Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Global and local citizens

"But what happens when the welfare of local residents comes into conflict with the wellbeing of foreigners – as it often does? Isn’t disregard of their compatriots in such situations precisely what gives so-called cosmopolitan elites their bad name?"
Says Dani Rodrik in recent article.
People like me have benefited from globalisation, travel to different counties for jobs and conferences, and now do not like Brexit or Trump. Our mobility will be affected, finding opportunities for our children from jobs to husbands or wives with a green card and such, and some of us are now suspicious of this democracy, the rule of the mobs. This is what I constantly find from various academics in Ind whose salaries have gone up many more times than the coolies working in the gated institutes they work. Those outside are similar. A progressive writer I know has finally manage an Indian-American husband for her daughter. Apparently dowry was some thing like a hundred crore rupees before dementization but she managed without any discussion of dowry since she is a well-known writer with lots of caste connections in America. Now there are celebrations with guests from various countries arriving in India in fancy dresses. Sort of assertive mating I guess. And do on.
How are the local elites doing? They are either committed Marxists or Amdkarites  or neo-liberals in guise of academics or some name which is popular somewhere in the USA like libertarian. An Ambdkarite wrote, a teacher in a college in Andhra, wrote recently
  "ఒకప్పుడు గొప్ప గొప్ప ఉద్యమాలు టిచెర్లే నిర్మించారు."
meaning that " Once upon a time, all great movements were constructed  by teachers". We are not given any names or numbers or times when this happened. The idea seems to be that if one is an Ambedkarite, one is supposed to react in some way to the local news which was about teaching in local languages in this case I think. Similarly a Marxist of a particular denomination reacts as they assume they are supposed to. No references, no data, no time periods are given. At one time communists were guided by either Moscow or Peking, check for example this article on the communist split A.G. Noorani . Now that there is no guidance, they go by what they are supposed to say.They think they are justified because they are not writing for their benefit but for the benefit of the oppressed.
And so on. Ambedkarites do not have a similar background and many of them seem lost in polemics. There are rare exceptions like D.R.Nagaraj, but none of the current Ambedkarites even mention him.
Now I see local elites of Indian origin Melbourne worrying about how many functions to organise for the marriages of their children and in which countries, the guest lists and so on. Some have money for vacations abroad. Some do not. And they do not mind giving false invoices to get extra commissions. All the time there is talk of corruption in a India and how they are glad to escape the corruption.

Sometimes, I feel that we are all corrupt and there is no hope for this species. We may end with a bang or whimper but many of us will go by either bombs or poverty, and then there may be some regeneration.

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