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Effect and Reaction of Globalization (Calicut)


The British poet Rudyard Kipling (1899) described the effect of globalization on native tribes many years ago: “Comes now, to search your manhood through all the thankless years, cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom, the judgment of your peers!” Globalization makes uncivilized people civilized, but then those people can judge their enlighteners for ruining their authentic culture, traditions and customs as well as mutilating their identity. We will prove this thought considering three very different “peoples”:  the San Bushmen hunters and gatherers in the Kalahari Desert of southern Africa, the Yanomami tribe in the Amazonian jungles of central South America, and the people in an ancient Hindu town in rural South India (Calicut).

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The San Bushmen Hunters and Gatherers

The San or Bushmen people live in the Kalahari Desert of southern Africa. They have the rule of age in daily relationships: the older person in a couple has a right to take the decision. They give the greatest honor to women as the latter decide the most important questions. They are very poor, do not have trade, just exchange some items as gifts to each other.

The Effect of the Incorporation into the Modern Nation States on This Society

In 1990-2000s, the government of Botswana tried to relocate Bushmen people motivating it by the attempt to provide better conditions for them, make them settled and more secure. The authority published a special law and relocated many people making a big part of the land that they previously occupied uninhabited. There are several possible hidden reasons for such a replacement, but the government accepted none of them.

 The Impact of Market Economy on This Society

The Bushmen always gathered food and hunted without the concept of ownership. Later, soldiers brought spirits to their territories. Relocated people had no tolerance to it and often suffered from alcoholism, crime, and sexually transmitted diseases they did not face before. After the restrictions on hunting were adopted, many arrests followed. The European Common Market started to buy hunted beef strictly the controlling its quality. It destroyed the wildlife balance of the territory and threatened the lifestyle of the Bushmen people.

The Society’s Reaction to Such External Threats

San people accused the authorities of moving them from their homelands by force. They even won a long court case, but it did not improve the situation much. The authorities even refused the San’s attorney in his visa request so he was not able to protect Bushmen’s rights in the further court petition.

Many documentary and fiction films described the negative effect on the inhabitants of Kalahari Desert. They include “The Gods Must Be Crazy” (1980), “Lost in the Desert” (1969), “The Great Dance: A Hunter's Story” (2000), “The Will to Survive” (2009), “My Land is My Dignity” (2009), and many others. All of them tried to capture the unique culture and traditions of these people, their right for the land they occupied for centuries, and hardships of life on the territory which the government gave them.

The Yanomami Tribe in the Amazonian Jungles

The Yanomami is another big tribe. They live in the Amazonian jungles of central South America. They settle in big groups, do not have a chief, and strongly believe that all the people are equal. When they have to make a decision, everyone has a right to have a word; thus, their debates can last a long period. They always try to find a consensus. 

The Effect of the Incorporation into the Modern Nation States on This Society

Yanomami also undergo hardships now because of the diseases and crimes unfamiliar to them before. Their shamans know how to cure diseases of Indians but cannot cure the illnesses brought by white people such as malaria gripe, dysentery, venereal disease, measles, chicken pox, etc. The government provides funding for medicine; however, these people do not have money in their pockets for adequate healthcare.

The Impact of Market Economy on This Society

Traditionally, people shared duties among themselves according to the gender. Men hunted while women gathered crops, honey, and so on. One never ate the hunted meat alone, but shared with everyone. Both genders fished using vine. Now they do not have enough territory for hunting and gathering. The often consume artificial food which is unhealthy and causes digestive problems and excessive weight.

In seven years, twenty percent of Yanomami died because of new diseases. Deforestation, gold rush, and mining on the territory they occupied for centuries make them suffer too.

The Society’s Reaction to Such External Threats

External threats started to increase in the 1980s. To stop that, the Yanomami protested and appealed to the world to stop the processes of deforestation as the rainforests of Amazon are the lungs of our planet; destroying them, humanity destroys it own future.

One of the most popular activists and representatives of the tribe is Davi Yanomami. He gave interviews to BBC Brazil and the BBC World Service. In his Letter to All Peoples of the Earth (1989), he explains the world that their tribe knows about money, clothes, and other things, but if for other people money is the greatest value, for Yanomami the greatest treasure is their land. In that letter, he asked the whole world to help them stay on their homelands. The members of the tribe know how to cultivate some cultures; thus, they will survive without the support from the government. They still preserve their own language and traditions and do not want to change them. The Yanomami consider that people who do not respect nature cannot teach them anything good.

 The activity of Yanomami attracted much attention and forced the government to stop official mining in that territory. Nevertheless, the illegal mining still takes place there. Some of the illegal miners murdered sixteen Yanomami people that the court officially acknowledged as genocide. In his speech devoted to rainforests, the Prince of Wales described the way the government treated the Yanomami also as genocide.

An Ancient Hindu Town in Rural South India (Calicut)

The Effect of the Incorporation into the Modern Nation States on This Society

The life of the inhabitants of the ancient Hindu town in rural South India (Calicut) changed a lot after the colonists had come. Before that, that Indian community was purely ethnic, authentic, tolerant, and full of traditions. They strongly believed in the power of truth, sacrifice, self-realization, and never used force against other peoples. Those who had come considered them inferior, while for Indians – Europeans were egoists.

We can find early notes about Calicut in the Middle Ages. A European adventurer Taufiq travelled to Africa with famous Ibn Majid and experienced first steps of multiculturalism and globalization there. Then he was forced to join da Gama in his travel to India. When they were leaving, Ibn Majid said to da Gama that everyone robbed India at that time but asked the sailor to be frugal in his thefts. When Taufiq arrived in Calicut for the first time, he wrote in his notes that local inhabitants were very friendly and informal. Women were open in their manners. People had no cultural or ethnic misunderstandings. While Europeans described India as the country of magic, Taufliq found this land to be full of peace and harmony. In 1502, when he came there for the second time with Portuguese people, they were bombing Calicut, and Taufiq felt guilty for this. He mentioned that it was a burden on his soul until his last days.

The Impact of Market Economy on Calicut

There are not only psychological and social aspects of globalization. Globalization is good for the economy of big developed countries while for the welfare of poor countries, it does only harm. Before the 1990s, India received money for the taxes foreign countries paid to sell their products to Indians. If foreign companies do not pay taxes and can flood the local market with their goods, local companies have no chances to compete with them for a place in the sun. This was exactly what happened. As a part of the globalization process, all countries were supposed to follow General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT) required by the World Trade Organization. Because of GATT, India canceled taxes on imported goods. In addition, the government gave up some benefits for the poor such as subsidies for electricity and water supply.

Historically, India is an agrarian country. Unfortunately, globalization did not stimulate the development of the agricultural sector at all. New expensive machines for the cultivation of cultures were not affordable to the poor peasants. The latter took loans in banks and became dependent on them. Machines were not paid off quickly, and the prime cost of agricultural products turned out too high. Foreign goods were cheaper that has traumatized the country's economy.

Have These Effects Been Positive or Negative?

Fruits of the modernization were bitter. Deforestation and usage of chemicals led to changes in climate and wildlife. Many species became extinct and the number of other decreased significantly, which it ruined the ecological balance. The absence or a small amount of some little animals that used to live there affected negatively the cultivation of crops and other cultures.

Not only had a lot of stress affected the health of farmers but also caused an extreme poverty. From 1989 to 1998, the living conditions of Indians deteriorated significantly with their diet becoming much poorer than in the past years. In 1999-2000, almost 77 % of the rural population consumed less calories than was required. They did not get high-quality education and health services, only more hardships.

The Reaction to Such External Threats

Many Indian farmers committed suicide because they did not see the way out. Numerous cases of suicide and hunger among farmers attracted the attention of the media. The latter forced the government to react; its reaction was revealed in laws, which only made the situation worse. The authority substituted the seeds that farmers had used for ages by the new ones from abroad which were genetically modified and not tested on this area. In addition, they implemented the use of chemical fertilizers instead of organic ones.

A famous activist, Vandana Shiva (1988), described all the abovementioned problematic issues in her books about feminism and ecology. She considers that man does harm to both nature and women. Vandana questions the claims of the supporters of globalization. She states that farmers and rural peasants pay the highest price of globalization. Globalization makes bigger the gap between the rich and the poor. Vandana has visited more than three thousand villages in the last fifteen years analyzing their problems and promoting the fight for their rights. Government and some organizations fund her activity. Vandana gathers people for public speeches and teaches them in universities, which has allowed her to make some success. She started a movement to defend organic farming and preserve the diversity of the local seeds. 

Vandana Shiva presents an alternative to the globalization calling it a “living democracy”. To her mind, India is not just a marketplace, but a sustainable ecological resource. The activist divides the population of India into two classes: those who accept the globalization, and those who sacrifice and suffer from it. She declares that corporations have no right to dictate people where and how to live. Vandana is sure that market economy ruins the establishment of democracy.

Another writer, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, stresses that it is nonsense to blindly imitate the European culture regardless of the culture and traditions of India. This can lead to the complete loss of identity in the region. It is worth remembering that even before the enlighteners came to India, some extremely gifted people lived there. Mahatma Gandhi may be a great example. He understood the Indian culture deeply and was able to lead people. Activists who are against the globalization in India express the same thought as Yanomami do: people who do not understand their culture and nature can teach them nothing. Science and knowledge can do harm if they belongs to wrongdoers.

India is not as poor as San Bushmen or Yanomami people; they are more familiar with the modern technology and services. Some scientists forecast that in the future India can become a powerful country. An Indian historian and writer Ramachandra Guha considers globalization to be an important step in the development of the country. The question is whether it would be able to preserve its identity. Therefore, the aspect of globalization remains very controversial for India.

Amartya Sen, an Indian economist and philosopher, considers the general concept of globalization to be a good, but badly implemented one. He notes that this idea is improperly used. Rural inhabitants can benefit from globalization in case the authority makes high-quality education and health care accessible for everyone. Amartya Sen advises the authority to make reforms in order to improve the life of poor peasants.

An Indian author Arundhati Roy, on the contrary, is against the corporate colonization. The government and the rich welcome corporations and globalization while corporations create another empires. The poor rural people are falling prey to their gigantic leaps; the globalization ruins their lifestyle and harmony. Arundhati Roy believes that this encourages hatred, nationalism, and fascism. An award-winning journalist from Mumbai, Dionne Bunsha, supports these views. She wrote about suicides among farmers and the threats to ecology. Farmers are in such despair that they sell their kidneys and even created a special center for this. What is even worse, they also sell villages. Every day in average two farmers commit suicide; others roam like dogs having no food and no hope for some improvements. They try to find any job in the city, but after their attempts turn out not successful, poor people come back to their villages to die from starvation.

Indian people are hard-working and able to study new methods of cultivating different cultures. The soil of that region is very good for cotton; previously it was a “white gold” for peasants. Now, it rapidly decreased in price. The government does not care about the farmers; thus, they live in total poverty.


Globalization like any other historical process has many positive and negative sides, brings not only benefits but also significant drawbacks. Globalization affects all spheres of social life; as a result, a socio-economic process of one country becomes a part of the international or global process. Breakthrough in economic life has multifaceted an ambiguous impact on the national economy of the world. Today, the issue of globalization is especially important not only because of the benefits it provides but also because of potential conflicts that may arise in the world.

 The process of globalization creates the conditions for winning, but the main problem is that not all countries, which are involved in this process, can use these features effectively. Indeed, wealthy nations or those with high incomes and developed financial systems are major beneficiaries of financial integration and globalization. Thus, imbalances in the global economy are the main negative consequences of globalization, which deepens the unequal development of the world. The weak economic policies of a number of developing countries do not allow them to participate actively in the global economic activity depriving these countries of taking advantage of the opportunities of integration into the world economy.

Generally, the effect of globalization on all three peoples under consideration is negative. People in India feel the most devastating impact on their economy and welfare. Globalization started very early there and touched all spheres of life. Negative factors caused high involvement of activists and media in this issue.

Aug 16, 2019 in Informative
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