EFFECTS OF GLOBALIZATION ON PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT IN A RAPIDLY INDUSTRIALIZING COUNTRY: INDIA

EFFECTS OF GLOBALIZATION ON PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT IN A RAPIDLY INDUSTRIALIZING COUNTRY: INDIA

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Globalization is a term that has gained immense popularity over the past years. As a social science discipline, the globalization process has fascinated the entire society with its key functions being classified into economic, social, cultural, and political perspectives. In India, globalization has had a huge impact on people and the environment, taking into consideration that the country is rapidly industrializing and has a huge rate of population growth. The economic, cultural and political differences between Indian provinces have become more emphasized since 1990 after the country initiated neo-liberal transformation.[1] Growing inequalities as well as the uneven development process has been concealed by high economic growth rates. This document critically analyses how globalization has affected people and the environment in India.

The impact of Digital Technology

With India being one of the most industrializing nations in the world, globalization has had a huge impact on its people and the environment. India is popularly known as a leading innovator in digital technology where young people have continuously researched and analysed this phenomenon. Modern technology has also revolutionized the way people use the social media to communicate with each other, irrespective of time or distance. For instance, Pew Research Centre continues to analyse the impact of Facebook as a communication media among the young people.[2] The “without borders” approach indicates that the new technology is increasingly being adopted across the world. In addition, it is producing a generation of young individuals regarded as “digital natives’ who are aged between 13 and 30 years. Globalization has enabled these to people share a common communication culture with their peers across continents. This “macro culture” has a potential that is yet to be completely acknowledged and appreciated.

Globalization has for years motivated several cultural theorists to develop complex constructions pertaining to the impact of popular culture and its impact on consumers. Theoretical propositions have shown that consumers and users of the modern technologies are not simply passive.[3] Countries such as India, Japan and China have adopted these cultures and subcultures through globalization and technology as a means of political transformation. Young people are increasingly participating in political engagement in other developing and developed countries. In 1981, a cultural theorist known as Stuart Hall said that the relation between the people and cultural industries was not purely passive, and that the cultural field was a region of ideological struggle.

Globalization has made the modern society to be technologically and politically connected together in the current digital world. India is an advancing economy whose people have rapidly adopted the modern technology and influenced other nations to follow suit, mainly as a result of globalization. For instance, celebrities such as a Canadian actress who featured in The Vampire Diaries have more than 290,000 followers on a Chinese Twitter-like service known as Weibo.[4] Users of new technologies and the social media in particular seem to be controlling the mode and content of consumption, whether it is legal or illegal. Whether the new technologies have an influence on making political transformations in countries such as Indian, remain to be seen, as it continues to inform and kindle a new interest among the digital-native generation.

Computer Revolution and Societal Changes

Over the years, globalization has been regarded as an issue that is very specific. However, the notion of a closely interconnected world that is linked together through appreciation of different cultures, and solving injustices in previously inaccessible parts of the world, has signified the importance of globalization.[5]Whereas the IT revolution could be behind this interconnectedness, people still have to remain vigilant since not all nations allow freedom of speech. Countries such as India have their share of control and monitoring of different forms of communication. The interconnected and virtual technology may fail to be a liberating force that people initially thought, but experts say technology continues to bind the society more tightly.

In both developed and developing countries, computer revolution is considered as bizarre matter due to the fact that opponents and proponents tend to agree with it. Activists and corporations think that the new technology is great and it has influence the rapid globalization.[6] In India, new technologies have increasingly been used for communication with other people all over the world. Technology has also been known to elevate the power of an individual both in the public and private sectors. Politicians use the social media to sell their manifestoes and promote their political standing. At the same time, modern technologies have been used to cause different kinds of revolutions, some peaceful and other violent. Globalization and computer technology has a huge impact on the way the current society addresses various issues that affect them.

Internetworking and Nonviolent Activism

Internetworking is an important concept that has influenced rapid globalization across different parts of the world. People have utilized the modern technologies to not only to share new information, but also to engage in activism to support their initiatives. In India, IT and new technologies in general have been utilized to spread activism ideologies. In other parts of the world such as Australia, internetworking has evolved such that non-violent activists have been able to communicate with each other using patchy radio systems.[7]Mobile phones have also made communication more efficient since people can easily contact each other about their schedules. Recently, radio interviews have been used to deliver the most up-to-date information and organize people to different locations.

New technologies have enhanced the rate of globalization and they are currently considered as revolutionary tools of globalizing activism. Acquiring information from activists about repressive regimes and spreading it across the globe plays an influential role in helping to internationalize issues. India has not been adversely affected by any form of violent activism but different activities have played a leading role in ensuring that secret information is spread to the entire society.[8]Activists are utilizing the new technologies to put pressure on repressive regimes by spreading information to other governments and international organizations. Applying political and economic pressures through boycotts, sanctions and divestments have been known to change repressive regimes and consequently apply the modern principles of globalizations, thus improving the lives of people in that region.[9]

Cyber-Activism and Globalization

The role the internet in spreading information, socialization and activism has become a popular subject over the recent years. People are able to use the internet to not only engage in active learning activities, but to also protests and incite others to engage in uprisings and revolutions. A case in point is the Arab Spring and the role that the interne played in influencing massive revolts across the Arab world.[10] The Asian world was spared from this incident and countries such as India have closely monitored internet activities to prevent the spread of violent incidents. A lot has been discussed about the role played by the internet during the Arab Spring. But it is also important to note that several issues were involved in the movement and some cyber activism claims were basically inflated.

Several analysts argue that politicians and the government have also taken advantage of the internet to spread their propaganda and development campaigns to neutralize the influence activists. This trend is attracting a global phenomenon as India and other countries are adopting similar strategies, thanks to the impact of the new technologies and globalization. Researchers say that several political initiatives have a huge weakness when they try to negotiate effectiveness of a democratic transition.[11] This particularly applies to the major challenges of governance during changes in political regimes. In Egypt for instance, authorities decided to adopt the strategies of the youth and utilize the internet as an influential propaganda tool to retain their influence. In Iran, authorities used both the traditional communication channels as well as the social network to identify, harass and imprison protestors.

Role of Peace Activists

Globalization has enhanced the role of peace activities, with scholars questioning the effectiveness of such individuals in stopping a war. Globalization has increased the impact of activists, but scholars have focused little attention on the role of peace activism. Lawrence S. Wittner argues that wars crash out peaceful movements instead of peaceful movements ending wars.[12] Over the recent years, India has had a strong sense of nationalism which has reduced the chances of being affected by negative impacts of globalization. Nevertheless, peaceful activism has been found to be having a positive impact on the global community.[13] For instance, U.S. President Reagan made an influential speech in January 1984 that called for peace with the USSR. The speech was an indication to the Soviet Union that the U.S. was prepared to end the cold war and create a nuclear-free world. Not surprisingly, a peace movement was spurred by Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev and this rapidly led to nuclear disbarment treaties as well as the end of the Cold War.

Evidence indicates that peaceful activisms and nonviolent resistance has occurred in the most unexpected places and situations partly due to the impacts of globalization. For instance, ZahidShab Ahmed says that Pakistan is at times known as the most dangerous country on earth and it is therefore not a place where nonviolent resistance is expected to occur, let alone succeed.[14] Poor governance, citizen apathy, terrorism violence, and fear of repression from the regime are some of the main factors that hinder efficient civic activism in the region. Nevertheless, nonviolent resistance and civic activism managed to oust one of the most authoritarian rulers in Pakistan in 2007.

Globalization also played a key role in restoring an independent judiciary after lawyers conducted a huge grassroots campaign. Activists in Pakistan were labelled “men in black” and they actively insisted on embracing the rule of law and using nonviolent resistance which captured the minds and hearts of the masses. The same episode has been experienced in India where activists have used peaceful campaigns to pressure the government to make different changes. This managed to not only make political transformation but also enhanced cooperation between the civic and government agencies.[15]Globalization motivates civic leaders to continue pressurizing those in authority to make effective changes that will lead to a positive transformation in people’s lives. This applies to making changes to economic, political, socio-cultural and environmental issues.

Globalization impacts on the Environment

Above analysis has shown that globalization has had a huge impact on economic, social and political wellbeing of the society. It is important to note that the globalization has also had its share of impacts on the environment. For instance, nuclear abolishment movements have often been motivated by the rapid spread of modern technologies. Moreover, abolition agendas have been spread through globalization processes as environment conservationist pressure governments and major organizations to adopt pollution free technologies.[16] Experts have been influential in educating the public on the importance of conserving the environment and the dangers that are posed by the certain technologies. Examples are given of environmental disasters such as the Hiroshima nuclear accident that led to massive environmental pollution. Such information would not have spread rapidly in the absence of rapid globalization processes.

Impacts on the Environment

Although globalization has had major economic benefits in several countries, there have been several negative impacts on the environment. Studies have shown that globalization has accelerated the pace of industrial growth and urbanization in different parts of the world. Rapid transfer of technology and creation of manufacturing hubs has led to environmental pollution and massive emission of greenhouse gases. Globalization is regarded as a leading and most severe factor that faces the global community.[17] However, some individuals are of the opinion that the crisis related to the extinction of various species is also critical but has been avoided due to human-centeredness or anthropocentricity.

Conflict over Natural Resources

Urbanization has made people to invest in activities that have led to conflicts with the environment and other natural resources. Scholars have questioned if multinational civilians have the ability of preventing environmental degradation in a similar manner that peace workers are used to stop an escalation of armed conflicts.[18] In the 21st century, wars and conflicts have led to competition over the usage and over exploitation of natural resources. Therefore, a huge number non-violent, unarmed peacekeepers need to called upon to safeguard the environment.

As globalization continues to have a major toll on the environment, experts have persuaded governments and major organizations to change their technologies and adopt those that are less severe to the environment. For instance, analysts continue to debate if nuclear energy will reduce global warming, or if it will simply substitute one type of dirty non-renewable source of energy for another. In developed countries, nuclear energy was highly popular until the recent Fukushima nuclear accident.[19]Some individuals still believe that nuclear power is crucial in enabling the current society to maintain its current lifestyle. However, opponents have pointed out to a pattern of consistent nuclear accidents, including Harrisburg, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and the recent Fukushima. Nuclear scientists in each of these incidents insisted that the disaster was as a result of outmoded designs and that they cannot recur with the modern systems.

As business operations continue to become global, organizations are looking for more economical ways of conducting their activities. In India, critics argue that nuclear scientists are not subjected to the same form of close scrutiny as that of climate scientists. Climate scientists are subjected to criticism, threats and smear campaigns from individuals who want to cover the impact of environmental pollution, and who are mainly sponsored by major polluting companies like Exxon. Production of nuclear energy leads to the generation of nuclear wastes, yet organizations have not effectively addressed the problem of radioactive waste. It is argued that this problem is being postponed to the future generations which will be forced to pay for it. In addition, the security, secrecy and centralization of nuclear power are regarded as anti-democratic and unsustainable, as opposed to minimal security and decentralized nature of renewable.

Experts continue to question whether nuclear energy is really necessary to supply the needs of rapid globalization and assure a carbon-free future. The recent tsunami and earthquake that devastated Japan confirmed the fears that have been presented by nuclear critics. However, although Jose Etchverry and Chris Goodall are both environmental scientists, they continue to stand divided on the issue of nuclear energy.[20] Chris argues although the UK has made huge financial incentives, only a small amount of energy is produced by hydro and wind energy. On the other hand, 10 nuclear power stations in Britain have the ability of producing same quality of energy as 3,000 turbines. Therefore, nuclear technology is the only capable means of producing huge amounts of non-pollutant energy.

Other scholars say that efficient technologies can be able to supply the needs of rapid urbanization. For instance, Jose argues that nuclear plants should be demolished since they are toxic and dangerous. In addition, they hinder the ability of different countries to adopt three carbon-free energy options in the future, which include conservation, renewable, and efficient energy.[21] Efficiency and conservation energy sources relates to doing more with less. They also present some of the most viable opportunities of addressing climate change and creating new jobs. For instance, electricity used by the U.S. and Canada is at high rates per capita compared to other industrializing countries such as Germany and Denmark. This is because the latter have found innovated regularly on efficient designs, regulated the ways its citizens use energy, and have developed renewable energy sources.

In conclusion, this document has critically analysed the impacts of globalization on people and the environment in India. Studies have shown as one of the most industrializing countries in the World, globalization has a huge impact in terms of rapid spread of information. Modern technologies have enhanced the spread information, thus enabling people to be knowledgeable on the activities of the government. Moreover, social media has been utilized by local activists to pressure the government to make certain changes aimed at improving the livelihoods of the citizens. Peaceful resistance and non-violence struggles have been effective not only in Japan but also in other parts of the world. When it comes to environmental issues, globalization has enabled conservationists to present their ideologies to new audiences. In addition, it has motivated different types of individuals and agencies to form strong linkages and work with distant regions and countries, and collaborate in different projects and raise their voices as one.

Bibliography:

Catherine, O’Donnell. New study quantifies use of social media in Arab Spring. (September 12, 2011) thttp://pitpi.org/?p=1051 (accessed July 29, 2015)

Global Information And Communications & Technology. In Dixson: Taming War: Culture and Technology for Peace by Andrew Greig (from Sydney University’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies) pp. 1-3

Hans, Lofgren. Communism in India. Arena magazine, no. 112, pp. 32-35. 2011

James, Goodman, & Ariel Salleh. The ‘Green Economy’: Class Hegemony and Counter-Hegemony. Globalizations,3(10). 2013. 411–424

Jerry, Mander. Activism – Net Loss. In :Take it personally : how globalization affects you and powerful ways to challenge it / ed. Anita Roddick. London : Thorsons, pp. 40-42. 2001.

Lawrence, Wittner, S. Have Peace Activists Ever Stopped a War? History News Network. (January 16, 2006) https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/174-advocacy/30986.html (accessed July 29, 2015)

Nathan, Funk, C, and Abdul Aziz Said. Localizing Peace: An Agenda for Sustainable Building. Peac and Conflict Studies. 17(1), 101-143

newint.org. Is nuclear power necessary for a carbon-free future? New International Magazine, Issue 443. (July 1, 2011) http://newint.org/sections/argument/2011/06/01/nuclear-power-carbon-free-global-warming-climate-change/#sthash.rgv7h3Km.dpuf (accessed July 29, 2015)

Nina, Eisenhardt &Tim Wright. Generations of change: persuading post-Cold War kids that disarmament matters. Disarmament Forum. 2010

Sheila, Allison. Demography 101. A quarterly roundup of facts and figures from the world you live in.

Steven, Higgins, ZhiMin Xiao and Maria Katsipataki. The Impact of Digital Technology on Learning: A Summary for the Education Endowment Foundation. https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/uploads/pdf/The_Impact_of_Digital_Technologies_on_Learning_FULL_REPORT_%282012%29.pdf. November 12 (accessed August 4, 2015)

ZahidShahab , Ahmed, & Maria J. Stephan. Fighting for the rule of law: civil resistance and the lawyers’ movement in Pakistan. Democratization, (2010) 17:3, 492-513,

[1] Lofgren, Hans. Communism in India. (Arena magazine, no. 112, pp. 32-35. 2011) 11.

[2] Allison, Sheila. Demography 101. (A quarterly roundup of facts and figures from the world you live in) 1.

[3] Sheila, 1

[4] Ibid, 2

[5]Mander, Jerry. Activism – Net Loss. In :Take it personally : how globalization affects you and powerful ways to challenge it / ed. Anita Roddick. (London :Thorsons, pp. 40-42. 2001) 40.

[6] Jerry, 40

[7] Global Information and Communications & Technology. In Dixson: Taming War: Culture and Technology for Peace by Andrew Greig (from Sydney University’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies) 1

[8] Global Information and Communications & Technology, 2

[9] Higgins, Steven, ZhiMin Xiao and Maria Katsipataki. The Impact of Digital Technology on Learning: A Summary for the Education Endowment Foundation. https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/uploads/pdf/The_Impact_of_Digital_Technologies_on_Learning_FULL_REPORT_%282012%29.pdf. November 12 (accessed August 4, 2015), 22

[10] O’Donnell, Catherine. New study quantifies use of social media in Arab (September 12, 2011) thttp://pitpi.org/?p=1051 (accessed July 29, 2015) 2

[11] Goodman, James & Ariel Salleh. The ‘Green Economy’: Class Hegemony and Counter-Hegemony. Globalizations, 3(10). 2013. (411–424) 414

[12]Wittner, Lawrence S. Have Peace Activists Ever Stopped a War? History News Network. (January 16, 2006) https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/174-advocacy/30986.html (accessed July 29, 2015)

[13] Carty, Victoria 2009

‘The anti-war movement versus the war against Iraq’

Source : International journal of peace studies. 14(1), (2009. pp. 17-38) 19

[14] Ahmed, ZahidShahab& Maria J. Stephan. Fighting for the rule of law: civil resistance and the lawyers’ movement in Pakistan. Democratization, (2010) 17:3, (492-513,) 492

[15] Funk, Nathan C, and Abdul Aziz Said. Localizing Peace: An Agenda for Sustainable Building. Peac and Conflict Studies. 17(1), 2010, (101-143) 102

[16]Eisenhardt, Nina &Tim Wright. Generations of change: persuading post-Cold War kids that disarmament matters. Disarmament Forum. (2010) 16

[17] Global Information and Communications & Technology, 1

[18] Goodman, James & Ariel Salleh, 414

[19] Ibid, 3

[20]Newint.org. Is nuclear power necessary for a carbon-free future? New International Magazine, Issue 443. (July 1, 2011) http://newint.org/sections/argument/2011/06/01/nuclear-power-carbon-free-global-warming-climate-change/#sthash.rgv7h3Km.dpuf (accessed July 29, 2015) 1.

[21] Newint.org, 2

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