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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Corporate bashing - a past-time for a few

The following are my responses to various attempts at Corporate bashing by some ignorant, and some typically pseudo-socialist fellow members of some Yahoogroups:

1) Why are you coyly exempting the HU-member employees of software companies (could be about half the strength, I guess) from blame? By taking up employment with these alleged environment degraders, aren't they party to the companies' deeds, too?

The fact of the matter is that, had it not been the Infosys, TATA's, etc, most of these would instead have become members of some Naxal groups. It is easy to pontificate from a self-righteous platform. The important thing is to make the right contribution.

As I have stated before, a certain amount of damage to environment is inevitable with development. And, if we are to provide a decent standard of living to the multitudes in our country, who are currently below the poverty line and impatient to move ahead, we need a fairly fast-paced development. The important thing is to channelise the development along the right lines so that the damage to the environment is minimal. Most Indian corporates, including Infosys and TATA's, are quite conscious of this and are doing their best in this regard. If their deeds have had adverse multiplier effects, it is the poor planning of the government and its agencies that is largely to blame. Perhaps, that's where our focus needs to be.

2) Hi M

It is indeed heartening to note the more measured and balanced approach you are adopting these days as compared to the earlier times (I hope you will not mind this tone coming as it is from somebody much older to you). The hazard involved, however, is that you could land up getting clubbed together with me to be issued fatwa's against by the neo-Ayatollah's of this world.

These Ayatollah's while enjoying a modern life-style themselves, complete with computers, cell phones, 'Pulsar', digicam, indeed the works, would however condemn the urban poor to making a living out of fishing in polluted lakes, to suffer through mosquito-ridden nights without power supply, then to get up early in the morning to line up in queue's to collect a few pots of drinking water, later to wait inordinately for the BMTC buses that never come, and finally to land up in some government hospital to die a horrific death.

The Ayatollah's will then write some insipid poetry about it all and expect the HU members to appreciate it!

3) Indeed D!

Any development will be accompanied by a certain amount of dislocations unless it is planned and managed properly. It is not a phenomenon peculiar to the IT sector alone.

In Kerala, for instance, the Gulf boom, and later the tourism boom, brought about 'development', and with the government unable to handle its effects properly, the lives of the local population got dislocated.

The Bangalore IT boom pace was much faster, and with the government approaching it in the same way as it did the growth of village panchayats ages back, things naturally went wrong. How can you hold the IT industry responsible for that?

When the IT industry provides decent employment for the youth of the country, you applaud it. When, because of the ineptness of the government machinery, it causes some dislocations to your lives, you curse it. Is that fair?

The IT (and ITES) industry is the only industry that has helped generate employment opportunities for the educated youth in the country in such a big way. If not for them, the youth would all have possibly strayed into some Naxal groups or the other. Their current prosperity has in turn fuelled the growth of the other industries leading to creation of employment opportunities, both for the educated as well those less fortunate, in the other sectors also.

India has phenomenal strengths in these fields. There is a vast potential for growth, and the entire country could benefit immensely from it. Instead of celebrating this, it is a pity that the likes of Mr C N R Rao choose to remain stuck in a time warp.

If we are to provide a decent standard of living to the multitudes in our country, who are currently below the poverty line and impatient to move ahead, we need a fairly fast-paced development. Yes, it has to be channelised properly. That's what the whole debate is about. But, anyone who thinks that growth and development are not needed at all, should then also be prepared to hold their parents responsible for adding to the burden on this earth.


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