Understanding India: Post Liberalization

From the Dark Ages to the present day Digital age, journey of mankind has come a long way. World has become a global village in true sense because of technological advancement. Never before in the history of mankind have ordinary human beings felt so much empowered yet helpless, connected yet isolated, informed yet ignorant.

These are some of the gifts of globalization..

In the third world countries the process of globalization (dictated by World Bank and the international monetary fund) started in the year 1990.In the same year, Indian government headed by Narsimha Rao of congress party liberalize the Indian economy. The market got flooded with western goods like branded clothes, shoes, watches, toiletries, mobile phones and satellite channels with MTV connection.

The Indian customers (especially youth) felt excited at the prospects that now they can ape the west (which they are) but the realization of less disposable income at their end still kept them at a distance from those glamorous malls. Sensing the opportunity, private bank's mushroomed in the cities offering various credit card options and promoting the western culture of 'Buy now, Pay later in parts' The long time admired western goods became part of everyday life and the buzzword 'Apni tou life mein style hona maangta' part of youth lingo.

Girls left their sartorial cocoon and found their freedom in low waist, hip hugging jean and spaghetti.' Flaunt the flesh' and 'Maintain the figure' became the new fashion mantra. The intimate scenes and steamy session which used to be the act of bedroom became part of school classrooms, collage campus and Public Park's. MTV generation started singing and dancing "Put me up, Put me down, and Put me all around".

Horny India is on the rise-Great cultural shift.

This newly acquired western lifestyle and urban sophistication gave way to arrogance. The less stylish &unsophisticated were ignored like a non-entity and were treated sarcastically with the words like Bihari, Bhaiyye, Old fashioned and Conservative idiot's The intellectual and sensitive India of 50's,60,s and 70's gave way to flamboyant and arrogant India of 90's and 2000.

New age Modern India is born but with a Berlin wall.

Liberalization also led to economic growth .It has created job opportunities in abundance for the non-technical, English speaking graduates in the areas like call centre, retail and direct marketing. It has also created opportunities for skilled professionals in the electronic media and Information technology sector. 

The I.T. boom and has given rise to some world class Indian companies like Infosys, Wipro and Tata Consulting Services.

Indian IT Services and software exports registered a growth of 33% in FY 2003-04 Clocking revenues of US$ 12.8 billion. 

The Indian software and services exports are likely to witness 35% growth to reach revenues of US$ 17.3 bn in FY 2004-05

According to the various news report-The market watchers says that by the end of the year 2005 foreign fund managers will invest around $12 bn, up from $6.7 bn in 2003 and $8.4bn in 2004.

India now has $137bn ('70) in foreign exchange reserves.

After the south Asian tsunami in December India refused international aid and donated $22.5million to Sri Lanka, The Maldives, Indonesia and Thailand.

Common's International development committee of .U.K has recommended in its recent report that rapid economic progress indicates India will become a middle income country in 10 to 15years time.

Brand India is taking off. Indeed a great sign. But where are we loosing?

The irony is that brand India is loosing where it should hold it tightly and firmly. Indians are getting obsessed with anything western be that language, culture or product. There is absolutely no concern and sensitivity among the urban masses for the rural India which is the backbone of Indian economy and society.

We have developed the tendency of loathing Indian made products on the pretext of inferior quality. We simply have no liking for made in India label though the fact is-we are exporting some of the best quality finished goods like diamonds, textiles, rice, tea, software packages and above all intellectual manpower from the world class institutions like IIT, IIM, ISB, IIS and AIIMS.

Flamboyance is fine, but we can't keep ourselves in state of illusion on the basis of flamboyance and newly acquired economic prosperity. We have to bear in mind that for the sustainable socio-economic growth of nation- it is extremely imperative that every individual, irrespective of caste, creed, religion and sex, should take a walk towards the path of economic prosperity and social development. 

As of now India is moving in two directions. At one level there is rapid urbanization going on in cities. Like introduction of malls, amphitheatres, coffee shops, automobiles, flyovers and other improved public services. Whereas, at the same time in villages rapid ruralisation is taking place due to lack of basic amenities. People there still live in dark ages and practice ancient traditions due to ignorance. Be that Hindu's or Muslim's, communal and casteist feelings are still dominant part of their life. 

This is certainly not a good sign because if rural development doesn't become a priority for government and concerned citizen, it will work as an impediment in the national growth. Lack of rural development will lead to unprecedented rise in urban population and this will lead to inflated real estate prices. Urban unemployment will rise. Unemployment gives way to frustration and if not handled properly leads to crime-when this happens at mass level it creates law and order problem for the administration and sense of insecurity dwellers.

In an atmosphere of fear, Investment doesn't take place. Although it takes years to build a prosperous and investor friendly economy, it only takes few days to bring it down through the methods of serious explosion here and there. 

Development for few among many is a very fragile way of development for any nation. 


More by :  Najam Gilani

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