It is interesting to know how globalization has influenced our day to day life - if I will be more specific - the quality of life. There are contradictory views though on this issue. While the cohorts of globalization theory view globalization as improving economic growth and quality of life indicators, the critics view globalization as accentuating inequalities, promoting poverty, and degrading the over all quality of human life. Running through this contentious debate, my paper examines how economic and cultural globalizations have influenced the overall quality of life, or in the language of developmental economists, how globalization has influenced the indicators that constitute human development. However, my focus here is on the handicrafts sector of India and those millions of rural artists who have sustained this invaluable tradition/identity of this vast nation since ages.
Human development as it is widely believed is a process of enlarging the choices of the people. It can be achieved by expanding human capabilities. Without education (knowledge), good health and means to maintain a good standard of life, the humanity cant think of those choices and can't think of development. Simply speaking, without these basic capabilities human being faces inaccessibility to and unavailability of those resources that constitute human development. As defined by UNDP, "human development is a process of enlarging people's choices- the most critical ones are to lead a long and healthy life, to be educated and to enjoy a decent standard of living. Additional choices include political freedom, guaranteed human right and self respect."
II. Globalization of Crafts:
As India opens up her doors to the multinationals during the post- liberalization era, it is not only the economies that often meet in the global market sphere, but also the people and cultures. Talking about Indian Handicrafts, its export has reached at a commendable height. Indian economy experiences the existence of both traditional handicrafts and modern mechanised production. However, there is no universally accepted definition of the term in India. As the Task Force on Handicrafts definition (1989) puts it, 'Handicrafts are items made by hand, often with the use of simple tools, and are generally artistic and / or traditional in nature. They include objects of utility and objects of decoration'.
About the Author:
The author is Doctoral Student of Sociology at the Center of the Study of Social Systems (CSSS), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi.