View Full Version : U.S. Firms Likened With Al Qaeda On Indian Campus Over Ethics

10-29-2007, 12:38 PM
US firms likened with al Qaeda on Indian campus over ethics


John Byrne
Published: Monday October 29, 2007

Remember Bhopal?

A rising tide of India's scientists and engineers in waiting are aiming to blockade US arms and chemical corporations from recruiting at the Indian Institutes of Technology.

Students and faculty see three US companies -- Dow Chemical, Halliburton and Lockheed Martin -- as symbols of America's toxic influence in business ethics, according to a report Sunday in the Calcutta Telegraph. According to the paper, "students and faculty want the companies to be scrutinized for their past record in business ethics, environmental issues and human rights before being allowed into any IIT campus."

“We don’t allow al Qaida to come and recruit from our campuses. There clearly is some line which has to be drawn,” Siddharth Sareeen, an IIT Madras student, told the paper.

Dow Chemical's notorious history in India involves the Union Carbide disaster, a massive chemical leak in 1984. The company's plant in Bhopal, India released 40 tons of methyl isocyanate gas, immediately killing 2,500 to 5,000 people. The subsequent death total has climbed to 20,000; an estimated 120,000 continue to suffer from its effects.

Photographs of skulls of the dead collected after the disaster are shown above right.

Dow did not own Union Carbide at the time. They acquired the company in 1999. Students and professors also condemn the company for its production of napalm.

“Dow’s history, particularly its role in the Vietnam war, is an important reason for our opposition,” Milind Brahme, assistant professor at IIT Madras, told the Telegraph.

Dow and Halliburton are looking to send recruiters to the Indian campuses, while Lockheed is looking to specifically partner with specific departments, the paper asserts.

Lockheed Martin is cited for its role as an arms dealer as one of the world's largest defense contractors. Students rebuke Halliburton for its association with Iraq and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Madras' Institute of Technology invited Dow to a debate on whether they should be allowed to recruit on campus Friday. They did not send an envoy.

At IIT Madras on Friday, students and faculty — including some who believe Dow should be allowed to come to the campus — held a debate. They had invited a Dow representative to participate, but the company did not send one.

“Our officials who were to visit the campus could not come on the pre-decided date as other meetings suddenly came up,” Nand Kumar Sanglikar, Dow India’s spokesperson, told the paper. “We are expanding in India. We want the best brains in the country to join us.”