Saturday, October 04, 2008

CORPORATE INDIA - Open your eyes

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Editor: Nagaraj.M.R....vol.4 . issue.41......11/10/2008">Support Amnesty International"/>



- An eye opener to irresponsible corporate India & GOI

The recent public agitation at singur west Bengal , India against the TATA NANO project , is nothing but a struggle for survival by the land loosers. The public of singur are living there since ancestral times , they fully depend for their livelihood on the vegetables & other small crops grown there by them. The livelihood , their survival is at stake. The irresponsible west Bengal government , to favour the corporate lobby , acquired the lands forcibly dirt cheap & gave it away at dirt cheap price to TATA’S. why such a cheap , long term lease period has been given to TATA’S ? The government literally has thrown the land loosers on street , it didn’t bother about their survival nor about their proper rehabilitation . Basically , TATA’S is a business house , their only intention is to make profits , more money , not the welfare of people. Why not TATA’S acquire land in open market ? the acquire of lands by state or central government for public good like for building dams , roads , channels are at least justified however the rehabilitation is more important. Other than for the projects concerning public good , for all the projects of private enterprises like pay & use roads , airports , industries , etc , the lands must be acquired in the open market at market prices . For some industrialists bid to make riches , lives , livelihood of thousands should not be sacrificed. It is not alround development. In a democracy , the voice of the public , locals should be honoured but not the diktats of ministers or babus in secretariats. The present corrupt system in India leading to rise of naxalism , underworld , separatist movements are all due to the government policies since independence till date according to the wisdom (?) of ministers & babus , totally dishonouring the public voice.

Now , take the case of Graziono CEO mass murder in noida , it is nothing but fallout of hire & fire policies. Every human being works for survival , on his meager salary there will be family dependents , all of a sudden if a person is fired from service , his whole family will be on streets. O.k , all corporates nowadays preach & breath the mantra of USA , for everything be it infrastructure , flexible labour policies , it compares itself with those prevailing in the USA. Now , the corporate India is getting infrastructure at dirt free prices ( very high in the USA ) , has got hire & fire mechanism by employing contract labour , very lenient environmental norms , very lenient food & drugs safety rules , relaxation in Factory Act , ESI & PF acts , etc add to it the rampant corruption in all govt departments by which you can get any certificate for a price.

In the USA , of course there is hire & fire policy , however the minimum wage levels are also very high , so that during good times workers can save money for their future. Also , there is social security net to take care of ousted workers , then why not Indian corporates paying good salary to workers during good times ? why not corporate India making good contribution to social security net ? in the USA , there are good infrastructure facilities they take pride in paying taxes to the government , the corporate India always lobbies for tax cuts , subsidies , loan waivers , etc. in the USA the environment norms are very strict , the companies manufacturing hazardous chemicals which were ousted by the US government have set up shop in India . Government of USA treats lives of people as precious , where as Indian government treats lives of it’s people as dispensable. In the USA , the food safety & drugs , medicines safety standards are very high , the drugs , high level adulteration food products banned by Government of USA are sold in the India , this is the difference between government of USA & India , the way they treat their people’s lives. Loan recovery , investor safety norms are very high in the USA , where as in India , loan defaulters , share holder swindling , Non Performing Assets is very high. Inspite of all the strict norms we have seen enron , Xerox debacles in the USA & recent bank fallouts in the USA. In India with such lax norms , only you can guess.

The lesson here for the government of India is , development must be allround , must not be at the cost of thousands. Listen to the voice of public but not to the commands of greedy selfish corporates , lobbies . Do stop thinking that only babus , IAS officers & minister are brilliant knowing all and the public people are fools fit to be herded by IAS officers. Do remember that India is a democracy not a BANANA REPUBLIC.

The lesson for corporate India , aping the USA intoto is O.k , but not by parts & bits , follow corporate USA in every aspect of corporate duties & responsibilities , transparency.

Final word , when it comes to the question of survival , life , livelihood , it know no bounds . After all STRUGGLE FOR SUVIVAL is a basic animal instinct , it is a basic human right of every individual . JAI HIND. VANDE MATARAM.

Your’s sincerely,



Respected sir,

I have made a complaint to your honourable self on 10/12/2004 regarding human rights & fundamental rights violations , at a press meet organized at PATRAKATARA BHAVANA , MYSORE. Till date no action has been taken , when I asked your office questions about human rights , fundamental rights violations , corruption & other crimes as per RTI ACT , they just gave me half truths. Hereby I do once again request you to take appropriate action on the above said complaint & to give me full truthful information to my RTI application..

The concerned public servants belonging to central government , state government & statuotary bodies , have failed to provide complete truthful information to us , let alone justice. Hereby we do request you to register this as complaints / FIRs against the below mentioned / respective public servants – the websites of case details are given below , ,

CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY IN INDIA CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY Scandals related to the appalling practices of multinational corporations like Union Carbide (now DOW), Enron, Coke, Cadbury, and others may have shocked the nation and the world in the recent past, but the media rarely highlights corporate crimes that extend to murders, destroying habitats, threatening indigenous cultures, causing disease, contaminating the planet's food supply, poisoning our groundwater and even destroying the very air we breathe.

You think this is an exaggeration? Well consider this. In Bhopal, India more than 8,000 people died in the first three days after 40 tonnes of lethal gas spilled out from Union Carbide's pesticide factory in December 1984. People woke in their homes to fits of coughing, their lungs filling with fluid. 520,000 people were exposed to poisonous gases. 150,000 victims are chronically ill, and even now one person dies every two days. Union Carbide merged with Dow Chemical Corporation two years ago and has ceased to exist as an entity while the present owners Dow refuse to accept any pending liabilities in Bhopal including clean-up of the abandoned site.

In Kodaikanal, India, Hindustan Lever, a subsidiary of Unilever Plc, an Anglo-Dutch multinational dumped mercury waste from its thermometer factory in the surrounding forests and on an innocent local community. When the scandal was exposed, first the company denied that there was a problem and later fudged facts and figures until the Indian authorities forced them to come clean. Since then Unilever has retrieved and sent back to USA some of the waste for disposal but are shying away from compensating affected workers and further environmental remediation measures.

Monsanto, one of the world's largest pesticide companies, continues to sell its genetically engineered seeds to farmers around the world despite growing evidence of failure of crops like Bt cotton, that has reduced once well-to-do farmers in the developing world to penury and poverty while the threat of contamination of indigenous species by GE seeds increases everyday.

Bayer AG, a German transnational continues to manufacture and sell phased out pesticides like Methyl Parathion (brand name Folidol/Metacid) in Asia despite an assurance to their European investors and stake holders that they would stop manufacturing these organo-phosphate poisons.

Ship-owning companies (and indeed, their countries) like Bergesen (Norway), and Chandris (Greece) meanwhile, regularly violate international and national laws and dump their hazardous wastes at ship-breaking yards in India, Pakistan, China, Turkey and Bangladesh. The voluntary guidelines issued by International Marine Organisation are not enough and it is imperative that these guidelines are made mandatory to make the ship-owners liable and responsible.

In the era of globalization, multinational companies increasingly move around assets, products and wastes on a global chessboard to maximize their profits and minimize their costs. These companies are using differences and loopholes in national environmental and health laws for example to export pesticides and destructive technologies to poorer countries to the detriment of local communities. What international body oversees them, or sets rules for their behaviour, or holds them accountable when they transgress?

It is no longer just the conspiracy theorists who believe our world is increasingly ruled and ruined by large multinational corporations. The World Trade Organisation has supplanted environmental treaties and regulations. Corporations have become accountable only under the rules of a free market, free trade and a free for all on human rights and the environment.

The state of our environment has not improved, in fact it has deteriorated. The gap between the world's rich and poor has widened. Instead of providing developing countries with the tools for sustainable development, corporations have pushed their dirty technologies and polluting industries on to some of the world's poorest countries.

A recent UN report revealed that Exxon, with $63 billion, is worth more than Peru or New Zealand. General Electric more than Kuwait. Shell is worth more than Morocco or Cuba.

In the past ten years, corporations have not only resisted environmental challenges, they have lobbied to water down international treaties and even succeeded in getting countries to pull out of environmental agreements altogether. They have maintained their unsustainable practices in all sectors. It is apparent that more than just voluntary measures are needed to control these corporations.

A recent report by WWF states that if we continue at current levels of consumption we will use up all of the Earth's resources within 50 years, and we will need two more planets to meet our resource needs. We either take urgent action to save the planet, or we get off. The UN Environmental Programme agrees that "the state of the planet is getting worse." They say "there is a growing gap between the efforts of business and industry to reduce their impact on the environment and the worsening state of the planet."

At the root of our environmental problems are the unsustainable practices of the corporations that shape our economies. But what is the good of a short-term healthy economy if we can't drink the water, eat the foods in the fields or breathe the air?

Current systems of governance in Asia (as elsewhere) are proving to be deficient against the activities of abusive multinational corporations. To roll back the excessive powers of corporations and to pressure governments to check corporate abuse and prosecute corporate crimes, greater public participation is a must. The Rainbow Warrior's Corporate Accountability Tour of India is part of a global movement to change the climate of opinion against abusive corporations and to turn the tide in favour of fundamental human rights.

Corporations need to be held accountable for their actions that are destroying the planet, destroying people's lives around the globe. There is only one answer. We must stand up to the corporations. Our governments must agree on international, legally binding rules for corporate responsibility, accountability and liability: a set of rules that business must follow, and governments must enforce. The list of rules is long, but so are the crimes.

The world needs corporations to be held accountable to the following laws – no matter where they operate in the world. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH is calling upon the Indian Government to endorse the Bhopal Principles on Corporate Responsibility, which call on Multinational Corporations to: • Accept liability for environmental damage and compensate victims of pollution; • Accept liability for the damage, no matter when it happens, what the cause or who in the corporation is responsible; • Accept responsibility for damage and injury beyond national borders including accidents in the oceans and atmosphere; • Ensure that they do not infringe upon basic human rights; • Disclose all information regarding releases into the environment to the public; • Protect human and social rights including the highest standards for rights to health care and a clean environment; • Avoid influence over governments, combat bribery and practice transparency; • Allow states to maintain their sovereignty over their own food supply; • Implement a precautionary principle and take preventative action before environmental damages or health effects are incurred; and • Promote and practice clean and sustainable development


Years back , india signed the general agreement on trade & tariffs (G.A.T.T). Recently, india has gained the full fledged entry into W.T.O . now, it has started to pinch us. W.T.O's objective of establishing a free international market is good. The market won't be free if one continues with subsidies , patronisation & asks others to stop the same. Hypothetically, if the market became truly free, the advanced countries like U.S.A, U.K, FRANCE ,ALL G-8 COUNTRIES will only benefit due to their higher technical prowess, productivity & natural wealth. The people living in poorer countries with deficient technical prowess, productivity & natural wealth will suffer. In such an eventuality the traders & governments of advanced countries will takeover & control the whole economic systems of the poor countries. In turn looting the resources of those countries. the running race between ace athlete ben johnson & a cripple is not fair. If at all the race is to be conducted , it should be between ben johnson & the cripple mounted on a cycle, to bring parity & fairness. Until the poorer countries achieve technical excellence , the advanced countries must transfer the technical know-how to them at affordable costs. The advanced countries must offer the patented medicines & food products to poorer countries at affordable costs. The advanced countries must provide financial assistance to poor countries orelse the poorer countries must be permitted to levy taxes on imports , to improve it's domestic industry & infrastructure. By these steps only, a truly free , non-partisan global market is possible. The people living in advanced countries like U.S.A are causing more damage to the environment , through their luxurious , wayward lifestyles . a single american uses more fossil fuel, cuts more trees, releases more CFCs, uses more water than 1000 indians put together. The man who throws rubbish, is bound to clean it. All G-8 countries must give major contribution towards global environment clean-up excercise. The mechanism to resolve trade disputes, consumer disputes between nations, organisations & individuals must be instituted & must be fair , impartial & fast. Now, the time has come for poor countries to come together. The domestic markets of G-8 countries are saturated. To drive their huge growth engines they utterly need the markets of developing & poor countries. Now, all countries other than G-8 must come together , play our cards well. However the G-8 countries are breaking this unity by inducing civil wars, terrorism in our countries. They are also breaking the unity by dangling economic loli pops, sops , etc. We must be careful about this. Entering W.T.O is right, but it must be on terms conducive to our society never on terms of others.

Edited, printed , published owned by NAGARAJ.M.R. @ #LIG-2 / 761,HUDCO FIRST STAGE ,OPP WATER WORKS , LAXMIKANTANAGAR , HEBBAL ,MYSORE - 570017 INDIA … cell :09341820313 home page : , , , , , , , contact : , A member of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL INDIA

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