Globalization and its effects on Indian society

What is globalization?

The term globalization generally refers to business or trade practices followed by individuals and companies, in which their operations and human resources perform on the international or global level. Many businesses expand globally and an international image is assumed by them.

Brief history of globalization

People have been trading goods since civilizations came into existence. In the 1st century B.C., the goods were transported from China to Europe through Silk Route. This was the first time ever when goods were sold across continents.

After that, during the 9th century A.D., muslim traders had a dominance on the international trade. The true global trade started in the Age of Discovery in the 15th century. Global trade reached America from Europe because of the European merchants. In 19th century, Great Britain dominated the international trade.

Globalization attained its true form in the 20th and 21st century. Especially for countries like India, the events like progress of internet, economic liberalisation etc. paved the way for global India. The progress of internet proved to be a great way for countries like India to prosper and tap the full potential of globalization.

Effects of globalization on Indian society

Everything has a positive and a negative side to it and so does globalization. Globalization is a vast and deep concept which has effected all the countries in the world. Effects of globalization on Indian society are as follows –

Cultural effects

1) Language

Positive effects –

  • Many people in India have become bilingual or multilingual as compared to before.
  • English is one of the most spoken languages in the entire world. It has also become a prominent language in India. So it makes it easier for the people of India to communicate on a larger level.

Negative effects –

  • Some languages are no longer spoken.
  • As some languages have become extinct, the art and knowledge expressed in those languages have also been ignored.
  • The importance of many regional languages has decreased over time.

2) Art and Entertainment

Positive effects –

  • Indian markets have been flooded with many foreign musical instruments.
  • Foreign movies have become widely available in India.
  • Many foreigners are learning Indian dance forms like Bharatanatyam while a lot of Indians are learning foreign dance forms like hip-hop, salsa etc.
  • Fusion music combining both western music with Indian traditional music has become very popular today.
  • Indian classical music has been gaining more recognition globally.

Negative effects –

  • The advent of foreign music in India has marginalised the traditional Indian music.
  • Nowadays, people generally listen to pop and western music more as compared to Indian traditional music.
  • Tribal and folk music is getting extinct.

3) Food and dress

Positive effects –

  • Chinese foods, western foods like burgers, pizzas have become quite popular among the masses of India.
  • Fusion of indo western clothing has become a trend now.
  • The distinction between male and female clothing has blurred over time, which makes it better for people who want to experiment with their style.
  • Dressing style of people of India has changed due to globalization. Many varieties of branded foreign clothes are available in India.

Negative effects –

  • The traditional dress and food habits are getting changed which undermines the Indian social values.
  • Due to consumption of fast foods, people are at higher risk of getting serious health conditions like obesity, cardio vascular diseases etc.

Economic effects

Positive effects –

  • Globalization made it possible for the Indian industries to grow especially software industry.
  • It resulted in the inflow of technology, human resources, capital etc. from foreign countries.
  • Markets expanded. Many of the Indian companies are doing great in foreign markets and India has also become a market for foreign companies.
  • Trade with other countries increased tremendously.
  • Due to setting up of foreign companies many employment opportunities have been created. It has helped to solve the problem of disguised employment in agriculture sector to some extent.
  • It led to the free flow of information across the countries.
  • India terrifically gained from the LPG model as there was a significant increase in GDP over years.

Negative effects –

  • The native and small industries of India received a huge blow as they were not able to compete with the foreign companies.
  • The public units are being sold to private sector as a part of privatisation.
  • There has been a rise in price of so many commodities including basic necessities.
  • High growth rate has been observed but the problem of unemployment is still there.
  • The gap between the rich and the poor has widened further.

Political effects

Positive effects –

  • The people have become more aware about their rights especially voting rights.
  • India’s opinions are given due importance in international politics.
  • Globalization led to assistance of financial support from other countries to India.
  • The international obligations creates pressure on domestic political environment.

Negative effects –

  • Organised crime with political support has been increasing.
  • Criminalisation of politics has increased.

Social effects

1) Family and marriage

Positive effects –

  • The extreme control over the children is getting relaxed and the parents also listen to their children.
  • Due to the advent of globalization, many kinds of employment opportunities have come up which led to the changes in the pattern of work done by members of a particular family according to their needs.
  • Parents nowadays consider their children’s wishes and preferences regarding their marriages. Love marriages have increased over time.
  • Caste rigidity and inequalities have reduced when it comes to marriages. Inter – caste and inter – religion have become common now.

Negative effects –

  • More and more people are giving preference to nuclear families and joint families are ceasing to exist.
  • It has been observed that, sometimes both the parents work and they have to leave their children to playschools or with nannies and this results in less family time.
  • The elder people in the family are not given proper decision making power nowadays.

2) Education

Positive effects –

  • Increase in literacy rate.
  • Foreign universities are collaborating with Indian universities.
  • The education system became diversified and the students got to choose from wider range of streams.
  • Better access to quality education.
  • Awareness among rural youth through the extension of internet facilities.

Negative effects –

  • Increased pressure on students to succeed in education so as to compete in this global world.
  • Education has become commercialised.
  • Education is measured in the parameters like grades, number of degrees etc. instead of actual knowledge and practical skills of a person.

3) Society

Positive effects –

  • Hold of taboos on the society is getting loose.
  • Caste based occupations are getting converted into merit based occupations.
  • More people are shifting form unorganized sector to organised sector.

Negative effects –

  • The gap between rural area and urban area has widened further.
  • More and more people are migrating from rural areas to city which has led to increased population in cities.
  • Due to adoption of capital intensive techniques and more use of technology, the demand for manual labour has decreased resulting in unemployment.

Environmental effects

Positive effects –

  • People have become more aware and concerned about the environmental issues.
  • Financial and technical support received from international organizations to combat the environmental issues.

Negative effects –

  • Excessive industrialization has led to extreme emissions of green house gases which resulted in global warming.
  • Depletion of ozone layer because of the substances like chloro fluoro carbons (CFCs).
  • Excessive mining caused displacement of people and deforestation.

In a nutshell, globalization had both desirable and undesirable effects on India and the entire world. Even though it has accelerated the process of growth in many countries, its negative impacts can not be ignored.

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