SHANTANU GUHA RAY’s (Tehelka) article – The Philanthropy Conundrun – has an amazing take!:
The fab four are part of the Forbes top 10 list. Forbes notes that Ambani produces oil, gas, petrochemicals and textiles; younger sibling Anil runs a clutch of companies in sectors as diverse as telecom, power and financial services; Mittal owns the largest steel conglomerate in the world, Sunil Mittal controls India’s largest telecom company.
Philanthropy doesn’t exist in India. The IPL showed that Indian companies have the money (look at the amounts the Ambanis or liquor baron Vijay Mallya spent in acquiring stars for their respective teams) but would not spent on malnourished children,” says social commentator and author Jerry Pinto, who expects the divide between the rich and poor to grow manifold in India. “The poor have lived with it for long and do not expect anything. Perhaps that’s the reason why I do not see any resentment among the poor, no class wars,” he says.
Time magazine’s Africa bureau chief Alex Perry talks of the unjust distribution of wealth all over the world in Falling Off the Edge: Travels Through the Dark Heart of Globalization. The author finds out that while 1.63 million have found outsourcing jobs in India, there were 40 million unemployed, 900 million earned less than $2 a day and 380 million earned less than a dollar. This is the world without a middle class, says Perry, in which — he has 2006- 07 statistics to back him up — one percent of the world’s adults own 40 percent of all global assets. And those figures get even more rarefied as you climb the money pyramid: the richest 10 percent own 85 percent of the assets, while the poorest half own less than one percent.
But then, perhaps for the uber rich, charity really begins at home.