All That Glitters Is Not Gold

| January 19, 2018

Dear Readers,

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 arranging 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 status 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.

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.

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 1970’s 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 range 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, and schemes do you suggest to motivate the public for curbing the practice of buying or hoarding jewelry in order to address this concern which is resulting in a financial doom for families and the nation as a whole?

Category: Marital Awareness

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 from American University of NLP. I love reading, writing and Poetry. I would like to make my humble contribution to the Society through this blog towards detoxification of social evils particularly the dowry system and Feticide.

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  1. Shilpi Dutta says:

    Quite insightful and informative. Sharing this on my social accounts.

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