Religion of Market Economy, family and Sri Lanka


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Religion of Market Economy, family and Sri Lanka

  1. 1. “The Socio-Economic Environment in Sri Lanka and Catholic Family . Presentation and discussion led by Maxwell Ranasinghe
  2. 2. Modern Economic Environment • The modern trend in the world ( globalization) whereby national boundaries of economic activity are removed in order to allow freer access to markets, capital, input of raw materials, technology and labour have facilitated a higher degree of - integration of the world economy. - Everybody has boarded the bandwagon Market Economy through globalisation
  3. 3. • Although religion is very difficult to define, philosophically, we understand religion as • the belief systems and value systems, how we should live, what we should do and what we should not do, our worldview and what is beyond this world. • If you analyse the modern trend the traditional religions are fulfilling this function les and less
  4. 4. • This function is now supplanted or overwhelmed by other major belief system. • Everybody is in it and gearing themselves, their kids to live and flourish in this profound system. • Everybody has been deceived or converted to believe in this system. • Despite everyone's traditional religious beliefs this system has overwhelmed and supplanted across the board for all the religious beliefs and systems
  5. 5. • So all of us do not have different religions now. • We are united under one religion • What a good world !!!!! • What is it
  6. 6. • Religion of Market Economy ( RME) ( It is also called “Globalization” a kind of euphemism for vicious market economy and in my view it talks about the spread of the market economy or the how the RME is embraced or conquers the world beyond national boundaries)
  7. 7. • Traditional Religions ( belief and value systems) are not dead but they are stuck in institutionalization, dogma, rituals, and somewhat outmoded perspectives as against the strong RME • Traditional religions have failed to a greater extent to offer what is needed , a meaningful challenge to the aggressive conversion of all the people on the planet to RME
  8. 8. • Ill effects of the RME is felt all over the world in all spheres of socio economic life and the natural environment we live. • Wealthiest fifth of the world is now receiving about 85% of the income and poorest fifth is about 1.5% .
  9. 9. • Environment and nature is just a pool or a bundle of resources in the RME • Humans are not “ humans” they are called “human resources” in the production process of RME. • So all of us are trying to be “ human resources’
  10. 10. RME is profoundly flawed system and is has • Led to extreme social inequity and have lead • to irreversible environmental catastrophe. • Elite ruling parties and business partners of major companies have embraced the globalization almost in full without giving much thought to its ultimate effects on the society as a whole. They have gathered huge sums of money by way of profits and other corrupt practices • They have enacted laws to suit them and exert all the economic and military power to sustain this unsustainable system
  11. 11. • Traditional religions and value systems have a major role to play if the RME to be reversed. • They have to change the modus operandi and that has to be dealt separately but urgently • Lets get on to the next element of our subject in discussion
  12. 12. What is Family ? • One of the oldest and finest institutions of mankind is the family unit. It is created by a formal or informal agreement between a man and a woman. It is the smallest unit in the society. • It has a common house, property etc. The main members would be husband, wife and their kids. • However, there are many extended families in SL where parents of the husband or wife are also accommodated in the family unit. • Some times other relatives could be housed.
  13. 13. Effect on society and family • The RME has spread all over the world and has made drastic changes in every unit of the society including the so called close knit family. • Traditional family value systems, beliefs, attitudes, rearing kids and guiding them what they should do, looking after the elderly and sick, activities of family members, modes of entertainment, time a family spent together, practice of religion and spiritual life are changing profoundly all over the society.
  14. 14. • No proper open forum to discuss RME and its effects as even the leftists political parties are fragmented and overwhelmed with elections and protecting their own interest. • Further the ethnic problem, constitutional ramblings, activities of Diaspora, foreign relations have changed the focus of people • So the general masses have almost taken for granted that RME is the system that they have to embrace whether they like it or not.
  15. 15. following important aspects could be highlighted as socio economic impact on families • There are a lot of landless people in Sri Lanka. The land in many areas are taken for many infrastructure projects leaving the landless in the same position or even taking away their ancestral land ( may have provided alternate land or compensation at the will of the government
  16. 16. • Rural families are still migrating to urbanized developed areas creating many economic and social issues. • When men leave for jobs in urbanized areas family becomes a single parent family as men come home once a week or once or twice in a month
  17. 17. • Elite economic class is been in the making • The big time contractors and politically affiliated families, local partners of multinationals, other successful businessmen and professionals have gathered enormous wealth. They live in luxury. • RME the success is measured by economic wealth. So every body aspires to become economically wealthy
  18. 18. • GDP- $59.41 billion (2012 est.) • GDP Growth rate 6.4% (2012 est.) • Per capita Income USD 2800 ( 2012 est.) • However the income distribution has a big disparity • Income Distribution - below poverty line8.9% (2010 est.) – Income Disparity - 49 Gini index – lowest 10%: 1.6% – highest 10%: 39.5% (2009)
  19. 19. • More than 1.5 million work abroad as we as a country have not been able to provide employment for them. 90% are in the Middle East. • Majority of the employed abroad are women who had gone to provide unskilled labour. Although these families are better off than the other poor families who do not have members working abroad, it has created many problems in families.
  20. 20. • Media proliferation • more than 50 radio channels • more than 20 TV channels • More than 90 newspapers They spread news and ideas very powerfully to the nation. There are more than 10 locally operating companies spend more than Rs.1 Billion on advertising on these media In addition cable TV and other wireless TV exposes to all the famous world channels
  21. 21. • The spread of electronic gadgetry has given advantages as well as • disadvantages. • It has become very easy to communicate with the spread of cellular phones and computer technology. • This has alleviated the physical absence of parents to a certain extent. • However, these gadgetry has opened up new windows to the world of education and entertainment. • There are so many who use them for their advancement but a good majority use them for unwanted activities too.
  22. 22. • Time spent by family members on phones, television and internet has created less time for other activities in the family. • Youth spend more time on Internet based Social Networks such as facebook than in other internet activities. • Facebook has membership of 1.1 Billion by now and it is about 50 times the population of Sri Lanka • There are more than 500,000 Sri Lankans in the facebook by 2012.
  23. 23. • We have more than 18.3 million mobile phone users 3.6 million fixed line users (Population 21.6 million) year 2012 estimates • Although cellular phones are a very important communication tool, it has now become a necessary evil as phones starts ringing and answered even inside churches and temples when serious religious activities are taken place.
  24. 24. • The work load for school going children in families has become a big burden with embracing RME. • Since every body is trying to make their kids the best in the class, they have been pushed to study the subjects in the curricular alone by sending them to additional tuition classes from the beginning
  25. 25. • As the intake to state owned universities are limited, many private universities operate with foreign affiliations.
  26. 26. • On the other hand, the parents who can afford to send students abroad for education send them TO countries like Australia, Canada, USA and UK • It is estimated that more than Rs. 15 Billion is spent for education abroad. • most of it could have been provided here in Sri Lanka.
  27. 27. • Pathetic part of foreign educated is that the parents loose their money plus their foreign university educated children as most of them do not come back to Sri Lanka as they settle in countries like Australia and Canada after studies
  28. 28. • RMEs educations is on technical subjects. What matters to be a human resource to the system. • Although kids may get technical knowledge of different fields, the emotional intelligence a very important aspect needed for living is lost through this exercise.
  29. 29. • Cultural influence through the television has brought in various forms of Western and Hindi culture and they have profound affect on the deep rooted indigenous cultures. • Mega television dramas dubbed in Sinhala and many western and Hindi culture oriented films and programs are changing the scene.
  30. 30. • Big majority of Western songs on video shown in television are semi nude or sexually provocative. In substance, they are almost promoting pornography. • This could have very bad effect especially on children. Even it makes parents very embarrassing as sometimes they are watched together as a family
  31. 31. • Alcoholism, drugs are on the increase. • Legal alcohol is the major problem as the availability has made an increase in the consumption. It has a devastating affect on families and leads to many other ill effects.
  32. 32. • Prostitution and child prostitution is on the increase due to many social and economic reasons abortion is also in the increase. No traditional religion approves such behavior.
  33. 33. • In comparison to other societies, Sri Lanka has some positive areas too. • We are one of the lowest ranking countries for HIV aids, The current statistics by the National STD/AIDS programme, from the year 1984 to 30 June 2013 shows there are 1,739 recorded patients living with HIV/AIDS from which 299 have succumbed to HIV/AIDS-related complications, and overall, the ratio of males to females afflicted stands at 1.5 – with more males than females being affected with the disease. • Although the figure is low, growth rate is around 12%.
  34. 34. • Very low divorce rate , again among the lowest in the world , • Still looking after the elderly to a greater extent etc. • very low rate of women smoking • It could be mainly because of the cultural and religious traditions of the Sri Lankan society. However, some emerging situations even change this for worst if general trend is let to happen
  35. 35. • The Daham Pasal has shown a remarkable improvement. The number of students attend them have increased in all religious Daham pasals. • Is it for making them compulsory or is it because it helps students to do well in their subject “religion”( for many students it is another subject like history or geography) is yet to be ascertained
  36. 36. • War effected families- So many people both North and South have died ( more than 100,000)of the ethnic conflict and many have lost their bread winners, so many have been disabled.
  37. 37. • The church has traditionally involved in preaching the Bible in the form of olden examples and parables which do not really make in roads into current problems in hand with a prophetic manner.
  38. 38. • On the part of the lay people, church goers still go to fulfill an obligation rather than making that visit to really find answers to their current problems through the noble teachings of the Jesus. • A concerted effort has to be taken to change this attitude
  39. 39. • The priests’ role as a catalysts in the society is questioned by many and it is the common view that he is just following the status quo rather than a agent of change. • Professional with the concurrence of church leaders, a dialogue should be commenced to find out the relevancy of teaching and development of skills in the seminaries is really making the priests knowledgeable, skillful, dedicated and committed towards the transformation of society from RME to Kingdom of God
  40. 40. • With or without knowledge Church leaders also like the professionals have become a part of RME • The rituals are becoming more popular and sophisticated . • A lot of money and time spent on organising them as if a business venture of RME
  41. 41. • The most important role has to be played by the Professionals in changing the trend rather than naming and shaming others • we need to become catalyst • ( Change agent) ??????
  42. 42. Thanks