Monday, February 12, 2007

prof. yunus, is a legend. a legend who pioneered a new and innovative concept of micro credit.
no doubt, that many of us can look at him for example and guidance.

but his recents comments during his tour of india on SEZ seems off tangent. let us look at some of his comments. he says and i quote,
"He emphasised, however, that the interests of the peasants ought to be protected as much as possible in the process of industrialisation."

yunus is okay with SEZ as long as peasants are compensated adequately. now that brings the question of 'compensation'. let us set aside SEZ for a momment and look at india's track record on compensation. india's track record on treatment of rural people, tribals, villagers due to displacement as a result of mining, dam building, factories is very very bad. in fact very very bad is a bad word. i should say, it is very very inhuman and degrading.

from narmada, bhopal industrial disaster, pollution impacted communites of cuddalore, eloor, etc, numerous mining ventures - all have resulted in massive displacement of people. in her path breaking article 'greater common good', arundathi roy dissects the gross negligence and abuse of these displaced people.

yunus for certainty should have known this track record before he can comment on a very sensitive subject. or yunus should have done a study on the way SEZ operates in a developing nation like china. latest indiatogether article dissects the SEZ concept to a great extent. sunita narain calls SEZ as "another india that is not ours". praveen jha, associate professor of jhu says about the failed EPZ (export processing zones - a concept similar to SEZ) as, "There is nothing about EPZs or free trade zones in India that should make us so enthusiastic about SEZs."

it would have been much better for yunus to know what's happening on SEZ front before he can comment. or perhaps he wanted to be in the good books of the sudden capitalists such as buddhadeb, sitaram yechury and brinda karat.


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