Poison of western economic thought
gave bangles for African slaves, opium for the silver of China and beads for the
gold of the Incas and Mayas of South America. Exploitation
— it was natural to the ways of the whiteman. It has not changed to this day.
Live and let live — this
was not what inspired their economic doctrines. Instead,
they talked of “competition”. In practice, they used gun powder.
They have been a Cain to the Abels of the world.
Remember, the greatest sport
of the Romans was to let the lions tear up human beings: To let gladiators gore
Am I provoked? Indeed, I am,
for the whiteman continues to “exploit” the world. He is the cause of much
suffering. And, worse, he sells to the poor of the
world what is banned in his own native land and treats Asia and Africa as
dumping ground for dangerous toxins.
behind these activities is not a civilised mind. It reflects the barbarous past
of Europe. The mind is deadened by rapacious greed.
That others too have to make
a living — this has never been the concern of white men. Thus, the Manchester
textile factory owners saw nothing wrong in destroying the livelihood of
millions of Indian handloom workers in order to promote the livelihood of the
white workers of Manchester! Of course, profit was the first priority.
Am I taking up the past to
denigrate the people of the West of today? Certainly not. One can ignore the
black deeds of the past, although that is no easy task. How can the Africans
forget the slave trade and the Red Indians the genocide against their race? And
these by those who professed Christianity! But one cannot tolerate the
continuing criminal activities of the West in our times.
That tobacco is a health
hazard was known a century ago. But the Western manufacturers persisted in
foisting it on the world. Profit was all. Today they target the young (and women
too) of Asia and Africa as tobacco consumption is fast declining in the West.
That tobacco causes cancer, that millions go through agony — these are of no
concern to them. There is no easy way to block them for they are powerful
Liquor has been a killer of
a different kind. It causes alcoholism. Over the years, its consumption has gone
up by leaps. With a decline in consumption in the West, makers of Scotch whisky
are desperately trying to dump the surplus in Asia and Africa, particularly in
India, with its copious market and high purchasing power.
Globalisation has brought
McDonald’s and its French fries to every corner of the world. We are now told
that it has been selling beef-flavoured French fries! How could it have done
such a monstrous thing? Insatiable greed — that is the only answer.
And imagine this: a medical
device which can see the inside of the lung was found to be causing infection of
the lung! Although it is banned in the USA, the company continues to sell it in
All these have become
possible because the peoples of Asia and Africa have for long been subjected to
a feeling of inferiority — of self-hate. And admiration for everything
western. Which is why America gives so much importance to the export of its way
of life to the developing world. This was the unfinished business of
colonialism. It has already prepared the peoples of Asia and Africa for an
apotheosis of the market culture.
Of course, Indians are a
party to these criminal activities. Thus, highly toxic lead wastes, which can
cause blood and neurological disorders, imported from the West are sold in India
for re-use in car batteries. At one time there were 250 plants in Delhi alone to
re-cycle lead wastes! As India has no regulatory system, these activities have
continued and multiplied. Which explains how a US firm planned to dump 20 tonnes
of dangerous mercury in India. It was turned back when Indian NGOs got wind of
Today, indigent nations
accept nuclear wastes for burial against payment. In fact, a new pattern has
emerged: a hazardous industry is either transferred to the Third World or its
wastes are sold to Third World peoples for reprocessing or disposal. Sometimes
free incinerators are provided to burn the wastes, thus polluting the
Can the non-white people
object to these things? They cannot, for the whiteman can drag them to the WTO
court in the name of “free trade”.
Reap where you have not
sown. The whiteman is a master of this art. He has done little for the
development of the world. In fact, he was opposed to the industrialisation of
the developing world. India got much of the help from the socialist countries,
above all from Russia. And yet the West wants larger and larger share of the
Indian market, as if by right!
It is time to ask: is this
the way man should organise his economic life on which his life depends? Does
this add to his happiness? Or is the entire system causing a great deal of
avoidable sorrow? The answer should be obvious.
In spite of all these, how
is it that we are too eager to open up our markets? This is because our business
community’s concerned with only one thing: its profit. The care of the country
is secondary. Only when its own interests are threatened does it make
nationalistic noises. And our rulers (whatever their hue) they have shown least
interest in changing the ways of the world.
the USA champions human rights. It is legitimate to ask: is there a right
against economic murder? Have we a right against those who poison our food and
environment? It is time to raise these questions.