Tag Archives: corporations

Fascism, the Revolt of the ‘Little Man’ and Life After Capitalism – Manifesto of Hope III

 

 

A representational image of a Hindutva demonstration, courtesy Sabrang.

[This the third instalment of a series on ‘Life After Capitalism – A Manifesto of Hope’. Earlier parts can be accessed Part I here and Part II here. Part IV can be accessed here.]

Yesterday was V. I. Lenin’s 150th birth anniversary and just the other day I read a report of a survey that claimed that 75 percent of Russians think the Soviet era was the best time in the country’s history. A great tribute to Lenin on this occasion, one would imagine, whatever may have been the reasons for socialism’s collapse. If you could put this response in Russia to nostalgia for a time gone by, it comes as an even bigger surpise that a recent poll in the United States of America, conducted by an outfit called YouGov and funded by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (a clearly anti-communist outfit) found that 70 percent of the millennials (between the age of 23 and 38 years in 2019) favoured socialism. Earlier in February 2019, Jochen Bittner, politcal editor of the German weekly Die Zeit wrote in the New York Times on ‘Why Socialism is Coming Back in Germany?’

Continue reading Fascism, the Revolt of the ‘Little Man’ and Life After Capitalism – Manifesto of Hope III

Crafting the Modi Mask – India Inc and the Big Media

AAP Rally in Gujarat. Courtesy Mukul Sinha
AAP Rally in Gujarat. Courtesy Mukul Sinha

Two things stand out for their sublime quality in the current round of pre-election campaigning. First, the danger to Indian democracy has assumed unprecedented proportions, and there is a clear sense of desperation in the air. The threat emanates, you guessed right, from a group of anarchists who are poised to take over Indian democracy.  This is perhaps the dirtiest and most dangerous election that India has ever seen – what with the bunch of anarchists ‘fixing the media‘, ‘spreading anarchy‘, ‘hijacking democracy‘, ‘taking foreign funds‘ for their election campaign (while the others, the impeccable democrats of the BJP and the Congress have to make do with ‘local’ capitalists like  Mukesh Ambani). What’s more, these people are ‘political mercenaries‘,  urban Maoists in disguise and they want to wreck the neatly and painstakingly built edifice of our hallowed democracy. This widespread love of democracy is touching. For someone like me who has closely watched (and participated in) politics from the mid 1970s, the panic evident in the tone of those attacking AAP is as unprecedented as it is revealing. It is revealing of the fact that the political class is thrown into disarray by this new way of doing politics that AAP represents. In BJP’s case, in particular, one can discern complete befuddlement – neither its hope to reap the benefit of the mass anger against the Congress, nor its tried and tested polarizing communal vocabulary seem to have any meaning any more.

Thus, during the days of AAP rule in Delhi, the official BJP state executive resolution came up with this claim:

“Delhi is currently being ruled by a bunch of political mercenaries hired, supported and controlled by Congress party. The words and action of AAP leaders expose the fact that it is a Maoist outfit.”

Of course, the Maoists are “hired, supported and controlled by the Congress”!

Continue reading Crafting the Modi Mask – India Inc and the Big Media

The Media Barons and the Radia Tapes: Monobina Gupta

Guest post by MONOBINA GUPTA

The first formal discussion on the Radia-Media nexus by a section of top media professionals this Friday revealed the media’s general reluctance to put themselves through the same wringer of criticality that they so love to put others through. Barring Manu Joseph, editor of  Open Magazine, which put out in the public domain the tapes which had been lying  for days in the ‘safe’ custody of most media organizations, majority of the speakers argued that the controversy was not about Vir Sanghvi and Barkha Dutt; that there was no proof whether Sanghvi had actually written his ‘most read’ column as he had assured Nira Radia; that we do not know if Barkha Dutt had kept her word to Radia and passed on the message of the DMK’s internal dissensions to the Congress; that pressured by the minute-by-minute  demands of 24/7 TV channels, journalists have to make random promises (which they do not intend to honour!); that they have to play along with their sources to extract news etc. The list of extenuating circumstances offered by the media, now getting a taste of its own treatment, was quite revolting.

Continue reading The Media Barons and the Radia Tapes: Monobina Gupta

Corporate Complicity and Gujarat

The 4th ‘Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit, organized by the Gujarat government on 12-13 January 2009 in Ahmedabad, and the statements by some prominent Indian corporate leaders, have spawned protests, analysis, debates and questions about corporate accountability, complicity, responsibility and rights in Indian democracy. At this biennial event, ‘Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat’ has been showcased as an ‘ideal investment destination, both for Indian and foreign investors’, where prospective investors have ‘only Red Carpet and no Red Tape and it is where investors can sow a rupee and reap a dollar as returns’ (see Official portal of Gujarat Government).

Bringing together business leaders, investors, corporations and policy makers by a democratically-elected government, exploring business opportunities and signing memorandum of understandings are legitimate economic activities. However, the projection of the Chief Minister of the State, Narendra Modi, as the next Prime Minister of India by corporate cheerleaders is much more than mere economic activity. It is turning a blind eye to gross abuses of rule of law, and knowingly assisting a political leader and his government to continue committing them. It is becoming party to a specific political vision in a manner that incurs responsibility and blame. Such corporate leaders thus become complicit with a government and its leader in serious human rights abuses. It is negative and unacceptable.

Continue reading Corporate Complicity and Gujarat