Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Is doing business a social smuggling? : Vanam Jwala Narasimha Rao

Vanam Jwala Narasimha Rao
The Hans India (05-10-2017)

Recently, a self-styled and so-called social scientist brought out a small booklet depicting Vaishya Community as the social smugglers (Illegal hoarders and transporters). For obvious reasons, the whole Vaishya community in one voice, in both the Telugu States took serious objections over it. Swamijis like Paripoornananda too have openly came out in support of Vaishyas on this issue and have clearly stated that the issues raised in the book are aimed at belittling and insulting the Hindu society at large. For all those who viewed the electronic media debates in which the author participated as well as those who read his articles in the print media have realised that the writer willfully tries to divert the debate. It goes without saying that the author has miserably failed to substantiate his vicious and malicious propaganda which had no basis at all! The writer could not defend his arguments in a scientific and logical manner but tried to raise matters, which are irrelevant and far from truth. This has clearly showed that the writer is fond of getting a cheap and quick publicity by writing fabricated, fantasized and often wilfully twisting the facts to suit to his baseless biases. He had no intention what so ever to present facts as facts before the people. All his other writings and books are only aimed at maligning some communities, sections in the society without any reason or rhyme. He is a hollow person with zero intellectual capacity and no ability at all to write something, which is a fact and based on facts.

By describing Vaishya community as smugglers, the author in other words is also saying that all the businessmen are thieves. Majority of Vaishyas in the past and mostly even today run small time business. Vaishyas were normally involved in running a small provision store in a village or in small towns, on which the entire social fabric of society depended. One or two provision stores in every village used to serve the day-to-day domestic needs of the people especially the poor and the marginalised. The provision stores owners used to supply the daily provisions to the locals throughout the month either mostly on credit or now-and-then on cash. This was a sociological necessity. Had they not extended credit to the locals, it would have been difficult to describe the living conditions in the villages and small towns. Then where is the scope for smuggling in this business! Will the author be able to explain this phenomenon?

Days have changed gradually. For running the daily provision store, not only Vaishyas but also many other communities have stepped in.  If we visit a village or a small town today, there are several categories of businesses exist. They include Provision stores, tea stalls, liquor outlets, small hotels, fertilizers and pesticides shops, fruit and flowers selling outlets, contracts and political business. In fact, every business model is there in the villages now which are handled by people from almost all the communities. Yadavs do the sheep business, Mudiraj and Bestha are into fish business, Weaving community into cloth business, Potteries into pottery, Gouds into Toddy and liquor business etc. Several communities including Vaishyas are into various categories of business. If Vaishyas are social smugglers, do all these business communities are also smugglers? Will this great self-proclaimed intellectual to spare a thought on this?

After the country attained independence, it gave birth to new entrepreneurship. But these entrepreneurs are not exclusively from the Vaishya community; there have been other castes too. After the independence several Acts, laws were passed to establish the socialist society where everyone have a chance. The Constitution had also provided schedules for the setting up Socialist-Secular democratic set up in the country.  With Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s Mixed Economy policy, a new business class had emerged above all castes and communities. There were several communities who have left their hereditary professions and embarked business as their profession. The Economic Reforms of the 1991 have heralded a new era for the emergency of new wave of entrepreneurship. In fact, even before the Economic liberalisation, premier institutions like the Indian Institute of Managements produced MBAs who became the first-time entrepreneurs and businessmen. Every marketing professional who had the marketing skills had become an entrepreneur businessman. Gradually, the businessmen from our country have attained the international name and fame. Among those, there were people from all the communities including the Vaishyas. Then should we call all of them as social smugglers as the writer did it with the Vaishyas?

However, we must accept a fact, though it may be unpalatable to us. Like Karl Marx said, the sociological order is dependent on the economic relations. Hence, in the past one community had an upper hand in the business, which was a natural phenomenon. Based on the then sociological situation, Vaishyas were entrusted with the responsibility of the business as part of the Chaturvarna Vyavastha (Four-layered Hindu Social Order).

Noted journalist and writer Harish Damodaran in his book “India’s New Capitalists” for which foreword was written by Nandan Nilekani had clearly wrote about how Vaishyas and others have become millionaires and multi-millionaires through their business ventures. The ignorant writer who described Vaishyas as social smugglers should take some time off and read this book, which will give him some insight into how the business empires were built in this country. How the business sector had undergone dramatic changes, this book will explain. Entrepreneurs took birth in the Chemical, Fertilisers, Jute, Iron and Steel, Plastics, Pharma, Electronics, Information technology and host of their areas, from several castes including Vaishyas. Without taking these facts into consideration and painting Vaishyas as the only community, which is in the business, and branding them as social smugglers is uncalled for. It is agreed that business communities like the Marwaris, Gujaratis, Parsis, Khojas, Sindhis, Chettiars, Boharas, Gujarati Banias, Jains were there.  However, as time passed people from other communities have also entered the business sector like Yadavs, Kammas, Reddys, Rajus, Velamas, Naidus, Ganders, Nadirs, Marathas, Hindu-Sikh Jats and so on. Along with them there were people from Kshatriyas, Brahmins and kayasthas. The Brahmins also made a mark later and Infosys is the best example.

Harish Damodaran had clearly explained how people from each community entered and reached heights in the business in his book. Damodaran writes that thanks to Sir Arthur Cotton who had constructed Doweleswaram Anicut by which Kammas benefitted a lot due to the fertile crops. The profits they made in agriculture they have diverted to other business and earned more profits. More profits came from the commercial crops like the Red Chilli, Cotton, Paddy, Turmeric, and Tobacco. If some people did paddy business others did Tobacco business. But none of these ever indulged in smuggling. Some of them invested in the film industry and some media industry and made money while some other benefitted from setting up the industries. Take for instance, Andhra Sugars, Andhra Scientific Company, KCP, Cooperative Sugar Mill in Vuyyuru, Sarvaraya Cotton Mill. Similarly, Reddys invested in the Mining, film business, contracts and they have constructed projects. Everyone knows about the international level success of the Satyam Computers whose promoter is a B Ramalinga Raju. Some Velamas have also made their mark in the real estate.

There is no community today, which is not into the business. If Vaishyas who do business are smugglers, is everyone in the business sector also a smuggler? I don’t think the writer of the ill-reputed booklet describing Vaishyas as social smugglers has any answer to this! END


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