"We are really owned and run by a few corporations, who can shut India down when they want," Arundhati Roy says.
Most of us have grown up to obediently revere the rich, wealthy and the ones successful.They are the people who matter, hence to be followed or imitated.Over a period of time some uncomfortable facts or their legacies have had traces or whiffs of wrong doing.This has caused a kind of discomfort in our loyal minds.The emotional or impulsive amongst us have ranted about plunder and loot of the unsuspecting and systematic betrayal of the nation's faith.Others sober , however have preferred silence for want of adequate information or sufficient facts.Some were scared, bent and atrophied to even notice any fault.Much less the theft.All together in any case did not help much in leading conscientious people to be definite and to calibrate their ideas.Much less organise or agitate.
Into this vacuum of poverty of thought, imagination and action one is pleased to see their exist some serious writers , researchers and activists who would quite gallantly prove any of the above to be wrong and exaggerated in the least. It is also against this background that the brief by Paranjoy Guha Thakurta & Jyotirmoy Chaudhuri on the fraud committed in perpetuity by one 'Kuber'called the Ambanis is to be read: a breath of fresh air.The duo takes you through the sketches of many intricate and devious transactions for transfer of huge sums of money in a looped manner back to India confirming ,skirting, daring audaciously but mostly obfuscating all existing rules through the active good offices, connivance and designs of those in the Enforcement Directorate,High Commissions,Government Departments,Stock Exchanges, officials .The finances in question mostly reside in the region of crores in the four digit spectrum.
Arundhati Roy too in the recent past has been crying hoarse on the rampant rapacity of the nation's celebrated rich,notably the corporations.In her book Capitalism : A ghost story she traces the murky path taken by about five score of the country's industrialist to control almost one-fourth of the nation's GDP.It would not be far-fetched to infer that to feed and nurture the misinformation machine by a conglomerate of corporations the perceptions of the 300 million of us post International Monetary Fund - Middle class- the market, that is: is being carefully managed by pruning and designing curriculum of study,funding of right wing think tanks,weaning away Dalit intellectuals to this cause of supplication, among other things.In fact the stated objective of the Observer Research Foundation (funded by the Ambanis) is to build consensus on reforms and liberalisation of the economy.
In her view, "transparency" and "rule of law" are code words for allowing corporations to supplant "local crony capital". This can be accomplished by passing laws that advance corporate interests."The corporations are all backing Modi because they think that [Prime Minister] Manmohan [Singh] and the Congress government hasn't shown the nerve it requires to actually send in the army into places like Chhattisgarh and Orissa," she says.
We oscillate between our near genetic fear (read reverence) of the rich to the modern day awakening to their culpability in the distress and suffering of the poor and a large chunk of dissatisfied middle classes.The new mascots of truth and honesty just talk of corruption while staying away from, privatisation,corporate power or the economic policies.Crony capitalism and its many friends are being identified, selectively..New stories are being told.Many yet, still awaiting their turn.
Arundhati very dramatically poses thus: But which of us sinners was going to cast the first stone? Not me, who lives off royalties from corporate publishing houses. We all watch Tata Sky, we surf the net with Tata Photon, we ride in Tata taxis, we stay in Tata hotels, sip our Tata tea in Tata bone china and stir it with teaspoons made of Tata steel. We buy Tata books in Tata bookshops. Hum Tata ka namak khatey hain. We're under siege.
The raconteur is ever restless.