PANEL 12: Globalisation: its impact and ramifications
Prof. G.K. Lieten - Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Prof. Ravi Srivastava - Centre for Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Prof. Radhika Desai - Department of Political Science, University of Victoria , Canada
Much of the economy, the culture, the social movements and the political discourse in South Asia up to the late 1980s could still basically be seen in terms of tradition, albeit with change but definitely with a strong local paradigm, embedded in indigenousness. Recently, however, the various ingredients that constitute globalisation (opening of markets and the imposition of neo-liberal policies, electronic media exposure, the acceptance of one mainstream international human rights standard, long distance political networks, etc.) have brought South Asia much closer to the world outside and the world outside closer to South Asia.
Such interaction is not new. During colonialism and during post-colonial modernisation similar forces were at work. What is new under the regime of ‘globalisation', exception for a multiplication and a widening of the contacts?
The multiple exposures within a short period of time have evidently impacted the economic, social and cognitive aspects of life in many areas and evidently have had various ramifications in vast areas of the rest of the subcontinent which have not been in direct interaction with and exposure to the more visible aspects of globalisation.
The panel intends to bring these various overt and covert changes which can be related to globalisation together. Topics could include aspects in the field of:
- growth and structural changes in the economy, and the impact on the living and labour conditions,
- the changing discourse of politics and political movements,
- changing lifestyles, polarisation and poverty.
Ravi Srivastava, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Globalisation's Show Case? South Asian Development Experience in the Recent Period
South Asia, with all its burden of deprivation, appears to be achieving a fairly remarkable economic transformation in the last few decades. The recent phase of this transformation has coincided with the opening up of the South Asian economies and acceleration in the speed of globalization. Countries in South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and the smaller economies of Maldives and Bhutan) liberalized and opened up to the rest of the world at different points of time. It is in this context that proponents of the current pattern of globalization credit it with this transformation, while the lack of even greater change is considered to be due to insufficient globalization. What I propose to do is to briefly review South Asian performance, giving special emphasis to India, the largest and apparently the most dynamic economy in this period, to show the obverse of what is claimed in this view. In other words, I propose to argue that what has been achieved is not simply a result of globalization, and that, on the other hand, many of the current deprivations are indeed integrally linked to the way in which globalization is currently being implemented globally, and in India.
Ratan Khasnabis, Department of Business Management, University of Calcutta, Calcutta, India
Unemployment and Poverty in India
The recent quinquennial surveys of the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) on employment and unemployment in India and the data on intercensus growth of workforce in India indicate that in the recent years the employment scenario has worsened in this country. The NSSO- survey based poverty estimates, however, indicate that there has been a drastic reduction in poverty in India in late 1990s. How could this apparent inconsistency between declining livelihood opportunities and the reduction in poverty be reconciled? In this paper we propose to discuss this theme.
This paper has two sections. In Section I, we discuss the unemployment scenario in India on the basis of the official data. Here we argue that during first fifteen years of liberalization, there has been an overall decline in the employment opportunities in this country. The intensity of joblessness would have been higher but for the fact that some improvement in the employment scenario has been observed in the informal sector of the economy. The organized sector employment has an overall declining tendency and the composition of workforce has tilted more in favour of marginal workers. Some new jobs are coming up in the informal sector. However, even then the overall unemployment rate has increased in India during this period, as the Nsso data indicate.
In Section II, we analyse the NSSO data on consumption expenditure (Round 55 along with Round 50) and observe that the official claim that the poverty in India has declined significantly is based on the shifting calorie norm, a methodology that has been criticized by many. We observe that the recent decline in head count ratio of population below the poverty line, as found in the official estimate, is possibly due to this methodological limitation in the poverty measurement in India.
In the concluding part of this paper, we sum up the discussion and conclude that the apparent inconsistency in trend in employment and trend in poverty in India can be resolved if we reconsider the official measure of poverty, and re-read the NSSO data on per capita consumption expenditure to find the poverty estimator directly by identifying the expenditure classes that fail to achieve a suitable energy norm with respect to the current consumption baskets of the NSSO expenditure classes. The paper suggests a method by which this can be estimated from the NSSO data.
Jorgen Dige Pedersen, Department of Political Science, University of Aarhus
The Second Wave of Indian Investments Abroad
Some twenty years ago, in the early 1980s, a debate arose over the growth of South-South relations, their driving forces and their potential impact on the developmental prospects of the involved countries. Central in this debate stood the debate over a relatively new phenomenon, the growth in Indian investments abroad, or as some saw it, the rise of ‘Indian Multinationals' as well as firms investing abroad from other developing countries. The economic crisis in many developing countries - especially those located in Africa and Latin America, but also including a relative decline in the wealth accumulation in the oil rich countries of the Middle East - resulted in a sudden decline in South-South economic interaction. The intellectual debate also faded subsequently.
The rise of India and China, as also the earlier spectacular growth experience of the East Asian NIC's, in particular South Korea, has recently brought new attention to the fact that companies from these and other industrially advanced developing countries have expanded their international operations and now constitute an often neglected aspect of the overall phenomenon of economic globalization. In this paper I portray the recent expansion abroad of Indian companies (‘the second wave') and contrast it with the earlier ‘first wave'.
The purpose of this is twofold. One, it is of some theoretical interest to investigate the motivation/driving forces behind the two processes of international expansion, separated in time, but clearly having elements of continuity. Two, I find it of interest both theoretically and policy-wise to discuss the developmental potentials inherent in this process for recipient developing countries. The theoretical aspect most in focus in the discussion of the first wave of Indian investments abroad lay on its South-South aspect. Many saw the rise of South-South relations in general as a process that potentially could lead to a decline in the economic dependence on the North of the involved countries. In addition, it was hoped that South-South relations could have new and hopefully more ‘development-friendly' impacts, different from traditional TNC activities, on recipient countries. In contrast, the current wave of investments abroad enters a different intellectual debate. Now the rising Indian investments abroad are being discussed more as indications of India's participation in the process of globalization, of its potential economic ‘grandeur' and of Indian companies as the latest member in the world of international business corporations.
The largest number of Indian investment projects abroad is still going to developing countries in Asia and in Africa, however, and most of them take the form of green-field investment projects. It remains a relevant question for investigation whether these investment projects represent alternatives - and better alternatives - to investments from traditional transnational corporations. The paper will try to discuss this on the basis of the still very fragmented and limited empirical evidence available.
Indu Kalamani, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, India
Understanding ‘Crises' in a Traditional industry: The Case of Coir in Kerala
The focus of the paper is on the consequences of following an open market regime in the coir industry which was highly regulated till the recent past. The paper attempts to document and outline the norms for pricing that existed before the initiation of the open market reform in the industry and attempts to understand how the dismantling of this norm was contingent upon the reorganization of the value chain to lower costs, given an uncertain price for coir products in the market. Changes in pricing norms have also impacted upon work organization in the industry, leading to new forms of contract and casual work transforming workers into a reserve pool of flexible labour.
Anna Nikolaeva, Jawaharlal Nehru University/Freiburg University Delhi, India/ Freiburg, Germany
Views of Globalisation: Debates on the Transformation of Indian Nationhood in
Indian Print Media
The focus of this paper is on the perceptions expressed by the debaters, prominent academics and journalists, and particularly the rhetoric they resort to in discussing the colonial legacy, ideas of nationhood in India, neo liberalism, and globalisation. By analysing their contributions as well as relevant scholarly publications it is possible to shed more light on the complex ways in which political discourse in India is being refashioned.
One issue that emerges here as well is the perspectives of globalisation that are dominant in this debate. My argument is that an interpretation that would consider current developments with the view to the longer history of globalisation, particularly of Oriental globalisation that appears to be taking a new twist today, may change the meaning of such debates substantially. In doing so some guiding questions may be of help: 1) Is there an established trend among academics, in Indian polity and society at large to reassess colonial legacy for modern India? Where does is come from and what are the motivations for its perpetuation?
2) What is the influence of the processes of globalisation, as understood in the debate, in the possible reorientation of the understanding of Indian nationhood by certain classes? 3) In what way do particular perceptions of globalisation relate to the problems of cultural chasm created within the Indian polity by colonialism? Do they help in bridging or exacerbating it?
Arvind Chaturvedi, International Management Institute, New Delhi, India
Impact of Foreign Electronic Media on Culture and Value Systems
India opened its sky for foreign satellite based TV channels in early nineties and since then dozens of foreign TV channels and their indianized versions have dominated the TV viewership. These foreign channels , which intially had to work under severe stringent guidelines , have slowly and steadily taken the advantage of liberal government policy on censorship. As a result the traditional value system seems to be affected. This paper presents the results of a sample survey conducted among a representative sample older generation viewers( 50 years+) in Delhi and its neighbourhood, which suggest a cultural onslaught by the foreign TV channels. The questionnaire based survey covers a large gamut of social and cultural values, which are at the receiving end as a direct result of Open-Sky policies.
Hari R. Lohano, University of Bath, UK / Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC), Karachi, Pakistan
Poverty and Inequality in Rural Pakistan: Evidence from a Longitudinal Survey
The proposed paper mainly investigates the dynamics of rural poverty and inequality over the period 1988 to 2005. The 1988 was the year for the first major Structural Adjustment Lending (SAL) with the World Bank and IMF. Afterwards, Pakistan has followed various economic reforms and changes in its economic policies. Thus this analysis facilitated the debate regarding the impact of SAL and other economic policies on household welfare and poverty. This is done by analysing the changes in poverty and inequality based on resurvey of a longitudinal survey.
The proposed paper is mainly based on a resurvey of longitudinal households in rural Pakistan. The original survey was conduced by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) between July 1986 and October 1991 with the collaboration of four local institutions in the country. Each household in the survey was visited up to 14 times. Data collection took place in four provinces of the country. Within each Province one poorest district was selected purposively, but the villages and households were selected randomly from a stratified random sample. The proposed paper draws material mainly from a re-survey of IFPRI sample in one district, Badin (Sindh). This re-survey was conducted in 2005. Sample size for this re-survey was 239 households i.e. one third of whole sample of IFPRI study.
The key finding of the paper are, first, rural poverty and inequality among the same households has increased significantly between 1988 and 2005. Secondly, terms of trade for agriculture have worsened over the period. Thirdly, real wages for rural sector has declined during this period. Finally, there is a deterioration of social and economic services at village level over the period. The main policy implications of the findings is that there is need to invest more in social and physical infrastructure of rural areas of the country; and remove biases in economic policies to reduce poverty and inequality in rural areas of the country. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Alakh Narain Sharma, Institute for Human Development, New Delhi, India
Globalisation, Work and Livelihood
Globalisation has led to some disquieting trends and consequences in the labour markets. It has generally excluded than included the already disadvantaged countries, areas (rural, inaccessible, less developed), workers (with insecure work and earnings), social groups (tribals and aboriginal communities) and women (in general, and particularly, from the lower socio-economic strata of society). Thus, the hope that globalisation would benefit the poorer, labour surplus countries and areas has not materialised in case of several countries and regions of the world.
India, which initiated economic reforms consisting of structural adjustment programme, liberalisation and globalisation of the economy in 1991, is among those countries, which adjusted relatively quickly to the adjustment process. After the initial 2-3 years of low growth rate of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the growth rate appreciably increased and overall the growth rate during 1990s has been about 6.5 per cent. Today it is one of the fastest growing economies of the world with a growth rate of above 7 per cent. As a whole, evidence on the impact of economic liberalisation and globalisation in India points out that Indian experience has been a mixed one. Often apprehensions have been expressed over the adverse effects of liberalisation and globalisation on livelihoods, employment and human development in India also. There are a large number of vulnerable groups in the country which, it is feared, may have to bear the costs of globalisation unless policies and programmes are put in place to prevent deterioration in their socio-economic conditions in the short run, and improve their capabilities to effectively participate in and benefit from globalisation in the long run.
The paper attempts an elaboration of the impact of globalisation on these different groups. It provides an account of the existing arrangements by the state which may help in minimising the adverse impacts of globalisation on the vulnerable and disadvantaged groups and discusses the policy response of the government with regard to exclusionary trends in the wake of globalisation. It also examines the adequacy of these arrangements and provides broad contours of the broad contours of a policy strategy which can promote an inclusive development in the country.
Jens Lerche, ,SOAS, London, United Kingdom
The Mainstreaming of the Dalit Question: From Bahujan Revolution to
Internationalised Affirmative Action
The dalit revolution in North India in the early 1990s radicalised the SC/ST fight against social oppression. It also forced the dalit issue onto the agenda of political parties, movements and government institutions. Ten years on, the demand for reservations in the private sector has become a main focus of the struggle for social emancipation of the SCs/STs. At the same time, caste discrimination and the struggle against it have acquired a strong international dimension. The Indian caste based reservation policies have become part of the international academic debate regarding affirmative action; the UNHCR has included caste; in its' work to eliminate discrimination based on work and descent; and the World Bank has acknowledged reservations as one means to ameliorate social exclusion. As neo-liberal organisations are including affirmative action in their armour, the struggle for emancipation and empowerment by the lowest castes in India is becoming normalised. This paper aims to trace this development in India and internationally, investigates aspects of the interaction between the Indian and the international agenda, and assesses the impact of this on further dalit emancipation in India.
G. Santosh Kumar, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Globalisation and its Impact on Dalits: Protective Discrimination in Karnataka
‘Globalisation', a term that describes a variety of changing economic, political, cultural, ideological and environmental processes, that are alleged to have accelerated and intensified in the last decades. The doctrinal basis of today's Globalisation is provided by ‘neoliberalism' that represents revival of economic liberalism, which advocates minimizing State intervention in economic matters. It is only the public sector, which provides some share to Dalits in the organised sector through protective discrimination. The withdrawal of social protection has adverse consequence for the Dalits.
The proposed paper seeks to analyse the impact of Globalisation on Protective Discrimination propounded by the State for Dalits. The reservation policy has provided them a basic opportunity to enter the modern sectors of economy. But now with the retreat of the State, the guarantee of employment opportunities in Government as was available in pre-globalisation period of Karnataka, no longer exists. This paper seeks to analyse the impact of policies of Reservation regime on Dalits in Karnataka in the post-independent period in terms of education, employment opportunities and other welfare programmes, which were not implemented properly. Privatisation in Karnataka, which is the pivotal component of the Economic Reforms, will eliminate the very basis of the reservation policy in its present form. As the public sector shrinks due to privatization, the reservations model is affected and able to assist fewer people, inasmuch as government related jobs are being drastically reduced.
Mario Rutten, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Middle Class Interests and Labour Relations in India and Indonesia; Some Notes on East-West Parallels
The globalization process of the previous decades gives the impression of the creation of a "global village" that includes the whole world. From the perspective of the Asian middle class, globalisation is indeed more inclusive in character. Members of the middle class have developed an increasing global outlook, partly based on transnational linkages, in which they strongly feel that their future is not related to, nor dependent on the future prospects of the majority of the population in their own country. In their view, their future is closely connected to the interests of the middle classes in other parts of the world. Moreover, they show an increasing indifference to the plight of the poor in their own society. This lack of social commitment illustrates a widening social distance between the elite and the majority of the population.
Although globalisation is more inclusive when one looks at the middle classes in Asia, it is at the same time more exclusive in nature when one looks at the lower classes in society. Globalisation has created a situation where it has become more the rule than the exception that production is separated from the markets, and labour from capital. Globalisation has been accompanied by a strong emphasis on liberalisation of capital. However, it has also accompanied by an equally strong emphasis on further restrictions in the movement of labour and on flexibility in the labour relations, resulting in increasing insecurity for the lower classes in society.
In this paper, I will discuss these issues with reference to empirical findings on middleclass families of businessmen in rural Gujarat, India, and their relatives in London, and compare them with developments in Indonesia, based on research conducted among small-scale industrialists and workers in the countryside of central Java. In the final section of the paper, I will briefly draw a parallel between these findings on Asia and recent developments in Europe. From early on, it was assumed that the study of Europe would provide insights into future developments in Asia, while the study of Asia would give us, at the most, insights into Europe's past. While these earlier studies therefore emphasised how Asia could learn from Europe's past, including from its mistakes, the aim of this concluding section of the paper is to indicate how and to what extent the study of contemporary developments on the middle class behaviour and labour relations in Asia might provide us with insights into Europe's future.
Kathinka Frøystad, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
The Indian New Age Movement: A Case of U-Turn Globalization?
One outcome of the increased movement of people, information, symbols, discourses and values across national borders is the development of back-and-forth movement. Some of these movements are so subtle and occur over so small time units that they best are analysed in terms of mutual influence; others display such a marked change in the direction of influence that they probably can be seen as instances of U-turn globalization. This paper will examine transnational influences in the Indian New Age movement in order to discuss the usefulness of the term U-turn globalization. Based on anthropological fieldwork in various New Age settings in New Delhi and Haridwar in 2003-2004, its empirical starting point concerns ‘foreign' influences on Indian spiritual practices. For instance, several contemporary Indian gurus market themselves by pointing to their many Western followers; middle-class Indians working in the West become acquainted with Western offshoots of Hindu movements in the country of migration and maintain their practice when returning to India; ‘triangles' and other Western forms of meditation enter India through the Internet; while Californian Swamis settle in India to teach Indians how to meditate. To what extent do such examples represent instances of U-turn globalization? Is it feasible to identify U-turn movements in single instances such as these, or does this concept require a higher level of generalization and historization? By comparing my ethnographic observations with other cases of back-and-forth movements - such as the introduction of Western interpretations of Fengshui to China - I aim to explore the concept of U-turn globalization and its applicability to the case of New Age in India.
Doris Jakobsh , University of Waterloo, Ontario, USA
Representation, Mobilization and Globalization: Sikhs and Women's Seva on the WWW
This paper focuses on a recent controversy at the Harimandir Sahib, commonly known as the Golden Temple the holiest shrine of the Sikhs, in Amritsar India. Two British women, both amritdhari (initiated) Khalsa Sikhs were refused the right to participate in the Sukhasan procession, a nightly ritual whereby the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of the Sikhs, is formally uninstalled from its elevated public platform and carried to its nightly resting place. The incident prompted a media uproar, particularly in India; it also became a hotly debated issue on the WWW, especially in the Sikh Diaspora. The women at the centre of the controversy were ‘Western' Sikhs of Punjabi origin and the incident prompted a widespread petition process within the Diaspora. Western converts to Sikhism, especially in the USA also raised their voices in support of the women denied ‘seva' (service) at the Golden Temple. This paper will address the issue of how Sikhs, particularly in the West, mobilized and also represented Sikhs and Sikhism at large in the context of the 'Women and Seva Issue' at the Harmandir Sahib.