Monday, April 26, 2010


is a single principle, Capitalism, and teaches that the believer's goal is to transcend the limitations of human rights norms and realize capitalism's superiority over humanity.

What makes Vedanta symptomatic of mining and bigcorporate malpractices?
Vedanta is one of the worst companies I have come across but what's most shocking is that it's happening in the 21st century. This company is misleading the world with its incredible PR campaign. It is making people believe it wants to do good for the people, that it will build a university etc, but this is all fiction. Here's just one example of the kind of things they have been doing. In Bandhaguda, a place very close to their [alumina] refinery, in 2002, the company told the village that they would build a factory, give employment to everyone, displacing only one village. They have already displaced four, and I have been told that they promised one lakh rupees to those who had land titles (as you know, very few have land deeds, especially tribals) and Rs 50,000 per acre to those who had no titles in exchange for their rights, and worse, Rs 1,000 to those willing to give up their houses. One thousand rupees! That's just over $20! It's shocking. And of course they haven't given them jobs. I think there are some 57 foreigners who are running this refinery. So, in 2003, when the people in this village saw that the company had started cutting down the forests way beyond the declared area, and that all the promises made were false, they decided to demonstrate outside the construction site. About 400 people gathered — men, women and children. The police jailed all the men for seven days. When they were released, they were told they had become outcaste and needed to go to Puri to pray and redeem themselves at Lord Jagannath's temple. The state police were used alongside Vedanta company goons to forcibly take them to Puri, while they built the refinery wall. In violation of customary law, their ancestral graveyard was destroyed and the area illegally enclosed in the Vedanta compound. This meant the people could no longer go to pray. This is a serious human rights violation, and it is extraordinary that all this was done in collusion with the police and the Orissa state. All the documents I have show the collusion between the state and Vedanta. When I arrived at the Biju Patnaik airport in Bhubaneswar, I was struck by a billboard that said "Mining happiness for the people of Orissa". What a cruel irony. The aluminium refinery has brought nothing but misery, disease and impoverishment to the communities in the area, and if Vedanta's bauxite project is allowed to go ahead, it will endanger the very survival of the Kondhs.

More here.
I must link my friend's excellent piece on Vedanta here.

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Anonymous said...

It was interesting, but incomplete...

I wish you could have asked the foreign NGOs, who have been drumming up propaganda against India and all mining project, what has been their contribution to the development of the country.

I am not sure if you are aware, but the highest courts in India, the Supreme Court gave a green signal for the mining project at Orissa with a rider that a good percentage of the earnings should be ploughed back for development of the people and the region.

Yet, we have "foreign" NGOs talking about the project and we have gullible "Indians" like you who fall for their rhetoric.

Hope better sense would prevail and you will take lead in questioning the very motive of these NGOs and thier roles in India.

Y? said...

Anonymous, thanks for your comment. I would really appreciate if if you could not post anonymously.
It actually doesn't make a difference if a foreign NGO says this or an Indian one . Many Indian NGOS and ''Indian sources'' have criticized Vedanta for a long time. Sure, ''the rider'' that that the earnings will be ploughed back for development what corporation that has displaced people hasn't promised this sort of thing and partially or completely failed to deliver? IS Vedanta going to employ these people - who by Vedanta's standards/requirements are unskilled?

Are you justifying the means by which these people are being displaced , cheated ? There are so many questions to be answered. To displace these people from their land, their way of life is to cause the extinction of a whole culture- to let them scavenge in our glorious urban slums with the thousands of other people displaced so far.