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Gurcharan Das's Ideological Position To Map India On The Millennial Conjuncture A Study Of India Unbound: From Independence To The Global Informat

1740 words - 7 pages

Das rejects the idea of nationalism, particularly as represented by the BJP. Then he denounces the idea of Swadeshi. He enlists ten reasons to reject it: it reflects inferiority complex; it seeks to protect the interests of a few thousand industrialists at the expense of millions of Indians; it does not further the interests of our companies either; India needs $ 200 billion to build up its infrastructure; the protectionist is wrong in believing that India can open its doors to foreigners in infrastructure and close them to consumer products; there is nothing new about swadeshi as it has been practiced since independence and it has only delivered shoddy, high priced goods and weak, uncompetitive companies; every country has its swadeshi movement, but smart governments ignore their swadeshi lobbies; it leads to license raj; it presumes that someone should tell me what is good for me; and in the last, "swadeshi is irrelevant [. . .] in a country where a third of the people live in poverty and half are illiterate" (304-05). He further counters those who argue that Indian civilization faces a threat from the globalized culture, stating that it is “so diverse and plural, and has been shaped by so many influences - Dravidian, Aryan, Hindu, Greek, Buddhist, Scythian, Islamic, European that it should be able to withstand the influence of globalized culture” (306). He thus assails one by one the components of the ideology of cultural nationalism and openly advocates an idea of India based on free markets.
In the next chapter “Democracy First, Capitalism Afterwards” (310-24), Das defines the nation and observes that “[a] successful nation has three attributes: politically, it is free and democratic; economically, it is prosperous and equitable; and socially, it is peaceful and cohesive” (324). The Indian nation enters in twenty-first century with all the three attributes, according to him. Here it is notable that his idea of India is very different from the idea based on the traditional concept of nationalism. His India is neither a mythical sparrow of gold, nor a mystical identity rather he views India in its economic growth in the era of globalization.
In the chapter “Knowledge is Wealth” (325-44), Das advocates knowledge economy for the construction of a better nation. He argues that technological revolution “offers the opportunity for bridging the gap between the have and have-nots” (325). He celebrates India’s success in information technology. He argues that India is doing better in knowledge economy than in industrial revolution and this has changed the face of India. He adds that Indian pop singing and writing in English are becoming internationally popular due to the globalization. He hopes that “[a]fter e-commerce and business, the next revolution may be e-government” (342). Then he adds on a personal note that he has two sons and both of them had gone abroad in their twenties due to lack of opportunities in India; but today the scene has been...

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