ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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More Uneasy Questions

Decay of Empress Mills THOUGH Anuradha and Ajit have discussed at some length the role played by the 'reasonable' and 'co-operative' RMSS in the affairs of Empress Mills (EPW, February 6) leading to its present predicament, their treatment of the entre- preneurship aspect of the entire scenario appears quite inadequate. As pointed out by them, this kind of a disaster could perhaps have been averted had the workforce been active and militant enough to force the erstwhile management to initiate cost-effective measures including the upgradation of technology in time. However it ought not to be forgotten that the capital involved and the entrepreneur- ship that handles and orients it have internal dynamics of their own depending on various historical factors. Though there is a hint that the surplus generated by Empress Mills,, the mother company of Tatas, was diverted to Tisco, etc, by the time Tatas decided to call it a day in case of Empress Mills they had moved on to more alluring pastures which were waiting to be nurtured by foreign capital. While not altogether denying the possibility that militant trade unions can contribute to managerial efficiency of an industrial unit, one would like to emphasise that a more complete and politically meaningful understanding would be possible if we can link up the nature and growth process of the Tata business house with the growth, stagnation and eventual decay of Empress Mills. Also the growth process of the Tata House cannot be looked at as an isolated phenomenon and the analysis would be meaningful only if we situate it within the overall changes that the economy is being subjected to.

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