Thursday, August 24, 2006

Viral diseases and multinational companies

Surat and Ahmedabad are under viral attack. The recent flooding of the state and water logging in Surat for 6 days is the cause. This is the state where Medha Pathkar and Arundhati Roy have vocalised against the dam across Narmada. This is also the state of mass genocide. Instead of paying attention to improving the status of health and education in the country we are engaged in petty squabbles about banning blogs and products by multinationals. Read Jayant Bhandari's article on the Coke ban in the country. Its so silly that we spend millions of rupees fighting against multinationals which have made it easier for us to access world class products and have provided employment opportunities for so many. When was the last time Vandana Shiva tested municipality supplied water in any Indian city? Will she sue the government and ask for a ban on government supplied drinking water in the country? I am sure the content of pesticides in potable water is high enough to warrant such an action. If coke and pepsi are a health hazard what about the millions of people afflicted with water borne diseases every year. We still have Typhoid and Jaundice prevalent in the country. Even people who live affluently and can afford bottled water are at risk. What is the CSE's solution to that?

Indians still believe that foreigners will take over their country and politicians feed this xenophobia. What else could be the reason we are against multinationals? We are certainly not averse to profits and money. We even worship the Goddess of money (Lakshmi), and go to great lengths to please her so that we make more money. However, the Marxist mentality that the rich are getting richer at the expense of the poor exists and we have enough marxist professors to keep this idea fuelled for several generations. Even highly educated Indians believe such things and do nothing to prevent corruption within politics and bureaucracy which is the true cause of so much poverty and lack of basic services. Even the success of the relatively free computer industry has only led to more resentment against the haves. I would like to know where Vandana Shiva's children study. In most cases children of such activists and politicians, who are against 'everything foreign', happen to study in US or UK or Australia or any such country in the West. If indeed they believe that we need to embrace autarky why do they send their kids abroad to study and also take expensive tax payer paid vacations at exotic locations? A compilation of statistics (about politicians bureaucrats and activists) on vocalisation about multinational companies, foreign education of children and personal preferences of products such as Coke would be a good statistic for the media.

No comments: