Very recently we have had an international spectacle, of a research based short seller, trying to bring down an Indian corporate known more for its rapid growth in not just the infrastructure arena, but multiple other sectors too.
That this research based short-seller managed to get the chattering classes in India excited, the end result was pretty much zero, and buzz is that short sellers are running around trying to cover their positions.
Be that as it may, the larger points to note here are –
Not a single ship diverted to another port.
Nor did any aircraft opt for other airports.
People kept buying their cement.
Maybe the viewership of the TV channel they picked up increased.
Packaged foods kept rolling off the shelves.
Coal kept arriving variously.
Electricity kept getting consumed.
Defence work proceeded as silently as before.
And so on and so forth.
So what was the fuss about?
If one looks closely at the business interests of this Indian group, one observes a clear trail to one clue – each one of their activities has replaced some foreign control, direct or remote and replaced it with an Indian entity.
And it is not just about employment. So let me try to explain.
There is hardly an enterprise globally worth its size which does not route its activities from behind huge opaque corporate veils.
In an era in India till not long ago, a decade or so, there was always, but always, a commission payable on pretty much any activity – and this was paid abroad by a variety of means. Through these opaque corporate veils.
Coal is just one example, seaports and airports are other, and the list goes on.
That commission now, to put it simply, is not paid. Or if it is paid – it remains in India.
This is also known as the “revolt of the doormat of centuries”.
For centuries we have been the doormat of the world.
Now that we, the doormats, are standing up and kicking back, their shoes are complaining.
Take your shoes and sandals off, pay respects, and tread softly. We know who you are, morons!!
India is no longer the doormat of the world.
Which is why short-sellers try their stunts. T
he doormat though has given a good kick-you-know-where.
(Veeresh Malik was a seafarer. And a lot more besides. A decade in facial biometrics, which took him into the world of finance, gaming, preventive defence and money laundering before the subliminal mind management technology blew his brains out. His romance with the media endures since 1994, duly responded by Outlook, among others.)