Sunday, 16 October 2011

Why #OWS will not work in Mumbai

So there are people in thousands turning up in NY, London, Berlin to protest against the big bad capitalist society and about a 100 in Manila and @occupy_mumbai is trying its best to drum up support in the Indian capital, and trying to decide whether #occupymumbai is alive or not.


But why would any of the Asian or for that matter any of the BRICs want to take part in these  #OWS inspired protests which have taken the western world by storm, caught up as the people are in the wave of new wealth, sweeping across these countries.

The astrologers foretell that after 500 years of wealth in the west  the Goddess of Wealth has turned her eyes Eastwards, so that the emerging Eastern Economies have just started on the roller coaster ride of wealth aggregation and booming consumer spends.

Even keeping the mystic sciences aside the financial experts agree that the emerging economies especially in the East powered by India & China will drive the future. We are just beginning to experience the effects of this filtering down the ranks into the middle class in India. Conspicuous consumption  making up for the years of deprivation. No longer do the US returned cousins come down and flaunt the Hershey's chocolates and the Levis Jeans unavailable on the shelves of Mumbai. So why would any of them in their right minds turn up to protest against capitalism when they are just beginning to reap the benefits of the many years of churning out educated young people who have just taken over the helm of the HSBC's of the world in the financial district of   the city?

Success is still guaged by educational degrees, company designations,  international schools for children, no of flats bought & most importantly making money of the stock exchange. The very stock market which has helped turn the fortunes of many a middle class punter.

They are just embarking on the growth cycle which the western world has come to the end off. No wonder that the youth in NY, Madrid, London protest against capitalism. They will not benefit from it as much as their parents or grandparents. No wonder many of them take off to far corners of the world to run Tai Chi academies, or spend years in Mysore trying to master the art of the Ashtanga. They've seen the money. Been there done that. And its not enough. It brings you short term happines. But leaves you at 40 with a yearning to do something more meaningful which you will enjoy in the moment and not just leave behind a fortune for your children...

Its a strange quandry from where I stand. My head in the West, my roots in the East. Having first hand pursued physical wealth for most of my life while trying to team it up with a search for that elusive inner satisfaction. A stranger in my homeland. Pulled at always by Indian spirituality which guides towards a deeper meaning to life that is not just about material wealth, and strangely finding fellow believers in London the heart of western civilisation.

What is your experience? Do tell me.