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Dependence on Globalization


Define Irony: Malayalees opposing globalization.

The Kerala model of development, as an alternative to market economy has been touted by economists like Amartya Sen, but it turns out that the money order economy of Kerala is not practically applicable to any part of the world, including Kerala.

Plagued by chronic unemployment, more Keralites than ever work abroad, often at sun-scorched jobs in the Persian Gulf that pay about $1 an hour and keep them from their families for years. The cash flowing home now helps support nearly one Kerala resident in three. That has some local scholars rewriting the Kerala story: far from escaping capitalism, they say, this celebrated corner of the developing world is painfully dependent on it.

Without migrant earnings, critics say, the state’s luster could not be sustained. The $5 billion that Keralite migrants send home augment the state’s economic output by nearly 25 percent. Migrants’ families are three times as likely as those of nonmigrants to live in superior housing, and about twice as likely to have telephones, refrigerators and cars. Men seeking wives place newspaper ads, describing themselves as “handsome, teetotaler, foreign-employed” or “God-fearing and working in Dubai.” [Jobs Abroad Support ‘Model’ State in India (via email from Mohan)]

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