The biggest tragedy with Indian leftists is that they feel they understand things as intricate as economy and industry. Radical Indian socialists often murder economic growth and enterprise with many of their tools starting from industrial lockdowns to strikes backed by trade unions, and overarching labour legislations. West Bengal is a living testament of how left, anti-business policies can demolish industrial legacy. And the same thing might now be happening with Kerala.
The state of Kerala seems to be walking straight into destitution. PepsiCo, one of the biggest soft drink manufacturing giants, has decided to shut its manufacturing unit in Kerala. The soft Varun Beverages, the PepsiCo franchise that runs the bottling plant in Kanjikkode, Palakkad even issued a closure notice on Tuesday in the midst of a combined trade union agitation demanding a wage hike.
The closure notice reveals the level of toxicity against private enterprise in the state of Kerala. It read, “Even after the order of the Honourable High Court of Kerala granting police protection, the situation is very grave and the threat of criminal assault is looming large. Permanent employees who are to operate the production line are on illegal strike since they are not doing the work as directed by the management. The management is incurring very huge loss due to the present situation and there is no hint of any improvement in the situation in the near future.”
The closure will come into effect in 90 days, and the biggest victims will be the 120 direct employees and 250 contractual employees who will lose their jobs. Meanwhile, the leftist elements keep blaming PepsiCo for announcing the closure of its Kanjikkode-based manufacturing facility.
PepsiCo’s decision to issue the closure notice comes amidst the Kerala government’s refusal to reform the archaic labour laws that run against the profitability of private enterprises.
As PepsiCo leaves Kerala, we are reminded of how leftist policies scripted the downfall of West Bengal’s industry. And at least, the methods are quite similar- unionism, endless strikes, blind hatred for entrepreneurship and a tendency to blame the industrialist if he gets fed up and decides to leave.
The same idea of radical socialism and toxicity against businesses and enterprises is what has turned West Bengal, once among India’s richest regions, into one of the poorest states of the world. West Bengal is India’s most unfortunate experiment with leftist politics. Communism reached this state in 1977 and destroyed the social, cultural and economic power of the state. The regime which replaced the Left Front government after 34 years – Mamata Banerjee led AITC – is known to be ‘Left of Left’, ideologically.
43 years of radical leftist politics has caused the systematic demise of West Bengal’s industrial powerhouses. The Communists are known for differentiating between the bourgeois and the proletariat, and then slandering the industrialist/business class. The leftist regime constantly slandered the entrepreneurial class in West Bengal leading to its near demolition.
The incumbent AITC government too came to power on the basis of an anti-land acquisition movement that forced Tata Motors to move its Nano car project out of West Bengal. Today, workers in West Bengal are witnessing a quick exodus of industries. Mills and big factories are frequently shutting down, rendering hundreds jobless.
It is Kerala’s tragedy that it is facing a similar system and the same level of hostility that pushed West Bengal into impoverishment. Businesses in Kerala are facing the kind of anti-bourgeois propaganda that was once exclusive to West Bengal- trade unions’ strikes, systematic interference, wage hike demands, so on and so forth.
Some four decades ago, profit-making came to be frowned upon in West Bengal. And now the same ideology is being taken up in Kerala. With the sheer hostility against businesses taking shape in Kerala, the south Indian state seems to be going the West Bengal way that leads to sheer destitution.