So, the corporate praise is an illusion or plain lie!
Or, corporate criticism could be other than blame!
Yes, capitalism has many colours, it is a chameleon!
Now, we have seen the latest book by Thomas Picketty, the French economist book, Capitlaism in the 21st century had created a storm where it debunks the ethical call of capitalism and the business of making money.
In recent years, in the last decade or so of the Indian government, so many scandals and scams hit the Indian scene, for the most part for the criminality the corporate brought to bear on the working of the government.
Only lately, also we see the corporate misdemeanours had also brought the highest judiciary into the limelight where a number of bigwigs of the corporate world punished for their criminality, they were jailed or fined or brought to account.
So, now can we hope that the government or the public can believe the corporate wisdom or what we may otherwise call corporate social responsibility?
Corporates have no religion, no country, no patriotism; they only know one thing, money and profit maximisation.
So, any government worth its salt has to take the interests of the corporate only with a pinch of salt. The public interest, the public good always overrides other interest, more so the interests of the corporate. That is one thought that comes uppermost when we see how the new government of Mr.Narendra Modi is going to tackle the myriad problems that might come into conflict with his publicly perceived cosy relationship with the corporate sector.
Now, the land acquisition bill is about to be debated by Parliament, we have to carefully study the basic aim of the bill. The subject has been discussed for long and yet the current partisan postures of the various parties indicate there is no over-riding public good is all the parties have in mind.
We are constrained to note that even the Congress party which has some stake in its reputation is now under Rahul Gandhi is taking some negative and obstructive stand over the passing of the bill.
This is not in the larger interest of the people.
After all, it is the faster economic development, under Mr.Modi’s well-meaning man y new initiatives, we have to welcome and support in the public interest.
This doesn’t mean we have to blindly go with Mr.Modi. But as the Prime Minister, the PM needs to be given the benefits of doubt.
One thing must be clear. There is land acquisition for the public purposes, railways, roads and airports and ports. For security and strategic reasons we need to acquire land to build structures and other installations. Border areas if also a critical component.
Then, of course there is the need for land for allotting to private industries to ensure there are big projects at strategic locations in many occasions of the country. For instance, nuclear power plants needs to be located only in the larger public interest and you can’t expect any private company could do it.
So too power and other infrastructure companies. Why, even to attract foreign investors from Japan and other countries, even from China we need some government initiative.
And coming to the exact role and shape of private capitalism that can suit India at present is a subject on which we need to debate more openly and without any mental blocks.
For India is the world’s biggest country with the largest poor and hungry population. So, this current status has to be factored into our debate.
As it is, all the ideological debates are confined to the constraints that are unstated.
We are still a feudal society in the sense where one leader is identified and praised to the skies. This narrows our mental focus.
In the USA, on the other hand, we see capitalism in a very different light.
There is celebration of individual success; we praise both the Bill Gates and also the media stars. So long they make the money by legal means there is praise all-round.
Also, there are some strict laws. Insider trading for instance saw even the most big names sent to jail.
At the same time politics in the USA in a sense is still uninfluenced by big money. Only two parties and there are elaborate checks and balances. Both Hilary Clinton and Jeb Bush, the two prominent candidates in the fary at least come forward disclose their sources of election funds. In India?
Our election fund givers, the favour seekers, favour givers (politicians) operate under a cloak. Everything is hidden here.
This only leads to asset stripping, as the oligarchs in the former Soviet states did, as in India done, for instance under the UPA-II regime!
It is a somewhat progress the guilty are booked and the accused face trial.
Unless we really become sensitive to the allegations of black money, corrupt practices and evolve some best practices to control and scrutinise in transparent manner our corporate image would continue to be at a discount.
So, how to turn our corporate captains into good boys and get them out of their present bad behaviour, getting out of the cricket and making them accountable for their political successes is a new challenge for the Indian polity.
The resources, both economic and the natural, the coal blocks and the mineral deposits belong to the poor and the adivasis.
How to equitably share the common wealth for the common good while ensuring the predatory corporates are kept at bay is the challenge for all.