India is concerned. Southern states, especially in Tamil Nadu, we find a host of villagers constantly migrating to Middle East and other nations for greener pastures though the jobs are small time like construction, driving, gardening or house hold help. Interestingly, of all the states in the country, Tamil Nadu off late engage a lot of workers from the Eastern parts India and also from Bihar and Orissa. These boys work mainly in malls, shops, restaurants, industries and construction sectors.
Another surprising statistics caught my attention in the net. Among the richest countries in the world, India is positioned at 150 or above while Qatar stands first. But, when it comes to the consumption of gold, India occupies the second position in the whole world by a breathtaking figure of about 1000T per year. What an anachronism? Even the Indian’s Eldorado United States is behind India and lower by nearly 900T.
After talking to many Indians abroad and in India, I have understood one thing very explicitly. Indians are willing to go abroad and earn since this is the only country which has immense man power but of no use to the nation honestly. Those who go abroad and earn foreign currency also invest their earnings only in two areas; Real Estate and Gold.
Gold is undoubtedly a dead investment except for the fact that it has easy liquidity. The first one has created a great havoc in Tamil Nadu and more specifically in Chennai. We find a lot of flats are being constructed everyday and the buyers are mainly NRIs. Once they were renting it out for an income. But, these flats or colonies are far from the city they don’t find many takers. No problems. Recently, when I happened to visit a posh out of the city housing complex, I was informed by the promoter that only half of the houses are occupied and the rest are locked. The owners just have bought them as investment. This has created a boom and escalation of prices of houses and flats and those who live here and want to buy have to pay very high prices competing with their own country men who live abroad.
What is more surprising is those who have become residents of those foreign countries also invest in the real estate. Middle East people may not be in a position to buy homes there. But, where is the need since they send their children abroad for higher studies and encourage them to settle there? If at all they come to India, it is only for under graduate studies because Tamil Nadu has more than 550 engineering colleges.
An objective observer could find the inherent greed of Indian mentality in this. In most of the cases, I find an average Indian remains avaricious and self centered rather than looking at the society at large. I am afraid our so called Indian culture which promotes and patronizes the concept of ‘family’ must be responsible for it. Those who earn today whether here or abroad, feel that they should leave two things as legacy to their generation irrespective of wherever they are educated and live; real estate and gold.
Societal conscience is dying very fast. A few philanthropists cannot reform this attitude. Unfortunately, philosophy itself has been made into a lucrative profession in this holy land.
More by : G Swaminathan