March 27, 2008
life in financial markets: blood steel
I was watching Blood Diamond for the 10th time an hour ago. At the end of the movie after the main part of the story is played out and Solomon Vandi, the Sierra Leone African, is invited to talk at a conference in South Africa there is a particular dialogue made by an Englishman that I find very pertinent to quote here:
"The natural resources of a country are the sovereign property of its people. They are not ours to steal or exploit in the name of our comfort or our corporations or our consumerism."
I can not but feel that urban Indian consumers and consumers from affluent countries are responsible for what I term as 'Blood Steel' happening in the forests, mountains and villages of Orissa state and other states in India. Foreign companies and Indian companies like Vedanta/Sterlite are forcibly displacing locals from their homes in order to carry out mining of ores of iron and other earth metals. Not just consumers but financial markets worldwide trade in these metals. (the photo to the right is of an alumina refinery in Orissa & has been taken from http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/VirtualContent/85654/orissa_mine.jpg)
Moderate consumerism is the first step towards discouraging 'Blood Steel'. How many among us would take this step?