How Inclusive Development by Engaging All Stakeholders is Essential for CSR

Resistance to Global Corporations and their activities

In recent years, global corporations have realized that their activities across the developing countries are running into trouble because of fierce resistance from those indigenous peoples whose lands are being acquired by these global corporations as well as protests from civil society activists and environmentalists regarding concerns over the ecological impact of their operations.

Indeed, the resistance to the activities of the global corporations has been so high that in some cases, they have been forced to withdraw from the countries as was evident in the case of the global aluminum maker, Vedanta, and the global steel maker, POSCO in India. In these cases, these corporations had to desist from their expansion as the locals along with activists protested vociferously against forcible land acquisition and the environmental impact of the operations of these global corporations. The situation could not be salvaged and helped even after active intervention by the government as the courts ruled in favor of the indigenous peoples and their rights over their land that was being acquired by the global corporations. These are some examples of such action that has been repeated elsewhere in the world.

Making Indigenous people Stakeholders

A possible solution to this imbroglio can be the global corporations making the indigenous people stakeholders in their activities by giving them a share in the global corporations. Further, the government can pass minority land holding laws that would ensure that the indigenous people are rehabilitated and made partners to the development of the country instead of being the victims of development.

The point here is that by making the indigenous people stakeholders and partners in development instead of condemning them to be victims of development, inclusive and all round development can be actualized. This is the key point that emerges from the recent moves by the Indian government to foster inclusive development by passing legislation that would take the consent of the indigenous people mandatory before acquiring their lands.

The spirit of the law is such that the percentage of the indigenous people whose lands are being acquired and who have to agree to the acquisition has been raised so that the majority of the indigenous people acquiesce with the process. Further, minority rights over the developmental process would ensure that their interests are being taken care of by the government and the global corporations.

Inclusive Development and avoiding the Victim Trap

The other solution to the vexed problem of resistance can be found in the global corporations ensuring that the indigenous peoples are taken care of through inclusive approaches to development. These can take the form of the global corporations providing employment in their factories to the indigenous peoples, helping them sustain their communities and families through funding the education of their children and helping family members with their jobs.

Further, the global corporations can also build schools and hospitals as well as community recreational and community beneficial centers and facilities. All these steps would have the desired impact of engaging and including the indigenous people in the activities of the global corporations instead of making them hostile towards the global corporations and their activities.

Finally, the global corporations can adopt green manufacturing and Processual methods that would minimize the impact of their operations on the sensitive ecology of the communities abutting their facilities, which is one of the key sticking points and points of contention as far as the global corporations and their activities, are concerned.

In short, the key objective here must be the term inclusive as opposed to exclusive where the former means that everyone prospers in development whereas the latter is towards enriching a few at the expense of the majority.

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