All That Glitters Is Not Gold

| January 8, 2014 | 12 Comments

Most of you are aware of the 80/20 rule. The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule) is named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed in 1906 that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population; Pareto developed the principle by observing that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas.

If we apply the above rule, 20% of the social evils are responsible for 80% problems in our Society.  The mother of all evils is “Dowry” which has engulfed the nation with all other social evils.

The pressure of dowry on the bride’s family is borne out in the statistic that 80% of bank loans in India are taken to meet marriage costs and dowry demands. Indians adore gold and some brides wear jewelry just as it is displayed in a showroom. The gold will show-off the prosperity and the stand of the family in the Society. This love for gold has not only affected every single family but has also jeopardized the economy of the nation.

jewelry shop

Apart from import of petrol, India imports more than 600 tons of gold each year equal to 75 percent of the current account deficit. Government is mulling ways to curb gold imports, as it is causing trade gap to widen.  India consumed 864 tons of gold used for jewelry, bars and coins in 2012.

An estimated 25,000 tons of gold in the form of jewelry is held by Indian households which is unproductive. The purchase of gold for marriages (around 12,000 marriages a day) falls between 300-400 tons annually. Gold prices rose 64% from January 2010 to September 2011. Economists predict that higher per capita income will cause the average amount of gold used in weddings to double over the next five years.

A nation’s prosperity is based solely on average income per person (GDP per capita). However, it is also the joy of everyday life and the prospect of being able to build an even better life in the future which is more important than accumulation of wealth. The Legatum Prosperity Index is an annual ranking, developed by the Legatum Institute, of 142 Countries. The ranking is based on a variety of factors including economy Entrepreneurship & Opportunity, Governance, Education, Health, Safety & Security, Personal Freedom and Social quality of life.

Norway, Switzerland, Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, Denmark, Australia, Finland, Netherlands and Luxembourg are on the top-ten list and India holds 106th position on the prosperity index. If you would like to know further details about what makes these countries to be on the top list of 142 nations, please visit the following link:

Source: http://www.prosperity.com/#!/

Day-in and day-out we talk, discuss and day dream about bringing changes in the Society to address problems and issues like corruption and social evils that have almost destroyed the fabric of our Society. However decades pass by and we see no change since we wish individually but do nothing collectively as a Society.

In 1970s Finland was one of the world’s unhealthiest nations as it held the world record for heart diseases. Diet was poor, people were inactive and heart disease was at record levels. Everybody was smoking and eating a lot of fat. Finnish men considered vegetables were meant for rabbits, so people simply did not eat vegetables. The staples were butter on bread, full-fat milk and fatty meat.

Instead of telling people what not to do, entire villages and towns were set against each other in quitting smoking, cholesterol-cutting and involvement in other healthy activities by motivating them and rewarding them with prizes.  Finland “was set up to get even the most unsporting kids into sport. Hundreds of local schemes were set up to encourage inactive people into physical activity.

Finland now finds itself in the spotlight from health officials across the world that are desperate to find out what it was the Finns got so right. In less than two generations, the Finnish lifestyle became the envy of the world. Now it’s one of the fittest countries on earth.

One of the reasons why it was easy to change the mind-set of the nation was because of their education. Higher education is completely free as Finland views education as a basic human right, and as such, is provided free of cost to students. Thus, they can get as much education as they want at no cost to them as it is good for society.

In a similar situation, Indian economy is being damaged by importing tons of gold each year. The Jewelry market in India is attracting the customers by offering discounts, installment schemes or a gram of gold upon purchase of jewelry. Banks are providing loans for purchasing gold. The loan carries an interest rate between the ranges of 10-12 per cent. Those who have financial constraints opt for these schemes and eventually fall into huge debts.

As it is said “All that glitters is not gold”, If this fatal attraction to gold particularly purchasing jewelry for marriages is curbed, we can not only save many families from debts and miseries untold but also dampen gold imports leading to a positive change in the account deficit of the nation. This can only happen collectively as a Society just like the collective efforts of Finns resulted in a healthiest nation.

“If you choose to not deal with an issue,
then you give up your right of control over the issue
and it will select the path of least resistance.”

― Susan Del Gatto

In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.

Eleanor Roosevelt

What suggestions, measures, schemes do you suggest to motivate the public in curbing the practice of buying or hoarding gold in order to address this concern that is resulting in a financial doom for families and the nation as a whole?

Your feedback and suggestions are highly appreciated.

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About the Author (Author Profile)

I’m Fayaz Pasha from Bangalore, the Silicon Valley and Garden City of India. I’m a Certified Life Coach and an NLP Practitioner. I love reading, writing and convey my thoughts through Poetry. I would like to make my humble contribution to the Society through this blog towards detoxification of social evils particularly the dowry system.
You can contact me by writing to me at zayaf121@gmail.com.

You can read more on: http://muslimweddingflight.com/a-little-about-me

Comments (12)

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  1. numerounity says:

    Your posts has lot of weight in it and off course lovely jewelry! Alas! These days the trend has been reversed with girls asking dowry than guys…Honestly where r those good girls who r not getting married just cause they cannot give high dowry?

    Let me know few, I will get them married to nice families.

    http://www.numerounity.com/2014/01/five-offbeat-hindi-film-that-you.html
    numerounity recently posted…Recharge & RejoiceMy Profile

    • Fayaz Pasha says:

      Thank you Ekta! I’m glad to learn that the trend is changing and girls are demanding dowry which is their right. That would be a big service to the Society as many parents are still worried for their daughters’ marriages due to manifold dowry demands.

  2. Anita says:

    You have very rightly presented a true picture. Agree with all your valid points! :)

  3. sindhoooo says:

    Your posts are filled with facts and vision. Thanks for the GK and making we readers think of something great for the country.

    I feel, the main reason for our under-development is corruption. People who have accumulated black money buy kgs of gold! Yes, dowry system makes thousands of families suffer. But, even after banning dowry, situation is not much changed. What we lack is implementation of the laws and rules…

    Regards,
    Sindhu
    Tantu
    The Arts & Me
    sindhoooo recently posted…Plain Sari Into Printed One – Painting With ThreadMy Profile

    • Fayaz Pasha says:

      Well, corruption is also a by-product of dowry system. Implementation of laws and rules is one side of the coin while we as Citizens should also have concern about the deterioration of the Society due to our compliance with culture & traditions that have added more misery to the Society and the Nation.

      Thank you Sindhoo for your kind input and appreciation.

  4. Indrani says:

    People should be forced to declare their gold assets and there should be limit set by Govt. how much one can hoard!
    Ridiculous – this greed for gold.

    • Fayaz Pasha says:

      Hmm! if people are forced to declare their gold assets, they would declare themselves as belonging to BPL. One thing probably could be implemented is that Customs Officials should visit marriage halls and collect on the spot 25% tax for exceeding a certain limit of gold in marriages.

      On one side there’s greed to possess gold and on the other side there’s fear that daughters wouldn’t get married if they are not given half a kilo gold.

  5. Athenas Take says:

    I feel that gold in our country is one of the most over rated asset that we have. Most of us have so much gold that it just sleeps in a locker. As women having gold is important, but we need to draw a line between what is needed and what is greed.

    Making a choice to not buy gold and invest that amount elsewhere will surely be good for both the country and us.

    A very detailed article with very important figures that we should keep track off. I will agree with Fayaz and say that modesty is the best jewel that any lady can possess and that is surely a lot more than gold.
    Athenas Take recently posted…SELF PROTECTION – THE NEED OF THE HOURMy Profile

    • Fayaz Pasha says:

      Rightly said that there must be a line drawn between need and greed. One major reason why women are forced to buy more jewelry is to give to their daughter as part of the dowry. Like sweets, people are demanding half a kilo to one kilo gold in dowry. Those who have are proud to give and those who don’t are caught in the web of loans and debts. By conforming and fulfilling this unethical wish, a majority of families are suffering and as well as damaging the Nation’s economy too.

      Modesty and Virtues will truly weigh more than gold.

      Thank you Athena for your insight and kind suggestions.

  6. Dear Fayaz,

    Very nice post…loved your Finland story, living very close to the country, I didn’t know this history of the country. Got to know some more interesting data and facts.
    I resonate your thoughts and am totally against dowry as I feel its humiliating for women.

    Hope you continue on your noble mission.

    • Fayaz Pasha says:

      While researching the reasons for prosperity, health etc. of the top notch nations, I happened to discover about Finland and I truly envy the Country and its Citizens for bringing in revolutionary changes.

      Thank you Swati for dropping by and for your encouraging comments.

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