Scholars and social scientists have always blamed it on consumerism, for the widening gap between haves and have-nots and rising crimes against woman. They lament that consumerism made the world a marketplace where anything is up for sale. Philosophers and modern-day gurus exhorts their disciples and followers to show restraint while shopping. But, it seems people of India are in no mood to listen to them. Every day, new shops are springing up across the country, not just in cities and towns but in countryside too. The bigmouthed devil is slowly swallowing into our identity of our existence.
Is ‘consumerism’ as bad a thing as made out by left-leaning intellectuals? A detailed examination will present you with a contrarian view too. The role of consumerism in modern-day economic landscape can’t afford to be understated. More the people spend, more the jobs created. Consumerism may not do much to improve the standard of living of the poor, but very critical to the financial security of lower middle class and above. Also, consumption pattern of the society reflects its virtues and vices. A person’s consumption pattern mirrors his/her identity and the belief system of which he/she is part of. It also shows if he/she is loyal to any brand or category of goods.
Those who are screaming hoarse attributing the erosion of values and emotions in the society to consumerism must open their eyes and accept the obvious. Till we conceive and develop alternate ways to run the economy, ‘consumerism’ is here to stay. Meanwhile, a stasher denies the pleasures of life, not just to himself but to others too. The onus is on the consumers to find a middle path and contribute to nation building. Loyalty programs can add spice to this behaviour. It can bring smile on both the faces.