14 May 2011

The real cost of corporate profit

In an earlier post, I touched upon the woeful track record of the Government of India when it comes to protecting the nation's and its people's interests against unbridled greed of businessmen.

Whether callous neglect that led to an unprecendented tragedy in Bhopal; or supply of substandard equipment for soldiers fighting a high altitude war in Kargil; or kickbacks paid to an Italian middleman for Swedish military equipment; or selling national assets at a tax discount of trillions of rupees... Big business always wins, no matter how vile the act.

Despite the chatterati yaking away about India being a "Superpower"... I am sorry, the facts on the ground show that Indian lives are cheap. And India is rather like a large doormat for corporate houses.

Knowing very well (Manmohan Singh is supposedly an Economist) that India escaped the full brunt of the recent financial meltdown because of its stringent (albeit imperfect) financial regulations, has not stopped the Government of India from surreptitiously pushing through financial deregulation, including in Savings.

More importantly, study after study have shown that India was less affected by the recent economic crisis because the Indian economy was largely focused at the domestic market. But our erudite, doctorate-holding elected representatives go on a veritable signing spree of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) over the last two years.

So when the next economic crisis hits, India will be ripe for asset stripping by foreign investors and international financial institutions. Way to go, sirs.

This is NOT old news...

Since we have such an exemplary record of upholding Indian consumers' and producers' rights, it is heartening to see the line-up of eminent multinational successors of Union Carbide eager to strip profits from the Indian countryside: Walmart, DuPont, Bayer, Monsanto, and the Rothschilds.

I fear that Governement of India's policies are - deliberately or otherwise - leading the country into an unimaginable agro-holocaust!

To understand and appreciate just what is at stake, we must look back in history... The Bengal Famine of 1943 killed 3 million Indians... more than World War I, World War II, the entire Indian freedom struggle, and the death toll in the partition riots.

The chief cause, according to Dr. Amartya Sen, was not a drop in production... it was a combination of several factors - including steep food price inflation, falling wage value and unchecked exports.

What do you suppose will happen when profit-hungry multinational businesses are in control of food production and distribution in India?

1 comment:

anush said...

That's the key here, India's problem has never been about production, but about curbing high price. Inflation has been a perennial quandary leading to poor sustenance.