Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ratan Tata's sham gentlemanliness hides the ugly face of parasitic capitalism

Sucheta Dalal raises some important questions about Rata Tata's engineering of an overthrow of Cyrus Mistry as the chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata group of businesses.

"From 2G Scam to Mistry's Ouster: Don't good governance rules apply to the revered Tata Group?" she headlines her article published 26 October 2016.

"The Tata group is treated with such reverence that neither the market regulator, nor the stock exchanges on which the group companies are listed, nor the Finance Ministry have bothered to ask why the board has chosen to take such a drastic step and followed it up by removing Mr Mistry's speeches and interviews and disbanding the management committee he had set up," she writes.

I made the following comments on the issue that Sucheta Dalal's article covers.

Like most things in the political and economic domains that make up the state capitalist system, the 'revered'-ness of the Tata group is a media-created myth as is the gentlemanliness of Ratan Tata, the mediocre bania who owes his enormous wealth, privilege and clout to accident of birth rather than strength of character, intelligence or hard work.

An especially obtuse statement that I can recall of this oaf was his equating of farming life with poverty and backwardness during the Singur controversy which found a sort of echo in Cyrus Mistry's reference to the Nano project while he remonstrated at being stripped of Tata group's chairmanship.

It's the same Ratan Tata who was caught red handed manipulating the political system through his wheeler-dealer Niira Radia. If not for his clout over the system, that action alone should have landed him in jail.

Instead of admitting wrongdoing in the matter, this senescent rogue had the temerity in November 2010 to describe India as acquiring "banana republic-like tendencies". What a fraud he is!

But then he spoke the truth. India did indeed begin to look like a banana republic when it allowed the malfeasance of Tata group -- such as the Tata Finance scam to name but one -- to go unpunished while laying down an entirely different set of standards for businesses like Sahara's.

It's Tata group's undermining of the rule of law, widely indulged by the elite sections of society and camouflaged behind an image of classy gentlemanliness, that makes India feel like a banana republic and allows other business conglomerates to behave similarly.

Ratan Tata epitomises that specious gentility behind which lies the dead weight of parasitic and kleptocratic capitalism that his group represents.

Tata group is not adding value to our lives; it's taking away value from our lives.

It has been influencing public policy to suit its selfish interests and is stealing money from the public sector as exemplified in the disastrous role it played in the Centre's e-governance programme.

It's time the public showed some spine to this Rothschild of India and demanded a thorough investigation of Tata group and its manipulation of the system.

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