#India -Tata Steel & the suicide of Charudatta Deshpande #CSR


2 July 2013, Sans Serif 

charu

The circumstances surrounding the alleged suicide of journalist-turned-corporate communications expert Charudatta Deshpande in Bombay last weekend, has exposed the dark underbelly of one of India’s biggest corporates, and the stress, pressure and threats that hacks face when silence is no longer a conscionable option.

Deshpande, 57, had resigned in April as chief of corporate affairs and communications at Tata Steel, having held that job for a little less than a year; he was due to join the PR firm Ad Factors on July 1. He had previously served as general manager, ICICI Bank, and prior to that as senior general manager of Mahindra & Mahindra.

As a journalist, Deshpande had worked at The Daily, The Indian Express, The Economic Times, Business India TV, and theBusiness and Political Observer.

***

A group of nine friends and colleagues of Charudatta Deshpande (including the president of the Press Club of Bombay) has written to Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry and his predecessor Ratan Tata, urging them to institute a proper inquiry into the death.

In their letter, written in their individual capacities, Charu’s friends claim:

# Charu was being bullied into signing some documents/ bonds on June 29, a day before he took his life.

# Charu was being blamed for “facilitating” a story (in picture, above) in Forbes India and was under enormous pressure to “admit” to his complicity in “leaking” confidential company documents to the media.

# Charu was was under “house arrest” in Jamshedpur and that his cell phones were being tapped.

# Charu was being called and threatened by an unnamed mafia.

***

In his individual capacity, ICICI executive director Ram Kumar,a well known figure in HR circles, has also written to the Tatas on the “disgraceful” manner in which Deshpande’s services had been terminated, and the “untold pressure and threat at Jamshedpur” in the weeks preceding his death.

The Economic Times reports:

“Ramkumar’s letter, referring to the claims of the people who met Deshpande in the four weeks preceding his death, alleges that he was “confined” for over two weeks at Jamshedpur.”

Amazingly, or perhaps not, nobody from the House of Tatas, who routinely clamber on to the high moral horse, called on Deshpande’s family for three days after the alleged suicide and Ramkumar has alleged in his letter that a PR firm tried to “sully” Deshpande’s name after the death.

On the other hand, ICICI Bank, where Deshpande had worked earlier, has facilitated a job for his son Gaurav, who graduates in two week’s time.

***

Below is the full text of the letter sent by nine friends of Charudatta Deshpande to Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata and Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry, on 30 June 2013:

Dear Mr Tata and Mr Mistry,

We write to you as the collective conscience of a group of friends and former colleagues of Charudatta Deshpande, a former Tata Steel employee, who committed suicide on Friday, June 28, 2013.

From whatever evidence we have gathered until now on the back of conversations with Charudatta in the weeks leading to his demise, and with those who knew him closely, Charu was placed under enormous stress and subjected to harassment by officials at Tata Steel.

Our understanding is it was this harassment that prompted him to commit suicide. This letter is an attempt to bring this episode to your attention and seek your intervention into instituting an urgent and independent inquiry into the matter.

Charu was head of corporate communications at Tata Steel. About a month ago, he resigned from the company. The events leading to his exit are relevant and we would like to place them before you for your consideration.

In April, a few months into his new assignment, Forbes India magazine ran a cover story“Remoulding Tata Steel”. The story is online here onhttp://forbesindia.com/article/boardroom/putting-the-shine-back-into-tata-steel/35049/0.

It attempted to chronicle the challenges facing Tata Steel at a time when a crucial CEO succession drama was unfolding.

The story was based on extensive and independent reporting that lasted more than five months. Soon after it appeared in print though, a distraught Charu got in touch with those of us at Forbes India and alleged officials at Tata Steel were placing the blame on him for “facilitating” a story they thought inimical to their interests.

He added he was subsequently grounded for more than two weeks; that for all practical purposes was “under house arrest” in Jamshedpur; that his phones were being tapped; and that he was being subjected to enormous pressure to “admit” to his complicity in “leaking” confidential company documents to the media.

Many of us have worked in the past at various newsrooms including at the Economic Times where he was a senior editor. We have also known him professionally in his stints as head of corporate communications at organisations such as ICICI Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Steel.

We remember him as a thorough professional who placed a premium on the interests of the organizations he worked for. Each one of us can personally vouch that in his interactions with us, he has never behaved irresponsibly or tried to damage the reputation of the firms he represented.

Those of us who were at Forbes India when the story on Tata Steel was being researched are willing to testify on any forum that matters he conducted himself with integrity and responsibility.

What we also know of the events that preceded his death are outlined below.

1. He was in discussions with officials at Adfactors PR, with whom he was negotiating employment prospects. He told them he was being called and threatened repeatedly by a ‘mafia’ – a term he used constantly; and that his cell phone was being tapped.

2. He had informed a friend that he was being bullied into signing some documents/bonds on June 29, a day before he took his life.

3. Immediately after the story appeared, he was in constant touch over the phone with Indrajit Gupta, the founding editor of Forbes India. He confided in Indrajit Gupta and spoke of being confined for over two weeks at Jamshedpur, being harassed after the story appeared in the magazine, was not allowed to travel without permission, and articulated his concerns about his cell phone being tapped. Despite being advised to escalate the matter to higher authorities, including the Tata Headquarters at Bombay House, Charu insisted it would be futile and make things worse for him.

Whatever be the circumstances behind his exit, most of us assumed he would put the setback behind him and move on. However, he alleged the threatening phone calls he got even after exiting he company was causing him a lot of stress.

What transpired after Charu passed away was even more despicable. Even as the news of his demise trickled in on Friday evening, there were concerted attempts made by Tata Steel officials and the PR agency to pass off his death as a heart attack, and not a suicide.

A senior PR official even insisted that he had visited Charu’s residence and confirmed the news of the heart attack, which turned out to be untrue. Some regional papers even hinted he had embezzled funds.

We believe this is an attempt to tarnish the reputation of a senior professional and take the focus away from the root cause behind his untimely death.

Discussions with Charu’s family have revealed he had no personal problems or disputes there. His brother-in-law Mahesh said Charu was extremely disturbed and depressed in the month before he finally quit Tata Steel. Mahesh also spoke of Charu confiding in the family he made a serious mistake in joining Tata Steel.

These apart, he also spoke of having been let down by the company on various counts and not being provided manpower and resources he was promised when he joined.

The Tata group has nurtured a long tradition of practising and upholding the highest standards of ethics and probity in public life. Nothing that we now do can redeem what has happened. But for the sake of justice, we would urge you to institute an inquiry into this matter.

If nothing, it will help bring closure to a traumatic episode for Charu’s family and his circle of friends. Equally importantly, an inquiry of this kind will go a long way to ensure episodes of this kind don’t occur again.

The all of us who have signed on this note would be willing to aid any inquiry process you choose to institute by providing evidence and witnesses with whom Charu had spoken to before his demise.

We trust the both of you will do what is right.

In anticipation,

On behalf of

Indrajit Gupta, Gurbir Singh, Charles Assisi, Prince Mathews Thomas, Dinesh KrishnanCuckoo Paul,T. SurendarDebojyoti ChatterjeeDinesh Narayanan

 

 

Mumbai Residents protest Tata Power’s modernisation plans for Trombay plant


Akshay Deshmane
Issue Date:
2013-3-14

Modernisation will increase pollution, say residents

Residents and political parties of Chembur in Mumbai have rejected Tata Power’s plans to modernise Unit 6 of its Trombay Thermal Power Station, show recently released minutes of a public hearing held in January. The company plans to convert fuel of the unit 6 of the power plant from low sulphur heavy stock/ low sulphur fuel oil (LSHS/LSFO) to low sulphur imported coal. The residents say the modernisation would lead to extreme pollution.

The Tata Power Company-owned thermal power station at Trombay has an installed capacity of 1,580 MW with five units, two coal powered, one each using oil and gas, and one a combined cycle power plant. One unit is on standby.

The minutes of the meeting, which was forcefully suspended by political parties, were compiled by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). Seema Mahulkar, a Mahul village resident, says, “The modernisation project (has been) proposed by Tata Power due to economic constraints and to meet the power demand of Mumbai city is going to consume more coal and this will increase pollution in Chembur area. There is already effect of pollution on the health of people living in Mahul, Gawanpada, Ambapada, Trombay, Mandala and Mankhurd villages.”

Unanswered questions

Advocate Naina Pardeshi sought to highlight the violation of natural law of justice. “The environmental impact assessment (EIA) report is prepared by a Tata research institute. This is against natural justice. TCE Consulting Engineers is one of the shareholding institutes of Tata Group, which has prepared this report and thus cannot be impartial. Hence it is very essential to keep it aside,” she says, adding “Neither the present rate of electricity is given nor the details of the concession given to customers after the project is mentioned…cost of sulphur dioxide removal plant is in crores…this cost is not mentioned. Ash will be utilised for brick making and mixing in cement concrete. Where are such projects located nearby? Where will this ash be taken? What are the effects of ash if it is spilled during transportation?”

Resident Suprada Prakash Fatarfekar questioned the quality of regulation done by MPCB over pollution caused by existing industries in the vicinity. “What measures has MPCB taken for the abatement of pollution in Mahul and Ambapada villages? What measures has MPCB taken for the abetment of pollution due to HPCL and BPCL? First stop existing pollution due to these industries. I would like to tell you that vomiting and dizziness are old stories, now women are suffering from miscarriages. Who is responsible for this?” she asked.

Local member of Legislative Assembly Chandrakant Handore demands a fresh EIA report be prepared by “other well known organisations” like NEERI (National Environmental Engineering Research Institute).

Dirty fuel to replace cleaner fuels

In a separate note sent to the MPCB and the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Debi Goenka, trustee of Conservation Action, has raised 62 queries about the EIA report prepared by the Tata Consulting Engineers and comments and suggestions on as many as 92 Terms of Reference finalised by the Expert Appraisal Committee of MoEF. The activist, who filed a case against a similar plan by the company in the Bombay High Court, said his essential allegation was against the company’s stated claim of “modernisation” itself. “Coal burning power plant technology is more than 100 years old. This does not seem to be a “modernisation” but a subterfuge to change from clean fuels such as gas and oil to a dirty fuel such as coal.”

Officials from the MPCB’s Mumbai divisional office said the ball is now in the MoEF’s court as far as clearance for the conversion is concerned. Tata Power Company Limited did not respond to all queries and allegations despite a detailed email questionnaire sent by Down To Earth.

However, company officials pointed to its position on some of the allegations, articulated in a few of the public statements made by the company. On the question of using a Tata group company for preparing the EIA report, it said, “ The EIA for the proposed modernisation plan was conducted as per the Terms of Reference approved MoEF. The study was carried out by TATA Consulting Engineers Ltd, which is an independent agency approved and accredited by Quality Council of India (QCI) NABET for conducting such studies.”

In its previous statement concerning pollution control initiatives, the company claimed to have implemented the following measures:

  • At the Trombay Thermal Power Station, environment management is one of the key focus areas. This is ensured through emission controls, fuel controls, efficiency and heat rate improvement and stringent monitoring of ambient air quality.
  • In addition to using low sulphur high calorific value imported coal, additional flue gas desulfurization (FGD) and Electrostatic Precipitators (ESP) are also being installed to conform to presently prescribed stringent SO2 emissions norm and to prevent particulate matter from escaping into the environment.
  • The ash generated and collected by the ESP will be used in ready mix concrete (RMC) to make cement bricks by infrastructure companies.
  • The dust emission during coal handling and storage within the premises will be sustainably suppressed by using recycled water, while an enclosed unloading system (screw-type unloader) will be used to minimize dust emission during unloading of coal from barges.
  • Adequate green cover around the coal yard has been developed to control fugitive dust emission during the coal handling operations. Areas around coal stock yard and coal handling unit area is developed as a shelter belts with plantation of bamboos and other species.
  • Water spraying system is installed at coal yard as well as coal berth to further control fugitive coal dust.

 


 

Displaced villagers lock Tata Kalinganagar Nagar plant gates


FRIDAY, 02 NOVEMBER 2012 18:56PNS | JAJPUR

At least 1,200 displaced villagers on Thursday forcibly locked all the three gates, including the main gate, of the Tata Steel plant at Kalinga Nagar in protest against the slipshod attitudes of the officials of the company in providing jobs and other facilities to them.

They demanded that the company implement the Odisha Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) Policy, 2006 in letter and spirit and also consider youth above 18 years of age as separate families.

“As per Section-2 of the R&R Policy, an 18-year-old male member is entitled to getting separate family status. A major son irrespective of his marital status, an unmarried daughter or sister of more than 30 years of age, a physically and mentally-challenged person irrespective of age and sex, a mentally challenged person suffering from more than 40 per cent permanent disability, a minor orphan who has lost both his or her parents and a widow or a woman divorcee are considered as separate families as per the policy. But the Tata company is yet to consider 18-year-old youth as separate families; as a result many youth are not getting jobs and other benefits,” said Ramachandra Badara, a displaced tribal.

When contacted, Senior Manager of Corporate Communication of the company JK Padhi said, “984 families were displaced in 2005 for the steel plant. We provide all types of helps to them. January 1, 2005 was the cutoff date to consider any displaced person as a family by the company. After 2005, the company cannot consider any person above 18 years of age as a separate family.”

Tatas claim that they have ‘purchased’ all the Adivasis of Kalinganagar. But listen to this news. For a history of the Kalinganagar struggle please see this

 

Blanket Ban -WordPress domain across India #Tatadocmo #WTFnews


 

25 Aug, 2012, 5:44 pm IST | by tech2 News Staff | Services

Latest reports confirm that Tata Photon has blocked access to the WordPress.com domain across India, following a government order to block web pages containing offensive content. Apparently, the ISP has resorted to a blanket ban, blocking access to the entire site instead of clamping down on specific web pages carrying unacceptable content. WordPress is accessible through other ISPs such as Airtel and Reliance. However, there is no clarity yet about any other ISP blocking out WordPress entirely, and we are in the process of verifying this.

 

We find that the domain can be accessed through means such as free proxy websites when using a Tata Photon connection, which could indicate that the problem does not lie with the WordPress server. Despite the inability to view WordPress websites and blogs, those with registered accounts on WordPress are able to log in to the website. Certain portions of the Dashboard or website backend are known to have been blocked, and what remains accessible is functioning very slowly for Tata Photon users. Users cannot edit or post new content at the moment, but can view sections such as the website’s stats. However, this all-encompassing block seems to be affecting only the WordPress.com platform and not WordPress.org. 

Error message

The error message that most users are coming to

 

 

A blogger by the name ‘Anon and on’ has written, “I can’t access any WordPress.com blog from home. Neither can I open up the window for a new post or access any support forums. I’ve cleared the cache and tried different browsers, but no luck. All I can do is log in. If I try to see any WordPress.com blog or access my Dashboard or hit “New Post”,  the notification I get is that the server couldn’t be contacted and that I should check my connection. Which I would do if it wasn’t for the fact that I can open any and every other website”.

 

We tried to contact Tata Photon to get a clear idea, but it was unavailable for comment. We also contacted Tata Photon users, who run their websites and blogs on the WordPress platform. They said they have been unable to access the service since Monday. Many users tweeted out their puzzlement and frustration after discovering that they were suddenly unable to view their own blogs and sites. 

“Tata simply blocked 25 MILLION wordpress blogs @cis_india highlight this”

 “Not able to open http://Wordpress.com blogs on Tata Photon Plus.”

“all wordpress blogs blocked in Tata photon plus”

It’s some Tata Photon bug. WordPress working fine with Reliance.”

“There is a known issue with Tata Photon and WordPress. Found 5 people who have the same.”

 

In protest, some bloggers from across the country have formed a group called the Indian Bloggers’ Forum. The forum plans to approach the Supreme Court with a PIL seeking immediate unblocking of their blogs and websites.

 

Earlier this week, a list containing 309 URLs sought to be banned by the government in light of the Assam violence and the subsequent exodus in northeast India was leaked online. The URLs comprising Twitter accounts, HTML img tags, blog posts, entire blogs, and a handful of websites, were blocked between August 18 and 21. In an analysis of the leaked information, Pranesh Prakash, Programme Manager at the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) wrote, “It is clear that the list was not compiled with sufficient care”. The list included WordPress.com and WordPress.org among other domains. However, only select entries – 3 from WordPress.org and 8 from WordPress.com- were meant to be blocked out. 

 

The clampdown on websites with content deemed to be offensive and disruptive led to the Indian government ordering the blocking of around 310 web pages. The Centre began to come down heavily on the channels it believed were playing a role in triggering fear, and leading to violence and the mass displacement of Indians from the northeast. It has been reported that morphed images and videos were uploaded to these websites with the intention of inciting the Muslim community in the country.

 

If your access to WordPress has been blocked, let us know in your comments. 

There’s no escape from the corporations that run India


Arundhati Roy, in Guardian

Domestic mega-corporations’ tentacles extend into every aspect of Indian life – but no one dares speak out against them

Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, is personally worth $20bn. He holds a majority controlling share in Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), a company with a market capitalisation of $47bn and global business interests that include petrochemicals, oil, natural gas, polyester fibre, special economic zones, fresh food retail, high schools, life sciences research and stem cell storage services. RIL recently bought 95% shares in Infotel, a TV consortium that controls 27 TV news and entertainment channels in almost every regional language. Infotel owns the only nationwide license for 4G broadband. Ambani also owns a cricket team.

RIL is one of a handful of corporations that run India. Some of the others are the Tatas, Jindals, Vedanta, Mittals, Infosys, Essar and the other Reliance (Adag), owned by Mukesh’s brother Anil. Their race for growth has spilled across Europe, central Asia, Africa and Latin America. Their nets are cast wide; they are visible and invisible, overground as well as underground. The Tatas, for example, run more than 100 companies in 80 countries. They are one of India’s oldest and largest private sector power companies. They own mines, gas fields, steel plants, telephone, cable TV and broadband networks, and run whole townships. They manufacture cars and trucks, own the Taj hotel chain, Jaguar, Land Rover, Daewoo, Tetley Tea, a publishing company, a chain of bookstores, a major brand of iodised salt and the cosmetics giant Lakme. Their advertising tagline could easily be “you can’t live without us”.

The era of the privatisation of everything has made the Indian economy one of the fastest growing in the world. However, like any good old-fashioned colony, one of its main exports is its minerals. India’s new mega-corporations are those who have managed to muscle their way to the head of the spigot that is spewing money extracted from deep inside the earth. It’s a dream come true for businessmen – to be able to sell what they don’t have to buy.

Of late, the main mining conglomerates have embraced the arts – film, art installations and the rush of literary festivals that have replaced the 1990s obsession with beauty contests. Vedanta, currently mining the heart out of the homelands of the ancient Dongria Kond tribe for bauxite, is sponsoring a “Creating Happiness” film competition for young film students who they have commissioned to make films on sustainable development. Vedanta’s tagline is “Mining Happiness”.

The Jindal Group brings out a contemporary art magazine and supports some of India’s major artists (who naturally work with stainless steel). Essar was the principal sponsor of the Tehelka Newsweek Think Fest that promised “high-octane debates” by the foremost thinkers from around the world, which included major writers, activists and even the architect Frank Gehry.

Tata Steel and Rio Tinto (which has a sordid track record of its own) were among the chief sponsors of the Jaipur literary festival. . Many of the world’s best and brightest writers gathered to discuss love, literature, politics and Sufi poetry. Some tried to defend Salman Rushdie‘s right to free speech by reading from his proscribed book, The Satanic Verses. In every TV frame and newspaper photograph the logo of Tata Steel (and its tagline, “Values Stronger Than Steel”) loomed, a benign, benevolent host. The enemies of free speech were the supposedly murderous Muslim mobs, who, the festival organisers told us, could have even harmed the schoolchildren gathered there.

Yes, the hardline Darul-uloom Deoband Islamic seminary did protest at Rushdie being invited to the festival. Yes, some Islamists did gather at the festival venue to protest and yes, outrageously, the state government did nothing to protect the venue. The battle for free speech against Islamist fundamentalism made it to the world’s newspapers. It is important that it did. But there were hardly any reports about Tata, the festival sponsors’ role in the war in the forests of central India – a war ostensibly waged against Maoists, but actually against all those who are resisting displacement by corporations such as Tata.

There were no reports either about the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, which make even thinking an anti-government thought an offence. Or about the mandatory public hearing for the Tata Steel plant in Lohandiguda which local people complained actually took place hundreds of miles away in Jagdalpur, with a hired audience of 50 people, under armed guard. Where was free speech then?

No one mentioned Kalinganagar where, in 2006, police fired on those who protested against the construction of a boundary wall by Tata Steel. No one mentioned that journalists, academics and film-makers working on subjects unpopular with the Indian government – like the surreptitious part it played in the genocide of Tamils in the war in Sri Lanka, or the recently discovered unmarked graves in Kashmir – were being denied visas or deported straight from the airport.

But which of us sinners was going to cast the first stone? Not me, who lives off royalties from corporate publishing houses. We all watch Tata Sky, we surf the net with Tata Photon, we ride in Tata taxis, we stay in Tata hotels, sip our Tata tea in Tata bone china and stir it with teaspoons made of Tata steel. We buy Tata books in Tata bookshops. Hum Tata ka namak khatey hain. We’re under siege.

But which of us sinners was going to cast the first stone? Not me, who lives off royalties from corporate publishing houses. We all watch Tata Sky, we surf the net with Tata Photon, we ride in Tata taxis, we stay in Tata hotels, sip our Tata tea in Tata bone china and stir it with teaspoons made of Tata steel. We buy Tata books in Tata bookshops. Hum Tata ka namak khatey hain. We’re under siege.

If the sledgehammer of moral purity is to be the criteria for stone-throwing, then the only people who qualify are those who have been silenced already. Those who live outside the system; the outlaws in the forests or those whose protests are never covered by the press, or the well-behaved dispossessed, who go from tribunal to tribunal, bearing witness, giving testimony.

But the Litfest gave us our aha! moment. Oprah came. She said she loved India, that she would come again and again. It made us proud.

Read original article- Capitalism: A Ghost Story

Threat of Violence against women activists at TATA STEEL Public Hearing – March 12th


THE TATA STEEL PUBLIC HEARING

DATE0 MARCH 12TH, 2012

time- 11am – 1pm

VENUE- D. A V SCHOOL,  Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO ) , Noamundi ( which is a violation of MOEF, history repearing again )

Noamundi is a census town in Pashchimi Singhbhum district in the Indian state of Jharkhand. It is also an administrative ‘block’. It is a small mining town in close to the Orissa border. It lies near to Jamshedpur and 64 km (40 mi) from Chaibasa. Nearby towns include Padapahar, Barajamda, Kharsawan, Gua and Kiriburu.Noamundi, in the West  Si n g h b h u m d i s tr i c t o f  Jharkhand, is the iron ore
capital of India. Most of the  mines here are being run by  the Tatas.The area is also one  of the most polluted. Red iron ore dust from mining activity around Noamundi  covers every surface affecting crops, animals and humans.
For more infromation contact-  09471315165 for more details

 

 “On 12th March their Noamundi mines TATA STEEL is having a public hearing for extension of lease their mines. They have tried it in 20054 and the villagers drove them away. This time they are using all kinds of pressure tactics on Omon Mahila Samiti and JMACC threatening violence etc. The former CM of Jharkhand Babulal Marandi has guaranteed the TATAS that he will get this public hearing done at any cost. Babulal send a journalist to Oman telling them that if they oppose then the State will brand them as Maoist. We fear violence on that day. Journalist who can please help by covering the news. “

What will happen on march 12, 2012, a  Repeat of Septemebr 25th 2004 

LATEST UPDATE

Jeshoda Das is a nurse at the TISCO Mines hospital in Jodda Orissa some km from Noamundi in Jharkhand. For the past two weeks she is being mentally tortured by the GM of TISCO. Her fault? Her elder sister Ambika Das is the leader of Oman Mahila Sangathan leading the movement against the Public Hearing to be held on 12th of March. The GM and others from their personnel department has told her that she will loose her job if Oman does not withdraw the agitation against the mines extension.

Jeshoda has told the GM point blank that they can throw her out but she does not want her people to suffer because of her job.

The other good point in the movement is that a majority of the Adivasi Traditional tribal chiefs known as Mundas are with Oman. TISCO is trying to purchase them. Rice beer and cash is being poured into these villages to divide the people.

WE HAVE ALSO JUST RECEIVED NEWS THAT THE POLICE HAVE BEEN GIVEN ORDERS FOR A LATHI CHARGE. AN ORDER FOR LATHI CHARGE MEANS THAT A FIRING ORDER TOO IS IN PLACE. THE JUST APPOINTED CHAIRMAN OF TATAS CYRUS MISTRY HAS COMPLETED A TOUR OF THE NOAMUNDI MINES THIS WEEEK IN PREPARATION FOR THE PUBLIC HEARING.’

Jharkhand’s  Curse.

Natural water resources have been drying up or polluted over the decades due to mining and consequent change in weather conditions. Noamundi used to get tons of rain in the early 90s but now there is no method to the rains in Noamundi. Local people attribute this to the devastation of forests and indiscriminate mining.

For a better part of the 20th century, Tata Steel went on to become synonymous with Indian industrialisation, social philanthropy and ethical capitalism. Long before fair labour practices were enshrined in Indian law or adopted in the West, the company introduced an eight-hour working day, equal pay for equal work, maternity benefits, worker’s accident compensation and profit-sharing bonuses. For five decades at the helm of the Tata business empire, JRD Tata was credited with infusing Tata Steel with a “people-first” approach that earned the company its continuing competitive edge – strong loyalty and high productivity from its workers, allowing it to produce good quality steel at low costs. All the leading business figures of the Tata family set personal examples by bequeathing large portions of their personal wealth to philanthropic trusts, run by the Tata holding group for social welfare and advancement.

Fast-forward to the post-liberalisation era of the 90s and slowly, Tata Steel’s ethical tilt began to appear more like an ethical veneer. The company’s head of communications, Sanjay Choudhary had been quick to dismiss Kalinganagar as “a stray incident [that] should not derail a good thing.” In reality, it was not a stray incident. In August 1997, two women were crushed to death during a protest rally against Tata Steel’s proposal to set up a steel plant in Gopalpur-on-Sea, a coastal town in Orissa. Three years later, the company was forced to abandon the proposal following protests from over 20,000 people. In 2000, three tribal youth were shot dead by the police during a peaceful demonstration near a proposed Tata Steel bauxite-mining site in Rayagada district, Orissa. In Kalinganagar itself, since the 2006 incident there have been a dozen more mining-related deaths, of which — were due to protests against Tata Steel, according to news reports.

In  2004  in Noamundi, the September 25 public hearing was held inside the premises of the Tata Iron and Steel Company — something which was a violation of the Environment Ministry’s statutory norms. According to Chokro Khandait of the Chaibasa-based Jharkhand Organisation for Human Rights (JOHAR), the villagers fear TISCO’s expanded mining operations will lead to the loss of their lands. They wanted to speak out in the public hearing, to air their views. But the police stopped them  before they  could come near the premises. But according to TATA official Release -300 people from nearby villages attended the hearing , which actually mostly  TISCO employees.

SO, now what will TATA STEEL do, hire goons, no why should they when they have the State support.

But how come, the legality of this meeting is not questioned if it is against the   Environment Ministry’s statutory norms.

Please share  widely THE TATA STEEL PUBLIC HEARING FOR EXTENSION OF LEASE IS ILLEGAL, until and unless the affected villagers are heard and convinced , the mining lease cannot be extended.

Lets all PROTEST

so please share widely on your  blog, website, twitter, Fb page


UNMASK TRUE FACE OF TATA CLICK

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