Tuesday, September 18, 2012

India is facing an unique situation. In a diverse and heterogeneous country as our, almost everyone has an opinion on every topic on earth. This is good as all of us exercise our freedom of speech. However, such freedom is coming down heavily on administering India. Every person with a different view point expects him idea has to be respected and implemented. If not, they file a public interest litigation, if verdict of court is not in their favor, litigators sit in protest, some time violent, with few hundred to thousand protestors. They claim people in general are against the government decision. There are a few cases in point: TATA motors was prevented from setting up a plant in West Bengal. Although majority of people had given up their land, a few hung on. Political parties like Trina Mool Congress seized the oppurtunity and made TATA's exist West Bengal. Ultimate losers are Bengalees, because they lost job oppurtunity. Similar agitation was launched in another part of West Bengal, to oust industrialists from Indonesia.

Presently, people in Tamil Nadu are fighting against setting up a nuclear power plant in Kudankulum. There are several lobbies at work. Firstly, some scientists want India should not buy foreign reactors. Others believe nucelar energy is unsafe. An accident can have a very long term effect.  A tsunami had happened earlier in the same region earlier. All this is correct, but it is also true that India needs power. Energy generation from coal burning needs coal to be mined. However, there are another set of NGOs that do not want any mining activity.Besides, coal is environmentally not very clean. Energy can be generated by harnessing rivers. However, dams displace people. Besides dams have ecological impact. So where does India get her energy from for development? However, they forget are ouster of Tatas from West Bengal, Agitation Decision makers are unable to take decisions.

We have similar agitation underway against setting up of a steel plant  and creation of a port in Orissa. A few families do not want to give up their land. So the project is in limbo for last 5 years or more.

Question is repeatedly a few families supported by well meaning NGOs are putting roadblocks against projects that are important for India's growth, development. Unless India grows, jobs cannot be created and people cannot be taken out of poverty. It is accepted development cannot happen at the expense of people. People should be compensated more than adequately for their sacrifice. Government has to create a rehabilitation package for displaced people. However, no one how well meaning, should be allowed to hold India hostage. Development and industrialisation has to happen.

Many criticise private companies are making profit by selling national resource. However, Indian government  does not have the capacity or capability to undertake all the activities needed for India's growth. We are familiar with efficiency and quality of governement managed jobs. However,, vested interest groups in government does not want to give up control. So once a project is completed, government administrators want to take control back in the name of public good. Why would a private company undertake any project if they do not see any possibility of profit. Private companies, many of them may be dishonest, atleast they are sensitive to their shareholders. Moreover, it is the Indian system where there is complete lack of transparency that make private companies dishonest.
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