Update: These videos were done by Tarun Mishra with video support from Madan who belongs to the affected village.
In this video (not the one shown above, at mark 1:45), Akhil Gogoi, an activist from Assam, asks Naveen Jindal to “please, get rid of your project” that takes away water from local communities. In a staged act of magnanimity, Jindal replies that if there is evidence that the project was not in the interest of Assam, he would “definitely not” continue the project. (You can tell that Jindal believes he has made a politically savvy statement, as opposed to a shamefully dishonest one.) In a clever response, Akhil Gogoi quotes from one of any number of the readily available reports on the environmental disaster of dams. Before Jindal can respond, (as scripted) the moderator is quick to dismiss Gogoi as just “one opinion” — mistaking facts for opinions. Thus, a performance of challenging Jindal is acted out for the benefit of the IBN-Live awards ceremony audience, who go wild with applause.
Actual protesters who demand real answers are not so lucky.
In 2011, Naveen Jindal – the executive vice-chairman and managing director – of Jindal Steel and Power – won the rights to build the “world’s largest steel plant” in Orissa.
In the past 5 years, more than 15,000 people have been displaced because of the Jindal Steel and Power Ltd. company in the Angul district of Odisha. Communities have been vocal about their opposition to the project at numerous public hearings. Despite this and other environmental concerns about the project, Jindal Steel and Power got their approval in February of 2011. Four thousand acres of land were acquired by force, coercion, and employment promises. Many more communities were displaced and lost their livelihoods. More land was grabbed, more people were displaced.
The government has been silent as Jindal’s promises of rehabilitation, employment and compensation have proved to be lies.
Here’s the open letter written to Jindal by one from the Orissa community [in Hindi] It asks him to respond, to look at what his company is responsible for. It will break your heart.
Naveen Jindal cares. He is an MP in the Indian Lok Sabha constituency. Thanks to him every private citizen has the right to fly the Flag of India “every day of the year with dignity and respect”. Mr. Naveen Jindal does not have a stance on the dignity and respect of humans, however.
From the Joint Statement against brutal attack on protesters at Jindal’s Angul steel plant
On 25th January 2012 just before the Republic Day, 4000 unarmed, displaced people including women went to company gate to demand their right to livelihood and life with dignity.
More than 200 persons became seriously injured and admitted in the Angul district Hospital and some of them were shifted to SCB medical college, Cuttack, without any assistance or help of the government. […] In the local police station, F.I.R was lodged against CEO of the company, but no executive officer was arrested till now except the security officer.
Jindal Steel and Plant is part of a $15 billion dollar US conglomerate called the Jindal Group. They believe in “growth with a social conscience”.
Their publicly available contact information is provided below.
Make no mistake — your pity, sympathy, and sadness is quite useless and unasked for. Use those emotions for your own life, we all know pain and we all have struggles. Your cynicism and your knowledge about “how things work in the world” is also not required.
What might have a chance to change the world, to make things better is — if you got angry instead. Your complete, uncompromising rage is what is needed.
Got something to say? Say it.
Naveen Jindal: info [at] naveenjindal.com
Naveen Jindal twitter: @MPNaveenJindal
Sajjan Jindal: sajjan.jindal [at] jsw.in
Sangita Jindal : sangita.jindal [at] jsw.in
JSW Foundation. (the “social development” wing of the group) : shalini.bansal [at] jsw.in
More emails here.
12, Bhikaiji Cama Place,
New Delhi – 110 066, INDIA
Tel: +91 11 26188340-50
Fax: +91 11 26161271
5A, Dr. G.Deshmukh Marg,
Mumbai – 400 026,
Tel: 022-23513000 / 43437199
Village Nisha, SH 63,
Angul, Odisha – 759 130, INDIA
Tel: +91 6761 254191-95
Fax: +91 6761 254141-144
Jindal Group Offices in the US
JSW Steel (USA) Inc.
5200 East Mc Kinney Rd.
Baytown , TEXAS 77523
Office : + 1 – 281 – 383 – 5100
Fax : + 1 – 281 – 383 – 1803
Website : http://www.jswsteelusa.com