Sunday, June 01, 2008

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Oh, Give Me a Break….

I have this habit, I don’t know good or bad, of looking over shoulders at laptops and taking a peek at the stuff people near me are working on inside Bombay’s cattle pens, euphemism for trains. And there was this ordinary looking guy who was working on a powerpoint presentation. And, wow, he seems to be an employee of the biggest consumer products multinational in India, and is reading a presentation that was a sort of exhortation which ran as follows:

“A society’s values and environment are important parts in the company’s marketing effort. The company should always protect and upkeep social values.”

Imagine reading all this rot and not the daily newspaper in the train. (Not to imply that newspapers are full of uplifting stuff, and all, you know.) Not the exact words but something similar. So, what are the social values this company upkept over the years, huh?

That the fairness creams it so blatantly sells can get a girl with an inferiority complex a fairer skin and a good husband, that when we use the soap used by film stars we become as beautiful as them?

A big laugh to all that. Ha… ha… ha… ha…!

A corporation exists for the only purpose of making money for its owners and shareholders. Let this fact sink into you, smart guy with the laptop. And if you or anyone stands in the way of the corporation’s pursuit of money then you are the one who will have to quit. All these talk of benefiting society, social responsibility are bullshit.

That brings me to why Bill Gates would give so much to his foundation. Actually if Bill Gates’ heart bled so much for the poor of third world countries why doesn’t he sell all he has and give it to charity, as Jesus suggested to a follower? No, he has to have a foundation and only the foundation will help the poor, i.e., supply computers to schools in rural areas of India. Actually he is selfishly creating a market for his products in India, and he knows once people are hooked to windows, they would remain hooked for life.

And why don’t the companies that have schools, hospitals, universities genuinely admit the poor and the deserving? Because they do it for the tax breaks they get and the goodwill they receive out of bestowing favours to people whose services they need.

It makes me laugh, this corporate social responsibility, CSR, in short. That corporate type sitting near me looked like a fool to believe all the shit being dished out by the powerpoint presentation, that of companies going on about social upliftment and all that. He should know that if tomorrow he is struck by lightning the company will terminate him and not think about their social responsibility towards him.

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