Economy Lifestyle

WHY INDIANS HAVE THIS FETISH FOR THE YELLOW METAL?

on
March 31, 2018

1. INDIA IS THE SECOND LARGEST IMPORTER OF GOLD IN THE WORLD

1.1. Till China overtook it in the recent past, India was, for many years, the largest importer of gold in the world.

1.2. Indian households have the largest stock of this yellow metal, somewhere in the range of 18,000 tons, as far the official knowledge goes! This comes to about 11% of the entire world’s gold stocks!

1.3. In many years, gold is the second largest item in our total import basket, after crude oil, going up to as high as 10% of all imports in some years!

1.4. Let us now look at the figures of gold imported officially [I shudder to make a guess on the quantity of gold being smuggled in] between the financial years 2012 and 2017:–

YEAR Import in Tons Value-Billion USD Total Imports-Billion USD
2012 969 52.80 489.33
2013 783 39.20 490.73
2014 826 31.30 450.20
2015 905 35.00 448.03
2016 510  23.00 381.00
2017 855 27.00 384.35

      *Seven Year Low in 2015

1.5. Indian households consume around 1000 tons of gold annually, the small balance coming from domestic mining.

1.6. This dead investment, which causes huge outflow in US Dollars for import, creates a severe strain in our balance of payments position, when India has been running a chronic trade deficit for years now.

2. IS THE CENTRAL BANK [RBI] HOARDING GOLD?

2.1. Not at all!

2.2. Up to the year 1970  all the Governments used to back up their Currencies with stocks of gold at certain percentages, even though this practice had started declining since the advent of the First World War in 1914.

2.3. When in 1971, America delinked its currency from gold, the rest of the world also followed suit.

2.4. Today RBI holds only a miniscule portion of our foreign exchange reserves in gold.

3. THE “GOLDEN” SHOW OFF CONTINUES!

3.1. Decking up the bride in heavy gold jewellery from neck to naval or even up to the knees is not an uncommon sight in many of our weddings of the affluent and even the not so affluent!

3.2. The relatives and invitees too vie with each other in this decking up.

3.3. The men too are not far behind, especially the still feudal minded boors and many of our politicians and business “big wigs” adoring their necks and wrists with heavy necklaces and bracelets.

3.4. All a show of vanity and “status” to impress—but whom?

3.5.“Akshaya Tritheeya”, the birth day of Lord Parasurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, which falls on the third day of the waxing moon [ April-May], when the son and the moon are at their brightest, is a day when you do some good to someone which remains imperishable. Indians use even this day to buy and hoard, you know what? No prices for guessing—gold! What had poor Parasurama do with gold after all?

4. THE REASONS FOR THIS INSATIABLE APPETITE ARE NOT FAR TO SEEK!

4.1. The endless craving for accumulation of wealth in all forms, especially gold, through means fair or foul, springs from a chronic sense of insecurity.

4.2. If anyone equates his “status” in the society with the wealth he holds. [“Yogakshema”], he is sufferings a pathetic sense of self deficit, an all consuming sense of diffidence, in psychological terms! Poor victim, he or she needs help!

4.3. Seeing even Arjuna bemused and lost, Lord Krishna before the Mahabhratha war began, Lord krishna exhorts him to  become “Niryogakshema”, to go beyond the acquisition, retention and enjoyment of worldly good for his own WELLNESS!

4.4. Just try this. When you set out to attend the next wedding or social party, tell yourself—“ I am NOT going to measure my worth by the dress or ornaments I am wearing,  what others think of me is NONE OF MY BUSINESS”! Go without wearing any gold on your body.

4.5. Believe me, that day will be the one you begin your life journey in conquering fear and insecurity born out of it!

5. SOME IMAGES OF HEAVY GOLD JEWELLERY-LAUGHING?

 

Ramdas.S.Iyer

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