Category Archives: Capitalism

Kodaikanal Won’t

Social activists expose Unilever and CEO Paul Polman’s hypocrisy with spoof of Nicki Minaj’s ‘Anaconda’ song.

30 July, 2015. CHENNAI — Having reached its target of 5000 signatures in less than a week, a petition hosted by online campaigning platform Jhatkaa.org urging Unilever to settle the company’s mercury-related liabilities in Kodaikanal got a major boost today with the launch of a music video titled “Kodaikanal won’t. . .” Written by Chennai-born rapper Sofia Ashraf and set to Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda,” this song is being used by social activists to expose Unilever’s claims to responsibility as hypocritical. Unilever’s mercury thermometer factory in the South Indian hill town of Kodaikanal was shut down in 2001 for environmental violations. For 14 years, the company has ignored demands for remediation of its mercury-contaminated site and compensation of mercury-affected workers. Unilever CEO Paul Polman urges other corporates to follow his lead on ‘business as a force for good. In Kodaikanal, he has failed to walk his talk.

The music video was uploaded to Youtube by eminent Carnatic vocalist T.M. Krishna at anevent titled “Union Carbide to Unilever: The Myth of Corporate Responsibility.” Ex-workers and video director Rathindran Prasad spoke at the event.

“The music video speaks the language of today’s English-speaking youth who constitute a substantial chunk of Unilever’s consumer base. With its punchy lyrics and fantastically pieced together visuals, the video has all the potential to go viral,” said T.M. Krishna.

‘Swayer Corporation’, Rathindran’s other production screened at the event, is a story of a young activist out to kill the CEO of a bad and evil chemical corporation. En route to his target, he meets an old man. His world begins to crumble as conversations unfold. The film that was first screened in Cannes 2015, and the music video set the tone for a discussion on whether corporations could ever behave as socially responsible entities.

Unilever spends $8 billion on marketing itself as a socially responsible company. Even a day’s budget would be more than sufficient to start addressing its liabilities in Kodaikanal. “For all its talk of social responsibility, Unilever has behaved no different from Union Carbide in Bhopal,” said Nityanand Jayaraman, a Chennai-based writer and social activist.

“Unilever prides itself in its image and is very active on social media, but it has done nothing to prevent this public relations nightmare from exploding,” said Sonam Mittal, campaigner with Jhatkaa.org.

For more information, contact:

S.A. Mahindra Babu, Pond’s HLL ex-Mercury Employees Welfare Association: 9488922258

Shweta Narayan, The Other Media: 8056024315

Sonam Mittal, Jhatkaa.org: 9686199116

source: http://kodaimercury.org/

To sign the petition: https://www.jhatkaa.org/unilever/

Dear Mr. Raghuram Rajan, the hat you wore is foul-smelling

Raghuram-Rajan-PTI-5i-L

Mr. Raghuram Rajan’s ‘ideas’ definitely needs to be debated and strongly opposed, because it’s sheer play of Economic terms, seasoned with ingredients like Ethics, Dharma (is it Hindu Dharma Mr. Rajan) advocating support for Capitalism, Private Property. [A detailed critical commentary should be written]

Mr. Rajan tries to give a illusive trust ‘that all is going to be fine… if government is ….. ” to the middle class in defense of the Bourgeoisie.

His views are antithetical to what he himself proposes: democratic accountability, Equitable Distribution etc., because he proposes ‘Good Governance’ (morphing it with words like democratic accountability etc). Thus he safeguards himself by not speaking against ‘STATE’ (not the geographical division). He also misquotes Marxism by using the word GOVERNMENT. There is no mention of STATE power at all in his article, but he admits of CLASS existence, isn’t this hypocrisy?

He says that // Fukuyama makes a more insightful point than simply that all three traditional aspects of the state – executive, judiciary, and legislature – are needed to balance one another. In sharp contrast to the radical libertarian view that the best government is the minimal “night watchman”, which primarily protects life and property rights while enforcing contracts, or the radical Marxist view that the need for the government disappears as class conflict ends, Fukuyama, as did Huntington, emphasizes the importance of a strong government in even a developed country.// –

first of all, Neither Karl Marx nor Engels or the real life Revolutionaries like Lenin & Mao have stated that ‘Government’ wiil ‘dissppear’, Karl Marx talks about ‘Withering away of the STATE’ – Lenin explains this in detail on “Economic Basis” – emphasis “Economic Basis” in his work titled The State and Revolution – “Between capitalist and communist society lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.”…. “The expression “the state withers away” is very well-chosen, for it indicates both the gradual and the spontaneous nature of the process”

It is not veracious on the part of Mr. Rajan to manipulate a theory with a motive to either project it as utopian or anarchist… STATE is consequential of historical process which was the cause of arousal of Class & class conflicts. In Lenin’s words, “The State: A Product of the Irreconcilability of Class Antagonisms”. It is in this sense that Marx & Marxists (labeling them radical, in the extremist sense, is highly objectionable) state (as in affirm) that State will Wither away and not ‘disappear’.

The gist of his idea is ‘Reformism’, but when STATE by itself is consequential of antagonisms in a particular mode of ECONOMY, how is that its components like Judiciary (rule of law!!), Legislative (Government) going to be trustworthy of democratic accountability. Moreover today STATE has transpired itself as compradors of CAPITALISM & its offshoots Imperialism, Liberalism, Globalization and so on, and when Intrinsic nature of CAPITALISM is PROFIT – ACCUMULATION OF WEALTH, how will its custodian – the STATE will tolerate / allow – Equitable Distribution of Wealth.

Above all in Capitalism Division of Labor is anarchic and Despotism is the ‘rule of law’ in its functioning, its custodian STATE will also be reciprocal of the same ‘rule of law’, so where is the room for democracy & democratic accounting?

What is Unpardonable in Mr. Rajan’s speech is his reference to CASTE – “ In India, he argues, the caste system led to division of labor” , absolutely ahistorical…

An ahistorical approach, belief in ‘Dharma’, defensive of Private Property – Is he planning to contest as Prime Ministerial Candidate in the near future?

Dear Mr. Raghuram Rajan, the hat you wore is foul-smelling……….

[to be continued…]

His speech on: http://scroll.in/article/708502/Full-text:-Invoking-Hitler,-Raghuram-Rajan-warns:-A-strong-govt-may-not-move-in-the-right-direction