Bob Dylan approved for France’s Légion d’Honneur #Music


Dylan’s nomination for honour is approved after reportedly first being rejected over his drug use and opposition to Vietnam war

Bob Dylan
 Bob Dylan, who has been nominated by Aurélie Filippetti, the culture minister, to be awarded the Legion d’Honneur. Photograph: Fred Tanneau/AFP/Getty Images

Reuters in Paris

American singer Bob Dylan may soon be awarded France’s highest distinction, the Légion d’Honneur, after his nomination was reportedly first tossed out over his marijuana use and opposition to the Vietnam war.

The green light given by the Legion d’Honneur’s council means France’s minister of culture may soon decorate Dylan – a symbol of 1960s counterculture – with the five-pointed star of the top “Chevalier” order.

He would join the ranks of singers such as Britain’s Paul McCartney and France’s Charles Aznavour to be so honoured.

The 17-member council determines whether nominations put forward by government ministers conform to the institution’s principles. Its grand chancellor, Jean-Louis Georgelin, confirmed it had approved Dylan’s nomination.

In a letter to the daily Le Monde published on Sunday, Georgelin called the singer-songwriter an “exceptional artist” known in the United States and internationally as a “tremendous singer and great poet”.

Satirical weekly Le Canard Enchainé reported in May that Georgelin had rejected Dylan’s nomination on the basis of his opposition to the war in Vietnam, where France was a former colonial power, and his presumed pot smoking.

Georgelin acknowledged to Le Monde that he had originally thrown out the nomination and cited what he called a “controversy” but did not elaborate further.

Culture minister Aurélie Filipetti had nominated Dylan – who in 1990 was given a lower rank of the award – for the highest “Chevalier” distinction.

The singer was awarded the top civilian honour in the United States, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in May 2012.

 

Corporate Social Responsibility and Satyamev Jayate #Aamir Khan


 

 Guest Post, Ipshita Samanta, writes for Kracktivism

 ‘“There must be some way out of here” said the joker to the thief

“There’s too much confusion”, I can’t get no relief
Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth. ‘  —-All along the watch tower, Bob Dylan

We are watching from watch tower. We are traipsing along the tricky road. Yet we are enjoying our smug delirious delusions. We belong to the army of workers, supporters of corporate. No, we are not here to talk in tropes. Rather there is severe need to redress the issue of corporate social responsibility. Our ‘’responsibility’’.

We can say corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a form of corporate self-regulation incorporated into a business environment. It works within realm of ethics, morality and international law. The goal of CSR is to accept responsibility for the company’s actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, shareholders and all other members of the community who may also be considered as stakeholders.’’

So in a more layman’s language CSR (corporate social responsibility; from here on CSR) is giving back some of the profits that corporate makes by lactating society’s resource to the people, to the nature in a word to the society itself. But this juxtaposition seems to be highly ironical, vacuously true. That is, if a profiteering organization strives by profit making why should they part their so dear sizeable portion? And if they do, why in the first place the free trade (this coinage is very much capitalistic; without which corporate presumably cannot do business) comes from barrel of gun, why they resort to the coercive methods? Why is there fierce competition to suck the cows dry? Why occlusion of peoples’ freedom of speech, democratic rights in most of the third world developing countries, where CSR is a comparatively newer concept.

Yes, we are talking about Vedanta, Posco and other expropriator corporate companies. In accordance to the rule book CSR is all about self policing, moral guide liners. But in real paradigm there is a shift between the definitions of commitment to the deed. We need not give the data. Data of exploitations, evidences of corruptions, instances of gross misappropriation are splashed in every nook and corner. State machinery is in cohort. Grapphiti is in the wall.

The face of Soni Suri is fading. Instead faking of happiness is in the wind.

So called messiah against corruption Mr. Anna Hazare is smiling.

Jago Bharat campaign of  Tata is buzzing.

Flocks of youth are in trance of corporate responsibility.

Ours own Oprah has came in to fore. He is the actor turned social reformer. Amir khan.

While he argues against sexs selection  he talks, discusses for the sake of destined to be unmarried 2 crore single men. He cries with the female guest who has been aborted against her wish for bearing female fetus. Yet his own child has been born out of surrogacy, one of the crudest forms of women slavery, lending your womb for money.

But he starts his program with jai hind. He remains politically correct. And also does not try to insinuate the patriarchal core. Commercial, eh? Oh it also has a greater production value. Every paisa will go the NGO run by Ambanis. The speculative money maker. The gambler whose speculations have drained surpluses of manufacturing sector in to the share markets, price fixings, speculative trade. Implicit assassinator of millions of farmers. Puppeteer of government. And he is protecting the girl child! Ironies do not stop here. Every corporate company has been tied to one or more NGO where they wash their bloody hands down. A laying off machine of black money. A devil in saint’s hood. Every slum in metropolises boasts of a NGO which is invariably linked to one or more corporate companies.

The network of capital and NGO is like infinite loop. To fix the poverty turn the lenders in to beggars. In return of education, health, infrastructural changes suck the country till death. And NGO becomes agent of death. Some will argue with trickledown effect. But is it not the one of most important reasons that in third world countries there is so higher political and bureaucratic corruption. To begin with let us look back in to the origin.

The term CSR came in to vogue in 60’s. The motivation was to make a social impact so that there could be long term profit. It involves with business ethics in a business environment. Cynics argued that it was merely a hoodwinking maneuver to the government to sideline the improper practices of big MNCs.

Also one of the aspects of the CSR was to treat human resources as capital or human capital, to potentiate them for future labor pool. So CSR is merely Keynesian approach to the corporate core value. A window dressing. CSR works as a lackey of business sustainability. A caudal approach to hide business agenda from the consumers. Also in the epoch of imperialism CSR has made up the ugly feature of neo classical economy in to a sacrosanct virtue. To facilitate the change of mode of production in the upcoming new economy from semi feudal to more aggressive oligarchy  CSR has played a big role. It has gained trust through its beleaguering methods. By building brand values it has cleared the path of monopolistic hegemony. And a way to survive in troubled water. A malignant growth which cannot be uprooted only by reformist attitude.

In Indian context in 2009 ministry of corporate affairs had published a guideline for inclusive growth and responsible business. We should note here everything is voluntary, i.e it is not a law to be abided. There come lots of good words. Ethical practice, respect for workers’ right, respect for human rights, environment keeping, social development activities and so on. But still everything remains fuzzy. Everything depends on the corporate will. And every single day every basic right is flouted. In our city the poor are driven into corner, they are being brushed under carpet. We are making our cities beautiful. Those who can buy have their amenities, we, the middle class commuter of vacillating bridge are in fear. And the poor have nothing to lose.

Here in the second episode of ‘Satyameva Jayate ‘Amir Khan tells of child abuse. 53% of the children are abused silently. Most of the incidents occur in their safeness of home. And we should not forget about the hapless child laborers. For whom there is no Amir Khan to shed tear on who are being molested, raped, sodomised in their work places. In the dark corners, in the alleys of corporate profit making factories they are sacrificed daily.

And still Amir Rocks!!!!

Ipshita  Samanta  is doing my phd in statistics from ISI, in kolkata

 

India: Drop false charges against those protesting against Vedanta’s land acquisition in Orissa and release them



AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL   PUBLIC STATEMENT

AI index: ASA 20/004/2012

25 January 2012

Amnesty International urges authorities in the eastern Indian state of Orissa to immediately release 47 villagers of Rengopalli who were arrested on 21 January for peacefully protesting the pollution of their ancestral land by Vedanta Aluminium’s Lanjigarh bauxite refinery, and to drop the charges against them.

The villagers were trying to stop Vedanta from taking over one of the two access roads to their village. The road is the most direct route to the village, as well as to the Vedanta refinery’s 60 hectare red mud pond, the second such repository for toxic waste from the refinery’s operations.

The first red mud pond, which had leaked twice during the monsoon season last year, is already full with toxic wastes. Research by Amnesty International has showed that the refinery and its red mud pond, which have been in operation for four years, do not meet national or international standards in relation to its environmental, social and human rights impact.

Amnesty International urges the state authorities to comply with their obligations under Indian and international law by immediately consulting with the affected communities at Rengopalli about the potential impact of the red mud ponds.

Vedanta Aluminium is a fully-owned subsidiary of UK-based Vedanta Resources. Residents of Rengopalli, one of the 12 villages surrounding the refinery, have been campaigning against the take over of their access road claiming the second red mud pond will further pollute their lands and water. They have also alleged that the local authorities had failed to duly consult with elected village councils in the area as required by law before deciding to take over the 0.5 hectare land on which the access road was located.

The arrested, including 38 Adivasis (Indigenous people) and 9 Dalits, face several charges including rioting and attempting to murder police officials who aided the company’s security guards and contractors. Bulldozers and other heavy equipment were used to take over the land; five Adivasi women sustained injuries in the police baton-charge during the protests.

The residents informed Amnesty International that, earlier, a local court, before which the company had filed a petition seeking police protection to take over the land under dispute, had sought further details on its status. But Rengopalli residents allege that the local authorities and the police swung into action, proclaimed prohibitory orders at the red mud pond site, charged 37 of the villagers with violating these orders and made them appear before the authorities on 20 January in an attempt to persuade them to renounce their resistance to the project.

Amnesty International believes that the local authorities, instead of protecting the rights of the Adivasis to their traditional lands and habitats as required by Indian and international law, acted in a manner which facilitated the takeover of their land for the company. Video footage of the confrontation shows local security forces cooperating closely with company officials and private security as they approached the peaceful protest.

After the Orissa high court last week dismissed the Vedanta Aluminium’s plea for a six-fold expansion of the refinery, Amnesty International reiterated its demand that the Indian authorities order its immediate clean-up, including of the first red mud pond which is full.

Please see below a link to a short film with foot age taken by Orissa residents illustrating events

Police and Security guards forcible removing people from land earmarked for a Vedanta toxic waste dump

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