In our student seminars, one thing that has never ceased to amaze me is the ‘default ideological setting’ with which students roll in. It’s always marxian. Only the degrees vary. Exploitation, accumulation, over-production, monopolies, environment protection, global warming, evil capitalism and an all pervasive concern for the ‘poor and helpless’ worn on the sleeve. I have often tried to locate the factors responsible for it. The urge to do so become stronger when i see how easily most of them see and accept the other side. It’s just like they are looking at the same world from a different angle (which they are) .
Of course, our national culture is socialist. You can’t expect anything else from a nation brought up on a staple diet of Nehruvian socialism and its five-year plans. Villains of our movies (generally the heroine’s dad) are mostly wealthy businessmen. I do not remember a movie that chronicles a business success story. Our folk songs sings of cruel land lords and peasant heroes and takes pride in a strong collectivist tradition. In pain and in gain. Popular literature isn’t much different. Neither is popular media. The great government assisting hapless citizens so that they do not make mistakes is the underlying theme of most govt related reporting. And of course, evil capitalists and their frauds.
The opinions expressed in this essay are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of CCS.