News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

Jaipur Literature Festival 2013: Capitalism has lost its way...

Resham Sengar

Jaipur: The curtains were drawn on the 6th DSC Jaipur Literature Festival after a final debate on the topic ‘This house proposes that capitalism has lost its way’ that featured distinguished figures like Shoma Chaudhary, Suhel Seth, Frank Savage, Michael Sandel, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta as guest speakers who took their stand against the motion and for the motion. The session was moderated by Rahul Kanwal.

A peppery debate ensued on the subject matter when Shoma Chaudhary, arguing for the motion, declared that capitalism has lost its way. She said, “If the goal of human enterprise is not just to put a bit of cash in the bank but to care for happiness, we would not be having this conversation. Capitalism has fallen off the track and is completely mutilated.”

Shoma further argued that that everything to do with capitalism had been subverted; if it`s not possible to provide electricity or drinking water to those who need it, the corporates will not do it.

She said that only a few privileged people can reap the fruits of capitalism while 80% of the Indian population have “dark” stories to narrate. She reiterated the fact that the rich have grown richer and the poor have grown poorer thanks to capitalism.

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta responded that the rich have not grown richer and the poorer have not grown poorer but the gap has grown. He discussed economic and social systems, arguing that India had to rise above `isms` to get the best of all worlds.

However, Suhel Seth, voiced his thoughts against the motion and said that capitalism is not always good but it is a reality and can do well. He urged the audience to vote with their conscience not some archaic liberal talk.”

Taking a very pro capitalist viewpoint, Frank Savage reasoned that capitalism has provided a lot of mobility to people the world over. He added that it is up to the people to make capitalism work since it is flexible and therefore each country can make it work in its own way.

On the other hand, Michael Sandel accepted that capitalism had lost its way because it has wandered into places it does not belong such as family values and community life. He advocated that capitalism should not be got rid of but be kept in its place for the common good.

On a final note, a majority of the audience present during the session chose to vote for the motion and the debate ended with Rajasthani drum beats marking the end to the high-spirited literary mega-event.