After his home was raided by investigators, shares in his company fell by 15 percent. The question arose as to whether his business was sustainable or would it collapse like a house of cards. This is when he hired Miniya Chatterjee to act as 'Chief Sustainability Officer'- i.e. be part of a P.R whitewash- for three years. However, it was soon obvious that this sort of eye-wash impressed nobody. It was a waste of money. Actually producing and marketing a competitive product is all that matters. Sustainability means nothing else.
Miniya took a different view. This was Miniya's most recent statement to 'stakeholders'-
This has been a very special year. By pivoting steadily on its intrinsic strength, JSPL was able to recalibrate itself organizationally.Jindal's intrinsic strength was cheating the people of Jharkand out of their natural resources. Apparently it has been pivoting on this strength. Pivoting towards where? Odisha?
The business model was turned around to have a more solid front end.Because, previously the front end was not solid but very loose indeed.
Our raw material procurement strategy is more robust.i.e. involves more than just corruption, criminal misconduct, cheating and criminal conspiracy
And in this past year there was more progress made than ever before to ensure JSPL’s holistic growth through extraordinary initiatives in our social commitment, energy efficiency, compliances, risk management, and talent development of employees.Yes, yes, corruption and cheating are very holistic activities when part of a criminal conspiracy. No doubt, what is extraordinary about Jindal's initiatives is that they are all of a piece with its 'intrinsic strength'.
But what is that strength? Judge for yourself-
In FY 2015-16 JSPL’s business sustainability department worked across all functions and businesses of the company to take care of aspects that are important for the long term and not just the urgent ones.It was urgent to keep Jindal out of jail and get the Courts to drop charges against him and his company. There will be no long term if this isn't done.
Worthless verbiage won't cut it. Indeed, it adds negative value. This is rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic with a vengeance. Investors will flee from this sinking ship.
Remarkably, JSPL’s business sustainability department acted as an incubator to create important new departments at JSPL - such as the Compliance & Risk Management department, the Energy Efficiency department - that are crucial for the company’s business longevity.No Company needs to 'incubate' yet more pointless Bureaucracy and apple polishing. The Jindals aren't stupid. They cut the budget for this exercise in stupidity and eased Miniya out to go incubate elsewhere.
Oddly Miniya herself reveals this detail in an excerpt from her book she published in an online e-zine. Clearly the lady is pulling out all the stops to advertise her talent for incubation. But what does that talent consist of? The answer is it consists in being as stupid as shit.
Reading extracts from her book we can clearly see why a criminal Corporation might hire her to do a PR whitewash. She is utterly ignorant and wholly unable to reason.
Consider the following statement-
An entire book can be written on the number of reasons Indians feel constantly deprived of resources.India is poor. Poverty means being deprived of resources. That's it. That's your whole book.
But Miniya takes a different tack-
The approach to parenting in India has been severely affected by this, with parents hoping that their children will make up for what they lack, in terms of the evolution of social and/or economic status.Miniya may believe there is some country where parents want the kids to have less than they do. So their approach to parenting is different from that of Indians.
We ask ourselves as parents: How can I ensure that my child has what I do not have?No, we ask ourselves 'how can I ensure that my child WILL have what I do not have.'
Can my child improve my own condition?No. It is against the law to send your kid out to work or to prostitute it in some way.
While the first question seems altruistic, the second question is considered selfish and unspeakable.Quite rightly so.
A parent who sacrifices many years of his life to further the career of their child, and does not work hard enough towards their own, is regarded as morally superior to the parent who works at achieving his own personal ambition.A parent has to work hard in his or her own career to earn money to further the career of the child. Suppose I give up my job in order to pimp out my daughter in the hope that one day she is considered the doyen of her profession, I would be regarded as morally inferior, not superior, to a guy who works hard at achieving his own personal ambition to be the best heart surgeon in the world.
This is odd, because by this logic, an industrialist who toils to produce a fortune and a man who robs a bank can be regarded as equally immoral, since they both have sought wealth for their selfish benefit.Robbing a bank is illegal. It involves theft which is immoral. Thus a robber can't be regarded as equally moral or immoral as a law abiding industrialist.
Still, we can now understand why the Jindals hired you. You genuinely believe Crime is a good thing.
There is a demonisation of selfishness that has created double standards and contradictions in relationships, including that between a parent and a child.Rational self-interest is not demonised at all provided it operates within the law and outside repugnancy markets- like pimping your child.
There are no 'double standards and contradictions' in any relationships- least of all that between parent and child.
Working mothers suffer from the guilt and social stigma of being too selfish to not be with their children all day.Nonsense! If the working mother is hiring the best nannies and tutors for her children, their achievements become the object of envy not censure.
It is a different matter that a woman who hates being with her kids feels guilt. She did wrong in giving birth to them and not having them immediately adopted by someone who would love and cherish them.
There is a social stigma attaching to people who can't or won't perform their filial duty. Why? Such people may be unreliable in other contexts as well.
A man who abandons his family saying 'I want to be an artist' may well abandon art as well when he finds it tiresome or too much bother.
In India the forces that make them feel so are at work even before a child is born.All over the world, a pregnant woman who is smoking and drinking and engaging in behaviour likely to harm the child in her womb will feel either guilt or face social stigma or both.
Around the time I began writing this essay, I discovered I was pregnant. Elated at the news, I immediately went to a gynaecologist at a well-known clinic in the posh Khan Market area of central Delhi. The doctor was a pleasant, middle-aged woman dressed in a pastel cotton salwar kameez. Swinging out of her chair behind the desk, she briskly walked over to her ultrasound machine and asked me to lie down on the bed next to it. A quick check later, it was confirmed that a child was indeed in the making. Thereafter, she was chatty, obviously accustomed to naive first-time mothers-to-be like myself, and was ready to offer ample advice.So, unless there was some complication Miniya is not telling us about, the gynaecologist was shit at her job. She was giving bad advise. Miniya has a smartphone. She could verify this for herself.
“You must now restrict yourself to the bed. Just lie still and avoid movement,” she said.
“Lie in bed for the next seven months?!” I asked, aghast. “What about travel? I have to be in Dubai and Paris for work next month!” “No, no, avoid air travel. No exercise. No sex. Eat bland food,” she admonished. “Make these sacrifices for your baby.”
I sat there staring at her, devastated at the pronouncement and the prospect of the next few months.Why did you do so Miniya? Did you really believe this woman was giving you sound medical advise? In which coal mine have you been hiding for the last two decades? If you are so gullible about something like pregnancy what kind of 'Chief Sustainability Officer' could you have been for the Jindals? When they said 'everything is clean and above board' did you just nod your head?
A few moments later, I felt even worse, guilty that I was thinking about lifestyle and work commitments instead of the well-being of my unborn child. But I had erroneously presumed that an experienced doctor’s advice must be based on scientific facts.An experienced doctor's advise is based on the sort of patients of whom she has experience. It may well be that the sort of young brides she regularly treats have certain endemic conditions like anaemia, or face certain domestic pressures- e.g. reassuring the mother-in-law that the son is not getting 'addicted' to sex- and that airline travel is to be avoided because the temptation would be to return to the parental home which might mean that the child is less strongly tied to the father's family. This sort of thing could cause business disputes later on. Thus, the Doctor's advise may reflect a specific socio-economic milieu. Miniya should have explained that she'd been living abroad and had a different life style.
“Do not eat papaya and pineapple,” the doctor continued with her advice.Well, better safe than sorry. There may be something to this particular 'old wive's tale' at least for Indian women.
A few months later, at a jazz bar in one of Delhi’s luxury boutique hotels, I was stopped by a bouncer at the door.Once again, this is a case of better safe than sorry. There may have been some gangster type MLAs in there. The bouncers were better placed to know if this was so.
“Madam, no. You cannot enter,” he said.
“You are pregnant.”
“Yes, so?” I asked, surprised. “I have a few months to go before I deliver!”
“Sorry, we can’t let you in – hotel policy,” he said, holding me by my elbow and taking me aside.
“Which law is this hotel policy based on?” I asked. By now, the man had been joined by his colleague, both dressed in black pant suits with walkie-talkies in hand.
“No, no policy, there is just loud music and a lot of movement inside. People are walking around, it is not safe for pregnant women,” the second man said.
“And who are you to decide what is safe for me?” I asked. “A pregnant woman is capable of using her own judgement about what is best for her.”
“I have heard pregnant women should not go to bars,” said the first man. “You cannot enter, madam.”
Another two months later, in the last trimester of my pregnancy, I began to wonder and plan how I could best manage all the changes that would come with the baby. I decided to work till the end of my pregnancy, until the delivery, and thereafter take about three months of maternity leave. The Government of India had recently and generously extended the duration of paid maternity leave from three months to six. I wanted to be active, productive and financially secure as well as a good mother, and give my utmost to my firstborn. In all the previous organisations I worked at – none of them in India – I came across women who were pregnant, yet living a healthy, active and efficient work and social life until the last day of their pregnancy. That was how I had always aspired to be. Moreover, since age seventeen, I had earned my living and I wanted to continue doing that to fend for myself and ensure my baby’s comfort. I had checked that I was medically healthy enough to do so.So these guys hire her for a purely cosmetic purpose. They tell her 'there is nothing much to do at work anyway'. Why on earth does she still want to come into work? It is pure vanity. She wants to be able to say 'I came into work, though there was no work to do- actually my job was a complete sham- just a P.R whitewash, that is all- because...urm...I don't care if the 'work' I do is a sham. All I care about is appearances. I want to appear to be doing such an important job that I have to come in even when heavily pregnant.'
“You must keep your priorities straight,” a top human resources executive once told me.
“And which are?”
“Your priority is your baby. In the last two months before your delivery, you should stop working. There is nothing much to do at work anyway. Budgets have been squeezed as well.”
“Of course not. I am in good health, and I will work till the end of my pregnancy.”
“No, it will not be possible for us to allow that. I have consulted all our colleagues and we think it is best for you to rest and return only after six months or so.”
“Six months! That is for me to decide, isn’t it?” I asked, rolling my eyes at this judgement passed by the company’s all-male top management. “What about maternity? Will these six months be paid?”
“No. You can avail the medical insurance provided by the company. We have a very good insurance package that will cover a lot of the medical costs,” he said.
Why did Miniya not threaten to sue her employer if they failed to provide 26 weeks of paid maternity leave as mandated by law? They may have had their own reasons for wishing for their 'Chief Sustainability Officer' to be absent. But, at least, Miniya could have forced them to pay for this privilege.
The beginning of the journey of parenthood is often scarred by stereotypes based on the personal beliefs of doctors, entertainment providers and employers, who would usually be expected to abide by science, fact and law.But, Miniya, the only reason they are expected to abide by these things is because people complain when they don't. Why didn't you complain? Why did you not threaten your Doctor with an adverse write-up in one of the many magazines you write for? Why did you not contact the Senior Management of the Hotel with the jazz bar? Why did you not sue your employer to force them to abide by the law re. paid maternity leave?
But in India, this is not always the case. For example, I later discovered that my gynaecologist had mixed old granny tales of abstinence from papaya and pineapple into her medical beliefs.Later? Why not immediately by consulting your smartphone?
Regular exercise and a healthy sex life, I later learnt, are beneficial during pregnancy.But I knew that from the books we bought when our son was first conceived back in the Eighties. Why are you so retarded compared to ordinary people?
My unborn baby and I travelled to six countries and there was no problem. All this makes me wonder how many pregnant women in India are grounded by the agents of society, their health ruined by lack of activity, spirits dampened by clichés, and their careers written off by narrow-minded employers who wrongly undermine their capabilities. If they do not give in to these pressures, they are made to feel terribly guilty about being bad parents.No Indian airline prevents a pregnant woman of 35 weeks or less to board a plane. There may be some business communities who cling to irrational practices in this connection but they are wealthy so it is doubtful that health is actually ruined.
Your employer told you your job was a sham. You had already written off your career by going in for something wholly cosmetic. Had you been doing something mission critical or even marginally useful, your employer- acting out of rational self-interest- would have tried to get as much work out of you as possible while it was safe to do so.
The demonisation of selfishness continues to be inflicted on parents even after their baby is born.By whom? Where is this demonisation you say occurs? Either some 'agents of society' said 'you are a she-devil for doing x' or they didn't. If they didn't, no demonisation occurred. All that happened was people did their jobs as they thought fit. You alone failed to do your job as you thought fit- unless you wanted to work in a wholly bogus role for a politician/businessman accused of having swindled the exchequer.
Parents who cannot afford to provide the best material facilities for their child are made to feel that they have been egoistic and not sacrificed enough.Made to feel by whom? Name names. Who has the time and resources to go knocking on the doors of hundreds of millions of Indians saying 'you egotistical bastard! You are not buying your kid the latest iPad Pro! Shame on you for spending your money on daal and rice! You are not sacrificing enough!'
On the other hand, young couples who are both working hard to earn a livelihood in the 24/7 corporate work culture in India are shamed for being “absent parents”.They should be ashamed for being parents unless they can pay for as good or better a standard of care for their kids when they themselves are absent. But in that case their kids will do well and their style of parenting will become an object of envy or emulation.
Divorced parents face the social stigma of choosing their own happiness over that of their children, who are assumed to derive a benefit from the presence of quarrelling parents.Nonsense! Kids benefit from parents who are kind and nurturing. Divorce is not a good thing. It suggests poor judgement or some other type of problem which is likely to resurface in other contexts. The stigma here is perfectly rational.
In contrast, as I pointed out earlier, parents who make great sacrifices of their own happiness, for the education or careers or well-being of their children, are considered by society to be morally superior to those who have not done so.This is kin selective altruism and it is rational to admire it. However, Society may not be rational- it may be ontologically dysphoric. It may praise a Gandhian, who ruins his kids life-chances, because this permits virtue signalling or justifies neglect of the education and welfare of the rising generation.
Often, this is despite the tendency of the sacrificing parent to suffer a deep sense of resentment. Such a parent might hope that the child would make sacrifices for the parent’s benefit as well, making it akin to a burden.It is normal to inculcate children into the prevailing moral economy by a process of negotiation. In the process, both sides clarify what type of onerous or uncompensated sacrifices they resent and a better equilibrium is found. Miniya, however, feels this is very wicked and bad. Every family should have a Chief Sustainability Officer to declare that pimping your kids is part of 'holistic growth'. Only in this way can 'Indian instincts' be overcome.