“Globalization is the process of international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products, ideas and mutual sharing, and other aspects of culture” (Wikipedia)

SONGSOPTOK:  What are you views about globalization? In the country and the society you live in, is globalization a threat or an opportunity?

ANINDA: Globalization is good for any  society.  Liberalization  is far better than protectionism.  Despite being a leftist I am  amply clear that  religion n religious  in the name of liberation / liberalism was 100% wrong, as was time-tested n history-defined.  Because  any  strictness is captivatingly bad.  Whatever  oppression is happening in Islam  is  a conservative    approach that keeps away  the masses from globalization.  Assameese people  were  too conservative n  anti-globalization at a  time. Today  all  over India  there are many Assameese owing to  economic compulsion. Even  today, they are a bit conservative.  And when Hindu forces   attack Christians / kill a poor Muslim for beef eating or beef –stocking, when dalits are humiliated day n night, we find, globalization is under threat. Personally, I  foresee a lot of danger; economically I see trade barriers  of anti dumping n safeguard duties as regressive steps, whether  India takes it or US. Similarly, when so many visa  restrictions are imposed n  green card holders are deported, you  restrain the creative summation of masses from flourishing n blooming.   But, yes, immediately n narrowly, globalization cuts opportunities. Bengalees lose job in Bengal, Marathis go hungry in Mumbai;  in Rayalseema , we went to a society where  gold business of magnitude next to Mumbai  was  concentrated with Telegu Vaishyas n nobody knew Hindi.  Situation is far  better  in Karnataka. We  were  the first Bengalee family there, but to our surprise, we found   they  were  manufacturing Bangalore n Kanjivaram Silk saris  n sending them to Uluberia  n getting them back with zardousie work.   All Park Street big  saree shop catalogues were with that Janpati shop, &  we understood globalization  to get all those  saris  at 50%  of  Park Street  rates.  Had there  been  no globalization,  we  Bengalees  could not prosper  outside Bengal n my Tamil  n Marhwari friends , not  in Kolkata, same for my Punjabi friends of Kol… In fact, China has  understood  the  banes of one way  globalization domination of US n UK. By  closing those markets, ultimately  it has ruined its own  home industry. So, in short, Globalization  is inevitable—today or tomorrow. Tamils have to learn Hindi  .  Today Bengal is stagnant but Bangalore is growing because of  globalization. Yes, more than Kannadigas  , Tamils live in Bangalore today.

The presence of Kannadigas in Andhra Pradesh (5.65 lakh) is seven times less than the presence of Telugu population in Karnataka (36.98 lakh). Outside Karnataka, Maharashtra has the highest number of Kannadigas (12.54 lakh). In Tamil Nadu, there are 10.45 lakh Kannadigas, while Goa and Delhi are home to 74,615 and 10,525 Kannadigas, respectively. There are 39 Kannadigas in Lakshadweep. 

The presence  of Biharis  , Nepalis  &  NE  people  more  in Bangalore than  the reverse trend  signifies better  globalization in Karnataka

SONGSOPTOK:  To what extent is the society you live in globalized? What are the outward manifestations, if any, in the everyday lives of the citizens?

ANINDA:  I  live in Vijaynagar,  once known as  Krishnadavaray’s  empire.  It is  one of the largest Iron ore belts  of India  &  fortunately quality of ore is better than Goa / Chitradurga. So, no of  steel industries are  more  here in Ballari-Hosapeta-Koppal  belt, with  JSW’s  no 1 plant of India, then BMM, MSPL, Kirloskar, Kalyani etc. It is natural that  our society is globalized  much more than  many  other places in South.  A)  In Muslim dominated Nizam belt of Hyd-Karnataka incl Gulbarga/ Kalaburgi , Urdu has a  definite influence like Telengana & so, per se,  it  has  attracted more  Hindi/ Urdu population.  But  compared  to other  industrial belts  like  Kadappa (  cement), Kurnool( Cement),  Ranipet, Chittoor-Vellore, Kanchipuram, Renigunta, Coimbatore  etc, this  belt is too mixed  in terms of  people  from NE, Nepla, Gorkhas n Modeshis, Bengalees, Oriyas, Marathis, Mallus, Tamils & Telegus,  other than Marhwaris  as  the main business community. Obviously Biharis  have a sizable  presence , while Even Punjabis n Gujjus are there. And  a lot of Chineese , Japaneese  &  Europeans n Americans  also  stay  for sizable time only for  job related purpose.  It is not as global  as  Bangalore / even Hyderabad that Africans & latin Americans shall  stay & a lot of Parsees, Sindhris etc,  but  being   quite small  place, this  composition is enviable.

And what  is the demographic dividend?  That  there  are a no of big hotels  & restaurants in this small  place, from  many corners you can reach by AC Volvo/ Sleeper  to Bangaluru/ Hydearabad . Too  many Bengalee  n Oriya cooks & Bengalee chefs  fulfil  the culinary needs n as told,  Khasi/ Assameese/ NE & Terrai  tribals  &  Silchari Bangals  serve the most of  security, peon, non technical  unskilled  labor.    Like  Jamshedpur,  but  in a much smaller way, we  celebrate Durgapuja  with cultural fanfare,  Ganesh Chaturthi, Janmashtami, Pongal, Onam, Ugadi other than Eid, Xmas etc. In fact, non-Kannada  fests are  more  popular , as  Kannada  fests are  small but many , like Rajyotsava, Barahalaxmi  , Kanakdas, Nagpanc hami etc etc  . What is  most striking is  that in a much smaller way than Jamshedpur, different  cultures  celebrate their languages  incl classical. And  also, compared  to so many places I have stayed, the food  options n habits  are  much more cosmopolitan.  In Jayashree  Textile, Rishra, I’ve heard, u r not allowed to cook  non vegs. In most Aditya Birla cos  ‘ colony, co shall  not  provide you with nonvegs.  Here  those  things cannot be imagined , as even bars  are provided  by  co, but yaa, no club culture  like Jamshedpur  ever developed.

SONGSOPTOK:  In your opinion, has the process of globalization improved the quality of life in your country? In what way?

ANINDA:  As  said Tagore,  India  has grown rich by giving n taking from everyone. In India, at  one point, thru East India  Co, center  of activity ( or CG)  shifted  to Kolkata & Renaissance happened  here.  Gradually  it drifted to Delhi  & Mumbai.  And after  they got saturated , cosmopolitan  congregation shifted   to Bengaluru. It is also  over-saturated.  Chennai , of late has attracted a lot of heat to go back to old glories but got devastated by floods  & probably  cannot build up  as promised  just  on a vacuum of  deep rooted infrastructural development . So, the  new zing thing  is  happening with MNCs  , partially  in Hyderabad &  hopefully more in  Amravati. If all goes well,  India  shall get  a state capital  fully developed  by  Singapore n Japan n some other consortiums n that may be the best  globalization example.   Just look at  the  Smart city  initiative of GOI.  From Eastern India, only Bhubaneswar  succeeded n topped; Mysuru has  gone up so well  n Hubbali-Davangere-Belgavi.  Mumbai  is  behind Pune & Chandigarh is no longer  the Nebuchaand delight  to the ecstatic eyes.
But  like Chennai, Gurgaon  is  also  created  on a shallow  foundation. In Chennai it is  sea water  sewage  system,  while in Gurgaon , it is a medieval Khaap  system ‘s ugly face  &  also Jaat problems cohabiting with   a posh  utopian Gurgaon.  And that’s  why  Delhi is so  unsafe compared to  Mumbai n Bengaluru.  However, intolerance has , of late, risen  in Bengaluru—last year , wrt NE influx  (  decreased soon)  &  recent attacks  on  African students.  Same things happened in Delhi  too, n got controlled.  Crucial is, even after  such happenings ,  foreigners’ choice of Bengaluru  does not decrease,  because of Bengaluru’s  weather, infra n  global lifestyle &  today   it  scores better  than  Delhi n Mumbai  in that. 

How Sanghai  became a second  Hongkong?  How  Singapore  topped in Eastern world?  How  Kualalampur n Bangkok  are  better  than  any of our metros ?  Because  of globalization.  And  why  Kolkata  is stagnant n moribund?  As it is  unable  to attract  global  forces.  New  technologies n amenities  have enriched us since Dr Manmohan Singh opened all doors;  domestic industries  learnt  survival strategies,  those who could not  languished.  So far so  good,  but then  there was  an event called  Chinazitaion of the world , which  crushed  steel industry of Europe &  part of US  and even white goods n other  industries. Even Japan could not  impact  GE/ GM / German auto n machinery giants  so massively. Globalization today is  good  with cultural, eco n industrial uplift embargoes / barriers  put in ( like  MRP  on steel imposed  by MOC, GOI) . All of us must  act liberally  to fusion western , eastern, classical, commercial,  third movement  cultures.

SONGSOPTOK:  One of the major effects of globalization is the significant increase in the volume of trade and monetary transactions between the different nations. Do you think that your country has benefited from this? In what way?

ANINDA:  As  already  stated, India  has become a global power  owing to this globalization only.  Unfortunately, both JSW &  Tata Steel lost  a  lot  owing to Chineese  impact, as overseas investments  / Hindu industrial  imperialism dream shattered.  But  cheap  imports  have  helped  captive capital equipment, machinery / engg industries , as well.  India  is  one of topmost  IT SW  exporters  & US  fears us.  Boston fears  Bangalore, as Obama has mentioned so many times.  What has happened is a dip in  our mfg share  , so Make In India program by  PM Modi to make India globally competitive.  Can ever  India overtake China??? A big question;  but not only IT , other  services  have also flourished to  push  services  to  around 75%  of our  GDP.  And whatever services we  are importing are  adding values to our lifestyle.  In short, globalization  is d key to survival, success, growth. And those who want  to be Gandhian immunes, shall  decay. But , yes, one must not emulate n imitate blindly in a rat race 

SONGSOPTOK:  Do you think that globalization serve to make the already strong economies even stronger and weaker economies weaker and more dependent? Can you give us a few examples to illustrate your answer?

ANINDA:  Aryans  invaded  India, hitherto  inhabited  by  aboriginals  n tribals. Even after 8k years  of  Aryan rule, there are  pockets  full of  tribals in  states of  North East &  Jharkhand n Chhattisgarh , who  are  still suffering from the  impacts of globalization in the hands of the  dikus, as  they suffered from the British.  This is  the dichotomy n dialectics of  globalization , whether in US ( for red Indians n Hispanics) or  Australian aboriginals or the  black natives, the niggars of apartheid  South Africa, all  have  suffered as weaker sects  in the hands of the mighty whites, the alien invaders. Muslims invaded Persia, Babylon, Mesopotamia &  today we have  Iraq, Iran, a Muslim Egypt  , Turkey & the whole of  Mid-east. Mongolia, Estonia, Uzbekistan  are  all  old civilizations under Islamist wrapping .  Even India’s  Somnath to Kashi Viswanath n Mathura Krishna Janambhumi temple n obviously the Ram Janambhumi suffered  the wraths of  Nadirs  &  Ghajnis n Mehmuds n Babars …  Khiljis n Hussein Shahs, Bahmanis   n Aurangzebs  tried looting n destroying whatever  was  ethnic Hindu treasure troves… Even , within Hindu n Muslim clans , so many  weak  kings  were defeated  by strong ones. Sirajauddulla’s  defeat  gave rise  to  rise  of East India Co &  1757—1857 saw  defeats of Hindu n Muslim kingdoms ( Peswas, Tipu, Rani Laxmi of Jhansi )  &  Mughals that defeated Marathas n Rajputs alike , got their economy looted  by the British co.

All  of whatever we stated  above, makes a  solid introduction for , how  , as as Dadabhai Nawroji  (   & this year  Sashi Tharoor ) said, British drained  Indian wealth –Poverty n UnBritish Rule  of India; so spoke RC Dutta in his  Political economic History of India . Let  us hear it  from Mr Shashi
The handloom weaver's for example famed across the world whose products were exported around the world, Britain came right in. There were actually these weaver's making fine muslin as light as woven wear, it was said, and Britain came right in, smashed their thumbs, broke their looms, imposed tariffs and duties on their cloth and products and started, of course, taking their raw material from India and shipping back manufactured cloth flooding the world's markets with what became the products of the dark and satanic mills of the Victoria in England That meant that the weavers in India became beggars and India went from being a world famous exporter of finished cloth into an importer when from having 27 per cent of the world trade to less than 2 per cent. Meanwhile, colonialists like Robert Clive brought their rotten boroughs in England on the proceeds of their loot in India while taking the Hindi word loot into their dictionary as well as their habits. And the British had the gall to call him Clive of India as if he belonged to the country, when all he really did was to ensure that much of the country belonged to him. By the end of 19th century, the fact is that India was already Britain's biggest cash cow, the world's biggest purchaser of British goods and exports and the source for highly paid employment for British civil servants. We literally paid for our own oppression. And as has been pointed out, the worthy British Victorian families that made their money out of the slave economy, one fifth of the elites of the wealthy class in Britain in 19th century owed their money to transporting 3 million Africans across the waters. And in fact in 1833 when slavery was abolished and what happened was a compensation of 20 million pounds was paid not as reparations to those who had lost their lives or who had suffered or been oppressed by slavery but to those who had lost their property. Staying with India between 15-29 million Indians died of starvation in British induced famines. The most famous example was, of course, was the great Bengal famine during the World War II when 4 million people died because Winston Churchill deliberately as a matter of written policy proceeded to divert essential supplies from civilians in Bengal to sturdy tummies and Europeans as reserve stockpiles. One-sixth of all the British forces that fought in the war were Indian - 54 000 Indians actually lost their lives in that war, 65 000 were wounded and another 4000 remained missing or in prison. Indian taxpayers had to cough up a 100 million pounds in that time's money. India supplied 17 million rounds of ammunition, 6,00,000 rifles and machine guns, 42 million garments were stitched and sent out of India and 1.3 million Indian personnel served in this war. I know all this because the commemoration of the centenary has just taken place. But not just that, India had to supply 173,000 animals 370 million tonnes of supplies and in the end the total value of everything that was taken out of India and India by the way was suffering from recession at that time and poverty and hunger, was in today's money 8 billion pounds. You want quantification, it's available. World War II, it was even worse - 2.5 million Indians in uniform. I won't believe it to the point but Britain's total war debt of 3 billion pounds in 1945 money, 1.25 billion was owed to India and never actually paid. Even Scotts’ earnings from India is what brought prosperity to Scotland, even pulled Scotland out of poverty. The railways and roads were really built to serve British interests and not those of the local people but I might add that many countries have built railways and roads without having had to be colonalised in order to do so. They were designed to carry raw materials from the hinterland into the ports to be shipped to Britain. And the fact is that the Indian or Jamaican or other colonial public - their needs were incidental. Indian railways were built with massive incentives offered by Britain to British investors, guaranteed out of Indian taxes paid by Indians with the result that you actually had one mile of Indian railway costing twice what it cost to built the same mile in Canada or Australia because there was so much money being paid in extravagant returns .Britain made all the profits, controlled the technology, supplied all the equipment and absolutely all these benefits came as British private enterprise at Indian public risk. That was the railways as an accomplishment.. British aid to India is about 0.4 per cent of India's GDP. 

Going by above, in short, Globalization happened,  by force, when not  by choice. For all weaker  nations enslaved  by  developed, stronger ones; mostly eastern nations of Mynamar/ Burma, Ceylon/ Srilanka, etc  were  liberated  at a point of extreme poverty  by  the beasty British; but Dutches, Portugeese n French were no better humans . Africa to Cuba to West Indies … even Japan ruined Korea..and all  of us know of Vietnam’s  war of freedom n Che’s  struggles.  Today’s  US is repentant  for  its extreme  blunders  in Cuba n Iraq. Even Afghanistan is paying price  for  US Army’s  excessive costs imposed.

It is Imperialism that  spread  colonial globalization of  cultures  n loots, and post independence, liberated nations   are  begging  before  US n other developed nations  with all  offerings of their limited wealth , drenched   out of  their scanty remainder of wealth. But what  is the option with them?  Vietnam was secluded, did it  gain much?  Can Gandhism  of self-sufficiency  n isolation from minimum rat race see you in the line of  riches?   It is  post-globalisation that  China  became to sole supplier of  all  electronic goods to the world n name it,  almost  all  mobile phones of d world come from China. IBM & Apple  made their global low cost mfg hubs in China  n so did  others.  Bengaluru & Indian  IT firms  became  some of top Software employers in US  & most of jobs moved  from costly US to low cost India;   and  many  smaller  South east  Asian nations , proficient in English , owing to costs lower than India, have  won over call center n some  software  services snatched from India.  It is  not globalization that  was inevitable for all poor nations so far as LSDs had to be imported  n paid thru nose.  But  it is globalization impact that  a no of life saving drugs  are  being  exported from India at  10% of those  MNC prices. 

We can summarize --
1.     India  got its own MNCs post globalization.
2.     Some of them suffered huge declines  after economic downturns  of  US n EU
3.     Kyoto protocol  wants  to put on  excessive  restrictions  on polluted developing nations , which are not acceptable. Any immune country cannot be so forced
4.     Post globalization, India  got  nuclear power  deals.
5.     Post globalization,  Iran has  embarked  on  growth journey &  is  a player in oil market to  decide  whether to curtain production.
6.     Globalization  has put   restrictions  thru GATT ( Remember uncle Dunkle)  on  product n process patents of   our own products , eg low cost  drugs.  But mostly we are winners &  Indian products are  winning US n EU markets.
7.     Without  globalization , probably  Vietnam, Cuba, Philippines, Thailand , Taipei could not prosper.
8.     Pre-globalization, Indian  industrial giants  were  looting us.  One of the reasons  of   today our having huge mobile  density ,  multiple TVs in rural homes, high end refrigerators n washing machines etc, massive computerization, multifarious  cars &   inflation restrained by way  of cheaper  foreign products  /  cheaper  products  from MNC stable as mfd in India compared to their  desi rivals   all n all of these is Globalization,
9.     Openness, knowledge n info…. All gone up post globalization. Any  Apple phone launched is soon available in India. Even India  is  hotspot for global launch of some brands.  Why India the country of Ambassadors??  Take the choices  USSR & east European nations had  prior  to the fall of Berlin wall?  And compare with today.
10.                       Today  fall of Greece  means fall of EU.  Fall of Chineese economy means  fall  of our Sensex.
11.                       Our  Jute  &  tea  industries  have suffered badly but coffee  flourished. Workers  have died but  promoters  have  minted  fortunes by shifting to better  alternatives.
12.                       Globalization is  effective probably only if  a nation can  utilize its resources  with higher  allocation in R&D by  getting inspired by developed nations, so that  one way  flow of technical knowhow &  outflow of FE  against  patented  rights n  royalty n knowhow fees. Why can’t  the wind blow  in opposite direction?
13.                       India  must improve its deplorable  status on Giving  Index ; it must  create  Bill Gates & Merc  Zuberbergs  who can  donate their  fortunes to developing nations.
14.                       India  must improve on Ease of Doing Business Index, so that  MNCs  can set  shop here  n generate employment.
15.                       Globalization has allowed  Harrods n Tescos n Wallmarts  to loot d world  , but today globalization , led also  by some Bangalore  guys ,  the start ups  like Snapdeal, Flipkart, Bluestone, Bigbasket,  & so many… as  are  competing  with Amazons ,  are  making the retail MNCs feel the heat. Yaa, our Bigbazar  & AB Retail  are also  closing some of brick n mortar shops.
16.                       Govt’s  focus in policy making should shift  to  improvement  on HDI , d Human Development Index,  &  if rulers  are clear about zero oppression, cheaper global  alternatives  can emerge.  But policy makers  must be  focused that  real education is essential commensurate  with needs n  better  health , nutrition etc. Globalization should  be an  aid n alternative  to attain that  end.

SONGSOPTOK:  What, according to you, is the role played by the major multinational companies in of globalization? Do you think that the entire process was actually put in motion by the large MNC’s for their personal profits or do you think that there has been a trickle-down effect to the economy of your country?

ANINDA:  Let us  take  examples of GE / Coca Cola/ Pepsi.  They drive away other players from market.  But  it   is also true  that  countries with heritage , like  India , have created  its own  giants  too, whose  products  are  giving a  run for money  to some MNCs  , not only nationally, but internationally too. So  we have  Dabur,  we have Patanjali….  You see, nobody could think, Colgate could be challenged, but Himalaya came, Red  from Dabur came;  came Patanjali’s  products… products have to be good… Take Hindustan Lever… in food segment, they have challenges from ITC, even tea n all,  Tata  has taken heat  off  HUL’s  Brookebond n Lipton.  See, in Cement,  where’s  ACC today n where’s  Ambuja??  Some handful of  highly paid officers in Geneva run the world cement business  of Holcim. But then, what with Lafarge?  They could not grow n are now  thinking of  selling plants they bought from Tata  to JSW. You are  right when we see  how tough Posco has been trying to  enter ….but still  Steel  of India  is  with Indian giants…. And in Cement, there are so many  players from soil….

We need  to define  how to brand  the likes of Vedanta &  Chhabrias, how to brand Arcelor Mittals…  are  they  global  or are they Indian??  You are right,  globalization is a ploy by MNCs  to enter our huge markets…  and this succeeded in Africa  , even Mid east  &  even Latin America.  But in India, there  has been Parle n so many small  biscuit players, there  has been  Amul to beat Nestle/ FSL. Maggi  suffered set back.   Unchecked  entry in the name of technology must not be there. And what is the big fuss on technology??  U see, in cement, Ultratech is bought by Aditya Birla…  and   FIIs  are  just dragging our sensex down  by pulling off their moneys  when we badly  need them.  They  do not  listen to Obama,  Obama has to listen to them… where  are they  when we need  lacs of crores in rlys?  Where  are they  in roads? 

Actually,  the enormous  windfalls that   MNCs  have earned  in poor countries  since  they entered these at dawns of their liberations, have dropped  as  stiff competition has grown at home  thrashing inflation down. Nirma  n then a no of local brands emerged  in soap, shampoo, detergents.  And that  is  too crucial  for any 3rd world nation. You have to grow ur own brand, &  what Amazons, Maggis , Cadburys  create, u can  grow over , emulate n  excel and as  a poorly tested  Maggi gets a ban order, Patanjali n other atta noodles  thrive.  This is like  an MNC drug giant  brings in a  drug &  1000s of small Indian drug cos  bring in cheaper versions by copying formulae n u get 100 genetic  drug versions in mkt. Viagra is  too costly but Penegra , Edegra  are too  cheaper with nearly same effects.

It is  not that  all  MNCs  have  lost the previous  monopolistic positions, but  now  there are oligopolies n competitions gradually.  In fact, the loot as  in no- globalization era by MNCs  was more in unholy connivance  n alliance with ruling political powers. Even  PSUs  take MNCs as  looting partners in so many  economies. HEC  of USSR  looted  India for  long.

SONGSOPTOK:  Many economists claim that globalization is a major factor for disseminating knowledge and technology across continents and borders within a very short time. Do you support this view? Has your country benefited from this? Can you give us some examples?

ANINDA:  Knowledge can spread  2 way—on job & off job, ie  thru technologu transfer  by a R&D  rich nation , by its MNC, to its  Indian tech partner / tech buyer / process partner.  But question remains  as to, to what extent are the technologies trfd?  Coca cola n Pepsi  drove out Parle n others long back, long before globalization truly took off in India. Did India get d tech know how?  Certainly not.  Till now  we are unable to mfg fighter jets, not even reasonably good aircrafts.  Let’s  celebrate our rocket scientists , Agni-Prithvi n  others of that sort; let’s celebrate Mangalayan, but 2 astronauts of India  had no opportunity of putting into action any of their learning.   So, Globalization has hardly much to do with a nation’s high technology. Coming to education, unless govt  appropriates  huge sums , as did USSR,   it cannot succeed  in science, forget space science.  See, how much was the allocation of USSR &  China in sports science?   Unless  u allocate that sum, what happens is , ur IITians , on whom u have spent millions , are drained off by US n EU. Globalization or not, a country  can buy tech from another. How many  projects in industry / academics are  running  on foreign technologies?  How much of cloth brands that we wear  in India  are  built on tech  purchased  vis a vis just brand purchase?   But, yaa, in fields  like mobile & electronics & automobiles , we have home grown quite a lot  in last 2-3 decades.   Now , come to the case of building India.  Since 2nd 5 year plan till now, whatever  plant has been set up  in India in steel & Cement, and  after  the decay of Howrah, the Glasgow  of East, whatever foundry n  engg  industry  have home  grown , whatever  refractory bricks n castables  we use, whatever  special  ferro alloys  we use ,  our cement mill, our  raw mill, our coke ovens , our converters &  ladles, our raw mills  & coal mills  are mostly  imported  . Mostly the  ancillary  items are  mfd in India after  main capital equipments are imported still.  So, even  after so many years  of Globalization, many of our mining &  core plant equipments are imported & scenario  has not much  changed  since 1991, the Dr  Manmohan Singh era.

SONGSOPTOK:  Do you think that globalization actually breeds a homogenous culture? What, if any, has been the effect of globalization in the cultural sphere of your country? In your opinion, has it been positive or negative?

ANINDA:   Homogenous / diversified  culture  engulfed India long before this so-called globalization.  Mao  did a  cultural revolution, India did not.  But  our dramas / plays adopted  Gorky, Brecht, Sophocles, Shakespeare ,Ibsen long back.  Long  back  translation of foreign language novels n poetry n music  overwhelmed us. Was that colonialism? Was  that Renaissance?  Whatever it was, it  got ingrained in our art , our  sculptures, Tagore’s  thought process, Vivekananda’s  humanism , MN Roy’s  Radical Humanism , Aurobindo’s involution all came  to us long before so called globalization. Then, should we  call  colonialism a globalization  initiative?  CPI  was affiliated  to CPSU &  CPI(M) started drifting towards  CP China .  And CPI(ML)  clearly  got attracted to Mao n Che. Cultural renaissance of  Bengal cannot  be thought of excluding  the IPTA movement  &  the people’s choirs  that came in under the socialist n communist influences. And, being an open democratic nation , India could well  participate in Bangladesh freedom struggle n cultural  initiatives related thereto ; it  could equally participate in Paul Robson & Pete Segar  , Gunter Grass n Roma Rolland , Gogol &  Pushkin, Dostovosky n Tolstoy, Mikhail Sholokov n Russel n Nitjhe n Simone de Beauvoir , Jean-Paul Sartre n  Pushkin, Boris Pasternak n Godard, Gune n Picasso, Van Gogh n O Henry, Somerset Maugham n Charles  Dickens, Leonardo D Vinci n Victor Hugo ,all those English poets like Keats, Tennyson, Frost…. English made  it easier for India  to breed Tagore, CV Raman. India  could  come close  to Khalil Zibran; India could breed  Mulk Raj Anand.  So, whether it is  the band culture,  or  3rd theatre or 3rd film movement  ( art  films as opposed to  commercial films) are not really  accredit able  to any globalization efforts.  Unlike  in USSR, in India  Cine societies n international film fests  have a history  and  although no fully Indian film has won an Oscar, it has been common for  our  films  to get  Golden Beer, Golden peacock etc. Our  novelists  won Magsaysay , our films  were regular to win accolades at Cannes & Berlin. Our Ray, our Sen, our Ghatak, our Ketan, our Govind, our Benegal  all  enriched Indian cinema  long before  so called globalization, as did  theatre  personalities Sambhu Mitra, Sriram Lagu, Vijay Tendulkar, Ajitesh…So globalization  has not impacted cultural fusion badly / well.

SONGSOPTOK:  What, in your opinion, is the impact of globalization on environment? Do you think that the capitalistic growth model used by the large multinationals have a negative effect on the environment? In what way?

ANINDA:  Environment  can improve  with nuclear power  or solar n tidal power  as base of  economy.  Or even Hydel n Wind power. In fact, Nuclear power has its inherent dangers.  None of these  need any special technology , except  for  that  with gradual decline  in operating costs, solar  firms overseas are  able to  compete  with thermal, which  was not  imaginable hitherto. To that  extent, 3rd world needs  technology from developed  world,--to tap  all  renewable energies at  cheaper costs.   Coming to impact  on environment, already we have cited  about Kyoto protocol  & India’s  objection. A country wanting to grow has to burn more carbon footprint than its developed counterpart. Well, one can contend that  Union Carbide  was d  worst case  of  environmental disaster by an MNC. But these  are exceptions. Our Ganga is polluted, Jamuna is polluted, Delhi is one of d worst polluted cities of d world. Beijing is d most polluted  city of d world. How many of  such polluting industries  are  from MNCs?? In Cement, steel , power, most of  pollution control equipments  are from MNCs. Membrane tech of  chemical plants is  such a  value addition to replace  pollutive mercury.  Today  ETP-DMRO  of water recycling does not any more need  much of MNC support.  Per se,  industrialization n green tech do not go together, but  to say that  MNCs are responsible for  negative impact on environment  is an exaggeration. Any  industry  destroys forests n ecology. Vedanta’s Niamgiri project is stalled &  Vedanta  is an Indian giant.  Howrah foundries, Mumbai textiles, Delhi SSIs  all  are  equally  responsible for  environmental deterioration & Ozone depletion  as  the MNCs

SONGSOPTOK:  Is it possible to imagine a world today with an alternative mode of production and consumption? Is it at all necessary? If so, will you share your ideas with us? How can we, as ordinary citizens, contribute to such a model?

ANINDA:  If  we can restrain ourselves from rat race, Gandhian model  is an ideal one.  Whatever  economic model  may be tried out by govts incl NDA Govt of India , whatever capitalist-rightist laissez faire approach may come from Arvind Subramanyan & Pangharia, Senonomics  is the  model to stay n prosper. As Angus Deaton also contended, HDI  has to go up. So, for me, production , consumption n wealth creation need  to center around equity  n greens  of environment friendly n non polluting industries.   130 crores’ nation needs employment, which cannot  come from MNC s’  gigantic plants. We  need  SSIs & MSMEs. And handicrafts & tourism.  Power n wealth to people shall  be able to enhance their purchasing power n shall drive economic growth.  Deficit financed budget Should make way for welfare  schemes to generate employment.


We sincerely thank you for your time and hope we shall have your continued support.
Aparajita Sen

(Editor: Songsoptok)


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