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Posts Tagged ‘Oligarchy With An Indian Flavour

Oligarchy With An Indian Flavour

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By Jagdish Keshav

Is India heading towards Oligarchy or is it already being ruled by one?

This is the question placed in front of us, for those who are getting to be aware of goings on in front of us and behind us.

What I mean by Oligarchy is that in the name of democracy, are we being hoodwinked by a caucus represented by vested interests namely big corporations?

We have a Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram who in his past was a corporate lawyer who represented companies like Enron and Vedanta in their heydays or dark days, depending on how we see it.

As a lawyer for the infamous Vedanta who by their controversial presence in the tribal areas of Orissa, he defended their Bauxite mining operations in this highly environmentally sensitive region where fauna, flora and the existence of tribals have been threatened. The plight of the tribals who are losing the lands where they have resided for centuries did realize that the man who represents the corporations is deaf to their pleas and blind to their sufferings.

These big corporations are siphoning off huge profits from the ore business while India is receiving a pittance of an amount from the export & processing of these ores.
More important is the very existence of the tribals thanks to the mining operations.

The bluff of these conglomerates is there for us to see but the media and the persons defending it have made certain that in the name of democracy & free trade, these unethical practices go unnoticed. This is the danger for a country which just recently got out from the clutches of another oligarchy, the colonial type.

It is understandable the reason for his stand from where P Chidambaram comes from. He studied corporate law in the US and not surprisingly his support goes where the money is.

Socio-economics and law & order are two separate things that are plaguing the countryside in India and they need to be handled separately. The reason for the explosion in violence in the tribal tracts of India is primarily is of socio-economic in character and not necessarily just a law & order situation as per the ex-corporate lawyer turned politician emphasizes.

The Maoist violence which has gripped the so-called Red-Corridor is a result of decades long deprivation, neglect & exploitation by these conglomerates & individuals. The sufferings & tribulations of the rural poor & the tribals which have stretched for such long periods have failed to stretch the minds of the ruling classes towards their plight. A violence by either party, whether the Maoists or the establishment has to end.

Needless to say, the violence that has exploded in this corridor has set a dangerous trend that can result in an uncontrolled response by the establishment where the tribals & the other rural poor may experience further deterioration of their living standards. A living standard that consists of lack proper healthcare, sanitation, access to education & widespread malnutrition amongst these children whom it seems, even Gods have neglected. That their turmoil which has gone unnoticed and uncared for over the decades by the general media owned by the corporates may witness further ignorance.

A question that arises now is that whether these oligarchies should be given an unabated run to rule and be protected by the government or in the true sense of democracy, should these mining & other companies must be nationalized to provide true benefits to these masses of people who have not yet seen justice they deserve?