India has done well to be part of a global village all along, where India has blended well into the global mix. Globalization is like a wave, and one can grow together along with it, and also fall along with it. While India is dependent on globalization to make it better, India has also evolved certain aspects that make India unique to the outside world.
The red carpet welcome to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the USA recently, showed the importance of India in Obama’s plans. India has shown a lot of leadership, and has a lot of potential in helping out our neighboring countries to foster peace and economic development, keeping India as the fulcrum for trade. Moving to the field of technology, A lot of Western tech companies have people of Indian origin at the helm, and many Indians defining the culture of these companies (Sundar Pichai at Android, Satya Nadella at Microsoft etc). India scores high on culture, history, technology, wellness, cricket and cinema, and is slowly making the outside take note and take in a bit of Indian-ness in their daily life.
a) Cinema-Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey doing the lungi dance in an Indian award function, or Hollywood movies with an Indian theme (Eat Pray Love/Slumdog Millionaire), definitely opens up India to the world. While the attention is on India, India needs to keep honing their excellence at their craft, and work tirelessly.
b) Wellness– In the cult classic best seller in the West, “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”, the world looks at India as the mystic place, whose ancient habits and rituals have protected Indians from ages, helping them lead a happy and contented life. The world is flocking east, to understand the ways of life and the rituals that make India what it is. May it be the flocking of faith, which attracts the largest gathering of people in the world at the Maha Kumbh Mela, or burgeoning Yoga and Ayurveda treatments which are needed as an antidote for today’s “tune in and burn out” work culture.
c) Sport- India for the last couple of decades, have produced sportsmen, who have shined individually like Sachin Tendulkar, Jeev Milkha Singh, Mary Kom and Abhinav Bindra, putting India on the sporting map. While India’s position is still a blinking light, compared to the athletic and sporting development in similar economies like Brazil and China, India’s sporting revolution seems to be led by Cricket. The global cricket economy runs on India’s audience, and after the success of a globalized tournament like the IPL, India has been looking for revolutionizing other sports like hockey, football and tennis with similar initiatives. Sport is a great way for cultures to mingle, and for opportunities for creating Indianisation in Sport (which is already happening in cricket)
d) Tech- While India has been lapping up the benefits of a technology revolution, there are lot of efforts made by people of Indian origin who lead a lot of the tech firms in Silicon Valley. India is warming up to entrepreneurship in technology, opening up avenues for India to slowly become a global power.
If you looked at each of these 4 pillars through which the world is becoming more Indianized, you would have realised that all India has done, is put the right foot forward. These are baby steps and needs all the support in growing big over the years. These 4 pillars are mega trends in their own right and right now, will wait to converge.
While these are positive steps and helps India carve a niche for itself in the world, it needs to take a holistic look at how technology can make its primary economic driver of agriculture better, and make technology access to the bottom of the pyramid possible. Primarily, India needs to identify what’s unique with its culture, and follow that. There’s a line in the sand we draw between Indians getting globalized and the world getting Indianized, and that’s possible only if we Indians are awakened spiritually to know what’s right for us, instead of accepting a template and being blindly globalized.
Blind globalization of trends can some times erode into a region’s uniqueness. You just don’t want the world to be a place where you by default have a McDonald’s, a Star Bucks, a Hard Rock Cafe and a Hilton Hotel. While globalization is great, India needs to ask itself its acceptance of globalization is coming at some cost, which is eroding into its Indianisation. There’s a very thin line there that separates both of these, and recognizing that thin line is what will determine how Indianized the World will get relative to India getting globalized.