Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Ambanis : All about Gas?

That Caravan has done a yeoman's service for the public in this very detailed expose on the murky goings on in the Petroleum Industry is undeniable. One is naturally tempted to see an unholy thread stitching the recent accusations of Kejriwal, the strange silence on the book Gas Wars, take over of various written and audio-visual media channels by the Ambanis, the recent record-making electoral victory of Modi and the BJP together, the otherwise pugnacious media removing their gloves on hearing a Reliance owned Aston Martin crashing against two cars in Peddar Road, Mumbai. The scale and depth of the research would interest many, invite the professional to delve deeper and evaluate its veracity and most importantly to instill hope in flagging hearts for there are still honest and bold commentators and researchers who keep the thin fig-leaf of freedom of expression and investigative journalism alive and fluttering. That social, political and economic activism has been pushed to the mountains and tribal areas with no takers are common knowledge, too.They exist outside of the constitution. In this light and context, alone these articles border the revolutionary and heroic.

It shall be not my purpose here to comment or opine on the contents of the detailed article for it is better left to those who quite understand the subject and are professionals, (which I am not, surely). As a public spirited citizen however, it shall be my chosen course to bring to attention of many to be not easily impressed by the Antilla’s that the insanely rich and successful reside in and to endeavour to find credence in the prescient sense of Balzac for having said that behind all wealth lurks a crime.

I can only recall with a great degree of sadness at the clout exercised by both the brothers and their ilk of which first a vitriolic Arundhati Roy and then a, more conservative Gopal Gandhi went on to elaborate. "Wealth has been concentrated in fewer and fewer hands," Roy

tells the Georgia Straight by phone from New York. "And these few corporations now run the country and, in some ways, run the political parties. They run the media."The Delhi-based novelist and nonfiction writer argues that this is having devastating consequences for hundreds of millions of the poorest people in India, not to mention the middle class.

You only confirm what they had already alleged.BJP does by day what Congress does by night. And the 60-40 argument of Arundhati Roy is the cherry on the cake.Ambani's the shrewd businessmen that they are pay in that ratio to the parties in power or in opposition-i.e. by turns, Congress or the BJP. Rockefeller Foundation controlled, penetrated and funded many times the State and Intelligence Departments of America. She says Tatas have been aping these strategies for long.Ambani’s are just carrying on with the dirty ways. "Slowly, they decide the curriculum," Roy maintains. "They control the public imagination. As public money gets pulled out of health care and education and all of this, NGOs funded by these major financial corporations and other kinds of financial instruments move in, doing the work that missionaries used to do during colonialism—giving the impression of being charitable organizations, but actually preparing the world for the free markets of corporate capital."A kind of ‘perception management’.

On April 14th 2014the erstwhile Petroleum Secretary T N R Rao’s prophetic question on why up till now the book on Gas Wars: Crony Capitalism and the Ambanis by Prananjoy Guha Thakurta had not been dumped was answered on 15th April 2014, the following day when a legal notice was served on the authors, various distributors and the Publishers by the legal reps. Of the Ambanis. Interestingly, most of the media stayed away from commenting while conversely, their enthusiasm in discussing Batra on Wendy Doniger's book on Hinduism,Sanjay Baru's The Accidental Prime Minister and PCParakh’s Crusade or Conspirator was obsequious and servile to say the least and went on to confirm the unwritten writ of the Ambanis. In 1998 Hamish Macdonald’s book on ‘Dhirubhai Ambani-the Polyester Prince’ was not sold in India and later reappeared after some years minus a few key chapters: the result of the Ambanis being chary of any kind of criticism. It is against this background also that the media incarceration of Arvind Kejriwal and subsequent failure at the hustings needs to be seen.

Readers must be intrigued, nay bemused what calls to script and make this kind of laundry list on the Ambanis .Quite simply, all these events have been in the news and out of it. The public still need to be told by whatever means possible to see the connects between the stories, the power of the deceit and fraud of the corporate against public interests that are committed regularly with the knowledge, sanction and active collusion of political parties, ministers like Moily, Satish Sharma and Deora and pliant senior bureaucrats and technical officials. The case for conscientious objectors in politics and authority would rightfully go to also former ministers such as Mani Shanker Aiyer and Jaipal Reddy in this regard. Exploring oil is a costly enterprise. But it is a national resource. How much of it is available today, what should be its rightful price both for exploration and selling, who should be doing it as a private player are all questions that the Indian public have a right to know. And in that if a certain Ambani, gold plated the prices, bought and poached away talent from pristine governmental institutions to cause their ruin and manipulate prices for unfair advantage through compromised people in authority, then matters are grave that call for the highest scrutiny and convictions as the case might be.It is for the public therefore, to determine the real patriots and heroes and call to book the new-traitors who pass off as nation builders instead.

For all those who want to dig deep.Read

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