Thursday, August 16, 2007

“Mommy,I want an Iraq too!…”



I was rather surprised as well as enlightened to hear my friend’s elder sisters youngest child(its not as complicated as it seems to be) saying she wanted to buy an iraq too. It told me two things about the friggin human race-one, that even a kid knows to an extent how an advanced capitalist society works, two, that the kid along with a lot more other persons are gravely misinformed.

So on the outset itself,let me make one thing clear. Iraq is not for sale. Granted the u.s has already brought it, but it was, lets call it, ‘forced transaction’. There is a war on iraq not because of 9/11 but because it has resisted to sell its oilfields. After the war, the oil fields in iraq are under the giant conglomerate ‘shell’ along with one other corporate in the scene as well(American of course). In short no iraqi owned company or its government has control over its own natural resource-not even one percent! Talking about one percent, that’s the amount out of the profits that the oil owning companies in iraq have to pay the Iraqi government as tax, which is worse than laughable. Its lamentable.

Don’t even for one second think that this is something superficial that’s not gonna affect you, regardless of the space on earth u a located at. The Indian government along with any and other governments in need of oil(ha ha ha) should now deal with shell and other corporates instead of the Iraqi government which means a higher price(already its triple the rate it was 5 years back). So oil prices go up in india and elsewhere which inturn causes the hike in general goods. Kerala, where I come from, already holds a ‘key position’ in the case of suicide. We don’t need anymore reasons do we?

The war on iraq is just the culminative symptom of the global corporatisation. The situation is worsening elsewhere as well. 40% of chattisgarh, India is already under naxal control, along with parts of Punjab, haryana, kerala and Gujarat. Who created these so called ‘naxalites’? we did. For selling off resources to corporates, the governments evicted people from lands evicting them from their livelihoods as well. The agricultural output of kerala has come down drastically. More than 50% of agricultural farms are under corporate control now, the paradox of which is that farmers who used to work in a particular farmland get evicted and the corporate who are the new owners employ them again, only this time at lower wages often in inhuman condition, and the prices of the products are hiked up to make everyone dizzy. Its these evicted people who find themselves considered my the many as ‘naxalites’.

U must be wondering if I am not being paranoid here. After all there aint that much news goin on about such things.right?

Wrong. U don’t get to hear about such things because the corporate owned media would not let u know it. Because they fear that if u know about it, u will recognize the grave injustice that is being done to people and maybe, just maybe, u may actually do something about it. The situation is not one of empathy or sympathy anymore. This is a case of self-defence. Ignoring it is sheer suicide. U may keep ignoring it and sit on ur ass scratching ur wifes when some masked personnel crashes in and lay off some of ur hard earned wealth as well as doing some kamasutra shit on ur wife. People rarely think straight when in rage.

Lets take a break now. I will tell u a story. This really happened to me. I was having this conversation with someone who is very near and dear to me(he still is) and somehow it strayed into a news article that came up on some journal recently. It was about the sex tourism in kovalam, how little kids are getting used and all that. My near n dear person then said something that really grabbed my attention-for the wrong reasons. He said “whats wrong with these fucking journalists? They should not bring out such news. As long as we keep our images clean, we can all make money and be happy”. There must have been a time when the knowledge of someone getting hurt in vile manners would have been enough for the general population to do something about it. Not anymore. Now the only language we understand is the language of greed. And hence I will provide u with some reasons along those lines so that u can reconsider ur stand on corporate globalization. And if u happen to belong to the profile of my near n dear one I told u about, two options are there for u-‘get over it!’ or ‘get off!’. I am not george.w.bush the lesser here saying “u r either with us or against us’.thats horseshit. To this date the u.s has not produced any evidence linking saddam Hussein to 9/11 attacks. But we have plenty of proof of iraq not complying with shell or other American corporates prior to the war. All I am saying here is that there is simply no time left for grooming convertees now. Time is of essence here. Each second we are sitting idle, someone out there gets hurt or killed for it.

Land lobbying is the ‘in-thing’ in kerala now. Of course, evicting the poor for accommodating the rich is now new thing. Its practically a cliché. But not to those getting evicted, for them it’s a nightmare. In trivandrum where I am located at now, land mafias evict the poor systematically, with or without government support is ur guess, and builds up multi-apartment flats. The major portion of subscribers to such apartments are not surprisingly the employees of one or other companies in he IT booms gift to trivandrum-‘technopark’.




The land with fresher air, clearer water, better infrastructure are being reserved for these people(which could be u or me) while the people who previously lived on those lands (which,again,could be u or me) find themselves on the streets one fine day, without even an ample compensation package. Those who don’t actually own the land they are victed from are even worse off. They cant even keep a small glimmer of hope for any compensation. That’s not how a democracy is run. Just because they don’t own land does not mean they should be out on the streets. Last time I checked, u dont have to be a property owner to be an Indian citizen. And last time I double checked, all Indians have the right to their basic necessities including a place to stay in. of course I am not saying that corporate globalization is the sole reason for escalating number of internally displaced in our nation as well as elsewhere, I am saying that its rising by the minute due to corporate globalization. Can u assure me that these ‘displaced’ as we love to call them are not gonna come after the economically better off who live in houses with good air and watr? Again I am not being paranoid. It has begun already. The number of people turning to ‘anti-social behaviour’ is at an all time high. Its almost funny that this all is happening at a time of unparalleled economic boom for India as well as across the world. But this era of mammoth economy is also the era of poverty. Yes, while the average economic growth of major capitalist nation is commendable, the number of people below the poverty line is escalating( at a steady 2.5% per year in India). 4% of indias population gets work in corporate/associated fields a year, at the price of 2.5% in poverty. Is it fair enough a price? Whaddya think? Do u honestly think there is one good enough reason we can give them to urge them not to partake in the uprisal already happening across India, that too at a steadily escalating pace.

If u r concerned and not like my ‘dear n near’ one, here are certain things u can do to ensure corporate ethics. Saying everything should be under government control is foolish and impractical. Hence what we want here is for the corporates to take up responsibilities.

First of all, there are hosts of low key builders in every major cities who have apartments ready for u. they too survive by keeping the ‘goondas’ happy and paying them. But they are not paying the goondas for evicting people. They pay them just to appease them. When u have to buy an apartment, check with these builders.

If u r working for a corporate(which in this day and age just about everyone is.its all the same, so boring…), u r not doing so bad to begin with. Work for a corporate, but don’t be a fucking leech. Work for some years, make money and get out of there. Find a low key job once u r financially secure. U know u really don’t need that fourth villa facing the goddam beach.

The corporates have inadvertently put into our hands an incredible weapon-the internet. Use it to good effect. Even this blogspot, I don’t know how many corporates are supporting it and how many of them are honest and well meaning..(dream on..), but use such spaces anyway to spread awareness. And spreading awareness is never enough. That’s just the first step girlie. What u have to do then is take up action.

Partake in peaceful demonstrations that are for worthwhile causes.put pressure on the governments to ensure that no one, absolutely no one gets hurt for the sake of globalization. The ‘globalisation of tourism’ has found the kids in kovalam at the low end. Don’t allow such victims.

Word of caution:it would be wise on ur part not to partake in demonstrations organized by political parties unless u r absolutely sure of it. There are a lot of people’s resistance movements happening around mostly out of necessity and sometimes out of sheer frustration. Join up these and march with them. Collect up signatures, u r a citizen, send the signed form to the relevant minister and ensure that u have shown him/her u r displeaces with the way a situation or commodity is being ‘globalised’. The costal areas across India is the latest in the array of ‘commodities’ to be corporatized and the ordinary fisherfolk would most probably lose their livelihood with big players coming into the play. That’s a worthy cause. Join up. Or u may soon find u have to but stale fish stored- at below freezing temperatures and sold at finger burning prices. No bargains anymore. No siree…

And probably the greatest form of revolt u can perform in this day and age is the act of not buying. Small scale industries still exist, though on the verge of extinction. Buy their products. There are substitute products available for most corporate products,most of them better than the much publicized. Look for such items. If u have to buy a magazine, don’t buy it from the corporate franchise, buy it from the local street vendor. And avoid buying stuff u don’t really want. That saves money and a lot of lives. In this day of advanced capitalism, each and every act of buying ou not buying is a political act in itself.

I am very much aware that most of those who read this wouldn’t even give this a second thought. The only thought they would come up with will be something like-“whats wrong with this bloke, ant up his ass?” I respect the assessment and yes, there is an ant up our collective asses and its working its way to our brain, and unless we act it will eat up our brains and we will be dead in no time.

Justify Full

Then again there will be a few who will consider this extremely seriously. They will see the urgency of the situation. They will do something, anything, to counter the effect of widening the ridge between the rich and poor. There will be a few who actually cares about others without pretentions. I hope you are one of those few, for its in the hands of the few that the future of our world rests.

Peace!

3 comments:

Ingrid Scherdien said...

Ok, I will be waiting its commentaries.

Redentoristas said...

Hi Bibi Cletus
I´m José Torres, I live in Arapiraca city, Brazil. I received your massege, thanks.

I was reading your page in Blogger but I don´t know English very well. I saw very good ideas about the situation of rechs and poors. I will read more.

Sorry becouse my wrongs.

I hug for you

Torres

Ana Barbosa said...

Thanx for stopping by, feel free to come back and comment!
Very nice your blog as well... I better not even start writing 'bout what I think 'bout Iraq and how politics is goin' on in the world today... I'd takes pages...!
Cheers from Brazil.

Google