Or, carrying favour with the high and mighty?
We once asked a Corporate heavy-weight, and a lady at that, who sat at the high table of Sonia Gandhi for an ad for this media publication!
The lady was not only negative, she seemed to have dismissed our request in a nonchalant manner! This has been our almost routine experience and we have learnt a lot of lessons in corporate social responsibility(CSR) tag given to the corporate to spend 2 per centage of their net profits on their CSR activities.CSR is a political lobbying spends of the corporate? Yes, it looks like that. Sometime, you read some ridiculous and even plain exercise of some nonsense or other in the name of charity! Including tending for their stray dogs as one big corporate advertises for these starry animals!
So, CSR is community engagement, like say the PM’s swatch bharath or even other such socially responsible production or socially responsible employees’ relations.
But one thing is clear that we, as a nation, have not grown out of coshing with powers that be, be it the Congress leaders or by now the BJP leaders. We are a nation of cringing citizens, right?
One can speak only with one’s experiences, our experience is not beyond sceptical outlook. Let us be clear about one thing. In spite of so many years of corporate wealth creation, from the pre-Independence days, we haven’t grown into a mature social conscious society.
Still, the rich-poor divide is so wide, in spite of so many positive developments, the growth of corporate wealth and the sharing of the same with the employees. We remain a socially insensitive nation and society. The PSUs are supposed to make a 0.5 % to 5 % of net profit for CSR spends.
In our media ventures we have written at length about these non-profit, on selfish natures of creating and distributing wealth. There are some areas like education, culture and other intangible areas of life that sometimes a society, a country and a culture is rated high for the simple reasons they, the many institutions have survived and money had been found and spent for some unprofit-seeking reasons.
There is college like ALL Souls at Oxford. If you see its history, it is there with no students, but only some Fellows who haven’t produced any tangible profits or incomes, but they had done the world proud by their unselfish seeking for greater ideals, ideas and truth at its best expression.
That is one reason why some of these institutions have brought glory to the countries and also to mankind. Why you give away your CSR?
To show in the audit?
So, silly! Why education today has become irrelevant to society? All such institutions have been turned into money making. Not one capitalist of the country, may be with exceptions to the pre-independent days under Mahatma Gandhi, we can recall like say the great Robert Owen in England?
One Birla, one Bajaj are the only exceptions we can recall now! Self-sacrifice, self-interest sacrifice,giving to causes greater than tangible funds for political parties. Why so much mystery surrounds the donations to political parties?
Any notable VIP has come out of controversy or from the list of current donors?
Of course we live a new age of materialism and so much of aggrandisement is inside us to exploit to the maximum, the poor and the weak?
So, at the end of the day, what matters in CSR spends is the non-tangible ideas and ideals and thought-processes, why even including such ideal of democracy like citizens freedoms, citizens rights, human rights, human values like truth, ethics and such other higher ideals.
Even areas like agriculture, rural development calls for media exposure and media coverage where there is not much money or reward. Such non-tangible ideals are worth the CSR spends and attention. Amen!