What is globalization? Who is it for? What is it going to do to a
country like India, in which social inequality has been institutionalized
in the caste system for centuries? A country in which 700 million people
live in rural areas. In which 80 percent of the landholdings are small farms.
In which 300 million people are illiterate. Is the corporatization and
globalization of agriculture, water supply, electricity and essential
commodities going to pull India out of the stagnant morass of poverty,
illiteracy and religious bigotry? Is the dismantling and auctioning off
of elaborate public sector infrastructure, developed with public money
over the past fifty years, really the way forward? Is globalization going
to close the gap between the privileged and the underprivileged, between
the upper castes and the lower castes, between the educated and the
illiterate? Or is it going to give those who already have a centuries-old
head start a friendly helping hand?
Is globalization about "eradication of world poverty," or is it a mutant
variety of colonialism, remote-controlled and digitally operated? These
are huge, contentious questions.
(from "The Ladies Have Feelings, So... Shall We Leave it to the Experts?")