Cultural diversity, a product of the vast range of human experiences and achievements is a broad concept based on the connections between people through shared history, tradition and language. This diversity is also a reflection of people’s values such as freedom of expression, pluralism of ideas, effective participation and exercise of choice.
Cultural diversity is valued as essential and notably worthy of preservation in the wake of the challenges that globalization or free trade have brought about and as the influx of a multitude of modernized trends are sweeping across the globe; as the boundaries that distinctly mark the boundaries of different cultures scattered over a vast cluster of territories are thinning away while trade and international commercial relationships are deepening in hue and colour.
Under the spate of the opening of trade links on a mass scale there is a certain kind of intrusion on cultures, as the economic hegemonic world order led by the Western super rich countries attempt to knead the diverse world community into a thick whole that would not only facilitate but rather guarantee free trade and commerce, which is to mean the exchange of commodities including human labour as a force.
The r?gime of globalization has a certain kind of attitude to it, where utter disrespect is being shown to distinct cultural and ethnic groups. The countries, especially the underdeveloped, are not able to put up stiff resistance to this era of trade liberalization, in other words the agenda of the expansion of the world neo-colonialist Western empire, as the hype created by latter is immense while propagated by the so called “free press” which as a matter of fact is a doodle at the hands of the global trade giants, locally known as the multi national concerns or companies.
Resistance to the global order, as of now, that of trade liberalization means sanctions and economic depravity. The scene has been painted such that any country or any people of the world which choose to maintain a distance from the tide of globalization can only imagine a future so bleak that even internal social interdependence appears a bane. The liberalization scheme aims to seep in dependence into all models of social sustenance in all parts of the world, in order to secure the goal of a world that is leashed to the word of the global super rich, the elite super nationals.
In such a scenario the need to preserve culture and heritage as also the effort needed to achieve that is gigantic. Even though Kashmir may appear far removed from the spate of the neo-colonialist empire and its r?gime, apparently involved in intrinsic subcontinent strife, but the truth is that no part of the world is left unaffected, including the Valley and its people.
International trends seep down to the bottom of the world order, to the grass root, as the media is almost “omnipresent” by now. Our economy, our social patterns, our language and thought, our dress codes and food habits, one and all stand gravely affected by the global trends of liberalization.
Kashmiri people, as the rest of the world community, are at the receiving end of the globalization r?gime. And our cultural distinctiveness, very rich by way of tradition and subscribed and acknowledged history of the land, is under siege. There is immense need to preserve our culture against the pervasive drive of the neo-colonialist empire that aims to level the play field for economic hegemony.