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Ramesh Kumar from New Delhi/12 July 2016

Well, the title aptly sums up my mood this morning. Just because someone refuses to acknowledge what you’re pointing out about their irrational behaviour, it does not mean you’re being snubbed. Not at all.

There could be other reasons. Maybe, the party at the other end believes ignoring such accusations will lead to the evaporation of the criticism levelled against it. Yes, public memory is short. But that party is wrong to believe that such burial of criticisms would evaporate the issue on hand. Or could it be that the point levelled against them does not merit a rebuttal? Why? Because just not us but everyone else practices the same routine.

Why me? Am not alone. Good argument in a way. But just because it is an common or generic mistake committed wantonly by all, it does not absolve the crime doer.

Does the corporate have conscience? Someone asked. Yes, they do. Otherwise, why should there be a discussion on corporate ethics in board rooms? Ethics does not confine itself to clean and blemish financial dealings alone. It also includes non-financial behaviour.
Otherwise, the mercury issue involving Hindustan Lever in Ootacamund recently would have not become the talking point and forcing the multinational to initiate remedial action. Public outcry by those who have nothing to do with the company per se triggered or extra pressure forcing the company to act upon.

That brings us to another area: does the complainant a stakeholder? Who the hell is he to raise pointing fingers? When the alleged affected parties keeping silent, why some outsider cries hoarse? Interesting question. If this argument is accepted on its face value, Indian courts will have no PILs to deal with.

Many PILs get filed because the aggrieved party has no voice to raise the issue and learn to live with it. Like we say in India, only the child that cries gets its food even from the affectionate mother. So when the aggrieved party leaves everything to fate, the good samaritan walks in to project their cause.

“Never, never be afraid to do what is right. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our souls when we look away,” wrote late Martin Luther King Jr. Erosion of sympathy in the society at the state and individual levels is crumbling which Harish Mander points out is principally at the base of vast inequalities afflicting India. Need one say more?

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