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13 Aug 2009

Sudeep Chakravarti, Root Cause column, on Livemint.com [India]

Facing local protests: where Vedanta’s erring [India]

There was a flap in...July when human rights battleaxes...cut into Vedanta Plc in London...In the contentious, increasingly relevant universe where business, human rights, tradition and emotion intersect with urgency, this is a big deal...Vedanta has not made a counter move, except to claim what businesses usually do at these times: display go-ahead paperwork; in this case, from the Supreme Court of India...If the corporation had cared, protests would not have happened. Convergence these days goes beyond the meeting ground of business and politics, or the point where the advice of consultancy “suits” merges with the ethical fig leaf of that much abused phrase—corporate social responsibility, or CSR—their clients look for. [refers to Mitsui, Sesa Goa, Sociedade de Fomento Industrial]