India: At "Vibrant Gujarat Global Investor Summit" NGOs urge CEOs to consider human rights
The Gujarat government has been organising the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investor Summit once every two years since 2003, to promote the growth of industries and businesses in the state, in what is now known as Narendra Modi’s "Gujarat model" of development. Addressing the high-profile gathering that included US Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and World Bank president Jim Yong Kim at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit here, Modi said: “In a short span of seven months, we have been able to change the atmosphere of despair and uncertainty in the nation.”
Gujarat is not as shiny as the brochures make it out to be, says civil society. A group of activists and organisations have written to CEOs at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit 2015 appealing to them to spare rural livelihoods and respect human rights. In an open letter, they called themselves representatives (but not political representatives) of the rural, agricultural, landless, farming, fishing and the marginalised communities reeling under the onslaught of relentless industrialisation. "The government of Gujarat's blind race towards mindless industrialisation, because of crony capitalism has endangered traditional livelihoods and rendered these people unemployed and unemployable," notes the letter, released by the National Association of People's Movements.