S V Singh //
“We are fighting MODI-ADANI-AMBANI”. Farmers have made the equation simple and straight. Dust is settling down with each passing day, letting the reality get clearer and clearer. How much time used to be lost in explaining that the state power is vested in the hands of the bourgeoisie and the governments, be it A or B are nothing but their management committees!! Even the most gullible, the most politically ignorant lot of those who always ‘mind their own business’, never notice the fire around until it reaches their ‘safe and secure’ pigeon holes, know that Modi government is fighting most doggedly, prepared to go to any extent quite literally, in the interest of the Corporate Class. Farmers have been their most loyal and faithful segment of our society so far but the present fascist regime cares a hoot about them when interests of their real masters are at stake. Interestingly, even that section of society which has always been scared of criticizing any government, never takes ‘risk’ of opposing any barbarity perpetrated by the state about whom the celebrated poet Ramdhari Singh Dinkar wrote, ‘Jo tatasth hain vaqt likhega unka bhi apraadh (Time will fix criminality of even those who remain indifferent), are bewildered, displaying horrified looks, find their eyes widely opened and are asking embarrassing questions to the bhakts of the fascists. This is no insignificant a feat and the fighting farmers deserve sincere congratulations for that. It’s now clear like a daylight that Modi and Adani-Ambani cannot be fought separately, they have to be taken up jointly and severally. Temperature has crossed 90 -degree mark, reaching nearer the boiling point and the heating that was calm so far has begun making noise. Reverberations are getting louder and louder making even the deaf hear, unambiguously.
Capitalist edifice is crumbling down. Time has crossed the point by which the ‘normal’ exploitation of labor by parasite class by maximizing degree of exploitation and then usurping surplus value created by workers used to be adequate. This exploitation used to be concealed, unidentifiable to the majority of society as if it is the normal, natural practice. Volatility and vulnerability created by the crisis of the present dying order has led to instability of the degree when even the bigger sharks feel insecure, even though there is no apparent threat from the revolutionary working class at present. Crocodiles are bitterly fighting among themselves, throwing the caution of covering their bloody affairs to the wind and are out to gulp everything before others pounce upon it. This has put the class of Adani & Ambani apart from their tribe. Their own established system of exploitation is going haywire as they are desperate to appropriate entire resources of the nation in one bite, earlier than the other. Profile of Gautam Adani and his journey from a college drop out of eighties of last century to the second richest person after Mukesh Ambani of the nation today, having total valuation at 32.4 billion (Rs.236520 crore) adding Rs.459 crore to his booty daily, deserves to be examined to know the working of a dying system. An amount of $21.1 billion (Rs.154330 crore) is added to his net worth during 2020 alone even when no business took place because of lockdown!! Modi government is fighting a bitter, cunning, life and death battle against the formidable and so far, loyal farming community. This bares the real functioning of the bourgeois state in the last phase of its life.
Adani is growing @48%: Hurricanes are never slow and mild and are never peaceful. The most eventful ‘Modi- Era’ commenced in 2001 as chief minister of Gujrat and is going ahead full steam. If you think that Adani learnt the ‘trick of the trade’ from Modi, you are wrong. He learnt to bend the system to serve his interest well before that, just after the ill famous neo liberalization onslaught of the early nineties (1994-95) when Congress was in power both in Gujrat (Chhabildas Mehta) and at center (Narsimha Rao-Manmohan Singh). All intellectuals and financial experts of those days, the paid servants of the bourgeoisie used, to sell ‘Special Economic Zones’, reserved protected areas for free play of capital as harbingers of prosperity for the poor of the nation!! Like Modi, Adani too always thinks big and his Adani Exports Limited grabbed the biggest land at the very first and the biggest SEZ at Mundra in Gujrat. Even Adani’s agri business empire, the most talked about topic of the day, began during Congress rule.
During the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Adani’s private jet, was ferrying Modi all over the nation, without bothering to hide his name, day and night, not for free. Just before that fateful election while Modi was CM of Gujrat, total 15946.32 acre of land was doled out to Adani Group in Mundra block of Kutch district of Gujrat. Can anyone believe the rate, @Re 1 to Rs.32/ per sq meter!! Who said that Achhe Din haven’t come!! “This is necessary to promote business”, Modi rebuffed criticism in his peculiar performing, dramatic style. Within just 2 months, Sep & Oct 2018, Adani Gas Limited was awarded 25 contracts to supply piped natural gas network across India, 15 on its own and 10 as joint venture with IOCL. During the year 2018 alone, apart from winning gas bids, Adani Group acquired Reliance Power’s electricity transmission business in Mumbai, GMR’s Thermal Powerproject in Chhattisgarh, L & T’s Katputli Power in Chennai and a power transmission line owned by KEC International in Rajasthan, waste water treatment plant in Allahabad entering into sewage treatment market. Last year, before elections, on 16th March 2019, BJP led Jharkhand government doled out 16 acres of land to Adani Power for a paltry amount of 58 lakh for a period of 30 years! Intoxicated by power they think, they will rule the nation forever!!
Adani doesn’t differentiate among bourgeois parties according to the color of the flag they waive but how fast and how brazenly they bend rules to serve his interest, how big they think!! He succeeded in hoodwinking both ruling and opposition parties even of Australia while getting approval for $7-billion (about Rs.51100 crore) Carmichael coal plant in Australia in 2017. There was opposition to Adani’s projects in Australia but that was from the environmentalists, not from the politicians. Between 2014 to 2017, Adani group entered new sectors like wind energy, solar manufacturing, lending, power distribution, sewer treatment, aerospace and defense. In September 2017, it tied up with Swedish defense giant SAAB to make unmanned aerial vehicles and helicopters. The group owned total 44 projects during Congress rule before takeover of the Indian state by Modi and now this group owns total 92 projects across the country. There exists no business sector untouched by Adani Group today. They have announced future investment of Rs.1,67,000 crore by 2022.
Airport Grabbing Whirlwind: Corporate looters are never swayed by emotions. There are strong reasons for them to prefer Modi particularly during this crony and neo liberal phase of capitalism. Here is the example, why? Six airports of the country; Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Jaipur, Lucknow, Mangaluru and Thiruvananthapuram had been upgraded recently at the cost of huge public money. Violating all the laws, throwing advice of his own ministries into the dustbin and showing the ‘experts’ their place, Modi government announced privatization of 6 airports in Feb 2019. The changes in rules of tendering brought about by Modi government enabled Adani grabbing all 6 airports although it had no experience or expertise to manage airports. Award of these 6 airports to Adani was announced on 25th Feb 2019 but the news went unnoticed, undebated as everyone was overwhelmed with euphoria of IAF attacking ‘terrorist centers’ in Pakistan the very next day, displaying rare acumen of managing public discourse. When Kerala government challenged the decision in court, government conceded without blinking that mandatory consultation process with state government and public was not followed!! The transaction was not stalled even after that!! Process of privatization of six more airports; Bhubaneshwar, Indore, Trichy, Amritsar, Raipur & Varanasi, is on and its obvious who will get the awards!! GVK Group managing the giant Mumbai airport was arm twisted till they agreed to share 74% stake with Adani. Instead of selling airports @ 6 at a time, no one will be surprised if one finds boards of Adani Airports at all the remaining airports to save time and ensure ‘ease of doing business’!! Adani Energy Limited has jumped more than sixfold during 2020 alone. It has grabbed $6 billion (Rs.43800 crore) solar-power deal as the Adani company has a goal of becoming the world’s largest renewable-energy maker by 2025.
Modi is the darling of corporates not without reason. He stands clearly out of the entire ilk of other options available on hand. Look at the gifted talent he commands in swaying the masses and his clients simultaneously when he taught them ABC– Avoiding, Burying & Confusing!! Addressing business leaders at the ET Global Business Summit in New Delhi, Modi went into his familiar rodomontade best, “instead of avoiding issues, we addressed them; instead of burying, we dug it out, and instead of confusing, we came up with solutions”.
Adani’s Silos Bare The Real Face Of Modi Government
The company, Adani Agro Logistics Limited was incorporated in 2005. The purpose declared was storage and transportation (distribution) of food grains and providing end to end supply chain solution to Food Corporation of India (FCI) and various state governments. The first silo was commissioned at Moga in Punjab and Kaithal in Haryana in 2007 with a dedicated railway line with fully automated operations. Punjab government introduced Private Entrepreneur Guarantee in 2008 to cover the gap between need and procurement of FCI by private players during 11th five -year plan. This all happened during the tenure of Manmohan Singh as PM and Captain Amrinder Singh as CM in Punjab and Bhupinder Singh Hudda as CM in Haryana. This bares the hypocrisy of Congress which too is opposing the Agri bills hysterically and this is the reason why the fascist BJP always wants that it should always remain the same binary; BJP VS CONGRESS. These parties differ only in pace of implementation and degree of recklessness and brazenness, nothing else. Since the crisis of the capitalism these times is getting fatal and desperation has reached the level when it is not possible to disguise the loot by the bourgeoisie, BJP under Modi is the first choice of the monopoly capital in place of slow and steady, Congress.
The ‘policy paralysis’ was done away with after 2014 and implementation went into the top gear. It is also obvious that the script for offering the vast and vital agricultural sector to the corporate for loot was written in 2005 during Congress rule. It was rewritten, before Modi was launched by the beneficiaries as ‘a dynamic leader to take the economy into another orbit’ and the ‘animal forces’ were let loose after that. Adani’s private jet put to use for Modi exclusively during 2014 elections, though noticed by all but did not provoke any debate, such was the euphoria created by the ultranationalist and rabidly communal agenda orchestrated at deafening pitch by the sold-out media. Shanta Kumar Committee was constituted in August 2014 itself within 3 months of oath taking ceremony of Modi. Ashok Gulati who is a prominent member of the Supreme Court appointed committee to ‘convince’ the farmers that these agricultural changes are in their interest and Adani is constructing silos all over the country in their interest only!!! He was a prominent member of Shanta Kumar Committee as well. Present 3 agricultural policy changes in the shape of these agricultural laws are born from the womb of Shanta Kumar Committee only.
On 09.06.2016, FCI entered into agreement with Adani’s company AALL (who else!!) to construct 2 silos with a combined capacity of 75000 tons at Kotkapura in Punjab and at Katihar in Bihar. Level of ‘motivation’ of the state machinery to implement Adani projects can be understood by one example. For construction of a silo at village Jondhan Kalan, Panipat District, letter for change of land use of the agricultural land was signed by the Director of Town and Country Planning, Chandigarh on May 10th, 2020 when entire country was under strict lockdown and all government offices were closed and scare of the deadly pandemic Covid-19 was at its maximum. As reported by Business Line dated Sep 5, 2018, Adani’s silos were constructed in Punjab, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, West Bengal, UP, Bihar, MP, Gujrat having a storage capacity of 12.75 lakh ton by Aug 2018, silos worth capacity of 4 lakh ton of food grains were under construction and the company’s target was to construct silos with storage capacity of 20 lakh ton all over the country by 2022. According to a report published in Business Line dated May 10, 2020; Adani’s AALL company owns 7 goods trains to transport the food grains from north India to the needy centers across the country. During the first 2 months of the lockdown, the company transported 30000 tons of food grains. Company is gearing up to control entire food grain trading of the nation. “The transportation of the stored food grain is in specially designed covered wagons, capable of handling bulk food grains (which are top loading and bottom discharge). Adani Agri Logistics Limited has procured seven rakes, each consisting 50 wagons” reported AALL. Company also declared an ambitious plan to construct seven logistic parks, 900000 sqft warehouse space and 30 rakes with an overall target to double the infra structure facility in 3 years. For food grain procurement, Company’s projections are mind boggling:
|Year||Projections (INR Cr.)|
As per information submitted by the company, AALL, on 28.02.2019 with BSE and NSE, location of Adani Silos is as follows:
- Operational projects: Moga, Chennai, Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Kaithal, Navi Mumbai, Hugli, Devli, Kotakpura, Dewas, Ujjain, Satna, Harda, Hoshangabad.
- Under implementation: Katihar, Panipat, Kannauj, Moga, Raman, Mansa, Nakotda, Barnala & Bhatinda
- Newly awarded: Dahod, Borivali, Dhamora, Samastipur & Darbhanga
Sky is the limit for thinking of both, Modi and Adani!!
According to Business Standard report dated Nov 13, 2020, Adani’s total 6 listed companies; Adani Enterprises, Adani Ports & SEZ, Adani Power, Adani Power (Mundra), Adani Transmission, Adani Green Energy & Adani Gas owe a total debt of $30 billion (Rs.219000 crore); $7.8 billion (Rs. 56940 crore) worth bonds and $22.2 billion (Rs.162060 crore) as loans. Calculating at a modest rate of @8%, the company needs Rs. 12965 crores annually to serve interest alone. He is borrowing heavily from international banks also. Global imperialist sharks like France’s energy giant Total SA have invested in Adani Greens and Adani Gas Limited while Italy’s Snam Spa is collaborating in hydrogen and other cleaner fuels business. Credit Suisse had issued a warning in ‘House of Debt’ in 2015 that Adani Group was one of the ten conglomerates under ‘severe stress’ that accounted for 12% of banking sector loans. Yet the Adani Group keeps raising funds from Indian banks as well as from overseas lenders.
Subramaniam Swamy, a BJP MP, raised heartbeat and BP of the whole nation by his tweet on Jan 15, 2021, “Trapeze Artist Adani now owes Rs.4.5 lakh crore as NPA to banks. Correct me if I am wrong. Yet his wealth is doubling every two years since 2016. Why can’t he repay the banks? May be like the six airports he has bought he might soon buy out all the banks he owes money.” Adani Group was quick to rebut the very next day but the significance of the text message is no way diminished. There would hardly be anyone who will not buy the idea carried in this tweet. This may happen any day.
Companies, owing whopping amount of bank debt tend to blackmail and arm twist the governments to submit to their needs or banking industry itself may collapse. Trick of the trade/ loot is, socialize losses and privatize profits!! Banks are left with no option but to indulge in green shooting; viz. either by financing more to recover interest, convert interest into term loan by restructuring, rescheduling or funding the interest directly. Bottom line is that the moment an entrepreneur squeezes out and pockets entire profit out of any project, the burden of the left- over chaff is born by the poor masses. Present system is so designed that money keeps flowing into the coffins of the bourgeoisie from all directions effortlessly, quite ‘naturally’. Monopoly houses have ‘grown’ too big to be controlled by any government even if they try. Government’s only job is to keep justifying and facilitating their loot.
Cronyism, Neoliberalism Is Capitalism In Last Phase Of Its Life
It is, therefore, evident that both the processes; de-regulation of food grain trading and that of turning capitalism into cronyism cum neo liberalism commenced well before the eventful Modi Era in nineties of the last century. Since it is not related to any individual, it will not go away by depart or removal of any individual. The inherent crisis of capitalism got accentuated defying its natural cyclical rotations and turned terminal and systemic crippling all regulations and modulations under its feet. The cover concealing its real face got torn away in the process and anything became justified for ‘ease of doing business’. Ambanis and Adanis appeared on the scene resorting to naked loot of natural/ public resources. It’s obvious that the Bourgeoisie themselves prepare the blue print of the loot and then give it to their management committee for implementation at furious speed and thinking ‘out of the box’ not to bother for consequences. This very scheme led to the orchestrated emergence of ’56- inch chest’ Modi on the scene in 2014 to remove ‘policy paralysis’ of Manmohan Era.Cronies of the country went into top gear and the state’s darling of cronies, Gautam Adani, went berserk. Since May 2014 till date, hardly a day passes when there is no news of Adani taking over one state asset or the other.
Some people argue, what’s wrong if state regulated and kulak dominated, rotten and corrupt agricultural market, gives way to modern, dynamic and efficient private sector market owned by the corporate? What’s the problem if the stinking food grains lying in the open at FCI warehouses inhabited by healthy and happy rat families are replaced by technology driven modern silos built across the country by Adani’s AALL? We need not go very far back to get the answer. Indian Express report dated July 29, 2013 reveals details of the scam by which common people were robbed of a whopping Rs.2.5 lakh crore by brazen collision of the then Gujrat government under Modi as CM and his most favorite, Gujrat Business Syndicate ETGWORLD World headed by one Jayesh Patel and Adani Wilmar in importing, hording and selling Arhar dal. Modi was rightly named as ‘Arhar Modi’ that time, it became ‘Har Har Modi’ during Lok Sabha elections 2014. The Modus Operandi was like this. UPA government had extended validity of restrictions on stocking of pulses, edible oils and edible oil seeds for further one year 30.09.2013 to 30.09.2014. An RTI reply has revealed that “Gujrat government headed by Modi, however, refused to extend the order beyond 30.09.2013 despite a specific recommendation by Director, Food & Civil Supplies, Gandhinagar.” Gujrat government provided ‘long window’ to stock without limit in order to provide ‘ease of doing business’ to the black marketeers and hoarders. Pulses were imported from Mozambique in humongous quantity @Rs.40 to 50 per kg. Other costs of procurement were Rs.5 per kg as processing fee and Rs.10 per kg as transportation cost. Total cost of procurement of Arhar dal did not exceed Rs.55 to Rs.65 per kg. It was sold @Rs.200 per kg. Annual consumption of Arhar dal in our country is 2.30 crore ton. Profiteering of about Rs.135 per kg led to a day light robbery of over Rs.2.5 lakh crore from the hungry, pauperized masses. By this transaction, Modi proved his credentials to the cronies and it was done very near to the 2014 elections!! Rest is history, as you see!! This is eulogized as Modi’s ‘out of box’ thinking by the corporate by which any amount can be squeezed from the poor people of the country any time, of course, in ‘national interest’ and this is exactly why some corporate had opened the ‘long windows’ of their mountains of wealth amassed by ‘unpaid labor of the worker’. One can easily imagine the havoc that will befall the common people when these demon sized Adani silos are filled with the entire agricultural produce of the country after these 3 agricultural laws are implemented.
With deep breath, long face and gloomy looks, some ‘intellectuals’ explain this phenomenon as handiwork of some cronies in the business or result of neo liberal policies initiated by Rao-Manmohan duo. The sole purpose of this intellectual non sense is to befool the masses and serve their bourgeois masters as if capitalist system in operation today is very clean and pious, promoting healthy competition leading to peace and prosperity!! Cronyism and neoliberalism are the names of two babies of deeply crisis ridden and moribund capitalism when half of its body is already in grave. Entire capitalism is crony capitalism and neo liberalism is the name given to policies unleashed to buy some lease of life to the dying patient. It is rotting and stinking like a dead body and getting more crony, unbearable and suffocating by each passing day. The more this dying ICU patient is allowed to live, the uglier of Adanis and Ambanis and worst of the regimes as their management committees, nation will have to witness. Particularly, the middle class is set to face the heat in not too distant a future. Displaying its true class character, the thick layer of petty bourgeoisie, both in farm and non-farm sector, always, try to look closer and somehow cling to the rich class and distance itself from the ‘wretched, filthy’ poor. “The government is looking to privatize agriculture and is looking farmers just as labors”, reality of their thinking oozes out of this comment by Rakesh Tikait while crying his heart out and inconsolable on the night of January 28 at Ghazipur border. Even after having sympathy to his insurmountable fighting spirit, the truth has to be told sans pretensions. This is bound to happen, dear Mr. Tikait and sooner you realize and appreciate this fact will be better for you and your ‘well to do farmer’s class. Crores and crores of the so called ‘middle layer’ are going to join the ranks of the advanced class. Yes, the proletariat, whom the middle class loves to hate is the advanced class, they are the liberators of entire humanity and future rulers. None can discharge this historical responsibility except the proletariat, of course, having the working peasant by their side as their friends, comrades. Writing on the wall is clear and unambiguous. Cruel reality may be piercing the hearts of pampered rich farmers but it can’t be put in any other way. They are heart broken and are trying desperately to wish away the brutal reality. That is, however, an exercise in futility. Unable to cope with the sudden blow, farming community, rich and poor are on the ropes. Frustrated and angered, they are crying their heart out quite literally. There pitiful emotional exhortations and cries are bringing tears to entire peasantry and making them rush to their rescue and rally behind their agitating leaders but that will not take them anywhere. Reality is too hard to vanish. Devastation and pauperization process of the entire working class will keep accelerating, making the life of toiling people a real hell. Loot by the corporate and its defense by their bought-out governments will be more and more brazen and ruthless unless entire petty bourgeoisie be it farmers or the urban ‘gentlemen’ join ranks with the leader, the working class, the proletariat; cement their unity like a rock and rise to the occasion to bury capitalism with all its manifestations, lock stock and barrel.
[Originally published in The Truth: Platform for Radical Voices of The Working Class (Issue 10 / February 2021)]