Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Art of Hustling~Narcissism as Philanthropy

A term more abused than used, `Corporate Social Responsibility’ camouflages the headlong rush to hoowink gullible consumers – and hook them. There are honorable exceptions, of course. By Gaurav Sachdeo IIPM Knowledge Centre
Compassion for the physically & economically challenged inspired Mother Teresa, the Noble Laureate to nurture 610 foundations in 123 countries till September 5, 1997, a date which inscribes her rendezvous with eternity, leaving behind a legacy of love, humanity, compassion, honesty... It takes millennia for mankind to witness such God sculpted souls and a few smart ad campaigns peddled by a bunch of marketing meerkats & white collared hustlers to mutilate these legacies under the garb of “Corporate Social Responsibilities.”
  • Developing countries would lose about 70 percent of their human resource capital due to the certain 10 million deaths by 2030 courtesy 4400 poisons wrapped in branded attitude. The Friends of Earth, a British NGO, credits British American Tobacco and its 300-brand arsenal with 7,50,000 premature deaths annually. WHO reports 8,00,000 deaths from tobacco related diseases every year in India alone, an addiction which compels 60 percent of Indians to sell or pawn their assets in order to access healthcare.
  • Hustlers promoting branded death validate their existence by stressing on fallacious ingredients penned in their “Corporate Social Responsibilities agendas.” Mr. Don Harris, Vice President, Public Affairs, Phillip Morris says “For us, community initiatives have been a fact of life for almost fifty years.” Sparkling white collars often flummox communities with such incongruous comments and quotes.
  • Wow! the merchants of fatality care for the community by not designing ad campaigns for the youth but by funding million dollar in-depth researches on their lifestyle to come up with campaigns like “Mark of a Man” or organizing nocturnal boogies like Bacardi Blast motivating the youth to ‘Keep Walking’ towards frozen rituals to experience moments of divine hedonistic pleasures.
This world would have been a healthier place if companies like Phillip Morris or Diageo invested money in building a community of de-addiction therapists or cancer hospitals engaged in curing victims of their poison orequipping them with suitable medical and insurance packages rather than inventing label deaths.
  • Godfrey Phillips India Ltd salutes Indian bravery by celebrating “Red and White Bravery Awards” campaign judged by a panel comprising personalities from fields like Administrative Services, Police and retired Judges of Supreme Court and High Courts, social workers and media celebrities, across 14 states in India with an intention of strategically covering remaining parts of India. How do I react? Perhaps chortle at this sardonic association with valour. O Jesus I hope that thou art still in Heaven.
  • Nike the Greek God of sports would shudder at the thought of nicotine’s liaison with sports, we are delighted to know that the quality strokes by our cricketers are boosted by the energy of Wills moolah, Royal Stags powers our spinner’s googlies, ex-health ministers address masses with Bagpipers. Phew...

“Corporate social responsibilities” made for each other I guess. I lack the verve to overlook the eminence of the mighty greased palms which enact and implement insidous policies. “The Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003” enacted on May 18, 2004 managed to gain success in diversifying a whooping sum of Rs.2,500 million from advertising to surrogate advertising. Ladies and Gents please don’t be harsh to this pasta government by expecting a “Tobacco Cessation” drive because a disbursement of Rs.70 billion by way of excise (?) is a gargantuan figure to bloat a few Swiss bank accounts right. The fact that only tobacco and liquor giants skillfully manoeuvre policies & societies whimsically would be bigotry if we ignore the ostentatious efforts by cola giants, pharmas, PGA sponsors,et al.

Corporate coalitions possessing similar flamboyance not only ignore and ridicule gruesome realities inhabiting economies but also gnaw away at the efforts of Premjis, Gates, Chaudhuris, Bransons... Well this cataclysmic milieu has a greener side thanks to the dexterous efforts of the Tatas, an Indian conglomerate practicing & revolutionizing CSR since 1839-1904. Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, one of the greatest visionaries of industrial enterprise, who’s envisioned projects were adroitly brought to practical existence by his son Sir Dorabji Tata, the first chairman of Tata Enterprises. With the execution of “The Dorab Tata Charitable Trust” (which currently holds 63 per cent of the capital of the parent firm) he not only laid the official foundation of CSR in India but also sustained and multiplied his father’s legacies.

Be sure to lay wide streets planted with shady trees, every other of a quick-growing variety. Be sure that there is plenty of space for lawns and gardens. Reserve large areas for football, hockey and parks. Earmark areas for Hindu temples, Mohammedan mosques and Christian churches” J N Tata in a letter to his eldest son Dorab about his vision for the township that eventually became Jamshedpur.

From the upliftment of women to ecology management, health services to economic development, community development initiatives to engineering industrial co-operatives and so on, the Tata Group has been dexterously contributing towards addressing imperative issues pertinent to India’s survival through its industrious corporate governance and ardent corporate citizenship. Since 1977, Tata Motors has been adopting villages as part of their community development activities, presently they nurture 22 villages tackling basic problems like water scarcity, curative and preventive services, unemployment, upliftment of women, recreation, etc. to promote and facilitate a healthy meaningful life. These efforts are carried out on principles of self help irrespective of losses. These initiatives are not undertaken for propaganda or visibility but for contentment and ardor by choice.

Hope this case motivates a few narcissistic corporate hustlers to atone for their immoral care with legacies they have mutilated, to make them realize that there’s a lot to eradicate and cure in this fragile world. Billions of rehabilitations, eradication of hunger, posse of Rodeo Bushes to trim...

1 comment:

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