Skip to main content

Time to ponder: Why activists, politicians target Ambani, Adani, 'spare' Tata, Birla

By NS Venkataraman*

The names of Ambani and Adani are being frequently mentioned by critics – especially activists and politicians – in an attempt to paint the two industrialists as exploiters and anti-nationals in the ongoing debate in India with regard to three farm laws enacted by the Modi government. The view is that the farm laws have only benefited the two industrial groups. Even a section of media is highlighting such a view.
Even the Government of India’s privatization measures for public sector undertakings are being interpreted as measures to benefit Ambani and Adani. There is however little discussion about merits or demerits of the government move. Loopholes, even those have little basis, are rarely sought to be identified.
The campaign against the two industrialists is so persistent that the common man, who has little to do with business activities or are not much educated, tends to believe that they are bad guys.
Ironically, these critics have left out other business groups such as Tata, Birla and others. The critics seem to think that the pace of achievements and initiatives in promoting industrial growth in India by Adani and Ambani groups are far greater than that of other groups, hence criticising them would get more attention.
No doubt, the pace of achievement by the Adani and Ambani groups has been faster. This helps critics make people them believe that they are also anti-poor. The two industrialist groups in recent years have set up more industries and economic enterprises than others.
Thanks to their faster growth, they have ably projected their claim of creating direct or indirect jobs for thousands, even as adhering to government rules and environmental regulations.
Indeed, the Ambani group has set up the largest petrochemical complex in India of world size and is now in a position to compete with international giants. It has also diversified into other areas such as communication and retail, thus bringing about a hitherto unknown speed and standard to business.
As for the Adani group, it has set up several renewable energy plants in India, even as involving itself in setting up sea ports. It has set up the largest solar power plant in India in record time. The plant is said to be operating well.
They have helped create the perception that the progress in Indian industrial and economic growth would be markedly less today without their investments and projects.
While other industrial groups as also state-supported enterprises too appear to be striving hard to set up projects, what is conspicuous is, the Ambani and Adani groups have moved into uncharted areas. This has invited sharp criticism from several quarters questioning their closeness with the government. Facts and figure show the spectacular performance of the two groups in a comparatively shorter period of time.
Government’s privatization measures for public sector undertakings are being interpreted as measures to benefit Ambani and Adani
When they go in for such massive projects, there have been problems and failures, too. In the Krishna Godavari gas exploration project, the Reliance Industries belonging to Mukesh Ambani has not been able to produce gas as per expectations. The government has imposed penalty on Reliance, and things are under litigation. Despite this failure, Reliance has joined with the British Petroleum to produce gas from new wells.
The Adani group, entrusted with the task of administering airports, has been under criticism for being favoured. Protagonists of the Adani group argue, however, that the group’s bid was better than that of others, the reason why it has won the contracts.
Meanwhile, efforts by private sector to promote industrialization and economic growth is being decried by activists and leftist politicians. The argument against privatization of public sector has become their trump card. They appear to ignore the view that the government’s job is to govern, not to do business. Even communist China promotes private business.
Entrusting the responsibility for promoting industrial and economic growth to private sector to some extent is not only logical step but also the need of the day for economic growth. No doubt, some private sector companies indulge in tax evasion and malpractices. Corrupt elements have to be punished, whether they are private sector promoters or elsewhere.
The fact is, the critics of Ambani and Adani have failed to come up with an alternative model which could contribute to economic and industrial growth of the country and create jobs. Indeed, loudspeakers cannot be a substitute to likes of Ambani and Adani.
---
Trustee, Nandini Voice for The Deprived, Chennai

Comments

Anonymous said…
Crony capitalists. Some capitalists survive and thrive at the expense of India. One simply needs to start way back to the early 70's and trace the history of one of the industrialists and for the other since the bjp tenure in Gujarat. In addition one can look at changes in laws and laws flouted for both the industrialists. Not that all industrialists do not do such acts - but some more than others.

TRENDING

Nobel laureates join international figures, seek release of Bhima Koregaon accused activists

Nobel laureates Olga Tokarczuk,  Wole Soyinka Counterview Desk  As many as 57 top international personalities, including Nobel laureates, academics, human rights defenders, lawyers cultural personalities, and members of Parliament of European countries, have urged the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India to ensure immediate release of human rights defenders in India “into safe conditions”.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Top ex-Gujarat babu tells Modi: Not yoga but solar system is our biggest source of energy

By Rajiv Shah  An email alert to Counterview from a top ex-IAS bureaucrat, termed as Gujarat’s turnaround man for revamping loss-making state public sector undertakings (PSUs), has sought to take a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark on the Yoga day – that the ancient Indian exercise provides an “infinite solutions” within ourselves, offering “the biggest source of energy in the universe.”

Hunger, lack of food security behind India's 'slip' in UN's sustainable development rank

By Dr Gian Singh*  According to a report released by the United Nations on June 6, 2021, India's ranking of achieving Sustainable Development based on the 17 Social Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 193 countries in the 2003 agenda, which was 115th last year, has slipped to 117th position this year. India ranks not only the lowest among the BRICS countries -- Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa but also below the four South Asian countries -- Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Collapse of healthcare system? Why 90% of Covid patients treated at home survived

By Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey* Well known Hindustani classical singer Padma Vibhu shan Channulal Mishra, chosen as one of the proposers of Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections, lost his wife and elder daughter to Covid in private hospitals in Varanasi. Younger daughter has accused Medwin Hospital of charging Rs 1.5 lakh for treatement of her sister and not being able to explain the cause of death. Pandit Channulal Mishra has asked for a probe into his daughter’s death from the Chief Minister. The family has also asked for the CCTV footage of the ward where deceased daughter was admitted for a week.

Rooted in mistrust? Covid-19’s march into rural India is a very different ball game

By Sudhir Katiyar* As the Covid-19 virus penetrates rural India, the rural communities are responding very differently from their urban counterparts who rushed to the hospitals. The rural communities are avoiding the public health facilities and any mention of the disease. The note argues that this supposedly irrational response is based on a deep-seated mistrust of the state by the rural communities. It can not be resolved with routine Information, Education and Communication (IEC) measures suggested in the Government of India SOP for tackling Covid-19 in rural areas.

Courageous, in-depth attempt to confirm common spiritual values of Christ, Buddha

By RB Sreekumar, IPS*  All religions, both theistic and atheistic designed conceptual and practical architecture, for holistic and comprehensive elevation and enlightenment of humanity. PK Vijayan, in his novel “Nirvana of Jesus Christ” (Notion Press, 2020) through creative imagination portrayed personality evolution of the two progenitors of God-centric and sagaciously logical major religions – Jesus Christ of Christianity and Gautama Buddha of Buddhism.

Why hasn't Govt of India responded to US critique of freedom of religion under Modi?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* About two weeks ago, on May 12, 2021, the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken released in Washington the ‘2020 International Religious Freedom Report.’ This official annual report of the US Government details the status of religious freedom in nearly 200 foreign countries and territories and describes US actions to support religious freedom worldwide. Mandated by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, this report highlights the fact that ‘religious freedom is both a core American value and a universal human right’.

Covid fear? Cremation rituals gone upside down, Dalits asked to do Brahminical rituals

By Abhay Jain, Sandeep Pandey*  As Covid consumes human life in a very conspicuous way we are confronted with additional problem of disposing of human corpses. Cremation grounds are lit with continuous pyres, graveyards are running out of land and now Ganga has become a mass grave potentially polluting its water.