`Economics is already threatened by... `
is a chartered accountant by profession, but wears several other hats. He is the National Convenor of the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, a mass-movement committed to the promotion of swadeshi industries and culture. He is also a renowned columnist, writing regularly for The New Indian Express and other publications. Often, he also acts a mediator in large industrial disputes.
In a free wheeling conversation with Claude Arpi in Chennai, Gurumurthy -- known for his candid and at times controversial views on various subjects -- speaks on the current sub-prime crisis and the civilizational choices which have triggered the present difficulties. He also reflects on the international food crisis, its political repercussions in India, and also on the Finance Minister`s recent decision to waive farmers` loans.
This two-part interview covers his comments that deeply reflect upon some of the most serious issues facing Indian society and the future of economic relations between nations.
We would like to have your views on the present financial crisis.
There is lack of conceptual clarity in understanding the crisis. The issue is approached from a pure economic stand-point. But the crisis runs deeper than the reach of economics. Already economics is threatened by environment. Now it is challenged by civilizational implications of present assumptions in economic modelling.
There is an intricate link between social and religious approach to life and the on going economic crisis. The Anglo-Saxon Model gives a premium to the individual over the family, community or neighbourhood. This triggers a lot of economic consequences. It brings about economic atomization of the individual from all collectives from the family, neighbourhood and community to the larger society.
This has transferred the burden of the family and community to the state in exchange for freedom of the individual from the family, community and society, and has actually made the individual more dependent on the state. The crisis today is that the state has taken more responsibility than it should, thanks to promoting market at the cost of the natural human collectives.
Could you tell us about the stock market crisis in the West and how it affects India?
The crisis is due to market fundamentalism. The present slavery to stock market fundamentalism and economic modelling has only developed during the last 25 or 30 years, and more particularly after the advent of globalisation.
This is the product of a huge campaign, both in terms of works done by academics, as well as the political drive to popularise this type of economic model the world over. India is as yet not addicted to this modelling as the social and religious forces in India are quite strong; but there is threat to Indian economic model that has evolved for thousands of years.
Image: A file photo of the 1999-protest against World Trade Organisation meetings in downtown Seattle.
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