VIVA Sunburn CSR

By Prabhakar Timble
24 December 2014 16:30 IST

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a voluntary mechanism adopted by corporate world to navigate its business by following not just the letter but the spirit of the laws governing business and maintaining ethical standards through self-imposed and self-monitored codes. The extended compass of CSR is to initiate deliberate actions to promote some social good by going beyond the core business interests of the company. The CSR activities are directed for positive impact on environment, employees, consumers, investors and the community around.

It is an absurdity that the organizers of the Sunburn EDM festival are providing a taste of this festival to the locals by organizing a special fourth day with a free entry through passes and calling it as a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative. The height of this ridiculousness is that the free passes have to be collected from the respective local MLAs. This is a dangerous freebie announced and distributed by the Minister of Tourism using the voter-identity card. This is a Sunburn masterstroke to disarm the legislators and mollify the people and particularly charm the gullible youth.

Ugly CSR

This would be an ugly milestone in the history and philosophy behind CSR. This can throw innovative ideas to casinos for providing free passes on a day of national importance like the Republic day. The liquor companies can unload free gift vouchers on the eve of Deepavali to support the “Narakasura” celebrations. Sex trade outlets functioning under the garb of massage parlors may not hesitate to come forward to do similar CSR work on International Women’s Day. This would mean lot of work for our MLAs to distribute free tickets in addition to their regular sponsorships of ‘yatras’ to Shirdi, Pota and Pandharpur. It is a highly objectionable trend to make the MLAs as the distributors, agents and marketing officers of EDM festivals. The Minister of Tourism has committed an unpardonable misdemeanor by almost functioning as the official spokesperson of Sunburn.

The Minister of Tourism wants journalists to document illegal activity knowing full well that the media budget of Sunburn and Supersonic fully insures that all illegal activity would be kept under the carpet. It will be also impossible for the police and the anti-narcotics cell (ANC) to unearth the hidden drug trade and exchange as whatever happens at the festival is completely open and transparent. Our government and the ANC have declared in advance that there are no organized gangs in drug trade. Just like students refuse to attempt answers to questions in an examination paper stating that they are out of syllabus or leave out certain topics being less important, the ANC has left the drug topic as of less significance in Goa.

MLAs self-esteem for sale!

Involving elected representatives of the people and the law-makers is not just dirty and unethical. It is a naked affront to the sanctity of the State legislature, the apex body of legislators. This move of the Minister of Tourism in connivance with Sunburn is to muddy the hands of the legislators so as to seal their lips. All the legislators including the Speaker of the State Assembly should rise up against such shoddy tricks.

The government and bureaucracy were already placated. This is stinking repulsive bait to youth and people’s representatives. If our legislators have a pinch of self-respect in their blood, they should oppose such moves. The organizers and the Ministers will be merry laughing at how they hoodwinked the youth and people of Goa whilst seeping premium malt whisky in a special enclosure provided by Sunburn.

St. Francis Xavier is known as the patron saint of Goa. Goa is by now established as the patron of the International Film Festival of India. Goans patronize freedom, creativity, music, dance and diversity. The EDM festival will and should go on. However, stall all efforts to make Sunburn, Drugs and Casinos as the patrons of Goa’s tourism. Sunburn should not dump on us rubbish under the banner of Corporate Social Responsibility.

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Prabhakar Timble

Mr Prabhakar Timble is an educationist and a legal expert. He has served several educational institutions, especially as the Principal of Government College at Quepem, Kare College of Law in Madgao as well as couple of Management Institutes. He was also the State Election Commissioner of Goa.

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