The current ‘milk laced with melamine’ scandal just sickens me to my stomach to see just the extent of greed that we as humans go to. I mean, accepted that most of us would probably go that extra mile and do a nasty thing to squeeze that extra dollar/yen/rupee out from the other guy, but to target innocent young children who still have to figure out the ways of the world is probably the depths to which a person can bring himself to.
To add to this are news reports that it is not just milk but other milk-based products from these companies that are also adulterated. And the unconfirmed reports that there is a remote possibility that this particular scandal could probably have started around the time the Beijing Olympics was going on adds more fuel to the fire.
Maybe the Chinese Health Authorities knew about this at that time, but didn’t do anything about it as the Olympics was more of a public relations affair more than anything else. Or worse, maybe they were paid off by the companies themselves to turn a blind eye to what was happening.
In any case, let’s all pray for the healthy recovery of the 150 odd toddlers whose tiny little kidneys are in as bad as a shape as they can ever be.
Reuters South Africa article
Times Online article
BBC News article
International Herald Tribune article
Reuters Worldwide article
Here’s some more food for thought. This article by David Kirkpatrick – Senior Editor of the Fortune magazine deals with the challenges faced by Microsoft in China and how the company overcame them to finally taste some success in the land of the dragon.
Kirkpatrick talks about the early days of Microsoft in China when it was perceived as a company which has just entered the country to protect its Intellectual Property rights by cracking down hard on software piracy and nothing else. Those, according to Kirkpatrick were difficult days for Microsoft in the country as it had a bigger agenda, which probably even it didn’t know about.
Subsequently, the efforts of the company in developing stronger ties with the Chinese Govt. and partnering with them to provide cheaper and better computing power first to the governmental agencies and then to the common man, have gone a long way in improving Microsoft’s image as a company and Bill Gates’ image as a common-man’s friend.
Today, Gates is nothing short of a superhero in a country which has a history of allowing very few people to achieve this kind of demi-god status. Quite surprising, considering that this is the very birthplace of all anti-capitalists and probably the last domain of communism that is missing in all of Eastern Europe today.
Read this if you are tuned into the China story or for that matter the Microsoft story.