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Thomas Friedmans article Its a Flat World, After All, published in The New York Times on April 3, !!

" wakes the world, especiall# the Americans to the $round breakin$ chan$es that the world has faced in terms of technolo$# and communication% Thomas Friedman cautions the #outh of America to wake up to the realit# of a flat world, wherein people across the $lobe compete with them to make a profit in the $lobal market% Friedmans idea of beginning the article from Christopher Columbus is indeed an innovative idea. Columbus, in an age that was limited with technological advancements, brought a new knowledge to the humanity about the world that it was actually round. A few hundred decades after this noble invention the advancement in the area of technology and communication make the people of today doubt Columbus. For the presence of coloured community in the international markets, known for white domination, makes one reconsider the epic idea of the world begin flat. Friedman actually presents the crisis in a very pleasant way. The details that he presents about his conversation with the CE of !nfosys !ndia, rings the actual alarm of the situation of crisis that nations, such as, "nited #tates are in. Friedmans meditation on the verse of $andan $ilkeni that the ground is being levelled, stands as a testimony of the tables being turned in the field of technology and communication. Though the events, such as, %&'(( brought about sad tidings to the humanity, it has made its own contributions to the growth and development of humanity, especially in the field of technology. As Friedman points out, when "# was busy dealing with the conse)uences of %&'((, globali*ation achieved a new standard in the world market. +ust as the Asias largest computer screen in the !nfosys !ndia, foreign players, such as, !ndia, China and #outh ,orea found a vast field to trade and to meet customers at the wake of globali*ation. Friedman is indeed right in his -udgments on the growth potential of China. China, being a nation, with rich cultural and educational traditions and enormous man power, was under shadows till it could connect to the world through internet. nce the connection was launched, the situation boomeranged. Today the influence of China in the world market is astonishing. $ow, they serve as the trendsetters. .ost of the products of multinationals, especially in the field of electrical and electronics, are manufactured in China. The label /.ade in China0 has become a ma1im in the foreign market. 2ut that is not the end of all. #oon /3esigned in China0 tags will be all over the world. #uch is the growth progress of this nation.

Friedmans practical observation of the shrinking of the world into a global village is both cautioning and informative. 4is comments on the outsourcing industry are very realistic and they present a clear view of the reality today and the future. !ndia, merely being a nation drenched with religious, emotional sentiments once, has today witnessed a revolution. !nfact, it must noted that the technological advancement that swept the European continents as a Tsumani had a much delayed repercussion in !ndia. 2ut once the tidal wave reached the !ndian shores, the entire nation woke up to the reality and probed all the possible ways to make best use of it. The entire outsourcing industry has its epicentre in !ndia and especially in its technology capital 2angalore. !t is indeed ama*ing to know that an !ndian, almost a few million miles away from "# or ",, helps the people of these nations to read their 5rays, to clarify their doubts on A 6 bill, to understand and follow their medical prescription etc. 7one or the days, when !ndians longed to get off the shores of the nation to become a professional or an entrepreneur. !ndians, who went abroad in the earlier days, would consider !ndia to have no scope for genuine and innovative talents. This situation has -ust reversed itself. For, there lies before the !ndians a plethora of global opportunities to e1plore and to manipulate. Thanks to the boom in the communication industry and more specifically to the Europeans, who invested a great deal of money in laying cables across the oceans to bring together the different parts of the world. The cables have indeed performed a miracle of making Europe a neighbour ne1t door to !ndia overnight. Friedmans comment that countries like !ndia had a free ride on the tracks of investment made by the 8estern nations is both amusing and brain racking. At his -uncture, Thomas Friedman wants us to understand that this technolo$ical boom did not happen o&erni$ht% 'lobali(ation, in his &iew, had had &arious sta$es before it had reached the current e)treme era of techno li&in$% *is classification of $lobali(ation in three different sta$es ser&es as a $uide to better comprehend the $lobal phenomenon called $lobali(ation% Friedman has carefull# dia$rammed the $rowth process of $lobali(ation from $o&ernments to indi&iduals% We li&e in an era, wherein e&er# indi&idual, irrespecti&e of his national, cultural and reli$ious back$round, is capable of establishin$ his uni&ersal reco$nition% An#one with a cheap computer, internet connecti&it# and a mail account is all set to per&ade the $lobal market to stamp his presence% +o#alt# and sincere are the watch words that

determine the market of a person% ,ther than these there can ne&er be an# e)ternal hindrance that can stop ones $lobal presence% As Thomas Friedman cites the words of -a.esh -ao, a #oun$ Indian entrepreneur, if #ou ha&e the skill to do somethin$ new, the knowled$e to $et connected with the outside world and the will to succeed, irrespecti&e of the initial pitfalls, #ours is the world% As the road is laid in the air, throu$h the internet cables, one would not stand at want of infrastructure to meet the $lobal demands% This is e&ident from Thomas Friedmans obser&ation of the roads in /an$alore% *e comments his .ourne# back as tra&el throu$h potholed roads% This is a clear indication of the actual states of cities in India that are claimed as web hubs of the world% The ph#sical infrastructure is &er# moderate or at times below the standard% We must understand here the econom# and the population $rowth of these countries% /ut the &irtual infrastructure of these cities is efficient enou$h to pose a touch challen$e to the $lobal markets% Thus, ci&ili(ation, econom#, st#le of li&in$, etc do not come as a hindrance to one in his0her decision to compete in the $lobal market% 1eated at worn out chair in the corner of his house that could barel# be used as a means of shelter, an#one with a computer in workin$ condition and internet connection can make his0her contribution to the $lobal industr#% The unassumin$ presence of the people from the other nations in the $lobal scenario makes it tou$h for the Americans to make their da# to da# li&in$% Thomas Friedman can be called unbiased% For he does not merel# take a stand that supports the whites, rather he anal#(es the situation from multiple an$les% *e 2uotes histor# sa#in$ the communist countries ha&e sei(ed to be the threats to 3nited 1tates, as it were in the past% The new threats to the American econom# and its citi(ens were the citi(ens of the countries that practise capitalism% The $iant leap that the 4hinese, Indians and 5oreans ha&e taken in the field of information technolo$# looms lar$er as an issue of ma.or concern for the Americans% Thomas Friedman is ri$ht in his opinion that it is not sufficient to merel# blame the $o&ernment for outsourcin$ the pro.ects and depri&in$ the local mass of their da# to da# learnin$% The foundation of outsourcin$ is not merel# reduction of e)penses and enhancement of producti&it#% /ut there lies underneath a radical truth that most of the 6uropeans are bit ashamed of% ,ut sourcin$ is not done merel# to cut down the cost of e)penses but it is done with the hope of emplo#in$ better7skilled and more production people from other parts of the world than Americans%

1o the underl#in$ 2uestion is efficienc# and not cost7effecti&eness% Thou$h Thomas Friedmans comment that American lads ha&e become la(# and incompetent sounds harsh and indi$estible there raises a suspicion re$ardin$ the statement bein$ absolutel# true% Thomas Friedman .ustifies his comment b# presentin$ the words of /ill 'ates, the founder and the e)7chairman of 8icrosoft% 'ates had e)pressed his concern o&er the depletin$ intellectual sources in 3nited 1tates% *e establishes a comparison between the de&elopin$ nations, such as, India and 4hina, and 3nited 1tates% The findin$s of this comparison re&eal that nations, such as, 4hina and India produce a $reat deal of en$ineers and competent craftsmen in other technical and technolo$ical spheres% ,n the other hand, America is drasticall# fallin$ behind in its suppl# of knowled$e sources% This is a matter of $ra&e concern, as it would determine the future of the nation% There doesnt seem to thri&e in 3nited 1tates a passion for intellectual $rowth% -ather, students are inclined to spend time in amusement and pleasure seekin$% It re2uires a stron$ president to or$ani(e the population, moti&ate them of the need to e)cel and entrust them with rele&ant responsibilities% Thomas Friedmans article clearl# presents the competiti&e spirit that pre&ails in the $lobal market% 6&er# nation earns for a break throu$h to establish its presence% *ence, it is surel# not the time for Americans to rest and rela)% -ather, the# must stri&e hard to e2uip themsel&es to meet the challen$e% Thomas Friedman cautions the parents of the need to make their children part with tele&ision sets, $amin$ consoles and other de&ices that alienate them from academic and creati&e paths% Thomas Friedman is $enuine in e)tendin$ a clarion call to the #outh% *is call makes it clear that if the #outh of toda# continue their slumber and keep awa# from intellectual acti&ities, the# will ha&e the .obs $rabbed awa# from them b# Indians and 4hinese% The authors recollection of the past is hi$hl# s#mbolic% /uried are those da#s, when nations such as, India and 4hina were used as s#mbols that describe e)treme po&ert# and i$norance% Toda#, the# stand as the towerin$ beacons that li$ht up the world% /ut if #ou dont stand tall to encounter its $uidin$ li$ht, it can turn out to be an inferno, consumin$ #ou ali&e as a punishment for #our lethar$ic state and spirit of i$norance% The authors end note has serious impact% *e terms this $lobal dominance as a crisis and not a test for the Americans% The scenario will not chan$e throu$h a mere patient wait% -ather, somethin$ prominent must be done% To 2uote Thomas Friedman 9The crisis would not remain 2uiet for lon$:% It is better that the Americans wake up

to the realit# as #earl# as possible% It is hi$h time that the# shed the traces of la(iness and stri&ed hard to mark their place in the $lobal market%