Gautam Adani termed polluter of business, climate who rides on Modi’s rise

By: News Desk
Published: 09:31 PM, 3 Feb, 2023
Gautam Adani termed polluter of business, climate who rides on Modi’s rise
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Lashing out at the Indian businessman and industrialist Gautam Adani, Ashok Swain, Professor of peace and conflict research at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, on Friday said that he had polluted not only the business, but also the climate.

In a series of tweets, he said that the Indian entrepreneur’s industrial units annually emitted 30 million tonnes of Carbon.

He also hit out at Adani’s ties with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying at the wedding ceremony of Adani’s son recently, Modi was the ‘favourite uncle’. “Modi & Adani probably share the closest relationship a country's ruler can have with a business person anywhere in the world,” Ashok added.

He went on to say that any criticism of Adani was painted as a ‘conspiracy’ against the rise of India as an industrial nation and economic power.

But this, Swain added, appeal to the Indian nationalism was losing its relevance.

Gautam Adani is the chairman and founder of the Adani Group, an Ahmedabad-based multinational conglomerate, which was set up in 1988. The company is the largest port developer and operator in India.

Adani is also the president of the Adani Foundation, which is run by his wife, Priti Adani. Adani Group deals with resources, logistics, energy, agriculture, defence and aerospace, amongst other sectors.

As per Forbes report, the net worth of Adani is estimated to be around $8.7 billion as of August 2018.

He has a 66% stake in Adani Ports & SEZ Limited, 75% stake in Adani Enterprises, 73% stake in Adani Power, 75% stake in Adani Transmission. In 2017, India Today ranked him as the 4th most powerful person in India.

The meteoric rise of Mr Adani started when he offered support to Mr Modi in 2003. At the time, the politician — then chief minister of Gujarat — was being heavily criticised for failing to control violent riots that had rocked the state a year earlier. More than 1,000 people died, most of them Muslims, and Mr Modi was being shunned by India’s business elite and the world — he was barred from entering the US for almost a decade until he became prime minister.

But when some of the country’s most powerful tycoons grilled him onstage over the deaths at an event hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Mr Adani broke ranks with the old business elite, potentially risking his future for the under-fire politician.

The businessman then helped set up a new industry body to sideline the CII and was behind Vibrant Gujarat, a glitzy biennial summit that would introduce Mr Modi to the world stage and cement his reputation as a pro-business leader. The gamble paid off for Mr Adani, a plain speaker who sets himself apart from the corporate establishment in Mumbai by dividing his time between the company’s headquarters in Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s largest city, and New Delhi, the Indian capital. “These are new Indians running the government, they have a completely different view of the world and their view is very local,” says an executive present at the acrimonious 2003 event. “Old relationships have flowered and flowered because these are the people they [the government] feel comfortable with. “Adani was big time in Gujarat and now he’s spreading his wings,” he adds.

Mr Adani, 58, is a rarity among the ranks of Indian dynasts: he is a self-made man, born into a family of eight that practised Jainism, an Indian religion that emphasises ascetic beliefs. After dropping out of college to try a career in Mumbai’s diamond industry he moved back home to import plastics for manufacturing, a business that would lay the foundation for his conglomerate.    

Categories : South Asia