The screaming, screeching and scratching against multinationals are being done by illiterates and margarine Marxists without any knowledge of history or economics.
The entire software industry, which now sustains millions of Tamil youngsters, is beholden to multinational companies and these companies are as big hardcore free-marketing fiends as companies like Vedanta are. Software will not survive without hardware. And hardware needs metals like copper. Every cell phone one uses has about 12% copper and copper is not extracted from air. If the Vedantas of the world do not exist, desktops,laptops, cell phones and smart phones will cease to exist. Internet will be history.
I have absolutely no doubt that untramelled expansion of multi-nationals’ activities will spell a doom to the world and that they have to be kept on a tight leash. This can happen only if there is an universal code on ethical use of natural resources. But this has a price. The cost of our cell phones, laptops and the daily gadgets we use will increase and may even become un-affordable to ordinary people. It is this dichotomy that these companies exploit and a sensible government,especially a government of a huge country like India which needs industries, will always be on the alert to stay put on the middle path. Thus while industries are allowed to function without undue harassment, the government will not only impose sensible environmental laws but make sure that they are enforced. The penalty for violation will be severe.
It is only because these measures are not being enforced or because of the suspicion that they are not being enforced that the people of Tuticorin are up in arms. The environmental terrorists, who have nothing to lose, the sundry separatists and Eelam lunatics are egging them on.
But what is the duty of the leftists?
On 31 May 1929 Ford signed an agreement with the Soviet Union for selling his cars and overseeing construction of an automobile plant. During those days, the Soviet Union was not even recognized by the US and they had no diplomatic relations. Yet, Stalin understood the importance of modern technology and the necessity to catch up with the Western world. He also signed agreements with giants like Du Pont. If the Soviet Union was producing enormous numbers of motorized vehicles during the world war II, at least a wee bit of
a contribution to that effort was made by Ford.
Remember, like a classical CPI(M) guy, I am leaving the modern China strictly alone! I have cited the example of the real McCoy, the great Joseph Stalin!
Marxists should not behave like Luddites. They should not scream like other idiots do and call for closure of industries. There is a whale of difference between insisting on strict enforcement of environmental laws and the complete closure of a running plant which is producing more than 400,000 tons of copper, which is close to 40% of our national consumption. Imagine. If we were to use modern gadgets as freely and as easily as we use now and if they were to be as cheap as they are now, these plants have to be somewhere in the Planet Earth. It is highly unethical to demand that they be moved elsewhere but we should be safe and at the same time our consumption and activity style should remain unaffected. The same crowd screams murder if the internet services are shut down for three days! I don’t support this act at all, but that is a different story.
Unfortunately, I am afraid the Rubicon has been crossed in Tuticorin thanks not a little to the Marxists and other Leftists. It is quite difficult to cross it again and come to the side where we originally were.
1 thought on “Crossing the Rubicon”
Sir, You have a different view. Okay. Nothing wrong in having a view which differs from popular opinion. It also seems that you particularly blame CPM in this write up and in the previous one as well. But, the fact remains CPM are only a minor player in TN. As far as I could see only MDMK was in the forefront of the agitation (with vaiko always shouting at the top) along with many other fringe elements. CPM jumped into the picture only later, if I remember correctly. Many others had their parts, including even BJP at one point. In fact, CPM was part of the UPA govt which gave the go ahead for II phase of the plant. Arnab was screaming only this point in his tv debate the other day. I don’t see any objectivity in blaming one political formation for the agitation. If politicians are to be held responsible, no party can come out unscathed in the unfortunate happenings in Tuticorin.