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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 115| April 19, 2009|


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Globalisation and the
young generation

Dr. Binoy Barman
Photos: Internet

Globalisation is a sturdy wave which has swept the whole world, with a deep impact on the life of its inhabitants, whoever they are, wherever they live, however they speak and whatever community they belong to. It has impacted people from all walks of life irrespective of their caste and creed, passion or profession. It has caught in its wobbling web the farmers and traders, employers and employees, educated and illiterate, men and women, young and old. Nobody can avoid its influence. It is all-pervasive and all-engrossing. Its impact is, however, most strongly felt on the young generation, who are in command of the existing paradigm of the way of the world.

How do the young generation react, in fact, when they come across the phenomenon we call globalisation? It is a curious study -- a necessary study as well. The analysis of young minds in interaction with the globalising process may reveal some unpleasant truths, which might be symptomatic of a crisis. The crisis can only be overcome if it is understood well with the entire gamut of characteristics, implicit and explicit, short-lasting and long-lasting. The young generation must be aware of the pitfalls and dangers of globalisation. They must be able to distinguish appearance from reality. The prime issue is the consequence of globalisation and the central question is what should be the role of the young generation in the age characterised by globalisation. Here I do not offer any prescriptions for the young force suggesting what they should do in the backdrop of looming crisis but my task has been to analyse the fact which might prompt them to action out of their own urge.

Globalisation has got the remote control device to change the political scenario of the world, which the young generation notice closely, but rather helplessly. Globalisation has benefited capitalism, which has a burgeoning effect whatsoever. The young generation has assumed that globalisation is the order of the day and political doctrines must have to yield to the fashion. The question of welfare in politics has been rendered unimportant or less important since the principle motto is to increase wealth at the national and the individual level. The political idealism is realised as 'sheer opportunism' which comes into play in the political behaviour of the citizens.

The politicians and political activists fleece the voters with the empty promise of prosperous life. Corruption and corrupt practices determine the norms of governance where the brilliance of youth is defeated and prepares to serve self-interest instead of mass-interest.

Globalisation muddles the brains of the youth with the incantation of money-making ideals. All people are encouraged to earn money, as much as they can, by any means, even compromising their honesty and humanity. One can earn money even at the cost of consumers' life. In the corporate culture all economic activities are driven by profit-maximisation. As long as an employee of a company brings profits, all corruption including tax evasion, adulteration and bribery are allowed. Regrettably, the minds of young generation have been corporatised, gagging their voice of protest. In an ambience of popularity of open and free market economy, which has intensified globalisation, they are flooded away by the hype of theoretical camouflage. They can hardly understand that in the guise of liberty and internationalism, only repression and subjugation is presented to them.

Globalisation is popular with the bulk of young generation as it brings them all sorts of consumer goods, more than need, for their comfort in life. But with the indiscriminate exercise of consumerism, their morality weakens. They are trained to think that life is for consumption and caring for others is foolishness. From early upbringing they are acquainted with eye-dazzling brands of cars and exquisite designs of apartments so their only dream is to gain possession of such marvels. They become happy when they get them and frustrated when they don't get. Their happiness is measured solely by material gains. They have no idea of the pleasure of 'giving'; they only know the pleasure of 'taking'. It is really difficult for the young generation to get rid of the moral degeneration brought about by globalisation.

The young generation is taken away from their own cultural root with the attraction of cosmopolitan gloss. Through the open door enters all kinds of alien ideas, thought to be symbol of modernity or post-modernity.

They are tempted to follow Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in their dress and demeanour. With an utter emulation of hitherto unknown culture, they go to bars and hotels, throwing them in wild orgy. The less desperate ones get engrossed in the visual entertainments coming from the sky. English, Hindi and many other satellite TV channels hit their eyes. From a hundred choices, they find out the most suitable programmes for them and spend hours. It is the best pastime for those boys and girls who would like to be potato couch.

Globalisation has a bizarre effect on the lifestyle of the youth. MacDonald's and Helvetia besides numerous Chinese restaurants are now at the corner of streets so they can relish delicacy as they wish. Fast foods like pizza, hot dog and burger become part of their busy life. Wearing trendy jeans and T-shirt they rush to party and make merry. They observe thirty first night and Valentine's Day instead of Pahela Baishakh and Pahela Phalgoon. They hum the tunes of music as their ears are glued to FM broadcast. Their passion is cheap number and fashion is I-don't-bother-anybody type of smartness. They love to twiddle latest technology mobile phones and exchange SMS with pals. In fact, globalisation has made the young mind shallow as they are floated only on the surface of events. Miles away from the true realisation of life, they are the children of 'stylistic vacuity'.

Some educated youths feel that globalisation have brought opportunities for them. They can go to foreign universities for higher studies and get a degree of greater value. They claim they become up-to-date with modern knowledge in the western canon of instruction. Apparently they are benefited as they can secure a good job with a greater scope of earning money.

It has a bad side however. It causes a brain drain which is a loss for the poor nation. Furthermore, brainwashed by western pretensions, they get alienated from their own traditional base. They even learn to hate their forefather's education, terming it wrong and useless. Such undermining of their own society only humiliates their very 'self', snatching away their peace in mind.

A part of young generation seems to feel complacent being born in the digital age. They boast of becoming the citizens of the twenty first century. This is the net generation. Their existence is tied up with computer and internet. They are the denizens of virtual world. They explore internet in search of friends with they can chat and exchange heart. Some will remain busy with watching movie on monitor screen or listening to music with CD/DVD drive. Thanks to globalisation, despite being a citizen of a small and poor country, they can afford the electronic luxuries, so they are happy. They will not think how they are being made lazy and inactive. They explore net when the prospects of their own brainpower remain unexplored. Hapless and hopeless, the net generation!

There is reason to say that our young generation is most unfortunate to be nurtured in the heyday of globalisation. They are born with the vitality of a human nature but they are robbed of their innate potency. They are born to be potentially moral angels but they are made the villains of consumerism. They are deprived of sound political and economic ideologies. They do not get altruistic education and cultural training. In the imbroglio of globalisation, their life drifts away like algae, with a feeling of meaninglessness. But I know that the young generation has fire in their bone. That fire cannot be dampened with the moisture of machination. One day they will have the internal combustion and rise up to burn up the black effigy, offsetting the effects of globalisation towards a better socio-economic system. They will make a real 'global village' where peace and harmony will prevail.

The writer is Assistant Professor and Head, Department of English, Daffodil International University.

Globalisation discourse and the young

Md. Anwarul Kabir

THOUGH the Oxford dictionary has incorporated the term 'globalisation' in 1962, it has been popularised during the last quarter of the 20th century, at the advent of micro-computer revolution, growth of Internet in the communication domain. Globalisation refers to widening, intensifying, speeding up and growing impact of worldwide interconnection in all spheres of people's lives, i.e. the economic, social, technical and political.

Globalisation can be perceived as centuries long process tracking the growth of civilisation that has speeded up in the last 50 years. However, the current era of globalisation is different from any that the world has seen because of single global economy that transcends and integrated all major economic regions. Besides, in technological front, booming of satellite media, rapid expansion of mobile communication and the birth of borderless cyberspace have added a unique dimension to the modern concept of globalisation. Due to extraordinary development and pervasive growth of communication technology, the mutual connectivity of the world has reached at a point where we justifiably claim that we are now in the global village.

Globalisation has offered both opportunities and challenges to the national progress of a developing country like ours. Especially in the economic domain, globalisation has opened up enormous opportunities for the economic growth and poverty alleviation efforts of our generation. However, to avail these opportunities, we need to take prudent decision assessing our readiness and capabilities. Here, time is a crucial factor as globalisation has put us in a competitive market place. Already, some third world countries, especially India and China exploiting the advantages of globalisation in time have progressed much and it has been speculated that these two countries soon will emerge as economic giants on the globe. So, we have no time to waste and if we want to see our country developed in economic term, we must give serious emphasis on the issue both at public and private levels. It is worth to note that the government sectors alone can not achieve the desired goals in this respect unless the private sectors come forward. In fact, globalisation has encouraged the private sectors to participate in economic venture considering government sectors as mere facilitators. So, for this, congenial private-public partnership is a must for availing the advantages offered by globalisation.

By availing advantages of globalisation effectively and efficiently Bangladesh can achieve a remarkable success in following sectors:

Outsourced business: With the advent of globalization, more and more jobs are being outsourced to the third world countries. Especially, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is now a common phenomenon in the software industry. India yearly earns a significant share of its earning from foreign remittance from this outsourcing, especially in software sector. However, India is in a competitive advantage in this respect, as India has the highest number of high quality software firms consisting of 65% of world's CMM certified firms. Whereas, so far, we have only 5 CMM certified software firms. To achieve success in this field, our young entrepreneurs in this field must work hard to render quality product or service as required by the clients abroad. In this context the education institutes, both public and private, must pay special efforts to produce efficient programmers equipped with state of the art technology.

In BPO, Bangladesh should avail the opportunity of Call Centre business. Fortunately, some entrepreneurs have already initiated this venture. However, in this case the government must work as facilitator for ensuring communication infrastructure with high bandwidth capacity for transferring bulk size data transaction as required.

e-commerce: The prime success factor for e-commerce is innovative selections of selling products or services. e-commerce has opened up new opportunities for business globally. Our young entrepreneurs have to think seriously about this. However, in this case, also the government should work as facilitator to provide appropriate infrastructure.

Export sectors: RMG sector is one of our success factors in our export sector. However, there is a speculation that due to present global recession there will be an adverse impact on this sector. It is quite unfortunate that, apart from RMG sector and to some extent the pharmaceutical sector we have made not any significant progress in export sectors. However, globalisation has opened the window now and only we need to explore the new market opportunities for export-oriented business. Like China we can also think about promoting SME. Especially we can emphasise on our plastic as well as electronic and electrical industries in this context.

Knowledge-based society: Globalisation has given an enormous opportunity for creating a knowledge-based society in the country. The present government's electoral pledge for making a digital Bangladesh is encouraging in this context. e-Governance is the ultimate goal of a knowledge-based society. e-Governance leads to a good governance in a country. However, whether we will move towards e-Governance or not completely depends on the good will of the government in power.

HR development and employment: Our major strength is our human resource. But for success in global labour market we need to produce skilled labourers. Already, remittance sent by NRB shares a lion part of our national income. Unfortunately, in the global employment of our human resource is ranked at the low end jobs as most of them are un-skilled labourers. However, if we want to change the scenario ensuring maximum earning from NRB then we need to train up our human resource as required by the global market. For this, government should initiate special training programme for the prospective job seekers abroad. Our success in the process of globalisation fully depends on our young generation. The members of this generation with their dynamism, innovative ideas and sincere efforts should play as major actors in this context, albeit the older generation should guide them properly. For this, the members of the young generation should equip themselves with appropriate knowledge and technology with a view to leading Bangladesh to the global competitive market. Any discussion on globalisation will be incomplete if we avoid note its adverse impacts on national and indigenous culture. Since, at present, the economy is a major force of globalisation it also affect consumer behaviour and life style. However, especially people's life style is not solely influenced by production and market, but also by cultural globalisation. One of the objectives of the multinational company led globalisation is to promote consumerism (creation of artificial demands for products or services) and for this cultural homogenisation is an essential pre-requisite. The process of the cultural homogenisation is going on through satellite TV, Internet and other communication media. Due to the cultural homogenisation, traditional values have been overtaken by Coca Cola and McDonald culture. Empirical studies reveal that globalisation has already resulted in the extinction of 22,000 indigenous cultures in the past decade and speculate that as many as 90% of the world languages will disappear! This is an alarming message indeed!!

In Bangladesh too, adverse impacts of globalisation has initiated. For instance, a research carried out by Dilara Zahid, a young researcher at UODA on youngsters (of both genders) from the families of higher income groups of Dhaka City has revealed that 70% of them like western food, music or dress, 62% support nuclear family, 43% of them approve extra-marital relationship and live-together. Though, this scenario is restricted to upper class youngsters only, it can be speculated this sort of erosion in traditional culture will be traced in the middle class soon if we do not take counter measures.

However, no sensible person can stand against globalisation. Noam Chomsky, an eminent linguistic, philosopher and social thinker of the time has suggested that the globalisation of the present form must be changed and it should be liberated from the grip of multinational companies for the sake of real development of global society. For this, the global young generation should come forward and resist the corporate hegemony in the name of globalisation.

In our context, to combat the cultural aggressions of the present globalisation, we need to chalk out proper policy at the national level. For this, we need to uphold our cultural heritages and traditions in the context of present global fabrics.

Md. Anwarul Kabir is a Senior Faculty Member of Computer Science at AIUB email: kabir@aiub.eduv

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