Saturday, 27 January 2007

Should we do biz with Modi?

India’s business barons are keeling over each other, desperately wanting to invest in Gujarat. CM Narendra Modi has had them eating out his hands, and the list is by no means thin. It reads heavyweight names like Ratan Tata, Anil Ambani and Anand Mahindra.

And why not too? Gujarat has promised many incentives and Modi is a man determined to bring prosperity to his State, in fact Gujarat is economically the most progressive State in the nation. Also, unlike many other CMs we know, Modi is a kick arse leader, he will come down hard on anyone who dares to even toy with the idea of doing a Singur on Gujju land, the man is a visionary, and has great ideas on the way forward.

Also, Gujaratis adore their leader, they will make sure their ‘Chhote Sardar’ wins by handsome margins in any election, which also provides stability to investors. The worst thing that can happen to businessmen is frequent changes of governments and leaders.

So far so good.

The question to ask is, should ethics, humanity and morality be damned by our tycoons? Should they ignore Modi’s very nefarious role in the 2002 riots? Can they simply forget about the fact that many Gujarati Muslims still need to be resettled, punishment has still to be awarded to the murderers and rapists? Can they duck the truth that even the judiciary lost faith in the courts of Gujarat? How can one do business in a State where one section of the populace is disgruntled, unhappy and angry?

Sure, I know I am talking like a fossilised loser out here, no business is ever done on emotion. As they say, ‘Ganda hai par dhanda hai!’ I recall Sanjeev Kumar’s cutting line in Trishul, and it’s my own reality check every time I see the movie: “Agar jazbaaton se business hota, to aaj har bhikari karodpati hota.” The Tatas and the Ambanis are only interested in stuff like ROI, Toplines and Bottomlines, as they should be.

However, since I am a loser, I would refuse to sleep with the enemy only to fatten my balance sheet. I would first demand Modi clean up his house, be just in his actions, and only then would I sign deals with him. But then, I am loser, and now you know why.

Going back to Trishul, if I ever meet Modi after his financial windfalls, this is what I would be tempted to say to Motabhai: “Aaj aap ke paas aap ki saari daulat sahi, sab kuch sahi, lekin maine aap se zyaada gareeb aaj tak nahin dekha.”


aditi said...

just goes to show our tycoons lack social responsibilty.

srivatsan said...

if doing business with modi is ethically wrong, how come doing business with congress is fine? if 2002 was bad, so was 84. and tytler is now in the union cabinet.

how come uhavent mentioned that?

Zahabia said...

Ethical business....oxymoron, u think??

lata said...

I found your article on Modi interesting and you have raised a valid point.

You know Mother Teresa took huge donations, taking blood money from killer-rulers of kingdoms.. I think it was from Fiji or from some similar little place where many horrors were inflicted on innocents...
A similar question was asked as to how she could associate with this money... her answer, probably like the answer of these icons, was vague. I see Hindu spiritual gurus associate with people of questionable character too...

Should you raise the level of prosperity in Gujarat, making people richer and therefore less inclined towards mindless aggression (having more to lose and therefore less inclined to stupid actions) or should one leave them to the hands of bullies such as Modi who can reign supreme because poverty and illiteracy always makes it easier for bullies to hold sway?

In the short term, it’s a bad thing, but in the long term, I believe the entry of these huge business houses will dilute Modi's power. This is my guestimate...