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Impact Of Globalization On Indian Culture Essay

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Ethnographic study of an Indian Vegetarian Restaurant

Ethnographic study of an Indian Vegetarian Restaurant INTRODUCTION:

For this assignment, ethnographic study of an Indian Vegetarian Restaurant named Tulsi was carried out. The restaurant, adjacent to the Bradford Gallery, is located at the heart of the Bradford city. In this essay globalization theories have been discussed in detail with especial focus on “globalization of culture” and “globalization of production” and how these theories relate to our ethnographic study of subject restaurant in particular.

Our brief (yet mind-provoking) ethnographic study of Tulsi Restaurant aims to touch upon various aspects of globalisation of culture and globalization of production (mainly food). The writings of various writers in the field of globalization are co-related to our organization. The Verstehen method of participant observation for understanding of social phenomena has been used for the Ethnographic study. The term globalisation has been explained in the literature section touching upon the two main aspects of globalization i.e. Globalization of Cultures and Globalization of Production.

ETHNOGRAPHIC STUDY TULSI PLANT (BASIL)

The restaurant derives its name from one of India's most sacred plant named “Tulsi” sometimes referred to as “holy basil” or “queen of herbs”. The very name of restaurant establishes its linkage with Indian traditions.

I visited in the evening hours on a weekday. As I entered the restaurant, I noticed a striking waiting area where a middle-aged Indian lady was ensconced in one of the sofas reading a magazine. Unlike most of the restaurants, which aim to maximize the utilization of the covered area, the presence of a cosy waiting room signified the attention provided (by the owners) to the Indian culture of hospitality i.e. “God takes the shape of guests”! The exquisite stools carved with delicate Indian motifs, the little pink cushions and a few decoration plants besides the window gave a grand look to the interior. As I moved to take my seat in the main dining hall I noticed that the theme colour of Tulsi i.e. pink and green was repeated throughout the interior of the restaurant; oval-shaped pink design on the ceiling coupled with the handmade pictures of Tulsi, vegetables and plants on the wall. The thematic repetition of these colours not only gave a monolithic appearance to the interior but also accentuated its functionality as a vegetarian restaurant.

I took my seat at the far end side of the restaurant to take a complete and isolated view of the restaurant. The restaurant was very capacious (by far the biggest of all the restaurants which I have visited in Bradford) with more than 40 tables and around 110 seats. I noticed a formal gathering of around twelve local British people at the centre of the Hall. Besides them I noticed two Indian men having their dinner just one table away from where I was sitting. In a few minutes several customers started trickling into the restaurant to the delicacy of vegetarian Indian food. I noticed that the customers hailed from different countries i.e. China, India, Great Britain, Pakistan and Africa

Main Dining Hall / Tulsi Theme on Ceiling

I looked at the menu card and found all sorts of traditional Indian food varieties listed including the variations in the North and South Indian food e.g. Dosa, Uttappam, Sambhar along with the Tulsi Specialities Poppadum and Samosa. Typical Chinese dishes were also present in the Menu. Tulsi Drinks included a variety of Lassi (a traditional Indian drink prepared from yoghurt). However I noticed that flavoured Lassi e.g. Mango Lassi was also being offered which I had never found in local Indian restaurants. The restaurant had a Bar which served a large variety of alcoholic drinks including Tequila, Johnnie Walker Black Label etc. Besides that the Buffet items included vegetables, Daal and Pulao along with Achar (Pickle), Chutney, a large variety of Salads; sweet dishes including Gajar Halwa (made from carrots), Gulab Jamun and Ras Malai. The aroma and taste of food was no different from the food offered in typical restaurants in India. It was surprising for me that a few of dishes e.g. Pulao and vegetables tasted even more delicious and positively different from those I had eaten back in India.

I introduced myself to the manager as a student of Bradford University. He told me that the owner of the restaurant hailed from India and also owned a few “Cash & Carry” stores in the UK and that and some of the food ingredients were procured from their own stores. He informed that the restaurant had employees from different countries i.e. chef from India, pot washer from Afghanistan and kitchen helper from Pakistan; most of the waiters were Indian of Pakistani students from Bradford University/College.

LITERATURE GLOBALIZATION

Globalization is such an important and pervasive word in our current vocabulary that it has become flavour of the day. Phenomenon of Globalization has been analyzed by many experts, in short it can be explained as “a process consisting of technological, economic, political and cultural dimension that interconnect individuals, firms, and governments across national borders. characterized by open, interdependent, national economies connected by an increasingly faster and global communication infrastructure” (Dierks, 2001 pp.17, 164). At the same time it is a complex phenomenon rather than one which could be understood at a cosmetic glance. According to Tomlinson (2006) “Globalization is a complex process because it involves rapid social change that is occurring simultaneously across a number of dimensions – in the world economy, in politics, in communications in the physical environment and in culture – each of this transformation interacts with the others.”

GLOBALIZATION'S IMPACT ON CULTURE:

Hunt (1996, p. 52) cites the classic definition of culture, framed by sir Edward Tylor (1871) which reads that “culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.” Culture includes the system of values and beliefs shared by the group and norms of behaviour expected of group members (Morrison 2006). Globalization has had a great impact on changing these cultural values. Anthony Giddens, a leading sociological writer on globalization (Begg 2007) term globalization as “the cultural suspension of space and time”. A substantial growth in the exchange of cultural goods i.e. printed matter, music, visual arts, movies, cinema and photography; radio and television has catalyzed this process of cultural diffusion (Held, 2002). However it has been viewed in pessimistic light by some experts who contend that the material prosperity comes with a “high spiritual and cultural cost”; some term “globalization as an engine of global destruction”. For example Cowen (2005) argues that monolithic, secularist, materialist (not aesthetic) homogenization of cultures in ways imperils and endangers the special values. On the contrary pro-globalization writers (Pison) believe that globalization can lead to a common understanding of all cultures and a global cultural and political unity. They find a “paradoxical relation” between globalization and culture in a sense that global forces seem to create and reinforce local cultures and identities by triggering the process of creativity.

GLOBALIZATION OF PRODUCTION

Globalization of production refers to the sourcing of goods and services from locations around the world to take benefit of national differences in the cost and quality of factors of production such as labour, energy, land and capital (Hill, 2007). This phenomenon has particularly been exploited by companies located in advanced economies to cut down on the cost of production (i.e. labour, transport, raw materials etc.) by producing elsewhere on the globe. It may have an adverse bearing on the domestic industry but benefits local consumers by providing them access to global products that they would not otherwise have.

Corollary to phenomenon of Globalization (of Production) is a comparatively new phenomenon of Glocalization which results from the combination of words “globalization” and “localization”. It signifies the importance for Business organizations (especially multinational firms) to explore the needs of local customers and subsequently to tailor their product or service to accommodate the user or consumer in the local market. It is a combination of intense local and extensive global interaction (Wellman, 2004).

ANALYSIS

The ethnographic study shows the many facets of globalization at work in the Indian vegetarian restaurant. The very location of an Indian restaurant at the epicentre of a city located in the Britain shows the concept of an increasingly globalized and shrinking world; into one which has been termed as “Global Village” by Marshall McLuhan.

The environment, food, taste, music and presentation were quite similar to typical Indian restaurants. The ethnographic study showed that customers from different parts of the world i.e. Russia, Africa, China and Nepal were present in the restaurant to enjoy the delicacies of Indian food. The very presence of people from diverse backgrounds highlights the growing interconnections and interdependencies of people triggered by the phenomenon of globalization.

It was observed during ethnographic study that English language was the main mode of communication between the customers and the staff. The dress code was mainly jeans and T-shirts by men and women. The non-local people were also dressed in jeans and not in their local dresses. This perfectly explains how Globalization has brought dramatic changes in the day-to-day lives of people.

The dress code and language are just one of the many ways in which our ethnographic study can be interlinked with the ways in which globalization has had its impact on the cultures. Food forms a vital part of cultures; eating habits and food preferences which take years to internalize are not changed easily. An age old European adage ‘you are what you eat' (Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach - a German philosopher and anthropologist: ‘Der Mensch ist, was er ißt') puts this idea in a nutshell. Witnessing people from various parts of the world, sitting under one roof with their distinct food requirements and eating habits, enjoying the delicacies of Indian cuisine provided strong evidence that the cultural barriers have been dismantled to a great extent by the phenomena of globalization. As a matter of fact it was observed to be a two-way transformation of traditional beliefs. It was observed that a few customers from Indian or Pakistani background preferred taking alcoholic drinks with their meal in consonance with the British mores, but dissonant with their own traditional beliefs. On the other hand the international customers were enjoying the traditional Indian food.

The preparation of food necessitates procurement of raw materials like vegetables, spices, sauces etc. These ingredients are either bought from the local market or imported from India (e.g. spices, to give the food its traditional flavour). This can be seen in the backdrop of Globalization of Production. The goods and services take benefit of national differences in the cost and quality of factors of production such as labour, land and capital. The alcoholic drinks from the local market, the spices from India, the cooking equipment and utensils from another country's' market etc. makes the production process highly globalized. Another interesting observation in our restaurant was that the food was ‘positively different' and ‘more delicious' from typical Indian food. It may be because of the variations in the taste resulting from procurement of ingredients from various parts of the world which gives the food its unique flavour.

The restaurant served a large variety of food variety; rather an exquisite blend of Western and Indian food to cater for the food requirements of customers from diverse cultural backgrounds. A large cocktail of alcoholic drinks being offered by the restaurant was purely to cater for the demand from local residents and international customers. In spite of the fact that drinking is a “norm of evasion” in India, alcohol is not served in family restaurants. This was an ideal example of Glocalized strategies adopted by the owners of the restaurant (cognizant of the fact that challenges faced in food industry due to the cultural differences are more critical and complex as compared to the other industries) to serve the unique food habits of the country. Moreover the variations in the Indian traditional drinks i.e. flavoured Lassi was another technique to tempt the local customers. As such the success of any food firm is determined by the level of trust that it is able to gain from the residents of a region. The strategy adopted by our restaurant was quite similar to those adopted by the world famous multinational food companies such as McDonalds and Pizza Hut in various parts of the world.

CONCLUSION

The ethnographic study focuses on two main aspects of globalization i.e. Globalization of Culture and Production as observed in Indian Vegetarian Restaurant - Tulsi and correlates them with the existing literature on the subject. This essay presents strong evidence of globalization of culture and production in our subject restaurant which is empirically supported by literature of various authors.

The restaurant had an aura of a typical Indian restaurant and mainly served Indian food with some customer-focussed adaptations such as provision of alcoholic drinks to cater for the needs of local customers. Customers from various cultural, religious, ethnic backgrounds exploring trans-cultural (Indian) cuisine; staff from different countries provided evidence of how the day-to-day lives of people have been reshaped by the phenomena of globalization and to what extent it has diminished the cultural boundaries between peoples by bringing people closer. This ‘unity in diversity' which promotes common understanding of cultures is, in fact, the essence and most striking feature of globalization which gets support from analysis of various authors on globalization. In fact the restaurant appeared as microcosmic reflection of the UK's much hailed policy of multi-cultures'.

The Globalization of Production has not only made it easier and attractive for the firms to explore new markets in other countries, it has also resulted in more creativity. In our case study of example is that of Mango Lassi; another example is enhanced/better food taste resulting from usage of mixed blend of local and international food ingredients. This creativity is a natural outcome of Globalization of Production. Moreover the restaurant was observed using localized strategies to serve the customers more efficiently and gain their trust. Literature shows that the world-famous multi-national restaurants have adopted these strategies e.g. Pizza Hut has localized its products and processes in various parts of the by including hybrid names of dishes e.g. American Dosa, Chicken Tikka Pizza in their branches in India. Lastly, it is pertinent to point out that our restaurant is not a multi-national organization hence phenomenon of Globalization of Production was applied with caution.

REFERENCES

Begg, D. and Ward, D. (2007). ‘Economics for Business'. 2nd Ed. McGraw Hill Publications. P.321.

Cowen, T. (2003). ‘Globalization and Culture'. The CATO Institute Publications.

Dierks, R.G. (2001). ‘Introduction to Globalization: Political and Economic Perspective for the New Century'. Burnham Inc. Publishers, USA

Held, D. (2002). ‘A Globalizing World? Culture, Economics, Politics'. The Bath Press, Bath. p. 49

Hill, C.W.L. (2007) ‘International Business: Competing in the Global Marketplace' 6th Ed. McGraw-Hill, New York.

Hofstede, G. (1980). ‘Cultures Consequences', London: Sage.

Horton, P.B. and Hunt, C.L. (1996) ‘Sociology'. McGraw-Hill Publications, International Edition 6th Ed. Singapore p.52

Kumar, S. And Goel, B. (2001). ‘Glocalization in Food and Agribusiness: Strategies of Adaptation to Local Needs and Demands'.

Pieterse, J.N. (2009). ‘Globalization and Culture – Global Melange'; Rowman and Littlefield Publishers USA

Pison, R. And Kamal, A. ‘Globalization and Culture or how Globalization reinforces local identities'.

Tomlinson, J. (2006). ‘Globalization and Culture'. A version of this paper was presented at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) Research Seminar Series 2006–2007. The talk was cohosted by the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies Ningbo and Institute of Comparative Cultural Studies on 24 November 2006

Wellman, B. (2004). Little Boxes, Glocalization and Networked Individualism,

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Globalisation on Indian Society, Globalization and Indian Society

Effects of globalisation on Indian society

Globalization is a significant factor in competitive world that integrate and mobilize cultural values of people at global level. In the age of rapid technical progression, many countries are unified and transformed due to the process of globalization. Globalization has a huge impact on cultural, social, monetary, political, and communal life of countries. Abundant theoretical studies demonstrated that globalization intercedes in a cultural life of populace that raises numerous critical issues (Robertson, 1992). In broad sense, the term 'globalization' means combination of economies and societies through cross country flows of information, ideas, technologies, goods, services, capital, finance and people. Globalization is described by theorists as the process through which societies and economies are integrated through cross border flows of ideas, communication, technology, capital, people, finance, goods, services and information.

Cross country incorporation has several aspects and can be political, cultural, social and/or economic, all which equal globalization. Nevertheless, financial integration is the most common aspects. Economic integration involves developing a nation's economy into an international economy. After World War I and II the early trends of globalization decreased throughout the world due to many barriers which restricted the movement of goods and services. In fact, cultural and social integration are even more than economic integration. Globalization increases competitiveness at company level and national level, which leads company management and governments to embrace strategies designed to increase labour effectiveness with reference to productivity, quality and innovation. Generally, globalization involves economies that are opening up to international competition and that do not distinguish against international capital. Consequently, globalization is often accompanied by a liberalization of the markets and the privatization of productive assets. But globalization also leads to unemployment, increasing casual employment and weakening labour movements. Theoretical literature denotes that Globalization has made countries to realize that they can share their cultural values and economic exchanges to promote business and gain competitive advantage. The fervour of globalization has even enforced Governments to be tuned to the merits of a Global economy. Management studies have defined the process of globalization. Fraser (2007) explained that Globalization is a word on every commentator's lips nowadays, but is very difficult to define satisfactorily, for it arises in so many different contexts like economic, sociological, political, cultural and environmental. Akteruzzaman.Md, 2006 stated that globalization is the interconnectedness of nations and regions in economic domain, in particular, trade financial flows and multinational corporations. The concept of globalization means that the world is getting smaller as well as bigger. Akteruzzaman.Md, 2006 described that globalization can contribute to develop pattern of cross border activities of firms, involving international investment, trade and strategic alliances for product development, production, sourcing and marketing. These international activities companies to enter new markets, to exploit their technological and organizational advantages and to reduce business costs and risks. Other theorists stated that globalization is a social phenomenon that defines the geographical boundary in terms of many different issues. According Brinkman, 2002, globalization as a triumphalism light, as the penetration of capitalism into every corner of the world, bringing with it the possibility for all of the world's population to participate in the fruits of the international division of labour and market economy. ALI, 2015 explained the globalization as a process of rapid economic, cultural, and institutional integration among countries. This association is driven by the liberalization of trade, investment and capital flow, technological advances, and pressures for assimilation towards international standards. Globalization has reduced barriers between countries, thus resulting in strengthening of economic competition among nations, dissemination of advanced management practices and newer forms of work organization, and sharing of internationally accepted labour standards.

Challenges of globalization and its effects

Many theorists asserted that change in environment has both positive and negative aspects (Harris, 2002). These stimulate driving or resisting forces toward the change of the status quo. This is most obvious relative to both globalization, and the resulting spread of the global organization. There are four factors that accelerate globalization.

The market imperative: Impact on national economies of larger, transnational markets characterized by free, convertible currencies, open access to banking, and contracts enforceable by law.

The resource imperative: Growing interdependence of nations and their activities on one another, fostered by the depletion of natural resources, misdistributions of arable land, mineral resources, and wealth, as well as overpopulation. The undeveloped nations need the capital, technology, and brainpower of the wealthier countries, while the First World economies are progressively dependent on the natural and human resources of the developing nations.

The IT imperative: Modernizations in glob communications, science and technology contribute toward universalization or planarization.

The ecological imperative: Globalization does have great effect on the ecologies and environments of nations which need to safeguards that lessen the negative effects rather than exploiting without regard to such concerns.

India was main mover of globalization. The government of India made major modifications in its economic policy in 1991 by which it allowed direct foreign investments in the country. As a result of this, globalization of the Indian Industry occurred at large scale. In India, economic expansion was observed in nineteenth century due to major crisis led by foreign exchange. The liberalization of the domestic economy and enhanced incorporation of India with the global economy helped to step up gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates which made good position in global scale. Effects of globalization in Indian Industry are observed as this process brought in large amounts of foreign investments into the industry especially in the BPO, pharmaceutical, petroleum, and manufacturing industries. As a result, they boosted the Indian economy quite significantly. The benefits of the effects of globalization in the Indian Industry are that many foreign companies set up industries in India, especially in the pharmaceutical, BPO, petroleum, manufacturing, and chemical sectors and this helped to offer great opportunities for employment to Indian people. Also this helped to reduce the level of unemployment and poverty in the country. It is observed that the major forces of globalization in India has been in the development of outsourced IT and business process outsourcing services. Since last many years, there is an increase of skilled professionals in India employed by both local and foreign companies to service customers in the US and Europe. These countries take advantage of India's lower cost but highly talented and English-speaking work force, and utilizes global communications technologies such as voice-over IP (VOIP), email and the internet, international enterprises have been able to lower their cost base by establishing outsourced knowledge-worker operations in India. The foreign companies brought in highly advanced technology with them and this made the Indian Industry more technologically advanced. Globalization in India has been beneficial for companies that have ventured in the Indian market. It is recommended by researchers that India has to focus on five important areas to enhance its economic status. The areas include technological entrepreneurship, new business openings for small and medium enterprises, the importance of quality management, new prospects in rural areas and privatization of financial institutions.

In terms of export and import activities, Many Indian companies have expanded their business and became famous at global level such as fast food, beverages, and sportswear and garment industries. Records indicated that Agriculture exports account for about 13 to 18% of total annual export of the country. In 2000-01, agricultural products valued at more than US$6 million were exported from the country of which 23% was contributed to the marine products alone. Marine products in recent years have emerged as the single largest contributor to the total agricultural export form the country accounting for over one fifth of the total agricultural exports. Cereals (mostly basmati rice and non-basmati rice), oil seeds, tea and coffee are the other prominent products each of which accounts for nearly 5 to 10% of the countries' total agricultural exports. Globalization speeded export of food items in India in the form of increased consumption of meat, western fast food, sodas and cool drinks, which may result in public health crisis. The rich biodiversity of India has yielded many healthy foods prepared from locally available entities. But the marketing by MNCs with large advertisement campaigns lead the people to resort to their products (Mascarenhas, 2003).

Figure: Indian companies going global:

Technological and Cultural impact of globalization in India

With the process of globalization, there is an access to television grew from 20% of the urban population (1991) to 90% of the urban population (2009). Even in the rural areas satellite television has a grown up market. In the cities, Internet facility is everywhere and extension of internet facilities even to rural areas. There is an increase of global food chain /restaurants in the urban areas of India. Excessive Multiplex movie halls, big shopping malls and high rise residential are seen in every cities. Entertainment sector in India has a global market. After economic liberalization, Bollywood expanded its area and showed a major presence in the global scale. The industry began to explore new ways to become more global and modern. In India, modernity is observed with the West. Therefore, Western philosophy began to be incorporated into Bollywood films. As these new cultural messages began to reach the Indian population, Indian moviegoers were pushed to re-evaluate their traditional Indian cultural ideology. Bollywood movies are also distributed and accepted at international level. Big international companies (Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox, and Columbia Pictures) are investing on this sector. Famous International brands such as Armani, Gucci, Nike, and Omega are also making investment in the Indian market with the changing of fashion statement of Indians.

Impact of globalization on education in India

There is immense effects observed in educational sector due to globalization such as literacy rate become high and Foreign Universities are collaborating with different Indian Universities. The Indian educational system faces challenges of globalization through Information technology and it offers opportunities to evolve new paradigms shifts in developmental education. The distinction between formal, non-formal and informal education will vanish when move from industrial society to information society takes place. Globalization promotes new tools and techniques such as E-learning, Flexible learning, Distance Education Programs and Overseas training.

It is observed in current Indian society that through globalization, women have gained certain opportunities for job options and to recognize women's rights as a part of the human rights. Their empowerment has given considerable opportunities and possibilities of improving employment conditions through global solidarity and co-ordination. It is found that the growth of computer and other technologies enabled women with better waged, flex timings, and capacity to negotiate their role and status in home and at corporate level.

There are some negative impact of globalization such as this process made disparity between rural and urban Indian joblessness, growth of slum capitals and threat of terrorist activities. Globalization increased competition in the Indian market between the foreign companies and domestic companies. With the foreign goods being better than the Indian goods, the consumer preferred to buy the foreign goods. This reduced the amount of profit of the Indian Industry companies. This happened mainly in the pharmaceutical, manufacturing, chemical, and steel industries. The negative Effects of Globalization on Indian Industry are that with the coming of technology the number of labour required are decreased and this resulted increasing unemployment especially in the arena of the pharmaceutical, chemical, manufacturing, and cement industries. Some section of people in India that are poor do not get benefit of globalization. There is an increased gap between rich and poor that lead to some criminal activities. Ethical responsibility of business has been reduced. Another major negative effect of globalization in India is that youngsters of India leaving their studies very early and joining Call centres to earn fast money reducing their social life after getting habituated with monotonous work. There is an increase of every daily usable commodities. This has an adverse effect on cultural aspect. The institution of marriage is breaking down at fast rate. There are more people approaching divorce courts instead of maintaining marital life. Globalization has considerable impact on the religious situation of India. Globalization has brought about raising a population who is agnostic and atheist. People visiting places of worship are reducing with time. Globalization has reduced nationalism and patriotism in country.

It can be said that Globalization is motivating factor in current business environment. There are few challenges for companies due to globalization such as Migration, relocation, labour shortages, competition, and changes in skills and technology. Globalization powerfully influences the social partners' attitudes since traditional labour relations have to cope with completely new and very dynamic situations. In political field, globalization helps to eradicate poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, ill-health and fighting cross border terrorism and global terrorism. Globalisation in context of status of women implicates the relegation of the stereotypic pattern of duties of the women like rearing and caring the children to the back ground and taking up the various diversified occupation and thus making their living quite vibrant and alive. Globalisation benefits the schedule caste people in promoting cultural homogeneity in the way of loosening of the ideas of pollution and purity and eradication of untouchability and so many socio-cultural and economic disabilities associated with them. Globalisation of goods has developed enthusiasm in India for western brand names. A consumerist mentality has been carefully fostered. This leads to an adversative impact on the tendency to save or the domestic accumulation of capital. Lastly, in Indian scenario, globalization developed a consumer credit society. Today, people can buy goods and services even if they do not have sufficient purchasing power and the prospect of raising a loan has become easy in the age of globalisation. Credit cards have given boost to consumerism and pushed many households into indebtedness. At the same time globalization has unfavourable impact on mass-media in India. Currently, realistic coverage of events and happening doesn't receive much importance because it doesn't determine the standing of a newspaper or TV channel. Globalisation has brought violation of journalistic ethics in India.

To summarize, the process of globalization has changed the industrial pattern social life of global people and it has immense impact on Indian trade system. The globalization of the economic, social and cultural structures happened in all ages. Previously, the pace of process was slow. Today with the start of the information technology, new ways of communication have made the world a very small place. With this process, there is a big market place. Globalization has resulted in increase in the production of a range of goods. MNCs have established manufacturing plants all over the world. It has positive effects and India will overcome many obstacles and adopt global policies to expand business at international scale. India is gaining international recognition and strengthening in economic and political areas.

Globalization with Respect to its Impact on Indian Culture

Globalization with Respect to its Impact on Indian Culture

*Dr. Sushil Kumar Singh,

LFEH, School of Education, Lovely Professional University,

It has been experienced that every step of movement towards economic, political and cultural modernization, taken by the state in India, is responded to by the people with an enhanced sense of self-consciousness and awareness of identity. Cultural modernization, sponsored by the forces of globalization, is resented if it encroaches upon or does not promote the core cultural values of society, its language, social practices and styles of life. The vigour of the renewed sense of self-awareness generated among the members of the local cultures and communities is such as to succeed in making adaptive reconciliation with the forces of globalization. The linkages both visible and invisible, defining the cultural interdependence among communities and regions in India which have existed historically, reinforce instead of threatening the national identity. These bonds seem to become stronger as India encounters the forces of modernization and globalization.

Key Words: Globalization, Culture, Modernization, etc.

Globalization is the process which expands and accelerates the movement of ideas and exchange of commodities over vast distances. From a global perspective, globalization's most important impacts are often highly localized. Globalization really affects people with respect to their way of life, culture, taste, fashion, preferences, etc. It has led to good and bad effects on the lives of the people. With the dream of great opportunities, people used to move from east to west and vice-versa. But, the global financial crisis all over the world resulted in reverse migration. Researches had proved that many foreign-born workers; mainly from China and India, have considered returning home to better job opportunities. Will the crisis reverse global migration? Migration is a major factor in global society. A recent study shows how the share of migrants in the total population has more than has doubled over the last forty years. Today, migration flows of workers from developing to developed countries have slowed down, due to the economic crisis. But increasing poverty at home and demand for low wage workers in rich countries will fuel ongoing migration flows.

We live in an intensely interdependent world in which all the earth's peoples with their immense differences of culture and historical experience are compressed together in instant communication. We face today a world of almost infinite promise which is also a world of terminal danger. This phenomenon has been titled 'Globalization.' 'The Era of Globalization' is fast becoming the preferred term for describing the current times. Just as the Depression, the Cold War Era, the Space Age, and the Roaring 20's are used to describe particular periods of history; Globalization describes the political, economic, and cultural atmosphere of today. While some people think of Globalization as primarily a synonym for global business, it is much more than that. The same forces that allow businesses to operate as if national borders did not exist also allow social activists, labour organizers, journalists, academics, international terrorists and many others to work on a global stage.

Indian culture which in effect means multicultural, multi-religious, multi-community civilization and multiple ways of life are under the lethal threat of the ruthless forces of globalization today. What went by the name of colonialism in classical history textbooks produced in the days of British rule has been replaced today by the synonym of globalization. The unbridled expansion of western culture has continued at an accelerated rate along with the denigration and decline of Indian culture, civilization, religion, art, literature and customs. This new colonialism has taken on several new faces or rather put on new masks. It cleverly masquerades itself through labels and slogans like democracy, humanitarian rights, gender equality, internationalism, free trade and humanitarianism. In the name of modernization and Globalization it pretends to be uplifting peoples whom it is really exploiting. This is not very different in either kind or intent from old western colonialism “British imperialism in the Indian context”, which vaunted itself as the benign bringer of civilization and culture to the uncivilized world. It was given the glorious title of 'White Man's Burden'.

“Critics of globalization contend that, even if increased trade promotes material prosperity, it comes with a high spiritual and cultural cost, running roughshod over the world’s distinctive cultures and threatening to turn the globe into one big, tawdry strip mall.”

Socialization of people for improving business and financial activities across the globe can be referred as globalization. It is not a new phenomenon as people kept searching new places and avenues to increase their business activities as evident by explorations of Vasco-digamma, Columbus and East India Company. Bitter experiences from East India Companies & British rule makes Indian little bit cautious for adventures of globalization. This has been the root cause for delay in liberalization in India. In literary terms, globalization has been defined in several ways as evident from definitions reproduced below. In the initial sense of the term, globalization refers to the spread of new forms of non-territorial social activity (Ruggie, 1993; Scholte, 2000). To make term more clear, Globalization has been defined as the process of rapid integration of countries and happening through greater foreign trade and foreign investment. In essence, it refers to increased possibilities for action between and among people in situations irrespective of geographical considerations as per the definition of social theorists. Developed countries have been trying to pursue developing countries to liberalize the trade and allow more flexibility in business policies to provide equal opportunities to multinational firms in their domestic market. International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank helped them in this endeavour. Liberalization began to hold its foot on barren lands of developing countries like India by means of reduction in excise duties on electronic goods in a fixed time frame. Indian government did the same and liberalized the trade and investment due to the pressure from World Trade Organization. Import duties were cut down phase-wise to allow MNC's operate in India on equality basis. As a result globalization has brought to India new technologies, new products and also the economic opportunities. Despite bureaucracy, lack of infrastructure, and an ambiguous policy framework that adversely impact MNCs operating in India, MNCs are looking at India in a big way, and are making huge investments to set up R&D centers in the country. India has made a lead over other growing economies for IT, business processing, and R&D investments. There has been both positive and negative impact of globalization on social and cultural values in India. There is no denying of the fact that globalization has brought cheers to people's life by opening new vistas of employment. It has also made inroads in the cultural heritage of this country.

The Human Effect of Globalization

Pratt & Whitney's International Aerospace Tubes (IAT) plant in Indianapolis is getting prepared for a big shift to Singapore. Some other companies like Whirlpool and Evansville are also moving to Mexico by mid-2010. The advantages of a "global" economy for the companies seem to be a disadvantage for "local" citizens and workers. Over 100 Pratt and Whitney IAT employees will lose their jobs and domestic companies relying on IAT will have to look for new suppliers.

The impact of globalization on local culture and the changing role of the nation-state can be examined by observing the particularities of the social and cultural patterns and their local, national and transnational manifestations in India. These social and cultural realities have a plural character in terms of language, geography, ethnicity, religion and culture. With partial exception of the tribal population, the caste system and its related kinship structures have shaped the profile of the culture, economy and power-structures within the local communities and regions. A recent all-India survey of the communities, conducted by the Anthropological Survey of India, gives us an insight into the plurality of the caste-community structures and their cultural and socia-economic diversities. The basic category in this survey is 'community' which is conceptually used as "in ethnography, which is marked by endogamy, occupation and perception" (Singh, 1992). The term 'community' as used in the survey resembles the concept of caste-tribe, though it is not exhaustive of all their features. It's findings illustrate how the local cultures and their particularities do not infringe upon establishing linkages between the local culture and the national culture and consciousness in India.

In the Colonial Era (1700-1875), British colonial expansion worked through military, economic, and religious methods. Military force was the primary and initial method. This was little more than organized banditry, stealing the gold, jewels and other treasures of India. Economic exploitation went hand in hand with the military conquest. Later it stooped so low in its methods as to get involved even with the drug and narcotic trades. Later economic exploitation developed into a fine art resulting in the exercise of total control over the natural resources and controlling the economy of India for long term gains. Religion provided the needed rationale for this cruel plunder. All native Hindus were dismissed as heathens or pagans; despicable creatures who don't have to be treated like human beings till they take their fateful decision to embrace Christianity. According to the missionaries who came to India to play second fiddle to the British Imperial rulers, Christianity was the only true religion. Jesus Christ was the only true God. All other religions like Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and many other traditional faiths and religions in India had to be eliminated to save the souls of India and Indians. All facets and all aspects of Indian religion and society were dismissed as idolatry and superstition, in order to advance the noble Christian pursuit of salvation for the barbarous heathens of India.

Along with Christian religion came the rest of British or Western culture, thought and customs and the gradual end of traditional ways of life. Thus our traditional religions and cultures were gradually subverted or eliminated. The new Indian converts to Christianity were encouraged not only to give up their religion but their culture, which often had religious or spiritual implications as well. A good Indian Christian convert would dress like an Englishman and emulate English manners in all things. Thus in India the Hindus converted by the British to Christianity were encouraged to think, behave and live like Englishmen. This is what I call Macaulay-ism. This term derives from Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859) who was a Member of the Governor General's Council in Calcutta in the 1830s. He introduced the English system of education to produce Brown Sahibs who were to be English in taste and temperament.

After the outward display and establishment of the forces of Colonialism, came an intellectual form that was less overt but more dangerous and explosively insidious. The British rulers attempted to colonize our minds by eliminating all our traditional schools and education systems through a progressive system of Western education. This they did in a country like India where Christianity failed to gain many converts. This gave British Colonialism in India the aura of a civilizing influence. Educated Indians having higher education in the colleges opened by the alien rulers in the latter half of the 19th century were made to believe that it was not colonial exploitation that the Englishmen were bringing to India but progressive Western values; training our people in science, art and technology and teaching them better and more equitable forms of government. Native Indian people were helped to learn the skills of veneer of English civilization by becoming modern and rational.

Though all forms of Colonial Empire in the geographical sense came to an end after the II World War, yet the same forms of colonial exploitation continue even today in all parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America under the banner of that all-embracing umbrella called Globalization. Western Civilization in spite of its tall claims to support diversity is only promoting a worldwide monoculture; the same basic values, institutions and points of view for everyone; which it calls 'Globalization.' The brutal and stark truth is that western culture, with its declared pursuit of markets and commodities eliminates all true culture, which is based on quality and not quantity. It creates a culture of filthy lucre and lust for money all the way that submerges any true culture of refinement or spirituality; a dismal culture in which everything can be bought and sold, possessed or capitalized on. All our capitalists and businessmen in India today are gloating and bloating about the ever rising tide of consumerism and consumer culture brought about by the ruthless march of Globalization. This in my view constitutes the greatest assault on Indian culture and Indian society by the draconian dragon of gargantuan Globalization.

Macaulay-ism of British India has become in letter and spirit the Globalization of today. Pound Sterling has been replaced by the US Dollar. To the people of India in general and educated Indians in particular, Globalization seems to be rather mild and well meaning, more like an imperceptible breeze, which blows in silently, fills up the psychological atmosphere, creates a mental mood, inspires an intellectual attitude and finally settles down as a cultural climate; pervasive, protein and ubiquitous. It is not out to use a specified section of Indian society as a vehicle of its virulence. It is not like any ‘ism’ which wants to destroy the body of a culture in one fell sweep. It is not subtle like Christianity which subverts a society surreptitiously. Yet at the same time, it is a creeping toxaemia which corrodes the soul of Indian culture and corrupts our time-honoured social systems in slow stages. And its target is every section of Indian society.

What has been its impact on culture in India? Every educated Indian seems to believe that nothing in Hindu India, past or present, is to be approved unless recognized and recommended by an appropriate authority in the West. There is an all-pervading presence of a positive, if not worshipful, attitude towards everything in western society and culture, past as well as present in the name of progress, reason and science. Nothing from the West is to be rejected unless it has first been weighed and found wanting by a Western evaluation. “Swami Vivekananda foresaw the dangers of Globalization as early as in 1893 when he spoke at the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago. To quote his soul-stirring words: 'Shall India die? Then, from the world all spirituality will be extinct, all sweet-souled sympathy for religion will be extinct, all ideality will be extinct; and in its place will reign the duality of lust and luxury as the male and female deities, with money as its priest, fraud, force, and competition its ceremonies, and human soul its sacrifice. Such a thing can never be'.” Precisely such a terrible thing is taking place in India today on account of the inexorable and immutable process of Globalization.

Now-a-days globalization is being talked everywhere by everyone. Lot of discussion is going on and intellectuals, NGO's, Government officials and different national and International organizations are studying the impact of globalization on various aspects of life in India including its impact on Indian culture, value system and employment but the most important aspect being neglected is "Has it any impact on rural life ", where more than 60 percent of Indian population resides. International and national organizations are trying to study its impact on various aspects of life in general.

Does Globalization be present in Rural India?

Impact is clearly visible on urban life but rural life in India has not changed much. If we start from the basic facilities, impact is not so marked as in urban areas. People are still living in houses made of mud barring houses of few rich and progressive farmers. Government made houses for people in the name of "Indira Awaas Yojna" are so poorly designed and constructed that a family of three to four people cannot live comfortably in these houses. Occupation has been taken by the people but most of them are still staying in their earlier made "Kuchcha" houses. Conditions of farming communities are yet untouched from globalization. Laborers’ conditions have somewhat improved due to implementation of "Minimum Wages by the Government. Prime Minister Rojgar Yojna and CM Rojgar Yojna have made partial employment available to this segment. Government has initiated several developmental programs for uplift of living standards of people but full benefits have not reached to the targeted population due to corruption prevalent in administrative and political systems. Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojna has resulted in road connectivity in rural India but roads are of poor quality and without drainage support. Toilet and lavatory systems are not of standard quality and not even constructed in all houses of the village. Even today more than 90 percent people in villages attend the call of nature in open fields. Electricity: Life in rural India is miserable due to non-availability of electricity. Several states in India claim that 40, 50 or even 100 percent villages have been electrified. But supply of electricity to villages that have been electrified is not more than 3-4 hours per day. It is big hindrance in development. Globalization is not going to make much difference to rural life until and unless electricity is supplied uninterruptedly 10-12 hours per days too these villages.

Education and Employment

School buildings are available in few villages but number of teachers is inadequate in primary schools. Benches, boards and other facilities are of sub-standard quality. There is, however, one positive development that girls are attending the schools in the villages. Also the number of students attending graduate and post graduate courses is increasing but awareness among students from rural areas lacks towards technical education and that is the single reason that most of the students from rural areas are unable to secure employment.

Technology, Culture and Social Values

Technology has failed to percolate to villages in absence of electricity and other communication infrastructure. Few people know about the internet. However, well-to-do families have availed DTH and dish TV facilities. Mobile connections are increasing in rural areas but at slower pace. There are no small scale industries in villages to provide employment to educated youth. India’s real culture is still preserved in rural life. New advancement of technology has not much influence in rural areas. People still prefer to wear dresses of old fashion and celebrate festivals in old styles. Folk dances and folk songs are still popular among villagers. Culture is still untouched and unaffected by western influence. Globalization has no impact on rural life as standards of living are suboptimal but migration of people is taking place and poor people are moving to urban areas in search of employment.

Globalization does not have any positive impact on agriculture. On the contrary, it has few detrimental effects as government is always willing to import food grains, sugar etc whenever there is a price increase of these commodities. Government never thinks to pay more to farmers so that they produce more food grains but resorts to imports. On the other hand, subsidies are declining so cost of production is increasing. Even farms producing fertilizers have to suffer due to imports. There are also threats like introduction of GM crops, herbicide resistant crops etc.

Overwhelming impact of globalization can be observed on the Indian culture? Every educated Indian seems to believe that nothing in Hindu India, past or present, is to be approved unless recognized and recommended by an appropriate authority in the West. There is an all-pervading presence of a positive, if not worshipful, attitude towards everything in western society and culture, past as well as present in the name of progress, reason and science. Nothing from the West is to be rejected unless it has first been weighed and found wanting by a Western evaluation. “Swami Vivekananda foresaw the dangers of Globalization as early as in 1893 when he spoke at the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago. To quote his soul-stirring words: 'Shall India die? Then, from the world all spirituality will be extinct, all sweet-souled sympathy for religion will be extinct, all ideality will be extinct; and in its place will reign the duality of lust and luxury as the male and female deities, with money as its priest, fraud, force, and competition its ceremonies, and human soul its sacrifice. Such a thing can never be'.” Precisely such a terrible thing is taking place in India today on account of the inexorable and immutable process of Globalization. In the end we can say that, every step of movement towards economic, political and cultural modernization, taken by the state in India, is responded to by the people with an enhanced sense of self-consciousness and awareness of identity. Cultural modernization, sponsored by the forces of globalization, is resented if it encroaches upon or does not promote the core cultural values of society, its language, social practices and styles of life. The vigour of the renewed sense of self-awareness generated among the members of the local cultures and communities is such as to succeed in making adaptive reconciliation with the forces of globalization. The linkages both visible and invisible, defining the cultural interdependence among communities and regions in India which have existed historically, reinforce instead of threatening the national identity. These bonds seem to become stronger as India encounters the forces of modernization and globalization.

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