Guest Post, Ipshita Samanta, writes for Kracktivism
‘“There must be some way out of here” said the joker to the thief
“There’s too much confusion”, I can’t get no relief
Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth. ‘ —-All along the watch tower, Bob Dylan
We are watching from watch tower. We are traipsing along the tricky road. Yet we are enjoying our smug delirious delusions. We belong to the army of workers, supporters of corporate. No, we are not here to talk in tropes. Rather there is severe need to redress the issue of corporate social responsibility. Our ‘’responsibility’’.
We can say corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a form of corporate self-regulation incorporated into a business environment. It works within realm of ethics, morality and international law. The goal of CSR is to accept responsibility for the company’s actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, shareholders and all other members of the community who may also be considered as stakeholders.’’
So in a more layman’s language CSR (corporate social responsibility; from here on CSR) is giving back some of the profits that corporate makes by lactating society’s resource to the people, to the nature in a word to the society itself. But this juxtaposition seems to be highly ironical, vacuously true. That is, if a profiteering organization strives by profit making why should they part their so dear sizeable portion? And if they do, why in the first place the free trade (this coinage is very much capitalistic; without which corporate presumably cannot do business) comes from barrel of gun, why they resort to the coercive methods? Why is there fierce competition to suck the cows dry? Why occlusion of peoples’ freedom of speech, democratic rights in most of the third world developing countries, where CSR is a comparatively newer concept.
Yes, we are talking about Vedanta, Posco and other expropriator corporate companies. In accordance to the rule book CSR is all about self policing, moral guide liners. But in real paradigm there is a shift between the definitions of commitment to the deed. We need not give the data. Data of exploitations, evidences of corruptions, instances of gross misappropriation are splashed in every nook and corner. State machinery is in cohort. Grapphiti is in the wall.
The face of Soni Suri is fading. Instead faking of happiness is in the wind.
So called messiah against corruption Mr. Anna Hazare is smiling.
Jago Bharat campaign of Tata is buzzing.
Flocks of youth are in trance of corporate responsibility.
Ours own Oprah has came in to fore. He is the actor turned social reformer. Amir khan.
While he argues against sexs selection he talks, discusses for the sake of destined to be unmarried 2 crore single men. He cries with the female guest who has been aborted against her wish for bearing female fetus. Yet his own child has been born out of surrogacy, one of the crudest forms of women slavery, lending your womb for money.
But he starts his program with jai hind. He remains politically correct. And also does not try to insinuate the patriarchal core. Commercial, eh? Oh it also has a greater production value. Every paisa will go the NGO run by Ambanis. The speculative money maker. The gambler whose speculations have drained surpluses of manufacturing sector in to the share markets, price fixings, speculative trade. Implicit assassinator of millions of farmers. Puppeteer of government. And he is protecting the girl child! Ironies do not stop here. Every corporate company has been tied to one or more NGO where they wash their bloody hands down. A laying off machine of black money. A devil in saint’s hood. Every slum in metropolises boasts of a NGO which is invariably linked to one or more corporate companies.
The network of capital and NGO is like infinite loop. To fix the poverty turn the lenders in to beggars. In return of education, health, infrastructural changes suck the country till death. And NGO becomes agent of death. Some will argue with trickledown effect. But is it not the one of most important reasons that in third world countries there is so higher political and bureaucratic corruption. To begin with let us look back in to the origin.
The term CSR came in to vogue in 60’s. The motivation was to make a social impact so that there could be long term profit. It involves with business ethics in a business environment. Cynics argued that it was merely a hoodwinking maneuver to the government to sideline the improper practices of big MNCs.
Also one of the aspects of the CSR was to treat human resources as capital or human capital, to potentiate them for future labor pool. So CSR is merely Keynesian approach to the corporate core value. A window dressing. CSR works as a lackey of business sustainability. A caudal approach to hide business agenda from the consumers. Also in the epoch of imperialism CSR has made up the ugly feature of neo classical economy in to a sacrosanct virtue. To facilitate the change of mode of production in the upcoming new economy from semi feudal to more aggressive oligarchy CSR has played a big role. It has gained trust through its beleaguering methods. By building brand values it has cleared the path of monopolistic hegemony. And a way to survive in troubled water. A malignant growth which cannot be uprooted only by reformist attitude.
In Indian context in 2009 ministry of corporate affairs had published a guideline for inclusive growth and responsible business. We should note here everything is voluntary, i.e it is not a law to be abided. There come lots of good words. Ethical practice, respect for workers’ right, respect for human rights, environment keeping, social development activities and so on. But still everything remains fuzzy. Everything depends on the corporate will. And every single day every basic right is flouted. In our city the poor are driven into corner, they are being brushed under carpet. We are making our cities beautiful. Those who can buy have their amenities, we, the middle class commuter of vacillating bridge are in fear. And the poor have nothing to lose.
Here in the second episode of ‘Satyameva Jayate ‘Amir Khan tells of child abuse. 53% of the children are abused silently. Most of the incidents occur in their safeness of home. And we should not forget about the hapless child laborers. For whom there is no Amir Khan to shed tear on who are being molested, raped, sodomised in their work places. In the dark corners, in the alleys of corporate profit making factories they are sacrificed daily.
And still Amir Rocks!!!!
Ipshita Samanta is doing my phd in statistics from ISI, in kolkata