Present World Corporate System—The Root Of All Ills;
Needs To Be Restructured On The Basis Of “A Nature-Human Centric Agenda”
I. The Issue
The Hanumangarh Conference is being held at a time (27th December to 30th December 2002)
when human community has been facing the most serious crisis in its existential history. The crisis is
so serious that either the humankind defuses it in time or the latter turns us (i.e., the humans) upside
PDF OF THIS DOCUMENT Present World Corporate System -The Root Of All Ills
Since its origin, humanity has come across innumerable crises. And it has always succeeded in
overcoming them through its human rationality and practical commonsense and ingenuity. However,
this time the crisis is so serious that, despite several human attempts, it (i.e., the crisis) has refused
even to slide down a little.
It is well known that every crisis presents a threat as well as an opportunity. Humanity had always
seized upon the opportunity, countered the threat and thus overcome all crises.
The reason why humanity had been able to overcome all the past crises and to seize upon the
opportunity in every crisis rests with the fact that the former (i.e., humanity) had always followed the
scientific formula of managing all past crises by first analysing the respective character and the cause
of each one (i.e., crisis).The whole human historical experience concerning every problem
demonstrates that only after identifying its nature and ground, one can handle it properly.
II. An All Embracing Environmental-Biological Crisis Characterises Our Planet Earth
Natural as well as social sciences tell that human society is based on two basic factors, i.e., natural
(or environmental) and human. Hence, any crisis in human society means trouble in its one
fundamental or the other or even the two.
The environmental aspect includes all its components (i.e., air, climatic change, water, land,
forests, bio-diversity, minerals and other natural products, etc.), while the human side denotes all
human matters (i.e., all problems concerning a given human development model, and its politics,
economics, culture and security).
All hitherto-occurring crises in human society have been concerned with either one or some
environmental components or with a single or many human matters. But this time the crisis is allpervading
which covers the whole range of the two basic factors of human living. This means that the
crisis confronting us today has engulfed the entire set of environmental and human resources.
Environmentally, the pollution of air, decreasing quantity and quality of water, soil erosion and
degradation, wholesale deforestation, extinction of many living species, overuse and wastage of
minerals and other natural products have been going on for decades together without any stop. In the
same way, the totality of human issues has all along got degenerated. In the human domain, an antienvironmental,
inequalitarian, iniquitous, war-mongering and military solution-based development
model, and its politics of corruption and criminalisation, self-focused economics centring on naked
individual greed, fundamentalist cultural values marked by violent, sectarian, confrontationist and
undemocratic features are proceeding with full speed.
This all-inclusive (or enviro-bio) crisis is now a common phenomenon. Its sensation can now be
found among one and all. On the top-level, the UN and other world institutions and 190 Nation States
are continuously holding their summit meetings to chalk out a proper response to the ever-increasing
challenge. On the intermediate level, all environmental groups whether international or national
(including NGOs), social development thinkers and planners, human right activists, political parties,
economists and cultural groups are stressing various agendas and proposals to combat this threat. The
common man is, with his continuous suffering at the hands of natural and social calamities (i.e.,
natural troubles like drought, floods, cyclones, EI-Nino phenomena and unpredictable weather, etc.
and social injustices like inequality, deprivation, diseases, human rights violations, etc.), also talking
in terms of setting things right, despite his lack of awareness about the serious implications of this
The scientific community has since been highlighting the worsening state of the environmental
aspect. A large number of reports have already been released by various renowned scientists on
different environmental issues. Of these numerous reports, those which have calculated the timeframe
in regard to the maturity of the crisis, two are particularly worth-mentioning. One is the
warning sounded by 6000- famous scientists of the world in the year 2000 which emphasised that if
the human community did not stop the production of Green House Gases (GHGs) in a short span of
time, the global warming would make the earth uninhabitable for bio-life by the end of the 21st
century. The other is the 2002-WWF study which has warned that if the human community
(especially the rich nations and rich persons) does not change its extravagant and wasteful lifestyle,
our planet earth will become unsustainable for human life within 50 years. Other scientific experts,
who have not committed themselves to any time-table, do admit that the environmental situation is
On the social plane almost all the global institutions concerned with human growth, i.e., the UNO,
World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Trade Organisation (WTO), etc., have
now been stressing the unsustainable mode of our existing development model. This development
model is mainly characterised by economic inequality, inequity and injustice; political corruption and
crime; degeneration of all cultural values; increasing grip of various fundamentalist approaches;
rising volume of violence, confrontation, conflict and attacks on human rights and money and power
as the only aim of human life.
The 2002-UN Human Development Report, expresses: the world’s richest 1 percent receive as
much in terms of income as the poorest 75 percent. And the average poor person in a developing
country wanting to sell in global markets confronts barriers twice as high as the typical worker in an
industrialised country. It is still a terribly unfair world.
Global progress on reducing poverty has slowed to a “snail’s pace” and the international goal of
halving the share of the world’s population living on less than $1 a day by 2015 is likely to be
The rich countries control over the IMF and the WB must be reduced. Suggesting an end to the
veto-rights of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, it says, the poorest countries
must also have a bigger voice in the WTO.
The 2001-UN Human Development Report writes: as the 21st century dawns, the challenges of
human development remain large. Of the 4.6 billion people in developing countries, more than 850
million are illiterate, nearly a billion lack access to improved water sources, and 2.4 billion lack
access to basic sanitation. Nearly 325 million boys and girls are out of school. And 11 million
children under age five die each year from preventable causes—equivalent to more than 30,000 a
day. Around 1.2 billion people live on less than (the equivalent of) $1 a day (1993 PPP US $), and
2.8 billion on less than $2 a day. Such deprivations are not limited to developing countries. In OECD
(Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, more than 130 million people
are income poor, 34 million are unemployed and adult functional illiteracy rates average 15 percent.
Global inequalities in income are also high. In 1993, the poorest 10 percent of the world’s people
had only 1.6 percent of the income of the richest 10 percent. The income of the richest 1 percent
added up to that of the poorest 57 percent. The richest 10 percent of the US population (around 25
million people) had a combined income greater than that of the poorest 43 percent of the world’s
people (around 2 billion people).
The report admits that in most spheres today matters relating to technical progress—research,
designs, production, propagation—are governed not by considerations of social benefits, but by
calculations of profitability of economically powerful private agencies.
In 2000, Brazil had nine billionaires with a collective worth of $20 billion, India had nine worth
$23 billion, Malaysia had five worth $12 billion, Mexico had 13 worth $25 billion and Saudi Arabia
had five worth $41 billion.
The report noted that the worlds of finance and development are linked through the mechanisms of
saving and investment. An estimated $7.5 trillion was saved or invested worldwide last year, of
which $1.7 billion was invested in developing countries. But the net transfer to wealthy countries
amounted to $450 billion, three-fourths of which was absorbed by the United States.
The foreign debts accumulated by many poorer countries, the report said, have become heavy
constraints on their ability to reduce poverty and reach other development goals. While debt relief is
just one of various financial assistance instruments, it is important to recognise that in some cases
debt burdens represent insurmountable obstacles and need to be addressed urgently.
The unequal distribution of benefits and the imbalances in global rule-making, which characterise
globalisation today, inevitably will produce backlash and protectionism.
Besides the above-mentioned UNDP Reports, the most worrying feature of the present day human
community is that it is today living under an unfair and unjust social order where the powerful
dominate the weak and the haves ride over the have-nots—with money, might and privilege
constituting the accepted norms of justice and truth, both on the global as well as the national levels.
This fact is, firstly, obvious from the theory and the functioning of all the world bodies. For
instance, the UN and its agencies are regulated by the 1945-charter which gives veto powers and
permanent membership of the elective security council to the militarily most powerful 5 states of the
world—i.e., the US, China, Britain, France and Russia. Obviously, such a privilege based rule is
totally discriminatory and unjust because it reduces the role of the remaining 180 UN members to
nullity. Morally and legally, it negates the world accepted principle of political equality, the one
entity-one vote norm of the universal suffrage and the human right of every nation state. When the
UN has been interfering in the affairs of different states on the basis of human rights violations, why
should not it restructure itself on a rational basis in order to make itself relevant to the new era?
Secondly, the same irrational and undemocratic style prevails in the two international financial
institutions—the IMF and the WB—in which the economic weightage determines the voting strength
of each member. Thus, these institutions are definitely governed by the financially developed
countries, especially the US having 26 percent of the total voting strength.
Thirdly, the newly created unjust CTBT regime gives virtual nuclear weapons monopoly to the
five big nuclear powers—thus making them the invincible overlords of the world.
Fourthly, a handful of the developed countries, with hardly 15 percent of the world population,
today control over 80 percent of the world’s material and financial resources, leaving less than 20
percent for 85 percent of the world people, living in over 130 developing countries.
Fifthly, one-half of the world population, constituting the female part of the human community,
continues to be the victim of ill-treatment and misbehaviour the world over.
Sixthly, the national situation in every country is not much different from the prevailing global
order. Despite variations among the 190-plus countries due to their different physical settings,
historical backgrounds and socio-economic conditions, there is a great deal of similarity in the quality
of social life, especially among the developing countries. For instance, the political process in almost
every country (whether developed or developing) remains dominated by money power which, in case
of the developing countries, is also compounded by muscle power and primordial norms. The
economic process in general operates through cut-throat competition, speculation and black money.
The unscrupulous norms constitute the common behavioural forms everywhere.
Seventhly, in almost every country, a few are more privileged than the overwhelming majority.
Everywhere, the legislators enjoy certain immunity from common laws under the law providing
special parliamentary privileges. In the developing countries, the ruling groups often abuse the law
with impunity. Nowhere in the world is the judiciary accountable to the people. Instead, the
universally prevailing contempt of courts law empowers it to silence every critic. The official secrets
law, existing in nearly all countries, authorises the bureaucracy to cover up all deals and thus ride
roughshod over the people. The law enforcement agencies enjoy wide-ranging powers the world
over. In the 3rd world, they behave as law unto themselves. Everywhere the law favours the rich and
the law-breakers and is biased against the poor and the deprived.
Eighthly, the US today stands as the unchallenged policeman of the world. After its single-handed
military success in Afghanistan, it has become more unilateralist and belligerent. Now, it has declared
a perpetual war against its alleged terrorism, so far defined neither by the UN nor some other UN
member. The first targets of its offensive include its so-called “rogue states”—Iraq, Iran, North
Korea, etc.—which are UN members and cannot by any logic be characterised as terrorists. There is
worldwide disapproval, including that from China, Russia and EC, of the newly declared US
offensive plan. But the US has so far not relented on the launching of its new war project.
Ninthly, the US-led world corporate sector is in a serious trouble. Corporate profits are falling.
Many top corporate companies, especially in the US, have been found involved in big frauds and
scandals. The corporate claim of its being a social institution of wealth creation and of prosperity and
progress generation has got exposed.
Tenthly, the corporate-based global development process is facing an unheard of crisis, posing a
very serious challenge to mankind. Rich/poor divide is increasing at on unprecedented scale. Poverty
and unemployment are spreading fast. Military budgets—a drain on sustainable development—are
sharply rising, while spendings on social development are declining. Area of corruption, crime,
violence and suicides in the world is vastly expanding, taking political and economic spheres and
their executives in its fold. Human rights violations, discrimination against minorities and other
weaker sections and atrocities against women are on the increase. Ethnic tensions are heightening.
Various types of fundamentalist concepts, both new and old, are misleading and dividing the people.
Today, we are in a world where unscrupulous politics, black money and “yes sir” conduct have
been the most profitable professions, signifying the parameters of the prevailing unfair order.
All the afore-mentioned serious challenges and dangerous threats reflect disharmonies within
human society and between the latter and the nature. Essentially, they indicate the imbalanced state of
the human community.
The above-stated facts put a heavy responsibility on the shoulders of all humans to deepen their
understanding of the fatal implications of the ongoing crisis, try to find out its real cause and do
everything in their power to answer it with a realistic agenda.
III. Cause Of Enviro-Biological Crisis
Rests With World Corporate System
There is near unanimity in the world (comprising the UN, WB, IMF, WTO, etc., Nation States,
Natural and Social scientists, thinkers and planners) that the ongoing global crisis is the outcome of
the human activity. Even the most diehard critic of the idea of the fatal nature of the present crisis, the
serving US President, George Bush, has now publicly admitted this fact. But none of the above-said
prestigious entities has defined the concept of public activity. Neither the World Summits—i.e.,
1972-Stockholm World Conference on Environment and evelopment, 1992-Rio UN Summit and
2002 Johannesburg UN Summit on Sustainable Development—has touched this question. While
adopting the agenda of sustainable development, they have made only a passing reference to the
unsustainable human ways and lifestyle, but shirked to pinpoint the specific structural form in which
humanity, in given conditions, operates in various modes, shapes or appearances. Obviously, all the
above-mentioned chief social actors have left this essential point quite vague by putting an equal
blame on every human? According to this high flown theory, every human is a polluter but everyone
knows this fact that the responsibility of producing pollution rests with those who own pollutant
producing factories or means and not the workers engaged in those enterprises.
Historical experience shows that humankind, its lifestyle or way of life or any other activity has
always existed in an organised social form, i.e., society. Clan, tribe, feudal monarchy and industrial
social forms have been various types of societies in human history. Each social form is distinguished
by its social system (comprising constitutional and legal principles), which forms the bed-rock or the
distinguishing feature of that society.
Today, human community is living within a global corporate system, operating through a multiple
organisation of nation states. All of them follow the same corporate principles in their thinking,
functioning and organisation. The only difference between them pertains to their respective variations
in territorial and population sizes. On the social level, they follow the same ideology, politics,
economics, culture and security mode. There is no human activity, lifestyle or way of life
independent of or apart from the concerned social system.
Going by the above facts, it can be said that the existing corporate system constitutes the basis of
the present furious crisis now shaking the world. The faults of this basis require to be properly
studied in all the four dimensions of this system—i.e., sociological concepts, systemic principles,
operational norms and historical experience.
The fundamental sociological fault lies in the one-sided philosophical understanding of the Adam
Smithean and the Marxian Development Models (both of which have functioned as two standard
development models of the ongoing, but now retreating, nation-state system in various parts of the
world). This one-sided understanding is that Man constitutes the supreme phenomenon in the system
of nature on our planet and even in the universe. Obviously, it projects people as the sole builder of
human society and every thing in it, disregarding the social truth that the change and development in
human society takes place due to a 2-sided inter-action—that between nature and society, on the one
hand, and within human society itself, on the other.
The second fundamental sociological mistake arises from the one-sided understanding of the
Adam Smithen and the Marxian development models about the human nature. The Adam Smithean
economic model holds that humankind is selfish by nature. The Marxian economic theory takes a
confusing stand on the question of human nature. Firstly, it emphasises that mankind is social by
nature. The next moment it transfers the quality of being absolutely social to the industrial proletariat
(who is, according to it, destined to be the liberator of humankind). And, finally, it passes the entire
monopoly of social characteristic on to the communist party which alone, in its view, has the capacity
to bring a social transformation in human society.
In reality, however, humankind bears a 2-sided character: biological, on the one hand, and social,
on the other. The biological aspect reflects the individual existence of mankind, while the social side
denotes its social living, functioning and organising.
The basic systemic flaw emerges from the corporate system’s aim which sorts out profitmaximisation
or attaining the highest growth rate as the sole aim of its development model. Both the
Liberal and the Marxian versions accept the growth rate as the single criterion of judging social
prosperity and progress. In their search for achieving the highest growth rates, both have been
running havoc with the environmental and the human development factors.
The second, but a highly damaging, systemic flaw lies in the universal acceptance of the rule of
monetary growth as the sole standard of measuring social prosperity and progress. The projection of
money as the defining feature of social advancement has highly ignited the human ambition of
money-making which has, as is obvious from the facts today, become the main motivational factor of
near about every human being, determining his perspective, mindset, aim, priority and means and
Since the attainment of money and power represents the maximisation of one’s (or self) interest,
the whole world is now chasing after these two “life-extending elixirs”. The money and powerhunting
business (by bringing in the most unsustainable environmental order and a highly unjust and
inequitable human system) has now led the world to the brink of a serious environmental and human
In fact, self-interest is the basic instinct of the animal sphere, while man has, since his evolution as
homo-sapien, become bio-social by nature. The characteristic of being half-social is the only quality
that distinguishes human species from the animal ones. When man becomes devoid of social aspect,
he turns out just like an animal in his lifestyle.
The principal operational defect is related to corporate system’s operational agency or the
government. Oriented solely by self-perpetuation, the leaders of the national govts (based on the
party system in every country) are mainly concerned with the amassing of their own wealth and the
holding of an ever-lasting power, by fair means or foul, with no consideration to the mass interests or
any enviro-bio issue. Their pet lifestyle is “to say one thing, but do the other”. They always shed tears
for the poor and the deprived, but at all times serve the rich and the dominant.
From the foregoing facts, it is apparent that unless the present corporate system and its
development paradigm is restructured (or updated) on a sustainable, just and equitable model, there is
not much possibility of giving an effective response to the highly dangerous social challenge of
inequality and poverty.
Historical Experience Of The World Corporate System
How the world corporate system constitute the root of present enviro-bio crisis can be seen from
its 200 year old past and present history (which began with the industrial revolution, passed through
various phases of development—industrial, competitive, colonial, post-colonial—and now has
entered the global phase).
Firstly, it (i.e., corporate history) shows the unsustainable working of the corporate development
model—thus misusing and wasting the environmental resources, on the one hand, and inhumanly
treating the human resources, on the other. This has today resulted in the depletion of environmental
resources and the impoverishment of human resources—thus causing the deadly eco-bio crisis on our
Secondly, it brings forth its sociology of self-interest as the motive force in human society. This
has generated the motivation of selfishness all around—thus maximising the tendency of personal
greed and gain and negating the other human instinct of social interests.
Thirdly, it displays its politics of “might is right” as the only social principle of maintaining
stability, security and order in society at all times and places. Thus, it conditions the mindset of
power-seeking at all costs, by means foul or fair, thus leading to the criminalisation of the political
process. Further, the politics of “might is right” boosts confrontationist, quarrelsome and warmongering
attitude among individuals as well as in society. It creates a social environment of the
domination of powerful over the weak—thus preparing the ground for the establishment of its world
Fourthly, it projects its basic economic principle of profit optimisation as the only determinant of
social development, thus disregarding all social interests and concerns, including those relating to
environment, social justice, fairness, equality, generosity, etc. Further, the sole objective of profit
optimisation, combined with the sociological principle of self-interest, has set in motion the race for
money-making all over the world, mainly through corrupt and depraved means. The role of corporate
sector in the money-laundering business can be seen from the recent cases of corporate frauds and
scandals in the world’s top-most multinational corporations (MNCs), especially the US-based.
Fifthly, it approves of all double-dealing values (like “saying one thing and doing another”),
justifying them in the name of market rules and exigencies of power-structure.
Sixthly, it makes use of all sorts of fundamentalist concepts and techniques which while
contributing in strengthening its economic and political objectives, divide the people on sectarian and
Lastly, but more importantly, the corporate based sustainable development model undermines the
multilateral process of sustainable development, provides a handle to the corporations to manipulate
and exploit the world environmental and human resources—thus carrying the eco-bio crisis to a
IV. A Realistic Response To The Enviro-Bio Crisis
Lies In Restructuring It On The Basis Of
A Nature-Human Centric Agenda
Given the world corporate system as the cause of the current enviro-bio crisis, a realistic response
to the latter (i.e., the crisis) is, and can be, to restructure (or update) the world corporate system on the
basis of A Nature-Human Centric Agenda, comprising the following points.
Vision: The nature of our planet and the 21st century’s social reality of inter-dependence of
nation-states provide the nature-human centric paradigm the vision of one world while the 1945-UN
charter gives one the vision of sovereign and independent nations, a vision contrary to the existing
Fundamental Principle: The fundamental principle of the above-mentioned vision should, firstly,
be to put the people and the environment at the centre of global activity (i.e., to serve the peoples
interests, on the one hand, and to take care of the environmental conservation, on the other).
Global Order: The fundamental principle of Nature-Human Centric vision and its enviro-human
priority demands that the UN be restructured on a democratic basis, style and organisation. But the
UN, as it stands today, lacks this quality. The UN general assembly’s structure and functioning is
quite democratic. But its top decision-making body, i.e., the security council, is characterised by
highly unfair and totally undemocratic norms, i.e., the permanent membership for the militarily most
strong five nations and their special veto-rights.
Obviously, any attempt to fully democratise this body would, at this moment, encounter stiff
resistance from the 5-member privileged club. So, taking into account the existing global power
structure, it seems that the full democratisation of the security council will take some more time. For
the time being, the rule of special veto-powers should be done away with, while retaining the norm of
permanent membership till the change in the on-going balance of power. All other seats in the
security council should be filled through election by the general assembly.
The rich countries control over IMF and WB be reduced and the poorest countries be provided
more voice in the WTO.
Development Model: The fundamental principle of people-environment priority (which is
imperative for human development) demands a new type of development model that stands for a fivefold
fundamental principle, i.e., environmental sustainability, equity (with 1:5 difference in incomes),
productivity, democracy and transparency. This five-fold fundamental principle corresponds with the
bio-social nature of humankind, i.e., it co-ordinates the man’s self-interest with his social interest.
The people-environment based development model represents the updated concept of development
in contrast to the two traditional national development models, i.e., the corporate-led and the govtdirected.
While the corporate-led development model singles out profitability or productivity (which
ensures the interests of money-owners alone) as its sole aim, the govt-directed one opts for
socialisation (or the nationalisation) of the means of production as its only goal (which serves the
interests of the ruling politicians and bureaucrats). Both these traditional national models serve only
the self-interest of humankind contrary to his bio-social character i.e., comprising both the selfinterest
and the social interest. Again, they do not accord any priority to environment and any place to
the upholding of democratic and transparent norms in the economic or growth process. Further, while
the corporate model totally rejects the principle of equity (or social justice), the govt-directed one
fully ignores that of political equity and productivity.
This model differs with both the corporate-led and the state-based development models on the
issues of their purpose, management and style.
While the corporate model stands for developing the capital and capital owners and the state
model advances the interests of its ruling politicians and bureaucrats plus the labour aristocracy, the
Nature-Human Centric one serves the interests of people and environment in general, and the poor
and deprived sections in particular.
In management, while the corporate sector upholds the monopoly corporate management and
control and the state sector supports the monopoly bureaucratic management and control, the Nature-
Human Centric development model stands for democratic management and control of public limited
companies by elected joint committees, each comprising two-third elected members from ordinary
share-holders, and one-third elected workers representatives in place of permanent corporators.
In style, contrary to the authoritarian and secretive corporate and state style, the Nature-Human
Centric development model stands for democratic, transparent and accountable style.
Global Peace And Security: A Nature-Human Centric development model, first of all, needs a
stable and durable peace and security. To establish such a peace, it is necessary that the politics of
domination, privilege and special powers be discarded, mode of confrontation and military solution
be ended by total disarmament and vesting the full control of nuclear weapons in the UN, political,
economic and cultural inequalities be ended and the development gap between the developed and the
developing countries and that between rich and poor be removed.
Politics: Nature-Human Centric politics requires a politics that is based on fully democratic
principles, functioning and structure. Such a politics necessitates the ending of the rule of special
veto-powers in the UN system and the introducing of the principle ensuring the maximum-possible
empowerment of the people in decision-making corresponding to the necessary dilution of the partycentralised
Economics: Nature-Human Centric economics demands a rational and realistic economics whose
concepts, laws and rules are required to be framed in the light of former’s 2 top priorities (i.e.,
humankind and environment) and 5 principles (i.e., environmental sustainability, equity, productivity,
democracy and transparency). In view of human’s bio-social nature, both Adam Smith’s basic
economic principle of “self-interest” and Marxian basic economic rule of state nationalisation of
everything are one-sided in view of human’s bio-social nature. But, ironically, both measure
development, prosperity and progress in terms of monetary growth and not in the context of human
and environmental development.
Value System: Nature-Human Centric value system calls for a way of life (or lifestyle) that is
embedded in basic human and environmental values and promotes rational humanist and
environmentalist thinking, behaviour and organisation among the people.
Approach: Nature-Human Centric approach should stand for scientific realism which studies and
interprets natural phenomena in the light of scientific facts and social objects on the basis of authentic
information and data.
The above agenda will enable us not only to face the challenges created by the corporate
mismanagement to the environmental and human resources, but also provide us the way to make their
judicious use in future.
V. India’s Unsustainable Social Order Needs To Be Restructured On Nature-Human friendly
As India proceeds ahead in the first decade of the 21st century, the mass mood remains as usual
marked by despondency and despair. Obviously, such a mood is always an outcome of peoples
perception of an uncertain future which (i.e., perception about future) evolves out of the disorderly
state of ongoing matters.
A Topsy-Turvy State of India’s Ongoing Matters
This is, firstly, obvious from the mismanagement of the day to day mass problems (or
infrastructural facilities)—decreasing quality and quantity of drinking water in the rural and urban
areas; horrible picture of sanitation in towns and villages; power cuts and its irregular supply and
some times even non-availability; dilapidated condition of roads, traffic jams, late running of trains
and even air services; deterioration of education which inculcates the sole motivation of self-seeking,
moneymaking and power-grabbing, rising costs of health services making them non-available to poor
and deprived, poor working of telecommunications and postal services, spoiling of peoples health by
daily rising pollution, insanitation, food adulteration, sub-standard drugs, illicit liquor, etc.
Secondly, it is visible from the all-pervading corruption in every walk of life, i.e., obtaining of a
ration card or a gas facility, getting of water, electricity or telephone connection, admission to
hospitals, schools, colleges and professional institutions, hiring of a shop or a house, reservation in
railways, purchasing of a ticket for any significant debate, exhibition, test match, picture, music, or
dancing show, etc., can only become possible by paying an illegal (or black) price. Sub-standard
goods, short-weight and overpricing go on unchecked. Bogus employment exchanges, false
universities, forged currency dealers, hawala firms and fake passport and visa agencies, chit fund
companies, etc., continue unhindered. Tax-evasion, money-laundering, smuggling, drug-trafficking,
manipulation of foreign trade, transfer of black-money to foreign banks, bank frauds, securities
scams, stock market racketeering, arms, heroine and gold smuggling and infiltration on the border
and at the airports with the connivance of security personnel, etc., thrive quite at ease. Corruption has
become the general way of India’s governance. Nothing moves in the country without illegal
Thirdly, corruption is also evident from the black money generation in Indian economy. It
constitutes nearly 60 percent of the GDP and is concentrated in the hands of about 3 percent of
India’s population it imposes a very heavy burden on the Indian people by sapping their purchasing
Fourthly, India’s human development record shows a massive level of deprivation and a subhuman
level of living. Complied on the basis of data released by WB, UNDP and Indian government,
the state of human development emerges as follows: 62 percent of the people come under the
category of poor. Nearly 40 percent live in absolute poverty. 40 percent have no access to basic
health facilities. 75 percent have no proper lavatory arrangements. 10 percent live in urban slums. 48
percent are totally illiterate. 5 percent are unemployed and 33 percent under-employed. 33 percent
have no houses of their own. 10 percent are invalids. About 12 percent are landless, constituting the
poorest strata. Over 53 percent children are denied the right to basic and quality education. Nearly 75
percent women suffer some form of oppression.
Fifthly, India’s environmental performance, as per the UNDP Report (1999), reflects a disgusting
position. According to it, India may be paying a very heavy price for its developmental process which
is bringing in its wake ecological devastation and numerous health problems. A conservative estimate
of environmental damage puts the figure at more than $10 billion a year or 45 percent of the GDP in
1992. If higher estimates are used, the Indian development model is causing a loss of $13.8 billion or
6 percent of the GDP.
The above report further adds that the urban air pollution costs India $1.3 billion a year, while
water degradation leads to health costs amounting to $5.7 billion every year, nearly three-fifth of the
country’s total environmental damage.
According to Indian official figures, out of a total of 143 million hectares of cultivable land, nearly
60 percent suffers from soil erosion, water-logging and salinity. Another 16 million hectares is
afflicted with ravines and rivulets.
Sixthly, India’s economic working is so poor that, despite having the one-sixth of world
population, it is, on the basis of its inadequate performance, considered to be one of the least
developed countries by all the international bodies and the developed countries.
Seventhly, India’s political process aims at moneymaking and power-seizing as the only goal of
human life. This goal is to be attained and retained at all costs, whether by hook or crook. All Indian
political entities—i.e., political parties, executive and legislature—faithfully adhere to this goal in
their respective decision-making processes and action plans. While all unfair means are adopted to
achieve this goal, corruption, double-dealing (i.e., saying one thing and doing another) and muscle–
power (organised into mafias) count a lot.
Eighthly, India’s systemic norms of behaviour, deriving their inspiration from corporate culture,
emphasise money and power as the basic inputs of decision-making and promote manipulatory ways
to achieve these inputs.
Ninthly, India’s diplomacy and defence, while waving the flag of Gandhian non-violence, has
always followed the politics of gun in its external matters. The gun approach has logically adopted
militarisation and domination as its main themes. This is obvious from the fact of defence having
been the country’s top priority during the last five decades.
Tenthly, India’s administration of justice is based on antiquated laws which help the haves and
disfavour the have-nots. The first condition for a proper administration of justice is that it should be
guided by socially just and relevant laws. But the Indian legislation lacks this quality, having been
riddled with loopholes. This has provided favourable occasions to those unworthy elements who had
been able to sneak into the ranks of judiciary and police for bending the law according to their
convenience. It has also enabled the offenders and their counsellors to exploit the loopholes in their
favour—thus tinkering with the process of justice.
Besides defective legislation, thousands of obsolete and archaic laws have created a jungle of
rules, regulations and procedures. As many as 1,300 outdated laws out of a total of 2,500 central laws
and nearly 15,000 useless laws out of a total of 25,000 state laws have been the source of corruption
in the central and the state government offices—thus causing trouble in the disposal of public
The tardy judicial process of imparting justice with a backing of three crore cases pending before
the courts is another form of the denial of justice to the people.
The citizens access to law remains restricted due to the enormous costs involved in the lengthy
process of justice in which the endless series of appeals tire out the contenders, particularly the
The problem of defective legislation, delayed justice and high costs involved in the process of
seeking justice is as old as independent India. Various commissions and committees have made a
number of recommendations as remedial measures. But the problem has only aggravated.
Why Matters Have Gone Wrong
The first reason lies in the misconceived version of Indian nationalism which stands for
majoritarian nationalism at home and hegemonism abroad.
The second reason rests with India’s centralised and unaccountable social system.
The third reason resides in India’s corporate-based development paradigm which favours the rich
and shuns the poor and deprived.
The fourth reason is located in the money and power-oriented motivation of political parties as
well as people.
The fifth reason is contained in the unscrupulous lifestyle of politicians who file false returns of
their election expenses, enter into shady deals with the mafia dons, rouse religious and caste
sentiments to achieve their ends, make false promises with the people, follow the politics of Aya
Ram, Gaya Ram and say one thing today and another tomorrow.
The sixth reason exists in India’s communal and casteist policies which divide the people in the
name of religion and caste.
The seventh reason is based on India’s politics of gun which generates quarrels all around.
The eighth reason is found in India’s perpetual confrontation with Pakistan, particularly on the
question of Jammu & Kashmir state.
The ninth reason is connected with fundamentalism of various hues—Hindutva, casteism, free
market ideology, class-based revolutionary theory, etc.
Managing Matters Realistically
The problem of the realistic managing of matters requires the restructuring of India’s corporate
system on Nature-Human friendly basis. This involves the taking of following measures.
Adoption of a new vision of nationalism, based on the present fundamental social reality of the
inter-dependence of nations by discarding all classical national visions—i.e, Gandhism, Hindutva or
Mandalism, etc. The first two of which are religion-oriented and the third one caste-based.
Recognition of people and environment as the two top priorities of national agenda.
Upholding of global peace and discarding of the politics of superpowerism and confrontation in all
matters. Resolving of all conflicts through peaceful means by reconciling the interests of parties
concerned, defusing of regional tension-points, proceeding towards complete disarmament, vesting
the control of nuclear weapons in the UN, doing away with the special (or veto) rights of a few
countries in the international bodies, establishing of the relations of equality among different
countries and step by step ending of the wide developmental gap between the developed and the
Resolving of Jammu & Kashmir problem by a tripartite settlement (between India, Pakistan and
Jammu & Kashmir people) which entrusts the management of Jammu & Kashmir state’s defence and
foreign affairs to an Indo-Pak (or SAARC) condominium, ensures an independent status (minus
defence and foreign affairs) to Jammu & Kashmir and the maximum possible autonomy to each
ethnic region in that state. Similarly, other tension-points among the SAARC countries be resolved
either bilaterally or through SAARC mechanism.
To establish a peoples-based political system in India by taking the following steps. To organise
India on a federal-confederal basis—giving a federal status to the states and a special status to
Punjab. This will help in resolving ethnic, communal, casteist and lingual tensions in India. All the
existing conflicts—whether peaceful or non-peaceful—to be resolved through dialogue. All
institutions to be fully democratised. The rule of law to be upheld and exercised through the
empowerment of the people which will, step by step, be developed from the village to the central
level. People to have the right to information and also the right to call for a plebiscite on any national
or state issue. The interpretation of the law to be vested in the judiciary. Any controversy between the
judiciary and the legislature on any law to be decided through a plebiscite. All laws giving special
rights or privileges to a group of people or individual (whatever his status), except those meant for
weaker and deprived sections, to be abrogated. All social and economic disparities to be ended.
Elections at all levels to be state-funded, free from black money and muscle-power.
The aim of development to be peoples friendly and environment friendly. That is, to promote
peoples interests, on the one hand, and to protect environment, on the other. To involve the people,
especially the women, in the work of population control and environmental conservation. This
development model stands for a five-fold fundamental principle, i.e., environmental sustainability,
equity (with 1:5 difference in incomes), productivity, democracy and transparency. This five-fold
fundamental principle corresponds with the bio-social nature of humankind, i.e., it co-ordinates the
man’s self-interest with his social interest.
The people-environment based development model represents the updated concept of development
in contrast to the two traditional national development models, i.e., the corporate-led and the
government-directed. While the corporate-led development model singles out profitability or
productivity (which ensures the interests of money-owners alone) as its sole aim, the governmentdirected
one opts for socialisation (or the nationalisation) of the means of production as its only goal
(which mainly serves the interests of the ruling politicians and bureaucrats). Both these traditional
national models serve only the self-interest of humankind contrary to his bio-social character, i.e.,
comprising both the self-interest and the social interest. Again, they do not accord any priority to
environment and any place to the upholding of democratic and transparent norms in the economic or
growth process. Further, while the corporate model totally rejects the principle of equity (or social
justice), the government-directed one fully ignores that of political equity and productivity.
This model differs with both the corporate-led and the state-based development models on the
issues of their purpose, management and style.
While the corporate model stands for developing the capital and capital owners and the state
model advances the interests of its ruling politicians and bureaucrats plus the labour aristocracy, the
Nature-Human Centric one serves the interests of people and environment, in general, and the poor
and deprived sections, in particular.
Nature-Human Centric value system calls for a way of life (or lifestyle) that is embedded in basic
human and environmental values and promotes rational humanist and environmentalist thinking,
behaviour and organisation among the people.
To adopt a foreign-cum-defence policy, based on peace, co-operation and friendship with every
country in the world. To organise the regional defence in South Asia and reduce the defence
expenditure by 50 percent after the resolution of Jammu-Kashmir problem.
VI. Every Basic Social Change Demands Peoples Movement Based on Mass Awareness &
The above title has been aptly summed up in an old saying that “the people get the government
they deserve”. Both history and sociology demonstrate that no change can be brought about or any
social justice or fairness be attained anywhere through any constitution, institution, party or leader if
the concerned people remain unaware of the need for such a change. Thus, the only route to solve any
social problem rests with a given level of public awareness where it develops the public mindset for
action and organisation.
To raise the mass awareness to the desired level, two things are most essential for campaigners,
i.e., (a) to have sufficient understanding of their nature-human friendly agenda (enabling one to deal
with any question) and (b) to have enough knowledge about the social consciousness, specific
problems, political affiliations, cultural values and the prevailing mood of our given public audience,
targeted social group or individual.
Here, it is necessary to firmly keep in mind that the present level of mass consciousness adopts, in
general, a three-sided wrong criteria for deciding social right and wrong—i.e., money, power and
might (the three-dimensional main corporate objective). In this respect, our main task is to refute this
half-truth by contrasting it with the five-fold realistic principle of nature-human friendly agenda, viz.,
environmental sustainability, equity (with 1:5 differences in incomes), productivity, democracy and
transparency. But, this will happen after a series of our inter-actions with people that will take some
As to the public awareness campaign, it needs to be started among those social groups who are
neglected by the existing system and whose interests conform to the nature-human friendly agenda.
Those groups, in the main, include: the rural and the urban poor, houseless, unemployed, widows,
women (those belonging to poorer sections), working children, girl child, invalids, scavengers,
agricultural labour, bonded labour, unorganised labour (such as building workers, rickshaw-pullers,
etc.), tribals, prisoners, undertrials, old people having no attendant, lumpen elements (such as
beggars, etc.), factory workers, office employees, students, youth, minorities, etc. These groups may
be broadly classified into 4 types: (i) group-specific (ii) area-specific (iii) problem-specific and (iv)
While preparing the agenda of any neglected target group, it is equally desirable to keep in view
its other allied characteristics, i.e., political affiliation, cultural values, prevailing mood, etc.
In raising the social consciousness of each target group, it is essential that our communication with
them should be simple and easily understandable that integrates three main features, i.e., the
neglected state of the group’s specific problems, mismanagement of the main peoples concerns in
each region and state and the positive way in which nature-human friendly agenda will affect the
common people in general and the targeted group, in particular, in the domain of politics,
development, culture and security.
After some inter-actions with the given targeted groups at a few occasions, the next logical step
should be to get their respective core-teams elected with the task of further mobilising the remaining
members of these groups.
Following the development of certain level of social awakening and organisation, the problems
concerning each target group should be addressed to the concerned official quarters and the pressure
of public opinion be exercised to get them redressed. Rational, peaceful and cooperative ways should
be our tools to highlight the issues and getting them done.
The working style and the organisational structure of the peoples movement should be sorted out
on the basis of its agenda’s fundamental principle and the parameters of its (i.e., agenda’s) politics,
development model, culture and security sectors.
Every person, may he be a member of any party or organisation, should, subject to his adherence
to the nature-human friendly agenda, have the right to join the peoples movement based on the
nature-human friendly agenda.
Since the nature-human friendly agenda stands for the restructuring of the on-going corporate
system, its related peoples movement should have a two-sided role—restructuring (updating) of the
present system, on the one hand, and organising the people for the redressal of their problems under
the present system, on the other.
However, before launching any such peoples movement, every effort should be made to have
proper consultations with all those groups—who are already serving and organising the people on
identical agenda in the environmental sector or any of its components (i.e., air, water, land, forests,
bio-diversity, etc.), or any human development concern (relating to equality, equity, social justice,
human rights, women and minority rights, etc.)—to build a common platform of the peoples
movements or even a united front of all such movements despite their (i.e., the latter movements)
non-involvement in any agenda of systemic change.
The peoples movement for nature-human friendly agenda should also be prepared to
join the already existing United Front of Peoples Movements. 29-11-2002