Cultural Symbolism Of Gold In India

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Gold—forms a significant part in the cultural fabric of India. It is ingrained in the minds of the Indians not just as a precious commodity, but as a symbol of religious and cultural belief. The economic history of any civilization cannot be told without its precious commodities. Some which would have been precious centuries back can be completely insignificant today. But gold is one thing that was and still is a very valuable product through which transactions were made across continents and civilizations. Gold imports and its restriction is not a new thing to India. The Gold Control Act of 1968 was enforced to control sale and hold the gold in personal possession. This was post Indo China war, in order to control foreign exchange outflows.…show more content…
It is more than that. It has always been a symbol of luxury and pride and a whole lot of sentiment is attached it. For a non native of this land, it will be a bit weird to understand this psyche and mad rush for gold, which is culturally ingrained. One has to completely understand the socio, economic and cultural phenomena that is behind this whole urge to pile up the yellow metal. For the Indian mindset gold is a wealth that will be carried forward by generations and it will speak of the tradition of the family’s hereditary. Can you imagine a wedding in India without gold? Gold is a symbol that will stand out to flamboyantly speak of the family’s prosperity. It is estimated that around 35-50% of the total expenditure for a wedding is spent on gold and other jewellery. This is because it is considered as a financial security at times of crisis. This is very much evident as people prefer to invest on gold rather than other investment options like mutual funds, stock markets, etc. India is a country where traditionally gold loans have been in practice, predominately because of the huge agrarian population. Farmers believed that gold was the only source of stable investment even during agrarian…show more content…
One such very serious issue is gold smuggling. It has its own repercussions that will affect the economy. CRL Narasimhan once wrote, “However high the tariff walls might be it will not be possible to reduce the demand for the metal within India. Only, instead of legal imports, the trade will shift underground with its attendant deleterious consequences for the economy and even the society at large as past experiences with gold control proved.” Some issues might seem to have huge impact on a larger scale. But when looked closer, the picture might be different. When buyers of gold (for household) were enquired, most of them had no idea about the import duty and its impact. Some said they continued to buy gold in the same they used to. “The increasing prices are our concern. We wait for an appropriate time, so that the prices might come down. But when there is a need to buy jewels for a wedding or so, we have no option to wait for the prices to fall,” said a home maker, who thinks gold is the only safe

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