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Stop Vedanta, stop India?

Minister of Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh’s order stopping Vedanta Aluminium and the Orissa Mining Corporation from mining bauxite in the Niyamgiri hills…tends to miss the wood for the trees...The two reports that the minister relied on contain some sweeping generalizations based on exaggerated inferences…The Niyamgiri hills have been untouched for centuries. Yet the Dongria Kondhs remain primitive, not on account of development but for lack of it. Development often causes disturbance and even trauma. But this is soon offset by good R&R, appropriate compensation, new stakeholder partnership models, income and employment opportunities and a whole multiplier effect…Tribal India must be enabled to progress. The environment must be enhanced. The current impasse affects not just Vedanta or Orissa...Stop Vedanta in the wrong manner and for the wrong reasons and we may stop India.

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