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Newsgroups: alt.hindu
Path: kumar
From: kumar@caddac1.uwaterloo.ca (M. Jagadesh Kumar)
Subject: Swadeshi: Call for a National Debate (part 4/5)
Message-ID: <CnsDHC.vr@watserv1.uwaterloo.ca>
Sender: news@watserv1.uwaterloo.ca
Organization: University of Waterloo
Date: Tue, 5 Apr 1994 12:32:00 GMT

>From  "The Illustrated Weekly of India" dated March 28, 1992

        Swadeshi: Call for a National Debate (part 4/5)
                   By Shri. S. Gurumurthy

    Now look at the Indian consumer habits - particularly of the middle
class. They save over 23 - per cent of their income even though they
spend 70 per cent of it on food and housing. In contrast, the Americans
who spend only seven per cent on food, save nothing. In fact they live
on their next year's income, courtesy credit cards. The western
economy is powered by consumption and more consumption on
expenditure and credit cards. The Indian consumer mind is the very
reverse of it. It is structured on austerity and, consequently, the
swadeshi economy is powered by savings. The first victim of
westernisation of India would be the austerity and savings of the Indian
consumer. Consumerism will enslave the Indian middle class to credit
cards and erode their values. Remember, the communists in Russia
and elsewhere lost out not to capitalism but to consumerism.

    Now most of the economists who once were part of the socialist
chorus, say again in one voice that there is no alternative to modern
large industry. But the facts point to the reverse. There seems to be
no near allternative to the traditional economy. The issue does not
seem to be an alternative to the western approach - it is really the
search for a western alternative to the traditional economy of
India. The western alternative we sought after 1950 appears to have
failed. What we considered a burden, a deadweight and a sign of
backwardness is still the backbone of the country. This is despite the
four decades of ceaseless attempts to scuttle the traditional economy
and promote the western. Any rational debate will lead to this answer.

    The swadeshi economy exists. That alone carries the country. But
it is a spiritless sector, suffering from a built-in inferiority complex. That
is the result of the propaganda the socialists, communists and the
capitalists so systematically engaged in to characterise rural India as
a sign of backwardness. Unless the spirit of swadeshi is revived, the
traditional Indian economy will exist without being heard and finally
recede into oblivion over a period. But the present developments in
India positively call for the revival of swadeshi.

    So far, legislation compelled the people to remain swadeshi in
consumer habits. The state had built up tariff walls and banned foreign
goods from flowing into freely. Now the Indian State may, by choice or
compulsion, integrate India with the global economy, which really
means the West. The prospect of globalisation compels the revival of
the swadeshi spirit. Swadeshi is not just an Indian concept. Japan
always practised Swadeshi and does so even today. The Japanese
mind has been trained for a century to abstain from foreign goods
although the goods were available alongside the Japanese goods in
the market. The Japanese consumer will not buy American rice
although their own rice costs three times more. Informal dialogues and
instructions by the government regulate the Japanese business mind
without the need for law to discipline the business. This is what has
made Japan a large net exporter to the world. The impregnability of
Japanese mindset alone has made the Japanese market impregnable.

						[To be concluded]

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