Halloween party ideas 2015

By Rawse D. Sinate

When I first came to Delhi in 1997, I was just a kid innocent enough to believe in and follow every bit of my aunt’s instructions- whether right or wrong. Delhi, with all its urban amenities and infrastructure, was a big and beautiful place compared to my native village, Lungthulien, where life was simple and beautiful, but fragile. Delhi, like many other Indian cities, was a city in rapid transformation. Today, after fourteen years since then, it has transformed to such an extent that even the regular inhabitants feel living in a new different world. As I ride my Royal Enfield Bullet across the city, I too can feel the change: The roads are now much wider and smoother; the lanes and by-lanes- flanked by new beautiful buildings and shopping malls, symbols of modern architectural grandeur- have become broader and cleaner; and the modern flyovers, which criss-cross into a beautiful but sometimes confusing mesh even for a regular road rider like me, have not only beautified the cityglobalsiation_hmar landscape but also improved the traffic. Then I wonder what has brought all these changes until a whispering thought inside me whisper the buzzword, ‘Globalisation’. My thought travel back to the land I belong where nothing much has changed and the Jhum cycles still run flawlessly slowly eroding away the precious resources that nature has endowed upon this land. My thought wakes me up, but I am in pain. I gather my strength to look deeper into where we stand in this new era of globalisation.

Globalisation, in broad terms, is an increased cross border flow of goods, services, capitals, ideas and people driving the world towards a global village. As a process, its origin can be traced as far back to beginning of civilisations when trade began to flourish. But Globalisation in today’s context- an intensified process of integrating the global economy- started mainly during the early eighties in the western world as a policy response to the serious fiscal and economic crises that engulfed the entire western countries. In our own country, India, we adopted the policy of liberalisation and globalisation during the early nineties in the wake of serious balance of payment crisis, triggered partly by Gulf War and the disintegration of former Soviet Union and partly by our own macro-economic mismanagement. Since then, it continues to remain forceful irreversible process despite strong opposition from the political left wing and few social activists representing the voice of the million underdogs who have been bypassed by the benefits of globalisation. In a span of over twenty years, Globalisation has brought about significant socio-economic and cultural changes to every section of the society, and the Hmar community, however insignificant in a nation of a billion plus, is no exception.

The policy of liberalisation and globalisation has triggered a new growth story that the country has never experienced before. Liberalised trade and industrial policies have unleashed enterpreneurship and competition, and the increasing investments, both domestic and foreign, generated new and vast economic opportunities, but confined mainly to the metro cities. Even in the far north eastern corner of the country, the centripetal forces of these new growth poles of post modern India could be felt, and many of us started migrating to these cities in search of better opportunities. Given the level of our technical skills and education, many of us do well earning enough to support not only ourselves but also send back remittances to our homes. With every passing year, the number of new migrants almost doubles leading to sharp rise in our population in many of the metros, but what is alarming is that nature of jobs that we do remains largely the same. Majority of us are still at the lower rung of the job ladder, and the vertical mobility to climb up the ladder is almost out of existence. But when it comes to horizontal mobility, we seem to excel hopping from one job to another that too for just few dollars more. All jobs, whether high or low, deserve equal respect, and the moral principle underlying the maxim that work is worship can never be questioned, but what is worrying is the stagnancy of our technical and managerial skills which is reflected from the unchanged nature of the jobs we do even after twenty years of our exposure to globalisation.

The reasons for this anomaly are not hard to comprehend: We, by nature, are passive, fatalistic, and religious but not necessarily spiritual; we are slow in anticipating and responding to events compared to our rivals and wait for opportunities rather than seeking them. As a result, bright young men and women get contented too easily in their new found jobs without much determination to reach higher. The zeal for higher studies to inculcate knowledge, professional skills and entrepreneurship, which are most crucial for remaining competitive and for finding ways of exploiting our own resource is unfortunately lacking. This is clearly reflected from the decreasing numbers of our students in the top colleges and universities of the country, and entry into top professional institutes seems to be a dream we hardly share or work for. In this new era market economy, where knowledge, creativity and innovativeness define the business paradigms, we cannot afford to neglect the basic fundamental of developing our human resource if we are to benefit in a meaningful way from the vast opportunities unleashed by the forces of globalisation.

Digging deeper into where we stand reveals that the rot runs much deeper than what we might have thought. Earning a peanut and living a millionaire’s life is unique syndrome that most of us suffer from and shamelessly defend like our birthright. Despite earning respectable income, many of us lead unsustainable life style that squanders away our precious earnings and run into deficits only to be compensated from home support. On the whole, the financial support from home still outweighs the remittances that we manage to send back. In spite of all the privileges and opportunities that we enjoy, we still fail to establish remittance linkages with our homes. Bad economics sometime make for good politics, but this form of bad economics we practice does not seem to bring anything good, but only bankruptcy. In the recent past, we have witnessed an increasing surge in cross cultural marriages in the form of mainly our women marrying men from different Colours- White, Black or Brown. Without any sense of jealousy, what can be said with certainty is that these new found love stories tell more stories about the growing materialism and the sense of helplessness and frustration prevailing in our society.

The material culture, blended with our new found party and live-in culture of the west, has come to invade our moral values, the last bastion of our defence, and we seem to be at the threshold of moral crisis. But we are neither worried nor remorseful because we feel that we still keep the faith. Winter set in, and when all the cultural extravaganzas passed their climax, an invitation doled out to a revered godly man to host a holy party, a party for salvation, brought us new hope to quince our spiritual thirst and wash off all the wrongs done. As the party began, and the same old sermon that the precious blood always cleanses the sins no matters how many times the cross is not carried reverberated flawlessly melting away every hearts – the sins once again washed away, the joy unbound, the blessings abundant and the harvest the same. What difference is there from the Kumbha Mela, a holy bath festival of the Hindus held after every twelve years in the river Ganges to wash off their sins, except that the cleansing from the Ganges last twelve times longer than what we could achieve from our salvation party. Even after hundred years of gospel, we still, knowingly or unknowingly, preach a half full gospel. If we are to rebuild our crumbling moral fibre in this immoral world, it is time we dare to preach and follow the full gospel that the cleansing blood cannot be separated from the rugged cross on which it flows.

Though Globalisation has brought development in several parts of the country, far in the Hmar heartland, the story is quite different. It is the story of untold miseries and deprivations of the highest degree. Even after 67 years of independent India, this part of the country has been deprived of basic amenities of life- health care, nutrition, education, road, electricity and all the things needed for living a dignified life; poverty, hunger, disease and ignorance have never shown sign of abatement. Men, women and even children of underage toil from dawn to dusk in fields without even basic inputs and technology off the shelf- their little harvest not enough to feed themselves but still sold off at throw away prices fixed by cunning traders from the Mainland. As the demand for energy increases to fuel the growing economy of the country triggered Globalisation, the Hmar heartland has become the new energy resource frontier in the eyes of the new breed of crony capitalists. Despite opposition by the people who have owned and cultivated this land as their only source of livelihood for more than centuries, effort to construct a 1500 MW dam that threatens to uproot and displace this already deprived people is already in progress. If the Government of the day allows that to happen, then it cannot absolve itself from a crime of driving the last nail into the coffin of its own child.

India adopted the policy of liberalisation and globalisation with the hope that it will enhance its economic growth and generate more surplus that could trickle down to the down trodden and strengthen human security. As envisaged, Indian economy registered a growth rate of 8 to 9 percent much above the Hindu rate of growth of 3 to 4 per cent, enabling the state to improve substantially its social sector spending. The UPA Government under its Common Minimum Programme to promote inclusive growth came up with several schemes for rural infrastructure development and poverty alleviation. Concerned over the rural unrest and the growing urban rural digital divide, the Government launched these schemes on a mission mode with a definite time frame for their completion. Some of the schemes that could have significant impact to the Hmar heartland had they been implemented in letter and spirit may be worth mentioning.

* Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana(PMGSY): A 100 per cent centrally sponsored scheme, launched in 2000 to provide all weather road connectivity to all habitations in rural areas by 2009.

* Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY): Launched in 2005 to provide electricity access to all rural households and free connection to all below poverty households by 2009.

* National Rural Health Mission (NRHM): Launched in 2005 to provide accessible, affordable and quality health care services even to the poorest households in the
remotest regions of the country.

* Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan(SSA): A national flagship programme, launched in 2001 to provide useful and relevant elementary education with universal retention for all children in the 6- 14 age group by 2010.
­ Out of the number of central schemes, not to mention the State Government schemes, had the above only four schemes been implemented successfully, life would be much more worth living in this land that has seen so much of sufferings and hardships. The saddest thing is that all these schemes and much more are implemented, but only on paper, and crores of rupees released by the Central Government for projects under these schemes simply vanished. If this can happen in the land soaked with gospel for over a hundred years, it is not surprising that we can’t stand united in celebrating the Gospel Centenary. And not many of us are surprised or even concerned about this worst form of treachery and fraud the ingenuity of man can device. Isn’t this a cause worth fighting for? How long and what more do we have to wait to drive ourselves into action to fix responsibility and accountability in our governing system?

Delivery mechanisms in this country have the dubious distinction of delivering just 25 Paisa from every one Rupee subsidy they are supposed to deliver. It has become almost impossible to improve the delivery system unless the beneficiaries and people at the grass root level remain conscious and vigilant, and take proactive stand as active participants rather than mere passive recipients in the entire implementation cycle. To encourage people’s participation and provide legal empowerment to the people, the UPA Government has enacted several socially progressive legislations like Right to Information Act, Right to Education Act, Forest Rights Act, National Rural Employment Guaranteed Act, and Food Security Act (being enacted). Unlike other legislations that empower the state against the people, these new laws empowers the people against the state by providing legal rights that they can exercise freely to protect themselves against the state excesses and extract their dues from the state.

These laws have been proved useful in improving the delivery system, and many deprived and down trodden people across the country have been unshackled from the clutches of poverty and injustice. There is no reason why such story cannot be repeated in our own land where the need for it is the most. How long should we drag our feet on issues that threatened our survival? Cynicism and passivism that often make us mere silent spectators only leave more room for those in the Governance to loot and plunder. And if we allowed that to happen right under our nose, then we are as guilty as they are. We need to go beyond empty rhetoric and draw up a proper Action Plan to find where things have actually gone wrong and make those responsible for them accountable. Let history remembers us for what we did and not for what we did not do.

Post a Comment

  1. I really don't accept the authors generalisation of the that many of us "run into deficits only to be compensated from home support". I think the majority of the people people employed and living in Delhi are getting enough and spending wisely. I think it is the students who are getting "home support".

    Also generalisation of globalisation is not a pragmatic approach. There is no doubt that the world has become a global village but we must agree that each areas and each sections of the community or villages or cities have their own issues. For the Hmar community, can we confidently say we have been globalised and if so up to what extent?

  2. I don’t think there is any question of over generalisation or even generalisation in the author’s approach. Instead he has specifically focused on the impact of globalisation on a particular Hmar community and brought out few valuable suggestions, which are worth considering if they are to benefit in a meaningful way from globalisation.

    ‘Many of us’ does not mean ‘majority of us’, and the generalised statement that many of us run into deficit..... could still be valid even if the majority run into surplus. Read between the lines


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