Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Is it Capitalism?

Recently there was wide coverage of the clashes between the police and workers of the Honda plant at Gurgaon. Amidst the high tension on the streets of Gurgaon, there were reports of the Japanese ambassador to India saying that the clashes might adversely affect Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows to India.

Then there was the deluge in Mumbai, which brought India's commercial capital to a standstill. Rediff reports that the Mumbai rains batter India's image. Both the above appear quite striking to me.

Regarding the Japanese ambassador's comment, TVR Shenoy wrote an article in Rediff asking the ambassador to mind his own business. Essentially, he says that FDI goes to where-ever it generates the highest returns and FDI is not charity or some kind of a grant. I am in complete agreement with him. Rediff's article makes us look like we are trying to create some kind of a favorable image of what we are not. It is much like a girl who is just about to presented to a prospective groom, is dressed in her finest and asked to put up her best appearance!

Unbridled capitalism clearly isn't very healthy. We clearly don't have to fawn at the feet of the people who have the money. They bring in their money only because it makes commercial sense for them, not for anything else. The govertments' duty should be to create better opportunities for the people and uphold their interests above everything else. P Sainath has more on the Gurgaon incident in this article from the Hindu .

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