back to corporations | rat haus | Index | Search


Secret deal by Enron defeats citizens of India

THE WAR & PEACE DIGEST, April/May 1996, Vol.4, No.1, p.6.

Enron, the Houston-based multinational engineering giant, has finally triumphed over a year-long, citizen-lead effort to halt a $2.8 billion gas-fired power plant a hundred miles south of Bombay in India. Local citizens have demonstrated violently against the project saying it was overpriced and would destroy fisheries and coconut and mango trees. They complained that the company would be "making profits off the backs of India's poor." New Delhi's Hindustan Times complained, "It is time the West realized India is not a banana republic which has to dance to the tune of the multinationals."

Rashmi Mayur, a leading urban environmentalist and head of the Bombay-based Global Futures Network, had led the opposition to the Enron plant on grounds that it would be disastrous for the economy and ecology of the area, with an inappropriately expensive, massive, centralized and foreign controlled enterprise. But early in 1996 the Indian government officially approved Enron's request to build the plant. "Even an alliance of new political parties, pledged to halt the project, ended up being bought by Enron after a secret meeting with the corporation's senior executives," Mayur said bluntly.

He pointed to the case as a grim demonstration that the transnational corporations have become the "real power of the Earth; the de-facto governments, operating outside the rule of law." He said the transnationals were now so rich they could buy up any government, including the United States government. "The governments have become merely the chauffeurs for the transnationals." he claimed. The transnationals, operating outside any authority, had created what he described as "the new global anarchy of the international marketplace."

The United Nations, he said, has proved ineffective in dealing with the challenge of the transnationals. "The UN is only; a forum. It can not enforce a judgment against the actions of the transnationals. Like governments, they can even walk out of the World Court if they wish."

Environmental Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) were also powerless to obstruct the juggernaut of the transnationals. "It was the same with the French nuclear testing or the illegal Japanese and Norwegian whaling ." Mayur said. "The NGO's could do nothing to stop them."

The biggest transnationals, he pointed out, were the international arms manufacturers feeding the world's arms bazaars. "That is why the Pentagon is more powerful than any political party. Its annual $260-billion budget represents one third of all military spending on the planet. And in some third world nations, the military budgets are rising by more than 10% a year."

Mayur is not optimistic that the media, as it presently exists, can -- or will -- do anything about the transnational anarchy. "The major media are all controlled by multinational corporations." However, Mayur sees some encouragement in the new global communications technology like Internet. He also points to the global grass roots protest against France during the recent nuclear tests. "The whole Earth must now become the grassroots," he said. "Then, and only then, can we hope for an end to the madness of the nation states and the transnationals who control them, and look ahead to the coming unity of humanity."

See Also:
from the Multinational Monitor's, "Shameless: 1995's 10 Worst Corporations".

back to corporations | rat haus | Index | Search