Surya P. Sethi has raised many substantive issues in the public interest (“Of Reliance, by Reliance, for Reliance,” July 1). Justice Louis Brandeis, former judge of the U.S. Supreme Court, said: “We can have democracy in the country or we can have great wealth in a few hands but we can’t have both.” Economic reforms initiated in 1991 have but one aim: to privatise public wealth and put them in the hands of a few.
Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat,
The article reminds me of a dialogue from the movie The Network: “There are no nations. There are no peoples. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies ... The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business ... The world is a business.” It is so true. The common man is dictated by the equations of the political and business class.
Surya P. Sethi has given a clarion call to the Opposition parties to join hands with Gurudas Dasgupta to stop the loot from gas pricing — yet another gigantic scam of UPA II. The irony is that the government, working overtime to stop/curb subsidies to people in the name of fiscal stability, has deceitfully opened the door for subsidising the purchase of gas for the power and fertilizer sectors.
Reliance has succeeded in forcing the government to raise the price of natural gas. The government has yet again proved that it exists not for the people but for corporates. The common man will suffer when the price of electricity rises and fertilizer becomes dearer for the farmer. Unless people realise that galat sehna sabse bada gunah hai (the biggest crime is to tolerate wrongdoing), policymakers will not change their way of thinking.
One must remember that the bulk of the costs involved in exploring and pumping out gas are based on the cost of plant and equipment, which are mostly imported. If the current gas prices do not permit profitable returns, wouldn’t it be smarter for the country to pay more for gas but ensure that the players and source stay Indian, saving our precious foreign exchange? And in the process ensure that our power plants and fertilizer plants run round the clock? The price determined by the government is still lower than the landed costs of imported gas. One should view the gas pricing as a pragmatic step and move on.
Surya Sethi has torn to shreds the old and new clothes of the Emperors of India, represented by the Congress leadership. It is obvious that the largesse given to the corporate giant will result in massive funds being diverted to the party to make a bid for a third consecutive term at the Centre. Eminent lawyers must approach the Supreme Court and stop this unmitigated loot of the country.