August 03, 2008

life in financial markets & general: marauders in disguise!

The latest issue of Down To Earth magazine (issued dated July 31, 2008) has covered in great detail the issue of Posco (a South Korean steel company) plants in Orissa. Its an enlightening read and connects to many of the events I have highlighted in earlier posts of mine here.

The story, on the magazine's website, is spread across a few pages --
here, here,
here, here, here and here. Below, at the end, is a summary of the story in question. Alongside, is an map-image of the company's site in Orissa taken from one of the pages in the links given above. The story on the South Korean company is not the only major one that is reflective of the issues raised therein. Vedanta group (Sterlite Industries, etc.) and their operations in Jharkhand, Orissa and Goa is another representative of the deadly trend.

In my understanding, India's Congress party-led government in India in its existing term (having completed four out of five years) has been criminally responsible, through its mindless pampering of industry, for the devastation of
the livelihoods of remote, tribal, rural people in many states in the country and also devastated fragile ecologies in many nature-rich parts of the country. Not that the BJP or other parties would have fared any better. As I have said before, as an Indian citizen and resident, I am trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Here is the Down to Earth's summary of the story-in-question:

1,620.361 ha of discontent

Special economic zones and sit-ins. Mega-projects and marches. Public-private partnerships and pitched battles. Precociously, because they are desperate, state governments are willing to hand land, forest, water over to industry.
Raucously, because they are really desperate, people all over India have begun to use all available means to contest the usually coercive intrusion of the State into their lives, and livelihoods.
Consider, as symptom, the Orissa government’s deal with Korean steel-making giant POSCO. The devil here, as ashutosh mishra reports, lies only in the details. It is credible to ask: is violence the inevitable effect of corporate investment, indigenous or foriegn? Is deliberate sellout the only route state governments can take to attract companies?
What vision is it that has completely blinded the State to its brazen loss of credibility? Who matters, people or voters?
These questions are neither rhetorical nor emotional. Merely see the countrywide scenario arnab pratim dutta has compiled. India’s new road to growth, interpreted by the State as an imperative to simply industrialise, today leads…where?

No comments: