Recently I picked up ‘The World is Flat’ by Friedman. Its about how he visits China , India and writes about how globalization is making different parts of the world pretty much similar. My concentration for some reason doesn’t seem to permit me to read for more than 50 pages at a stretch – anyways most significant amongst the statments I read was : "Communism makes everybody equally poor." . And (with the little I have seen of Communism vs Capitalism) I remember West Bengal – every single time I arrived at Calcutta Railway Station, I saw a red flagged procession, and almost every part of the city was pretty much a wrecked, ramshackled place where every singe thing seemed to have entered a state of decay. West Bengal and its love for China, Russia and the inspiration it drew from them had made a conscious choice to remain detached from all economic progress. Contrast this with other areas in North,South and Western India. True, there is poverty in these places too, and the problems solved so far is far outnumbered by the problems they still face. But you can see the sheer energy there, in the form of IT Companies,Call centres offices n all. And I’m sure it trickles down to others too, given the number of hawkers , restraunts and other small businesses which develop around the bigger ones. Certainly there is a disparity which can’t be ignored, but then, wealth needs to be created before it can be spread. So the great hub of communism, West Bengal, has pretty much no future. To be honest people in that region seemed pretty non enterprising and lazy and maybe communism is an easy crutch for such people.
Now coming to the Flattening ,, when I think of my workplace at Mumbai vs Microsoft, I can hardly think of a difference – the technology,infrastructure,communication etc.
Well true – I’m just talking about the Workplace at Mumbai – not mumbai as a city – the slums,the garbage etc. But the point is that at least such workplaces existed.
When I think of Bengal – except for my beloved Alma Mater- I find it hard to think of Bengal as anything but a big potholed ruin. And for the Cruel,Capitalistic society (as communists like to think of it) …. most corporations have huge giving campaigns,charitable functionaries etc and do way more for the world than communists ever will.