Sunday, April 19, 2020

A new paradigm in changing times

In 1991 India changed. We opened up. We started becoming part of the global economy. Globalisation had finally engulfed us. Slowly some disturbing signs started emerging. In 1996 we at SIDH organized a week long seminar on “Re-thinking the New Economic Order: Gandhi & Beyond”. It was not a typical seminar in which speakers come, read their papers and often do not even listen to others. Here the idea was to honestly deliberate in a sellf reflective manner, explore, contemplate and question – not neccessarily to provide answers. It was a wonderful experience for all 25 odd participants, opening new doors of perception. Among others one of the main speakers was Kishen Patnaik. Kishen jee was a socialist. A politician –  but of a rare variety. He was authentic, a deep and original thinker, not stuck in his views, but ever willing to change them if he was convinced otherwise. On the third or the fourth day of the seminar, Kishen jee commenting on Mahatma Gandhi admitted that people like him (the socialists, the leftists, but I think it applies to most people) did not understand or rather rubbished Gandhi’s spiritual or religious aspect. They felt that Gandhi used this as ruse to entice and allure the common Indian. But now (in 1996) he admitted that perhaps they had made a mistake in understanding Gandhi and that now he feels that spirituality is as fundamental a need of a human being as “roti, kapda aur makaan”. This was a major statement coming from a hard core socialist. All of us who knew Kishen jee were surprised and it made us think deeply about the meaning of spirituality.
Even though I am not a Gandhian but Gandhi has helped me understand many things – the question of civilization, the inherent goodness and wisdom of the ordinary Indian, the beauty of the Ordinary and the potential strength of Indian civilization and last but not the least the modern civilization and its systems, etc – and I am indebted to him (as I am to many others) for this. I also find that in modern times he was perhaps the only mass leader who spoke about the importance (actually more than that, he spoke of the dire necessity) of dharma in politics. He was not secular. He saw the greatness of India - in its civilisational understanding of existence, its values and in the ways of and in the mindset of the ordinary peoples of India. He was not a materialist even though he understood the value of material needs. It is worth reading his speech given in Muir College (now Allahabad University) in a seminar on “Is Economic Progress the Real Progress” on December 22, 1916.
The dominant politics in India, cutting across different political parties and other political movements (e.g. Narmada Bachao, the JP movement etc.), have by and large, been secular and focused mainly on materialism - demanding or protesting against something to do only with material concerns. A few leaders spoke of morality in politics but they too refrained from speaking about dharma. Morality too mostly got restricted to honesty in material terms and hardly went beyond that.
The focus of modern politics has largely been confined to material concerns but a human being is far more than just the body and its needs. Respect, confidence, trust, are some of the basic needs of a human being. He has an inherent sense of nyaya (justice), of fairness even though he may behave and act otherwise. All this is inherent in the Being of human being.  Fear, inferiority, sense of shame, anger, angst, frustration, etc are the other side which human nature likes to avoid, dislikes and abhors. This too is part of the Beingness or the Isness. This is Truth. This is reality for anyone to see and experience. It is beyond logic. It is self evident.  
India is wounded. Naipaul called it “a wounded civilization”.  It has been inflicted with violence and terror, sense of shame during the Islamic regime and even more so under the British rule.  The wound is deep and it has been ignored and left to rot manifesting sometimes in cowardice, hypocrisy, self consciousness, imitation, pettiness, myopia and sometimes in vulgarity, small time violent, aggressive and abusive behavior, etc.
Mahatma Gandhi being an extremely sensitive person and being an introvert understood this malaise first through his personal experience and then through observation and incisive insight that he had. Therefore his politics was not confined to political freedom only but he was trying to address the issue of healing the people of India by giving them a sense of pride, confidence, respect and trust in their own ways (of doing and looking/ perceiving). He also understood not only the values embedded in Indian civilization but the damage (at the level of the mind and psyche) done by modernity and therefore in “Hind Swaraj” while critiquing Modern civilization and its systems he also tried to show the beauty inherent in Indian civilization.
This is not being written to eulogies Mahatma Gandhi but only to set the context to what needs to be elaborated. Today in the times of Corona crises the world seems to have slowed down. Whether the crisis was man-made or was an act of nature, nevertheless it has shaken people like no other crises perhaps since the Second World War. If it hasn’t already, it should make the entire world and in particular us, Indians, to think deeply, introspect and reflect. Perhaps it is a blessing in disguise. It should be quite obvious that the general direction of “development”, “progress” and “growth” taken by the countries of the world is not only unsustainable but violent and discriminating. It is time to boldly review and make a course correction, even if it requires taking a U- turn.
India has been in deep trouble in more ways than one. Basic necessities of millions of people are yet to be met, disparities of all kinds are increasing by leaps and bounds, the villages are under deep neglect, migration is rampant, the traditional and adivasi life itself is under severe threat, etc etc. We need not elaborate. We have seen different political parties – old ones, new ones – doing the same things which have been done in the past. Following the same path of “development” and playing the same old “dirty” tricks to remain in power. It is déjà vu every time.  It is high time we came to the conclusion that the answer does not lie in the kind of system, the paradigm, we have adopted and we have been trained into believing - would deliver. We need to look into how the human mind has been indoctrinated by Modernity. This needs to be understood before we can start thinking in a fundamentally different and right direction. Patch work solutions will not work. Modern systems have the capacity to absorb and digest even righteous dissent. It gobbles up (without even a burp) anything coming from within the same paradigm (even dissent) which many times is propped up by its own design. It has the capacity to absorb and sometimes even promote opposition and lend support to both sides like the Democrats and the Republicans, the Congress (and its various allies including the communists) and the BJP etc. It can support both the establishment and the anti-establishment forces at the same time. It has refined the art of management and manipulation of the human mind to a very high degree through media, research, education, NGOs, institutions giving awards and organizing lecture tours, the academia and the intellectuals. It works invisibly, remotely and it is almost omnipresent. The modern GOD!
We need to wonder at the present day contradictions: Communists China and its capitalist/imperialistic ways; Capitalist America and its institutions supporting and nurturing the liberals, the leftists etc.. These contradictions should wake us up and make us wonder and be in awe of the power of Modernity and its ways. Only then can we objectively understand its core. Contemplation on contradictions and paradoxes has the potential to reveal. We also need to connect seemingly disjointed events and happenings to see the design.
Modernity stands on falsity, individualism, comparison and competition. It does not distinguish, deliberately perhaps, between fact and truth and between perception and truth. Hence the biggest falsehood it has been successful in propagating - supported by the lure of individual FREEDOM - is that “there is no (absolute) Truth; that each one defines their own truth (सब का अपना अपना सच होता है)”. Whereas in actuality, each one has their own perception (as different from Truth) (सबकी अपनी अपनी दृष्टि होती है). Truth is Universal (सच तो एक है, सबके लिए). In one stroke it has blurred the sharp and important distinction between Truth and perception, between truth and information, between knowledge and information. In fact so much so that now information is perceived to be knowledge. And opinions are taken as Truth.  So freedom becomes individual’s choice, to be defined by him (as he or she likes). Consequence is morality and ethics get thrown out of the window; they are a hindrance to individual freedom. Morality becomes an imposition. Individual freedom is the new value.
Morality and Ethics need to be grounded in Truth. Truth, ethics and morality go hand in hand. Morality can only be derived from Universal principles – Truth, the sanatana (eternal).  If we do not accept (forget understanding) that there is Truth, which is universal, beyond time and space (सनातन), then there cannot be an agreement on the question of ethics or morality. We need to come to a shared understanding on universal truth followed by an agreement on morality and ethics.
Modernity talks of objectivity but confines it only to the material, the manifested world. But the fundamental reality is of the unmanifested, the unseen, the felt, the experienced, the known and not of the manifested and sensorial, which is changing all the time. The world of Meaning and the world of the Word are two different realms, inter-connected but different. The reality is that the world of Word is dependent and indicative of the world of Meaning, which is fundamental and which is beyond language, which IS - whether one understand it (the meaning) or not. Words can be learnt but meanings have to be understood and ultimately experienced. Modernity tries to objectify the manifested (which is changing all the time) and subjectify that which is fundamental, constant and needs to be felt, experienced and understood, all within. This is topsy-turvy. But modernity ignores this reality and lays emphasis only on the manifested, the material, the sensorial, the measurable. This is the modern paradigm. This breeds comparison, competition, and individualism pushing everyone into running the same race – globalization, uniformity and homogenization – different names in different contexts but all emanating from the same source. Both freedom and equality the two great values of modern times are perceived in the manifested world without bothering about developing any understanding of their true meaning. In reality, in Truth both freedom and equality belong to the paradigm of meaning and not to the paradigm of word.   
Most political movements base their ideas on alleviating the plight of the common man. They do not take into account either the wound of the common man or the inherent faith and values of the common man. If at all it is taken into consideration, it is only to exploit. The common man of this country despite the corruption and indoctrination through modern education and media, still believes in ethics, believes in morality believes in the sanatana. The common man is caught in between – the rat race to/for “development” (the race which the modern paradigm ensures every one must run) and the sanskaras of ethics, values and sanatana. The common man is caught in between and somehow hanging on to the values while trying hard to run the race.
 All political movements (with the exception of the efforts made by Mahatma Gandhi but hardly understood by his followers) have been grounded in the modern paradigm. They have been led by people who hardly had any issues with the modern paradigm. They were themselves caught in individualism and were caught in the images of their own personal identity (either/or create consciously by them or got created by others). I am not trying to deride or demean the entire political class. Some of them were great and worth admiring. But the point is about the general trend which politics has been taking. Except Mahatma Gandhi most political leaders were certainly impacted by modern education and did come under its influence to a smaller of lager degree. In this context it is worth reading the speech given by the Mahatma on March 17, 1918 at Sabarmati Ashram on the day he decides to sit on fast unto death in support of the demands of the Mill workers of Ahmedabad.
The present paradigm is solely a materialistic paradigm which promotes individualism (in alignment with the idea of personal freedom). And individualism breeds violence. It encourages comparison and jealousy. But the idea of individual freedom (never defined hence it translates into ‘do what you please’) is alluring to the political class. They never understood the deep synergy between the exploitative results of the paradigm they were trying to challenge and the idea of individual freedom, individual Right, comparison, competition, the market economy and modern State - each supporting the other.
The modern state abhors society (samaaj is a better word, nonetheless) as the samaaj is comparatively speaking more self reliant (and not just in material terms), believes in more or less the same values and code of conduct and hence has the strength to pose a challenge to the State. Samaaj also discourages vulgar or excessive consumption and display of wealth. Therefore it is in the interest of both the State and the market (economy) to disintegrate the samaaj and promote individualism.  Modern education and media are the two most effective instruments in this game.   
Colonial education had been successful in building a false narrative around our traditions and therefore spirituality, religion, ethics and morality all were clubbed together and thrown out of the window as useless, retrograde, and seeped in ignorance and superstition etc. Secularism was fashionable, alluring and modern.  But it has no basis (in Truth). The blurring of the distinction between fact and Truth helped the spread of secularism.
 So a new political movement will have to be grounded in Truth (the sanatana), followed by ethics and morality. It will have to develop a clear understanding of swa-tantr-ta (in alignment with Truth, the existential reality) and swa-raj as different from modern concept of freedom and independence. It will have to have a very clear understanding of the distinction between Needs and Wants, between the fundamental and the manifested (the meaning and the word; the Being and the Doing or appearing etc.). To summarise the new politics will have to be grounded in hard core spirituality, Truth (eternal, sanaatan).  

April 19, 2020
Pawan Kumar Gupta

Monday, April 13, 2020

जो नोट बनाया था उसके आगे......ग्राम पंचायत स्तर पर चरागाह बनाने और उसके साथ गोबर से जैविक खेती को छोटे किसानों में प्रोत्साहित करने के लिए उनको MSP के ऊपर 25-30% अतिरिक्त देने की बात पिछले नोट में हो चुकी है। कोरोना के बाद उम्मीद है की शहरी लोगों में भी सेहत को लेकर संवेदनशीलता बढ़ेगी और वे शाकाहारी भोजन, घरेलू भोजन और जैविक खेती की तरफ आकर्षित होंगे। इसलिए जैविक खेती की मांग बढ्ने वाली है। इसका लाभ छोटे किसानों को मिल सकता है अगर सरकार की तरफ से थोड़ा बढ़ावा दिया जाय।

इसके अलावा छोटे और पारंपरिक कामों को - हथकरघे से बने कपड़े, लोहे से बने बर्तन और रसोई के समान, बांस और बेंत के फर्नीचर, छोटे कारीगरों के बनाए चमड़े के समान, पीतल, तांबे इत्यादि के समान मिट्टी के बर्तन इत्यादि की भी थोड़ी सी बात पहले हो चुकी है। इन्हे मार्केटिंग की सुविधा खड़ी ग्रामोद्योग की दुकानों और पोस्ट ऑफिसों के अभूतपूर्व देशभर के नेटवर्क से दिलवाने की व्यवस्था सरकार कर सकती है। साथ ही इनही माइक्रो फाइनन्स से जोड़ा जा सकता है।  यह ग्रामीण अर्थ व्यवस्था में जान फूंकने जैसा होगा और आज के दिन इसे करने में अंदरूनी और बाहरी दवाब या बाधा भी या तो नहीं आएगी या बहुत कम।

दूसरी तरफ चीन अभी पूरी दुनिया में बदनाम हो चुका है। इसका फायदा हम उठा सकते हैं। वहाँ से चीजों के आयात को बहुत सोच समझ कर ही इजाज़त दी जाय। आज हम यह कर पाएंगे। शायद कोरोना के पहले इसे अंतर-राष्ट्रीय दवाब के कारण संभव न होता। और हम अपने छोटे, बड़े उद्योगपतियों से यह कह सकते हैं की वे अपनी शक्ति ऐसी मशीनों को बनाने में लगाएँ जो देश के छोटे किसानों, घरेलू उपयोग एवं छोटे उद्योगों के काम की हों। जैसे 1 या 2 HP या उससे भी कम पावर की मोटरें और पम्प जो छोटे किसान सौर ऊर्जा के छोटे से पैनेल से से चल सके बनाएँ। छोटी धान से छिलका निकालने की मशीन, छोटी तेल पिरोने की मशिने, छोटी खांडसारी और गुड बनाने की मशिने, जिसमे प्रदूषण थोड़ा कम हो,  इत्यादि बनाया जाय। पहाड़ों में एक छोटे से नाले से 1 KW से 20/30 KW तक का पवार बनाने की हाइड्रोलिक मशिने आसानी से बनाई जा सकती हैं। चीन यह सब बनाते रहा है और हमारे यहाँ आयात भी हुई हैं। इन्हे बनाने में कोई खास दिक्कत नहीं आएगी। टाटा, महिंद्रा इत्यादि ग्रुप सरकार के कहने पर शायद यह बीड़ा उठा भी लें। इसके लिए उन्हे कुछ incentive भी दिया जाय तो बुरा नहीं।

यह मशीनों वाले काम में दो तीन सिद्धान्त ध्यान में रखे जाय। 1) वे मशीने जो छोटे किसान, छोटे उद्योगों और घरेलू कामों को मदद करे उन्हे बड़े कारखानों में बनाया जा सकता है, 2) ये मशीनें जहां तक हो सके सौर ऊर्जा से चल सके जिसका पैनल उपयोग करने वाले के हाथ में रहे ताकि वह स्वायत हो सके 3) मशीन आसानी से मरम्मत हो सके, स्थानीय स्तर पर, 4) कीमत आम आदमी के दायरे के अंदर हो

Saturday, April 11, 2020

इतिहास में ऐसे अवसर बहुत कम आते हैं जब वो काम किए जा सकते हैं जिन्हे आम तौर पर करने में बड़ी अड़चने आती हैं। करोना और इस काम ठप्प (lock down) ने भारत को एक बड़ा अवसर दिया है, कि हम अपनी जड़ों को, उसकी ताकत को, पहचान कर, उससे जुड़े। और भारत एक बार फिर से अपनी सीरत और स्वभाव के अनुकूल, आत्मविश्वास के साथ जिये और दुनिया में अपनी अलग पहचान बना कर उन्हे भी प्रेरणा देने का काम करे। देश के पास यह अवसर आया है। इसे हाथ से जाने नहीं देना चाहिए।

दुनिया पिछली सदी में इस तरह आपस में जुड़ गई है (शायद गुत्थम गुत्था कहना ज़्यादा उचित होगा) कि किसी भी राष्ट्र के लिए अपने लिए एक अलग paradigm में जीना मुश्किल हो गया है। पर इस संकट की घड़ी में जब सब जगह lock down की स्थिति है तो हम अपने लिए इस समय एक अलग राह, जो हमारे लिए ज़्यादा अनुकूल, हमारे स्वभाव से ज़्यादा मिलती हुई, हो बना सके। हमारी 50-60 प्रतिशत आबादी अभी भी गैर-व्यवस्थित (unorganised sector) से जुड़ी है, वहीं से अपनी आजीविका चलाती है। राष्ट्रीय आय में कारपोरेट सेक्टर जिसकी चर्चा बहुत अधिक होती है का योगदान 14-15% के आसपास ही है। कृषि 17/18% और विभिन्न प्रकार के घरेलू, छोटे उत्पादन और उद्योगों से करीब 50% का योगदान है। यह बड़ी चीज़ है। किसी भी "विकसित" राष्ट् की स्थिति ऐसी नहीं हो सकती। उनके यहाँ घरेलू उत्पादन और उद्योग तो लगभग समाप्त ही होंगे। कृषि भी कॉर्पोरेट के हाथ में होगी। इस समय यह हमारी ही ताकत है कि आबादी का एक बड़ा हिस्सा अभी भी इन छोटे उद्योगों, उत्पादन और कृषि से अपनी आजीविका चलाता है और इन इकाइयों का राष्ट्रीय आय में एक अहम हिस्सा है। इन दोनों को साथ रखें तो यह एक ताकत के रूप में नज़र आती हैं।

जो राष्ट्र जितना विकसित वह बुनियादी चीजों के उत्पादन (और वह भी साधारण जन मानस द्वारा) से उतना ही दूर हो गया है। यह एक प्रकार से पर-निर्भरता को बढ़ावा देना हुआ। हम बावजूद, दुनिया और देश के पिछले कम से कम 2 शताब्दी से एक तरफा चलने के और इस साधारण समाज और इनके जरिये जो काम होता है, उसकी अनदेखी करते हुए भी, अब भी बहुत कुछ बचा ले गए। इसे अगर पहचान कर इस बहुसंकयक तबके को मजबूत और प्रोत्साहित करने पर काम हो तो यह देश को एक नई दिशा और मजबूती दे सकता है।

क्या भारत की हरेक ग्राम पंचायत स्तर पर एक 15/25 एकड़ भूमि पर एक चारागाह नहीं बनाया जा सकता जिसमे दो तीन छोटे तालाब भी हों। चारों तरफ सुरक्षित करने के लिए शुरू में तारबाड़ और बादमें कोई स्थानीय झड़ी या पेड़ से इसे घेरा जासकता है। जो बूढ़ी गायें सड़कों पर यूंही लावारिस छोड़ दी जाती है उंन्हे यहां आश्रय दिया जा सकता है। चारागाह में 3/4 लोगों को रोजगार मिल सकता है जिनका मुख्य काम, निगरानी के अलावा, गोबर एकत्रित करने का होगा।

इसके साथ जो छोटे किसान है, जिनके पास 3 एकड़ से कम भूमि हो, उंन्हे प्रोत्साहित किया जाय की वे सिर्फ गाय, बैल  और गोबर की खाद खेती करेंगे। इसके लिए उंन्हे उपज की जो msp सरकसर निश्चित करतीहै उससे 30% अधिक मूल्य दिया जाय बशर्ते की वो रासायनिक खाद का पूर्णतः परित्याग करते है और बैल से हल चलाकर खेती करते हैं। इससे देश का एक बड़ा उत्पादन जैविक में तब्दील हो जाएगा। और साथ ही गाय और बैलों को बचाया जा सकेगा। लावारिस घूम रही गायों को आश्रय भी मिलेगा। चारागाह से 5/10 लाख लोगों को रोजगार भी मिलेगा।

इसके अलावा जिन जिन इलाकों में कारीगर समाज के लोग अभी भी अपना धंधा चला रहे है जैसे सूती वस्त्र, लोहे का सामान, पीतल, तांबे और कांसे का काम, चमड़े का काम, प्रिंटिंग का काम, पत्थर का काम, बांस, बेंत का काम, इत्यादि - यह शायद सरकार के पास पहले से उपलब्ध हो - वहां वहां उंन्हे छोटे ऋण और खादी ग्रामोद्योग एवं डाकघरों से बिक्री की व्यवस्था की जाय और इस छोटे उद्योगों को एक बड़ा प्रोत्साहन दिया जाय।

बहुत संक्षेप में कुछ सुझाव भेज रहा हूँ। ठीक लगे तो आगे बढ़ सकता हो बढ़ाने में मदद करे। पवन

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

First of all we need expose the bluff of Modernity. In this time of crises which ironically also presents us with an opportunity (but that's the way of nature that is why we have phrases like 'every cloud has a silver lining' ; emphasis on the word *every*; that it is never unidimensional). I call it भ्रम मुक्ति and मोह भंग। I think it is the need of the hour to do this - expose modernity and call it's bluff in every field, every area, be it education, be it modern democracy, be it modern so called 'progress', 'modern science', modern judicial system, technology.  In every area of human life modernity has played havoc, manipulated our perceptions (hence our thinking, our desires, our imaginations, our sense of values, our feelings) and controlled us, giving us the illusion of freedom while making us completely dependent on - the system (from water to food to all the essentials in life) for everything. Our relationship with all the essentials are not direct anymore but via the market where money (cash) is the via media. So money which is an imposition, an imposed value starts being perceived as real as true! But real is that which we consume, we buy *with* money. We don't consume money. Money is a means. Real is what we buy with it. But what does this do to our perception? Money gets *over* evaluated while the real stuff, the goods (food, clothes etc etc) starts getting *under* evaluated. This is how perception gets moulded. This is happening for the last 100 years and more at a rapid rate.

Last century blurred the important distinction between Needs and Wants and somehow the economy of nations was tied to this tendency. So it suited everyone except the common ordinary man got caught in this racket without being aware of what was happening. He was just a cog in the huge machinery called ECONOMY. He was mere pawn but a pawn without whom the machine won't work.

Modernity works on creating illusions while the reality is completely different.

It talks of FREEDOM but in actuality there is no freedom. In fact the very MEANING of the word has been hijacked. Actual meaning of freedom is better described in our languages where it is called स्व+तंत्र+ता=स्वतंत्रता। it is pointing towards the ISNESS which is existential. THE WAY IT IS. We human beings have the freedom to assume/think/believe the way we like but that does not change the REALITY or ISNESS. Swatantrata is to live in alignment with the way of our BEING (the. स्व)।or living in alignment (which comes from understanding, from education शिक्षा) with the ISNESS (तंत्र)of our Beingness (स्व). स्वतंत्रता is not anywhere near freedom which basically gets translated into 'do what you like'. This is against ISNESS of existence. But the modern person is taught through education to be free, that freedom is his fundamental right (another word which is full of problems but we will deal with it later). Freedom is a bluff. This needs to be understood that there is no provision in existence to "do as you please". That there is an existential order and we can live in alignment with the order in existence (which included me as I am part of existence and not separate from it).

But the (false) idea of freedom is propagated as it serves the market and the State. The idea of freedom gives rise to the notion of INDIVIDUALITY, again in divergence with the existential order. At the level of BEING inherently  we are all alike. But we are *trained* to 'stand out', to 'be diffetent' from the other, to 'move ahead', be ahead of everyone,etc  etc. The while emphasis gets scewed. Instead of the emphasis being on the common ground the BEINGNESS it shifts to the APEARANCE part, the LOOKING (good or different) part. Not the real, the being but the false, the pretentious, the veneer.

But this too serves the system.

More later

There is a huge possibility that the real powers (Big corporate while remaining invisible will act through the instruments of governments of different countries) will try to put massive surveillance systems to track each and every individual and use sophisticated algorithms and artificial intelligence to manipulate and control people. That is a possibility post corona.

But there is something else happening on its own without anyone's doing. The mindset and perception of people is undergoing a transformation for the first time in modern history.
This may bring people closer to truth and reality and closer to their roots and traditions.

People may realise that to live well you really do not need too much. That there is a difference between showing off, vulgar display of wealth and real comfort (in our languages we call it ठाठ). We may realise that we are doing too much of unnecessary activity, trying to keep ourselves busy and sometimes pretending to be busy while actually we are not. The lock down may show us the falsity of all these pretences of money, of being busy, of being clever, of keeping up with the jonses. We may just become more real. This is a possibility.

It may be a time to remove the chaff from the grain, so to say. For instance the industry and service sector which is going to take the biggest hit is going to be the industry and services catering to only luxury. This is going to be badly hit and will take a long time to recover and if they do it will be in a different avatar.

20 th century was about blurring the distinction between NEEDS and WANTS. Every want was converted into a need through media, education, the advertising industry etc. It was in the interest of the market economy. So people were manipulated into needing things which actually they did not. But it suited the market. A good example of manipulation of the mind can be seen in the expensive "torn jeens". In india wearing torn clothes was considered bad omen (अपशुकन) both by the rich and the poor. But see the game . The rich kids are buying them at exorbitant prices. And these people 'think that they think's. But do they? Their perception has been manipulated.
These present times is making people ponder about many things and go back to the basics.

I think we need to see this and play a proactive part in this for a more easy and relaxed world in future.