Nov 28, 2023
Nov 28, 2023
by Dev N Pathak
Desperate Capitalism, Disparaged State, and Doctored Democracy
The nation wakes up to the news of the day on 16th of January 2009: The Prime minister addresses the captains of industry, sending message to the India Inc, at the Trident Oberoi hotel in Mumbai. The content: 'Everything is back to normal... India is safe ... please come back'. It is a day after the front page of almost every newspaper splashed the silent waters. Reports could not resist the analytical temptation and passed suspicion-laced comments. The bottom line: an unequivocal mourning on the Satyam fiasco and reports on endeavor for recovery. The second bottom line: It also informed us on the unveiled predilection of the India Inc for a leader of the nation in Narendra Modi.
The element of irony that a student of creative writing always seeks to learn by poring over tomes is ubiquity in our national dailies. It however does not amuse. Irony has become scare crow for all those envisioning hope amidst hovering clouds of doubts. The Indian prude will have to reconsider the validity of traditional dictum before it is merely a straw in the ideology of innocence. The make believe of 'everything true is divine and hence beautiful' is fractured enough to hold water. Satyam is not beautiful, and the newly unleashed intimacy between the corporate and the hardliners is not divine. And thus a news report reads 'Kalam quits' (Telegraph, January 13th, 2009). The former President was on the governing board of Emergency Management Research Institute, a non-profit outfit floated by Satyam Computers. Mixing the report with a bit of analytical conjecture, the wisdom woke up of a crescendo of crumble.
'We the people' grimaced with terror strikes targeting nation's underbelly. Satyam refuted it, as it were. After all, Truth is supposed to supersede lie (or half-truth). The underbelly is not shown with people charred in the enflaming RDX. Neither is it all about the decimating hope. It is to the fore when tyrannical unpredictability envelopes economy. At least such a crisis proves that everything else is merely superstructure around the core of economy. No numbers of people dead and amputated is equal to tumbling economic edifice. Ironically, capitalism of our times makes us realize this. Death of Living is secondary to death of economy. It is scientific error to consider 'economy' for any (social) group of Robinson Crusoe/s, for the latter is never a group-entity. It is further erroneous to take Robinson Crusoe for any individual. As far as economics of our time is concerned, Robinson Crusoe is not for any Tom, Dick and Harry. Beyond a pause, it is for Tata, Birla, and Ambani, and their ilk. Therefore, probably, a sulking Tata or a disgruntled Ambani an instant intervention in their favor, by Left, Right, Center and their playmates who belong to perhaps nowhere.
The TATA, ousted from Nandigram, drove the Nano cars to Gujarat. Too swift to go unnoticed was Bhai Narendra Modi's paving passage. The Bhadro Bhattacharjee lagged a notch due to people's pressure and thus Modi won the competition by salving the wounded ego of the capitalist Robinson Crusoe. Hence, Tata exclaimed in joy at speed and Transparency in the settlement of the deal between the TATA and the State of Gujarat, singing eulogy to Mr. Modi. The corporate-crib about state succumbing to the people's unrest is on at various fronts. The one being SEZ is not possible anywhere the economic might wants. The corporate reasoning can not figure out why State turns mellow to the 'people'. It seeks for highhandedness of the state, even a doctored democracy. In between, every gesture of philanthropy or generosity, the corporate sponsored social work, is to give it a janus-face. The one side of the face darkens and disappears as soon as the corporate interest is under threat. The half side- faced- corporate accomplishes the chameleon act and strides to unpredictable hosts. To correct, though, Modi was never an unpredictable host, for we know that the political rise of the Right is accredited to the Baniyas.
So the latest manifestation of the metamorphosis of the janus-faced into one side- faced, ready to play chameleon act, is the conglomerate of the tycoons worshipping at the altar of Modi, consigning into oblivion their own stance they had expressed once upon a time.
All those who had gathered in the month of April in 2002, at a Confederation of Indian industry meet in Delhi, have taken an about turn. Then the tycoons were unanimous in sullying Narendra Modi with charges of rape and murder. It began to change with TATA bagging quick favor, allocation of land and other logistics, to put up the manufacturing plant. All those who believe that Modi does it with propaganda and effecting affective orality would have to rethink and set their perspective right. It also takes place with a simple act of state siding with the corporate. Or, in other words, it is an illustration of disparaged state surrendering to desperate capitalism.
With Satyam's nose-dive and revealed inefficient mechanism of regulation, the disparaged state looks clueless. Shifting needle of blame toward Pakistan and partaking in war cry, post terror-strikes, is so much easier than answering the market giants. Penalizing Raju Ramlingam is not anything in comparison to condemning the allegedly benighted Pakistan. Secondly, the global economic downturn has pressed both the state and the corporate to try expedient measures. Receding jobs in IT industry blots the picture of ICE-age (Information, Communication and Entertainment) that we so religiously conjured at the dawn of new century. While IT measures are playing defensive, and the management institutes are launching new courses to fan some fume of hope, the twist in the politico-economic melodrama surfaces. The non-IT Godfathers have flex miscl3es and assert that they are the most powerful even in the post-modern information society. Suddenly post-Fordism, which every Social science student learns about in colleges with great zeal, is a doubtful thing of past. It is them who still wield the clout to persist and multiply. It is them who are the so-called beacon of hope and prosperity. Thus, it is them for whom the state must do everything.
No wonder, C W Mills envisions power elite in relation with larger structure and suggest that change and persistence are for them by them.
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