CPI (M) MP and Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury has said that the anti-capitalism protests sweeping the western world reflected the growing concern and anger over the direction of the globalisation process which had led to “widening economic inequalities’’ and a sharp increase in unemployment.

“This globalisation has produced two phenomena’s. One is jobless growth and the other is widening of economic inequality. In India there are now 61 individual billionaires who have control of a third of India’s GDP and about 800 million Indians who according to official statistics are surviving on 20 rupees/ less than 50 pence a day,’’ he said as the “Occupy the London Stock Exchange ’’ protest spread to more British cities.

Speaking in Cambridge, where he addressed students and faculty at the Anglia Ruskin University and the Perse Upper School, Mr. Yechury said that while “greed and lack of regulation’’ had contributed to the current crisis in capitalism these were not the only reasons.

“Both of these factors have contributed, but are not the only causes by themselves. Greed within capitalism is not something of a subjective individual nature that some are greedy and some are not. It is the system itself that is maximising profit at any cost and it is this character of capitalism which is something that needs to be properly understood,” he said.

Urging young people to challenge the status quo and develop new ideas, Mr Yechury said socialism offered an alternative to the “failed policies of capitalism’’. Mere tinkering with reforms would not do.

“The alternative to imperialism and to capitalism can only be socialism. We need to unite together for change to a better world, to challenge imperialism with an alternative system not mere reform,” he said.