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VOLUME-2 ISSUE-10 OCTOBER 2007 www.cppr.


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equitable, socially just and environmentally sound state enriched by democratic and publish other than for the use of review must be sought from
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accomplishment of these tasks. The Centre has a pool of talents from various parts of the
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Reality Check
! The Simmering Dissent in the Indian Countryside:The Story of Special Economic Zones
! Perspectives on Partnerships for Corporate Social Responsibility in the Beverage Alcohol Industry

! Memmories of Yesteryears
! 10th, Whats Special About That???
! The Earth's Natural Resources: Issues and Challenges

! The Cage

Dead End

ctober revolution did not occur in that month. History
sometimes is like that. However we tend to qualify events in
terms of its constituting factors and it may reflect as an
abstracted reality. This is what happened with the October issue of Mind
Text. The October is realized a bit after October. Fortunately we have great
examples to bank upon and even to legitimize the delay. Nevertheless it's
our pleasure to bring this issue out with an interesting blend of articles that
pertain to policy and poesy.

We are witnessing an era which is highly marked by both the

burgeoning market competitions and increasing struggles for survival.
Even the nature of these struggles has changed over the time where the
demand for compensation acquired more importance. What it shows is a
deeply contested domain of state and its institutions which compel us to
think about solutions for the mismatch between development and security
of the citizens. Any discussion on SEZs has to be pitched in this context.
Asit's article critically probes into the impact of SEZs on the livelihood of the
common man and argues that they result in displacement without any
comparison and are detrimental to a safe working environment. However
these discussions should be taken in the right spirit in order to redraw the
policies of countries. Whenever a line is drawn two sides will emerge
naturally. The point is to think constructively to decide how we should draw
MINDTEXT | Volume-2 Issue-10 | October 2007

the line and who all should be included in its purview. For a state it is
necessary to account these facts and it has to act accordingly. Thus Asit's
work demands a pastoral state than an invading one.

Not just geographical boundaries; even our memories are being

invaded. These days, memories are being cherished to be auctioned.
Archana's work could be placed in this context which interestingly portrays
the fate of the so-called “outdated technology” in the digital era. Once
Jinnah said “I alone with my typewriter won Pakistan.” Thus we can only
hope that technology might not be able to encapsulate the reality further as
it did in the past.

Though we are living in the present, it is necessary to hold the

lessons from the past. What the globalized world had produced is a
pervading amnesia where (wo)man are conveniently putting the reality
aside. You can either talk to your fellow traveler or sleep while you are
travelling. But you can also formulate policies. Kalpana seems to be in the
latter part. Thus she talks about the need for energy conservation, the
thought that came as a mere observation. Actually this is what CPPR
endeavors to bring in its research outlook. Every single observation entails
plethora of possibilities out of which you can have a different solution. This
solution may be absolutely differing and extra ordinary like Subodh suggests
in his monologue “10th: what's special about that?” And he thinks it is
important to disagree with the usual patterns because only those who did
that really refashioned history. In the poem Cage, Vipin puts it in a subtle
manner, “the victors in the war have not always been the privileged”

We wish you all a happy reading.

- Aneish Rajan

Aneish is Board Member, CPPR and member of the Editorial Committee


he Special Economic Zones have become serious zones of conflict in rural India. The ghastly
blood-bath at Nandigram was a stark indicator of the discontent raging through the Indian
countryside, there the West Bengal State Police fired on the protesting farmers, who didn't
want to part with their lands, which the West Bengal Government had proposed for a Special
Economic Zone to be promoted by the Salim Group of Industries of Indonesia. Apart from
Nandigram, farmers have been protesting all over the country against the forcible acquisition of
their land for the proposed SEZs. Some of the prominent zones of conflict vis-à-vis are
Jagatsinghpur, Orissa against proposed Posco SEZ, Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh, Jhahar in Haryana
against the proposed large SEZ by Reliance Industries, Karla area in Pune district in Maharashtra.
Of late, there is news of farmers' protest from various SEZs from Gujarat and Tamilnadu, as well.


Under the rubric of Globalization, when the neo-liberal offensive is devastating the 'Culture and Commons'
of the indigenous people of India appropriating the land of the peasants in this process, thousands of acres of land
have been taken away from people, forcibly dispossessing millions of Aadiwasis and Farmers in the name of high GDP
growth and attracting foreign direct investments. The whole issue of Special Economic Zones has to be seen in the
MINDTEXT | Volume-2 Issue-10 | October 2007

context of cataclysmic changes taking place in the global scale which had devastating impact on third world
societies. Much has been written on the global restructuring by Civil Society Groups and the Political Left. India
shared the fate of most of the Third World societies where the national liberation movements inspired hopes for
millions of peasants that they can lead a life of dignity free from the colonial yoke. The post-independent journey of
India started with a vision of self reliance and egalitarianism with the state whose elected executives would play the
role of prime-movers. The Nehru Era saw 'Abolition of Landlordism and Investment in Irrigation'. Land Reforms
released the forces of production in the countryside and the coming in of the Green Revolution brought in relative
prosperity in rural areas of Punjab, Haryana, Western U.P. and Coastal Andhra, where high input intensive
agriculture was adopted. This path of "Nehruian" Model of growth had a flip side which the mainstream Media
concealed until social movements like Narmada Bachao, Koel Karo , Kalinganagar, Kashipur, Kalahandi, Tehri, etc.
bought the other side of post-independent rural reality and the simmering discontent. This path of heavy
industrialization and emphasis on modern infra-structures created massive displacement. According to various
sources, by mid-nineties, there were more than 40 million farmers and Aadiwasis who were displaced by various
mega projects like dams, mines, factories and industrial township. This is a whooping and revealing figure of the
number of people displaced which was more than the population of England. As mentioned earlier, social
movements like Narmada and Tehri were indicators of the refusal of rural masses to part with their land and homes
in the name of development. As a result of global restructuring. The Indian rulers adopted the neo-liberal ideology
ushered in through the new economic policies of 1991. All the welfare provisions, concept of self-reliance, pro-
farmers and labor regimes were gradually dismantled, leaving vulnerable segments of the population like women,
dalits, farmers, Aadiwasis, etc. at the mercy of the market. Thus, market became the new god in the era of
Globalization. The Indian rulers who had completely turned neo-liberal in the new millennium adopted the Special
Economic Zone Policy when the entire country was undergoing acute agrarian crisis, the most horrifying symptom
of which was the high number of incidences of farmers committing suicide by mid 2005 more than 1.5lakh ( hundred
and fifty thousand ) farmers had committed suicide , this phenomenon goes on unabated till today. Agriculture is
having its lowest growth rate since past five years . The Massive and forceful acquisition of land had accelerated the
on going misery and marginalization of the rural population. As result farmers are up in arms. Special Economic
Zones were the logical culmination of anti-people, anti-Farmers path pursued by the Indian rulers which has other
hazards apart from the massive dispossession of the farmers and rural artisans. Large scale land acquisition for
Mega-Industrial projects, infrastructure projects and SEZs is transforming the whole of the rural scenario in the
country from bad to worse. To cover up the devastation, the State Governments are half- heartedly bringing
rehabilitation and re-settlement policies. The land acquisition by the Government ostensibly in the name of Public
Interest, is in fact transferring thousands of acres of fertile land to Multi-national Mega Corporations like Posco,
Salim and Indian big business houses likes Tata, Jindal, Ambani and Birla. Through this process of displacement, land
and livelihoods are being alienated from the farmers and other sections of the population, as mentioned earlier.
Tens of millions of farmers and rural artisans have already been displaced in the name of development.
Displacement has converted farmers, Adiwasis and rural artisans into destitutes most of whom have been forced
to become casual workers in urban centres without any rights. Fear of displacement from their homes, from their lands
and livelihoods, from their community and thought of living the rest of their lives as destitutes has suddenly become a
reality for vast masses of India. The very people, who according to the Government are supposed to be benefiting from so
MINDTEXT | Volume-2 Issue-10 | October 2007

called Industrialization in the form of R & R benefits, jobs urban facilities, social and hospitals etc. are seen to be opposing
these policies the most. The fact is that no State Government to have the intention and capacity for the rehabilitation of
the displaced people. The land grabbing through displacement is not only restricted to the rural areas. In the urban areas,
the slum dwellers are being forcibly evicted to make way for city, beautification and gentrification, establishment of huge
malls, real estate development, widening of roads etc. often without any compensation and alternate dwelling place for
slum dwellers. The slum dwellers of most of the large cities are now resorting to protest movements against their growing
dispossession and marginalization. The establishment of SEZs is playing havoc with the rural population of India. Primarily
India is an agricultural country and more than 70% of Indian people are dependent on agriculture and its ancillary
activities. To develop India any sensible policy will have to develop agriculture sector. But for the past 60 years, The Indian
ruling elite have never seriously attempted apart from the high tech Green Revolution package, no attempt was made to
upgrade agricultural land both availability and quantitatively by disturbing arable waste land to the poor and creating
irrigation facilities. Such measures would have increased agricultural production making farmers prosperous which would
have created demand for manufactured goods and stimulated industrialization with employment opportunities, but
instead today the Indian agriculture is facing its worst crisis.

The development of India is impossible without the development of agriculture as in most villages of India
agriculture and allied livelihoods such as fishing, animal husbandry, forestry are the only sustainable livelihoods for the
majority of the people. Today the Government is unable to provide any other sustainable livelihood after taking away land
and common property resources such as forests, streams, ponds, grazing lands, etc. which are the basis of agriculture and
allied occupation. Implementation of pro-agri-business agricultural policies in the name of Green Revolution imposition
of GM seeds, contract farming and corporate control of agricultural sector are the basic elements of the neo-liberal
agriculture policies which is extremely harmful for most of the farmers and rural artisans. Farmers' suicides are serious
indications of this agrarian situation. This grave crisis will also have a serious impact on food security for Indian rural
population which is, anyway, under tremendous strain. Therefore, the rural population is up in arms to save their
agricultural land, livelihood, common property resources like forests, sources of water etc. We have to seriously
campaign and support the struggle for protection and restoration of Indian agriculture. There is a necessity for instilling
confidence amongst farmers and rural artisans for alternative development models is possible different groups across
India are trying to implement alternate development models on a small scale, different political forces, mass movements
and civil society groups working with people have their own version of alternative development models on a small scale,
different political forces, mass movements and civil society groups working with people have their own version of
alternative development models. The farmers have realized that even in the prevailing situation of agrarian crisis
gripping the country there is no other option but to stick to agriculture and allied occupations. Industrial development of
India has to be in the interest of the masses and it can only happen on the basis of development of agriculture and the rural
economy on the whole. Therefore, the demand should be the development of agriculture and rural economy in the
interest of the vast masses of India.

The forcible displacement of the people from their lands and livelihoods for establishment of mega- industries
and infra-structural projects and establishments of exclusive economic enclaves by multi-national corporations and
Indian big business in the name of SEZs is the anti- poor, pro-national and Inter-national Big Business.
The Government of India has adopted policies which have left the urban and rural poor
including the medium farmers and urban lower middle classes in a precarious situation when for
even the basic necessities of life people have increasingly become dependent on the market
forces, which again are controlled by the National and Inter-national big business houses viz.
World Bank, IMF, WTO, etc. The industrialization policy of the Government is not aimed at
supplementing the production capacity of those products which are in demand by the masses,
nor it is creating any additional employment for the vast army of unemployed of the country as
Mega- industries which are encouraged by the Government and are established by the Global and
Indian big business are high-tech automated industries, having a very low employment prospect.
On the other hand, such industries are responsible for large scale displacement and massive loss
of employment. The present emphasis is on those industries which would exhaust the mineral
resources of India in next 3 to 4 decades, while these semi-finalized and low value added
intermediate products will be exported for manufacturing high and costly products which will be
again imported to India at a huge cost. This anti-farmer-pro-big-business-industrial and mining
policy is encouraging establishment of huge mineral based industries, industrial infrastructures
like roads, rail, power plant, water treatment plant, townships, SEZs, smart cities, EPZs, etc.
Especially the SEZs have resulted in farmers losing their land and livelihoods. Massive
unemployment is being caused, natural resources are being exhausted at a rapid rate and nature
is getting devastated.

The implementation of SEZ policy is leading to creation of exclusive zones where no laws
of land are there to protect the rights of the labour and that of the farmers. Infact these laws are
anti-people. This path of industrialization that is displacing vast masses of the farmers and rural
artisans, will spell disaster for the country as a whole. Therefore, the establishment of SEZ is
playing havoc with the lives of the entire rural population including the adiwasis. This path of
industrialization through Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Institutional Investment have
given priority for establishing SEZs throughout India solely for the super profits of the
MINDTEXT | Volume-2 Issue-10 | October 2007

International and National big business. For the establishment of SEZs, the various state
Governments have ruthlessly used the "Colonial 1894 Land Acquisition Act", forcibly evacuating
people, destroying their cultural moorings, social peace and livelihood, all in the name of
growth, while on the other hand SEZs which have been described as a foreign territory in the SEZ
Act of 2005 have been given the status of separate enclaves where no law of the land or
Constitutional provisions will apply. The development commissioner appointed by the State
Government will govern the SEZ with private security, own laws and own regimes of justice and
maintenance of law and order. Neither the Civil Laws and Labor Laws nor any other laws of land
will be honored in these enclaves. This status of separate foreign territories enables the
corporate houses to exploit labor ruthlessly. Working conditions will be deteriorated; working
hours will be arbitrarily increased to 12 to 14 hours. No work safety measures will be taken. Since
the work in these zones is given to contractors, the workers will be paid low wages. No payments
for weekly offs, no lease with wages, no medical leave, no Provident Fund, no ES, no recreational
facilities, no gratuity, almost no social security will be provided to the workers. Accidents in the
work places are bound to increase. No workmen's compensation will be paid. Women workers will
be even more exploited.

The SEZs are the most advanced and deadliest weapons of the neo-liberal re-structuring apart
from dispossessions of millions of farmers and artisans it devastates their cultural milieu and
these enclaves here no laws of land will apply is akin to re-colonization of the Third World.

The massive outburst of anger of the people of Nandigram, the ongoing struggle against POSCO
SEZ in Jagatsinghpur, Orissa , the struggle in Raigar and many other places and the countrywide
resistance against forcible acquisition of land by the Government for the SEZs to be developed by
Indian and International big businesses has forced the Government of India to announced the
rulers under the SEZ Act 2005, according to which the private corporate sector will purchase land
straight from the farmers even after this decision of the Government of India everywhere Police
is intervening on behalf of the corporate sector the case in point is struggle against the Korean
giant POSCO SEZ in Orissa. After the local people confronted the Posco officials, the police
intervened on behalf of Posco with an intention of terrorizing the people and forcing them to
surrender their land, these interventions of police force on behalf of the corporate sector against
struggling farmers happens all over India, the list is endless. This exposes the dual face of the
Central and State Government, who go out of their way to acquire land for the corporate sector
while mouthing pro-people platitude in public platforms and legislatures.

In the light of the above importance of the peasant resistance to the Special Economic Zones, a study was undertaken to understand the concrete reasons of
farmers' opposition to the SEZs. The Maha-mumbai SEZ promoted by Reliance Industries in Raigad District in Maharashtra and the Mahindra and Mahindra SEZ
promoted by Mahindra Group at Karla in Pune District of Maharashtra were selected for the study.

The field work was done between 20th, July, 2007 and 5th, September, 2007. The methodology adopted was 'Qualitative" interviews of respondents from
different castes, occupations and gender in the Panvel, Pan and Uran Tehsils of Raigad Diatricts and of 6 villages in Karla area of Maval Tehsil of Pune district.

Part of our lives not very long ago, these are now found only on the collector's list


'Wanted young girls with good typing speed for the front office', reads an
advertisement in a local newspaper's weekly 'situations vacant' column. Did it say
typing? Yes, it very much did. The ad was posted just a few weeks ago.

Who would apply for the job, curious applicants mused. But, here, the
agency confirmed typing on a computer, not a typewriter. All you lil' kids out
there might even be scratching your heads trying to figure out what this 'new'
word means. Not to worry. It's been a while since we have also seen one, forget
about trying our hands at it. These noisy instruments with their incessant 'tip-tap'
rhythm could drive anyone insane. Yet, their charm is still there. These were an
office necessity in the early 90s and are still (though very less) found in some
government offices.

Talk to anyone in the 50s and the mention of a typewriter will bring back
good memories. City businessman Mohan Sarabjit Singh took us on an emotional
MINDTEXT | Volume-2 Issue-10 | October 2007

trip on being asked about a 40-year-old typewriter that he has kept. "My father
gifted me this typewriter after my graduation. He wanted me to learn typing and
do something in life," he says. The gift is even more special now as it is reminds
him of his freedom fighter father who passed away a month ago.

Then there were the videocassettes and the VCRs. Does the mention of it ring a bell? Before the compact discs or CDs hit
the market, videocassettes were the rage and stayed on for a very long time. No one minded having to wait for a good 15 minutes
while the tape rewound. Sleepovers at a pal's place meant renting a videocassette for the night. A friend recently mentioned
how, as a teenager, he once hide a movie cassette from his mother, only to be caught later as she soon found his hideout a pile of
bricks in the backyard. No matter the occasion - your parents' wedding, your sister's birthday and the first time your walked the
videocassette was always there. Now, although it has faded away, the memories can still be intact. Want to give a loved one a
gift? Get an old videocassette converted into a CD, it will be a souvenir for a lifetime.

Now, if you get frustrated every time your friend puts your call on
hold, let me remind you that less than 20 years ago, it took longer than five
minutes to just dial a number! Remember the old traditional phones where
there were slots for each number and you had to put your finger in a slot,
turn it a complete round and so forth for the number to complete. It may
seem tedious, but trust me, they looked much more innovative than our
push-button ones. Originally known as Bakelites and candlesticks, these
phones added to the beauty of the home. Although hardly in production, if
you are an antique freak and desperately want one, check out The Furniture
Mart-22, where you might just find a China-imported one.

Life is so fast these days that we tend to forget the yesteryears.

Small things, which then made a huge difference, have now been forgotten.
The things that made our parents happy are now 'outdated technology'. So,
before you stash away that old VCR (even if it is full of fungus) or dismantle
your grandfather's typewriter, remember that with them will be destroyed
several sweet long-gone memories and fading shadows. Instead, go to your
storeroom, rescue these memories from the rummage and engage in a down-
the-memory-lane conversation with your loved one. It will be a moment
neither will forget.

©The Tribune
Archana Sudheer is a journalist with The Tribune, Chandigarh

~10TH ~
THAT ??? by Subodh Y
By Vipin Vishnu

When ever people come to me they comment on how much I must Around 3 yrs since
be studying with the class 10th Board Exams and everything. At the bird has been caged.
that moment the smug look on my mom's face says it all. The Around 3 yrs since
MINDTEXT | Volume-2 Issue-10 | October 2007

sarcastic face gets right to the point that I haven't taken this year the war has been waged.
seriously and very little hope that I will in the future. Its not that
I'm failing; my grades are above average and I'm not exactly The war is between
aiming for 98% so I can make it to St Stephens cut-of-list. Some the privileged and the deprived.
one made me and my friends an offer: if anyone of us got 90% or For an ounce of freedom
more he would be rewarded with Rs.5000. We were sure he like hell, the bird has strived.
wouldn't lose a penny! That's how it is with us teens or at least
the normal ones but maybe all aren't crazy as me. But alas it can fly nowhere
its wings have been clipped.
School isn't boring; it does get interesting once in a while. In doing so
I would be kidding big time if I said that there wasn't any work its enormous faith has been ripped.
load. Load comes only if you take it on yourself. Then there is the
frequent scares that the teacher gives saying low marks in your The victors in the war have
pre-board exams would make it difficult for readmission in 11th not always been the privileged.
Standard (they didn't say it this politely though). When the deprived tasted victory,
the gap between the two abridged.
I have an idea, why don't I quit school myself. That's what I tell my
folks. I'll quit school. Give me the fees as pocket money. 1 grand is All ties were severed later,
a lot of cash; they can keep the tuition fees. What an offer! They the war infuriated more.
laugh out loud. Hey! Wait a minute. That wasn't a joke! The stench of the filthy souls
choked the bird's lungs to the core.
Anyways, I'm back in school because my parents took a joke.
That doesn't happen often. Myriad change of events might occur,
but the bird's still entrapped in the cage.
Overall I say 10th standard shouldn't be made a big deal as it is. So Without the worldly pleasures,
the next time you meet a 10thian, talk about anything other than it leads its life like a sage.
(Vipin is Marine Surveyor,
J. B. Boda Surveyors Private Limited,
Subodh is a 10th standard student from Dehradun, Uttaranchal Mumbai )

By Jagjeet Pradeep

Corporate social responsibility and corporate citizenship are broad ranging issues involving
corporate activities beyond profit making. It can include such topics as being ethical in trading and
intervening to encourage the safe use and disposal of its products. Corporate social responsibility
involves a broad commitment by companies to social welfare and the common good and to the
policies that support these. It involves not just the products that a company manufactures, but also
being a good corporate citizen in terms of the employees that it hires and the way it looks after
them. It is also about protecting the environment and getting involved in the local community and
the wider culture in which it engages in business.

Corporate social responsibility is best exercised through commercial enterprises working in

partnership with the other sectors. The potential partners for the beverage alcohol industry include
Governments, the Inter-governmental organizations, the Non-governmental voluntary and
advocacy organizations, as well as the public health and research communities. These various
MINDTEXT | Volume-2 Issue-10 | October 2007

partners have different roles. Governments are responsible for setting the rules for policy operation
and the process can be as important as the outcome. The Intergovernmental organizations search
for a degree of international (global or regional) consensus in policy and strategies for action. The
private sector operates with the expectation of profit and can value results more than the process
itself. Voluntary and advocacy organizations are typically problem oriented, with an emphasis on a
narrower agenda, with partnership seeming less virtuous than working to change the system. The
academic research community is highly focussed on the inquiry process itself and on the charge of
pursuing the truth and for them, working with other parties may appear to be compromising their
independence. The working of partnerships drawn from these different perspectives requires an
attitude of compromise and co-operation.

Governments have a clear role to play in the development of alcohol policies. One of their primary
responsibilities is to ensure the safety of its citizens. It has the responsibility for formulating,
implementing and enforcing legislation and regulations about alcohol. To be both effective and
acceptable the policies must reflect the views of the other sectors and take these into account. The
concept of public-private partnership has gained a strong foothold generally in the development of
government policy and a growing role has emerged for the private/ commercial sector as an active
participant in the formulation and implementation of socially responsible policies. Governments
however, have a responsibility to ensure there is a balance between ensuring the safety of society as
a whole and the rights of the individual. For individuals to be allowed freedom of choice requires
that they be provided with clear and balanced information. Alcohol education becomes a
responsibility for many of those involved and not just Government.

The Intergovernmental Organizations

The Intergovernmental organizations have the responsibility for trying to achieve some degree of
consensus between the Governments of the world (e.g. UN) or a Region (e.g. EU) that they serve.
They primarily provide a vehicle for communication and they may have more or less authority in the
implementation process, but more often than not they have just an advisory role, with their
recommendations requiring national (or local) government action for implementation.

The Research Community

Research scientists are responsible for providing the best possible evidence for the development of
approaches that encourage responsible drinking and for evaluating their success. The research
should be conducted in ways that are free from any ideological or political agenda that could
influence the results.
The private sector
The alcohol beverage industry has responsibilities to its consumers and the public at large,
recognizing that alcohol, if consumed responsibly can enhance pleasure and quality of life and, if
misused, can bring about considerable harm. The alcohol industry, like any commercial enterprise,
has social responsibilities to its employees and to its suppliers and to the wider communities in
which it operates. These are similar to those that any company might have, but in addition to these,
the alcohol industry needs to ensure that the risks and harms associated with alcohol misuse are
minimized and that the health and psychosocial benefits associated with responsible consumption
are maximized.

The non-governmental organizations

NGOs can also play a significant role in the formulation of such policies as well as consumer groups,
which are particularly important at the community level. There are perceived conflicts of interest
that make some commentators from the public health and non-profit sector shy away from
collaboration with the industry. Whilst there may indeed be some who consider that public and
private interests with regard to beverage alcohol are incompatible, experience has also shown that
partnership in this field can be an effective and viable approach. Those who are committed to the
partnership concept recognize that although the goals of the public and private sectors may not
always be identical and perhaps not even fully compatible, they do not need to be for dialogue and
joint action.
The involvement of the insurance companies in efforts to improve road safety and driving skills
might actually improve their profitability. The promotion of responsible drinking however might be
seen as something that could reduce the profitability of the alcohol beverage industry. Because of
this perception, there are those who feel that there can be no place for the industry in partnerships
created to formulate policy and implement programmes that work towards responsible drinking.
The alternative to such a partnership, and what the critics of partnership seem to be proposing, is
an exclusionary model. This inevitably makes the drinks industry-public health community
MINDTEXT | Volume-2 Issue-10 | October 2007

relationship wholly adversarial and interests are constantly portrayed as polarized. This leads to
competing research agendas and claims, where science becomes politicized and where policy is
made with everyone but the industry at the table. The lessons from other industries are that such a
process serves no-one's interests, least of all those interested in the public good.

Like other partnerships this one may well begin closer to the adversarial end of the scale, but the
promise of partnership is that over time, on a widening range of issues, the relationship can develop
into one of genuine trust and productive collaboration. Partnership does not mean consensus: there
will continue to be vigorous differences between the partners about research agendas, research
findings, and public policies. But the partnership process promises for both parties a commitment to
openness, a new awareness of the limitations of their own assumptions and perspectives, the
utilization of the best science available, multiple perspectives and a willingness to debate,
experiment and collaborate that can only enhance, not diminish public policy on alcohol.

Instead of arguing over the typical environmental prevention strategies that have largely failed,
perhaps an industry-public health community partnership might craft a research agenda and
strategy that goes beyond so much of contemporary alcohol control policy Those that oppose
dialogue between the industry and either Government or the public health community, claim that
irreconcilable interests preclude any sort of partnership. Barry, for instance, in his paper presented
at the Dublin conference states that 'The Government in Ireland has a choice to make: protect the
health of the people or allow the drinks industry to satisfy its shareholders at the expense of the
health of the population'. This might sound well as rhetoric but it stands up less well to argument.
Why, for instance, is it a given that an interest in sales and profit necessarily places one in opposition
to harm reduction? Is this true just of the drinks industry or is it true of any business that produces a
product or offers a service that carries a risk to the user? The entire evolution of business theory and
conduct over the last 15 years has been away from the simplistic juxtaposition between doing well
and doing good, between the imperative for sales and one's social responsibilities.

It has to be recognised that differing core interests do not have to be incompatible interests. The
industry might well have 'sustained profitability' as its core interest, just as the public health
community might have 'reducing alcohol related harm' as its core interest, but it does not follow
from this that both cannot have a shared interest in the other's core interest. That is, it is surely
possible for the industry to accept and share the public health community's core interest in reducing
alcohol related harms just as it is possible for the public health community to accept the alcohol
industry's core interest in sustained profitability.

If we are to have dialogue about policy, then some kind of framework for dialogue is needed. E.g.
the Geneva Charter, with some agreement about which issues should be discussed.
Make people aware of the consequences of alcohol abuse. There are, as we all know, many consequences and many graphical
ways of communicating them. And yet, to take one example, drink-related road deaths continue to rise.
· Promote positive environments.
· Enforce the law.
· Control supply.
· Control advertising.
· Make treatment and rehabilitation available for people who are addicted.
· Encourage ethical approaches to marketing.
· Foster training programmes.
· Support especially those concerned with education, counselling, the protection ofyoung people.
· Formulate anti-abuse programmes.

The implementation of strategies responding to these concerns requires a number of factors to be operating. There needs to be
good role models available who can help to encourage or set appropriate societal norms, but above all there needs to be strong
leadership which in turn requires a shared vision between all those involved, and this can only come about through open, sharp
and truthful dialogue. There are a wide range of factors that influence alcohol consumption and the diversity of these factors
means that any attempt to change hazardous patterns of drinking and promote beneficial ones, must involve a wide range of
partners. The strategies needed for alcohol abuse prevention, health promotion and the promotion of only sensible drinking,
require the co-operation of governments, health advocacy organizations, the academic community and commercial interests.
Participants from each sector bring with them values and norms that are based on their individual experiences and that influence
their expectations of how the partnerships should function. It is not logically necessary that the profit imperative of the drinks
industry places it in opposition to the public health goal of harm reduction. It is true that at times the industry may be opposed to
particular strategies purporting to lead to harm reduction, but the industry must be allowed to question whether the public
health community's policies for harm reduction are in fact sound. To be opposed to certain strategies does not constitute an
attack on either the public health community or harm reduction.

The public health community

MINDTEXT | Volume-2 Issue-10 | October 2007

The Public Health position in relation to alcohol consumption is sometimes portrayed as 'pure', motivated only by a desire for the
public good and with no agenda besides that. It should however not be automatically assumed that the public health community
acts with any 'purer' motives than the private sector. For instance, running throughout an article/ editorial by McCreanor,
Casswell and Hill (Addiction 95) and several supporting comments which all take a position that is against the alcohol beverage
industry, there is a distinctly anti-capitalist, anti-business, anti-globalization, anti-marketing, as well as the anti-drink
perspective, that colors their premises, arguments and empirical claims. Whether or not one agrees with this ideological
position, what is clear is that their position goes beyond one of pure concern for public health. The fact that the authors do not
declare this as their stated position, that they take their perspective not as one of many but as the "correct" reading of the world,
speaks eloquently of their epistemological infancy. The public health community's interests therefore cannot be assumed to be
necessarily right, either in part or in whole. They enjoy no privileged status but rather their interests must be argued for in the
same way as any other interests.

Partnership in Research
The use of industry money for research does not automatically invalidate that research (although it should of course be
declared). State funding of public health research is not free from interests that might be considered biased. The public health
research community is almost entirely supported by a state that accepts and attempts to control the risks associated with alcohol
on the one hand whilst happily accepting its share of an immensely profitable undertaking. As Fillmore and Roizen note in their
comment of McCreanor et al "The editorial suggests a naïve objectivism-contrasting a putatively purely disinterested, well-
meaning public health camp with a distorting, profit-driven industry-sponsored camp.

The largest patron of mainstream alcohol-related public health research is the state, with its own strongly competing interests
with respect to alcohol. Hence, state-funded alcohol research is by no means immune from the influences of extra-scientific
cultural-political factors and the fruits of such research are subject to the state's selective and self-serving use. (Addiction, 95
(2), p.188) To see this process at work, one need look no further than the early research on the benefits of moderate drinking.
Professor Seltzer of Harvard, writing in the Journal of Epidemiology, describes his experience as a co-investigator in the
Framingham project. His work on the positive effects of moderate drinking on heart disease was denied publication on the
grounds that an article linking moderate drinking and prevention of coronary heart disease would be "socially undesirable in view
of the major health problem of alcoholism that already exists in the country." As he notes; …conflicts of interest and pressures on
investigators need not arise exclusively from commercial organizations. A non-profit governmental agency that funds research
can also suppress some of its findings, and can alter definitions and analyses to make results that originally contradict a
governmental policy emerge as supportive. (Seltzer, Journal of Epidemiology, 50/5:627-9, 1997)
The Copenhagen Centre (
SiRi Group / Avanzi, Green, Social and Ethical Funds for Europe, October 2002
Ben & Jerry's Social Performance Report 1999
Jenkins and Hines, The Centre For Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and
Society, Cardiff University, WORKING PAPER SERIES No. 4, Shouldering the Burden of
Corporate Social Responsibility: What Makes Business Get Committed?
White Paper on Cause Related Marketing on the BSR website; Business for Social
Responsibility - Cause Related Marketing
Business in the Community
Business and Society: Developing corporate social responsibility in the UK. Department of
Trade and Industry. (
European Postal Services and Social Responsibilities: a report by The Corporate Citizenship
Company for CSR Europe.
Mitchell, Drinking Patterns
World Bank Debtor Reporting System
World in Figures: The Economist
Fortune Magazine
The London Benchmarking Group
American Association of Fundraising Counsel Trust for Philanthropy, Giving USA
Widdus WHO Bulletin
National Safety Council (
Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety, Washington, DC 2002
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (
World Health Assembly resolution WHA33.32
Baby Milk Action (
Addiction, 95 by McCreanor, Casswell and Hill
Seltzer, Journal of Epidemiology

Jagjeet is Sr. IT Security Analyst, Mumbai


ISSUES AND CHALLENGES by Kalpana Kurup Sudheer
MINDTEXT | Volume-2 Issue-10 | October 2007

"Save Petrol Save Money, Save Energy Save Earth"

Nice Slogan…! The slogan painted in bright colours caught my attention when
my bus passed by it…I being a person who loves quotes liked the rhyming in the
slogan…Not bad… Save Petrol Save Money, Save Energy Save Earth...It had a
good tune to it…made sense also. Hey! But wait a minute…the slogan was put
up at a petrol station..! The phrase, "Save Petrol Save Money" at a petrol
station??? How absurd! Was something wrong with the world today? Didn't the
gas station want sales? Why then were they discouraging people from using

This made me think. Made me pause. Analyze. What exactly did the
slogan say? It definitely did not seem like the usual stuff of writing " smoking is
injurious to health" on cigarettes packs…! There had to be something of great
importance. The phrase "Save Energy Save Earth" had a definiteness and
seriousness to it. The slogan made me research and read more and learn to
think more too.

The Earth's resources and its depletion

The planet earth is rich in natural and mineral resources. Man, supposed to be
the protector of all that is on the earth is now responsible for the depletion of
those very resources. The Week (January 28, 2007) states, " Man so far has
shown no signs of controlling the urge to exploit the planet. The results of our
rarity are clear: the destruction of ocean resources and the depletion of land
resources." According to Joseph Martin, a prominent technology expert and
bestselling author, the rapid deterioration of land and ocean resources is a
major issue and a challenge.

New Energy Technologies

At Petro-tech-2007, the 7thInternational Oil & Gas Conference and
Exhibition, held from January 15-19, 2007 in New Delhi, several new
suggestions and ideas on new sources of energy were brought up. The Union
Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said that biomass, jatropha, gas
hydrates and various other sources of energy have to be explored in India to
counter the limitations of each other. James Martin in his book, The Meaning of
the 21st Century: A Vital Blueprint For Ensuring Our Future, mentions two new
energy technologies. One being nuclear cells and the other pebbled nuclear
reactors. They have the virtue of releasing hydrogen as a byproduct that can
be used in fuel cells.
Several countries are taking further endeavors for the same. Brazil's Petrobras and India's ONGC are partnering together
in offshore exploration and production activities in Brazil and India. Their interest lies in exploring hydrocarbon in India.
Replacing the use of petrol in vehicles by other renewable sources including biogas, and other sources of energy would
MINDTEXT | Volume-2 Issue-10 | October 2007

help in reducing the exploitation of land and ocean resources. All these efforts are being taken to avoid the depletion of
natural resources, which will sooner or later take place if the destruction and exploitation of natural resources is not

Thus it is necessary that every human being realize the seriousness attached to the issue and work towards preserving the
Earth. By focusing, researching and campaigning for the use of clean and new renewable sources of energy as fuel one will
definitely be able to change the current situation of the earth's resources. Just like the slogan at the petrol pump that
voted for saving Petrol, each person must put him/her personal needs and wants behind and begin thinking and working
for this cause. Only then will the coming generations be able to enjoy and make proper use of the earth's resources. Only
then will the earth be a safe place to live and grow in.

(Kalpana Sudheer is final year MSW student from Rajagiri College of Social Sciences, Kochi and also an intern with CPPR. This essay was written in
connection with the Oil and Natural Gas Conservation Fortnight organized by the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited in collaboration with the
ENCON Club of Rajagiri College of Social Sciences)


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