Blacklist and boycott businesses that failed flood victims

Blacklist and boycott businesses that failed flood victims
Photo : Kamla Persad- Bissessar with the people

In this era of natural disasters the community must embrace and appreciate all individuals, families, social groups and companies that extend helping hands in their hour of need. Such generosity must be made known to the public so that the latter can express their thanks by patronising these businesses.

Long before the West started speaking about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) there was always a strong bond of interdependence in the community. This interdependence was responsible for the flourishing of religious and social activities. The responsibility of burying and cremating the dead was not restricted to the family but engaged the community. The community also came together to assist families in marriages; to prepare land, plant and harvest crops, etc.  No one must forget the huge co-oporation that took place in the 1950s when the Maha Sabha and ASJA embarked on the mission to build schools to educate young  boys and girls.

The public must also be aware of those businesses that only take from their customers and give back nothing in return. Many spread false propaganda of their generosity but in reality are not making any donations.  They are reminiscent of colonialism that spoke of the “white man’s burden” when in reality they were exploiting the labour of the colonial people, looting and plundering their resources. Unfortunately, this social cancer did not die with the British leaving but is now exploited by an influential local group that flourishes with all the privileges of a colonial/plantation society.

Many of our politicians and businessmen continued the attitude to bow to the colonial rulers and elites.  They responded to the needs of the people with insults and hostility. Many failed to see a connection between their businesses and the community that patronizes them.  One business man flung a five dollar note at a delegation that went to him to solicit a donation for an upcoming event in the mandir.

Businesses that do not reciprocate usually die. This is the law of nature….you need to take and also release. The plant takes in carbon dioxide and gives out oxygen which nourishes our lungs. The cow is fed grass and gives milk in return. This symbiotic relationship is the law of nature.

The Bhagavad Gita says that he who takes from society and does not give back is a thief. We must also know that we are not the owners of wealth but trustees. The wealth we possess are given to us to hold in trust for the benefit of the community. When we arrogantly believe that the wealth is our possession for self-indulgence, then we are on the pathway of self-destruction.

When wealthy families hoard resources and do not give back to society, they are going against the laws of nature. Such businesses are going to decline and die. Most of us have been witness to such experiences. No amount of management skills is going to ward of the calamity that such businesses and individuals will have to experience.

It is time for the consumers to understand their buying power. Without the patronage of the community businesses are going to die.  The consumers must now shop with their eyes open. They must only shop by those businesses that assisted them in their hour of need. The community has a moral duty to black list and boycott those businesses that ignore them in their hour of need. It is time for the consumers to discover that they have purchasing power. They must spend their money like how a skilled All Fours player plays his hand. If the consumer adopts such an attitude he would be respected by the business class and not taken for granted.

Natural disasters have many lessons to learn. It helps to separate those who care about the welfare of the people from those who don’t care. Any individual aspiring for public office should do so not only by the words that flows out of his mouth but by extending a helping hand. Sri Satya Sai Baba said: Holier are the hands that serve than the lips that pray. The floods revealed to the people the leaders and businesses that have their welfare and wellbeing at heart.