'Indian corporates could do more'
Surfers agree corporate India must loosen its purse strings for the betterment of society. Read on...india Updated: Sep 09, 2006 13:53 IST
We carried a story titled "Where are India's Gates and Buffets?" Clearly, the generosity of the American rich as against their Indian corporate counterpart has evoked quite a response.
Many people were appreciable of the writer and wanted the Indian corporate czars to emulate their western counterparts. But many wrote to say that corruption and lack of accountability in public life did India more harm and needed immediate attention. Many others felt Indian industrial houses did work for the public.
Here's how the feedback went.
Chandan from Washington DC, USA wrote the feeling of charity had vanished from Indian consciousness.
"Very good article indeed! I guess this concept of donation and giving back to the community has vanished from Indian society. In the US, service to community is taught in schools and your responsibilities and duties to community are so deeply imbibed that you have a great sense of obligation to your society."
"Though the tycoons and film stars should set examples by contributing to help poor, Indian schools should teach the virtue of giving back to society. In how many schools are children asked to go to some nearby village or slum and help the poor?"
Sharad Tripathi from Paris, France wrote to say how he felt ashamed watching the display of money at steel tycoon Laxmi Mittal's daughter's wedding.
"Mittal's daughter's marriage was given much publicity by Indian TV but here in France, many of us like me, felt ashamed at this ostentatious display of wealth. If there was such an opposition to his take over of Arcelor, even if he probably never understood, it was because of this splurge when everybody knows here that a third of India lives below the poverty line."
Rajinder from New York, USA was touched to read the article.
"I want to congratulate you for writing such a nice article. It really touched my heart. I hope it will make some difference in the mindset of the big people to do something concrete to uplift the poor rather than talking of poverty. Keep it up and we are all with you in this cause."
R Singh of New Delhi, India felt they could instead contribute in curbing corruption.
"First let them try to eradicate corruption and greed, which are the bane of modern-day India. Only then can we think of anything else."
Arun of Fremont, USA felt they could first get honest for a change.
"Can we convince the corporate bosses and film icons to pay their fair share of taxes first?"
Mustafa felt rich man's philanthropy would follow any way.
"Gates and Buffets wouldn't hurt. But I think we can do with better politicians who could do more constructive work rather than inflame trouble over national songs and the like. I strongly believe Indian 'Gates and Buffets' would come in the course of time."
Anil of Los Angeles, USA didn't think very highly of Gates and Buffet's charitable leanings.
"Don't be greedy. I am sure India's Gates and Buffets will arrive in time. Buffett is at the end of his career and Gates is trying to clean his image and both face heavy taxes if they wait to plan their estates."
Writing under the pseudonym "Ar" wrote in from Bangalore to say that India could do without charity of the likes of Mittal.
"It's not obligatory for Laxmi Mittal or any other businessman to start making philanthropic contributions. Indians, as a people, do not expect someone to rescue them nor is it necessary. As long as enough people contribute through the political process to lift the country economically, these individual efforts can wait."
However not everybody was convinced that Indian corporates didn't contribute for charitable purposes.
"Haven't you heard of charitable industrial house like the Tatas?" asked Bahmanshah Sanjana of Houston, USA.
Though Amit from USA appreciated the writer he felt Indian corporates were not without a heart.
"I know the Tatas worked a lot during earthquakes, tsunamis etc. But I totally agree to your point. Very good article! Very apt in today's situation."
While Bangalore's Venkat wondered if creating jobs was a better objective.
"What is a better - charity or creating jobs and providing livelihood to people?" he asked.
All views and opinions presented in this article are solely those of the surfers and do not necessarily represent those of HindustanTimes.com.
First Published: Sep 09, 2006 12:45 IST