Term Paper: Effects of Globalization in India

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The Effects of Globalization in India.

The economics of a free trade society cannot flourish in a world where there is not a forward progressive economic development going on. Globalization is about creating an economic balance around the globe, which means eliminating third world poverty in order that those nations are able to participate and compete in a world economy. The suggestion of a world economy has other implications too; it means that the world, as a community, must take responsibility for the health and welfare of the people around the globe. There are staunch anti-globalization protesters, who believe that globalization can be prevented, or "stopped" (Griffith, 2007, p. 283). It cannot be stopped and it cannot be prevented, because it is about bringing nations to a place of economic independence where they can maintain their own infrastructure and bring the population that depends largely on world charity, especially from the United States, out of poverty and into self-reliance.

India is, as the process of globalization unfolds, a nation that is at this point in time at the heart of globalization. This brief study will examine the effects of globalization in India, which began more than two decades ago, and continues into the present day. India and globalization have become almost synonymous; it is difficult to speak of one without the other. It might even be said that India stands as the globalization test market, and an effort will be made to examine how well the population of India has withstood that test.

Winston H. Griffith (2007), reviewing the book, Winners and Losers, reports that economic analyst and author Guillermo de la Dehesa (2006), takes the position of the pro-globalization argument, and actually supports that argument with sound logic and facts.

The Cultural Effects of Globalization

For the opponents of globalization it might, or might not, help them to put into perspective globalization in terms of history. Globalization began with the migration of persons from one boundary to another in the earliest years of mankind's realization that there were trade items he wanted, or his community wanted, that were not readily available to them in their geographical location, and that those items could be obtained through trade with persons geographically located elsewhere (Orozco and Baolian Qin-Hilliard, 2004, p. 42). During this process of trade, individuals began moving from region to another; for instance, in 1492 and 1800 forced migration through slavery brought Africans to nearly every European colony that existed during those times around the globe, including the Caribbean, America, and other South American nations (Orozco and Baolian Qin-Hilliard, 2004, p. 42).

Orozco and Baolian Qin Hilliard say that globalization was in its third stage at the end of the 19th century (p. 42). They say:

The third cycle of globalization in Latin America occurred with the onset of export-led economic growth in the closing decades of the nineteenth century. The timing differed from place to place, but the process quickly assumed similar characteristics throughout Latin America. West European and U.S. demand for food and raw materials rose during the industrial revolution. Capital and technology from the developed countries enabled Latin America to build the railroads that made land and mineral wealth accessible to profitable exploitation. External public indebtedness financed the necessary infrastructure, including railroad subsidies. Foreign direct investment poured into mines and plantations, with immediate and impressive results: the onset of sustained increases in per-capita gross domestic product (GDP) for the first time since the conquest (in Mesoamerica and the Andes) and the introduction of sugar (in the tropics) (p. 41)."

India was a participant in globalization as contract workers from India went to the Caribbean to exploit the opportunities of labor for better wages in that region (p. 42). Still, it was the effects of globalization in India that has had the greatest impact on India, especially its British colonial period. Although India, like other European colonial holdings, would win its independence, there were, to be sure, residual effects of colonization that became imbedded in the Indian way of life and served the country economically in a post colonial setting: infrastructure, such as legal systems, courts, civil services, and transportation throughout the country.

Unfortunately, the British patriarchal system did nothing to change the stratification of India, so far as it pertains to women's position in society. Even though those Indians on the higher level of the caste system in India had more education than those on the lower levels of the economic caste system, all references to the feminine progress, or feminist movements, are subject to the concept of British society in the colonial and immediate post colonial periods. So when Subhadra Mitra Channa (2004) talks about the feminist movement in India, we have to put that early movement in the context of the British influence, which was a patriarchal influence.

Surveys carried on in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal show how, in the same village, some privileged castes can be found to have enjoyed near universal adult literacy for close to several decades, while literacy rates are still close to zero among disadvantaged castes, particularly for females" (Dreze and Sen 1995: 197). The colonial period was particularly successful in the creation of a western educated elite and "female intelligentsia" (Pearson 1982: 136), and all social movements in India, including the feminist movement, and most policy decisions have largely been the monopoly of this elite section (Channa, 2004, p. 37)."

However, it was the British colonial residual effects of globalization that set the stage for a feminist movement in India at all. Channa cites Ang (1995) and says:

While colonial India suffered from the racist constructions of the colonial rulers, post-colonial India is reinventing such images by the "cultural blindness" of its western educated elite. The pervasiveness of "western" values globally and universally has prompted Ang (1995: 402) to remark that (Channa, 2004, p. 37):"

Channa agrees with Ang, that:

From the perspective of "other" women (and men), there is no illusion that white, western hegemony will wither away in any substantial sense, at least not in the foreseeable future (p. 37)."

In other words, India has been culturally altered by globalization, and the residual of the pre-colonial, colonial, and post colonial periods of its history reflects in modernity its process of cultural globalization.

Economic Globalization

Jagdish Bhagwati (2004) is a proponent of globalization, saying:

If globalization's perils tend to be exaggerated in the ways I just discussed, they are also understated by many who say, "Well, we have always had globalization, and it is no big deal." True, rapid integration of the world economy occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We can go back to the end of the nineteenth century, for instance, and find that trade, capital flows, and migrations were no less then than they are today. If multinationals bother you, then just think of the great East India Company, which virtually paved the way for the British conquest of India, and the Dutch East Indies Company, which dominated Indonesia. Trade grew rapidly along with European outward expansion, as did settlements in the new areas opened up by exploration and conquest. Capital flowed profusely, financing the building of railways in Africa and the extraction of minerals worldwide. Many historians have noticed that the years spanning the two world wars were an interruption of the upward trends in the expansion of world trade and investment, and that it is possible to interpret the postwar liberalization of trade and investment flows as leading to a resumption of the trends set into motion prior to World War I. But all this misses the fact that there are fundamental differences that give globalization today a special, and at times sharp, edge (pp. 10-11)."

The sharp edge, which Bhagwati cites are: the earlier integration of globalization was brought on by transportation, communications, and technological developments over policy changes (p. 11). Bhagwati responds to arguments that might cite the British Prime Minister Peel's repeal of the Corn Laws of 1846 as major policy shifts (and a policy shift that would impacted India as a colonial holding), saying:

But none of these policy changes did as much to integrate the world economy in the latter half of the century as did emerging technological revolutions in transportation by railways and in the oceans. Technological advances in these sectors rapidly reduced costs of transport and communication continually through the nineteenth century. Martin Wolf, the Financial Times columnist, has observed: "The first transatlantic telegraph was laid in 1866. By the turn of the century, the entire world was connected by telegraph, and communication times fell from months to minutes (p. 11)."

In this way, of course, Bhagwati is correct. He goes on to say that today's globalization is measured by technology, which continues to impact world trade as a result of instant communications, and the policy changes reflected in the way that today's national leaders have cleared the way for international trade and investing (p. 11). These are the conditions of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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