|"Many energy companies have invested in closed or repressive countries -- arguing that their investment would help develop the local economy and thereby improve the human rights situation. But in this case, Enron has invested in a democratic country -- and human rights abuses there have increased. Enron hasn't made things better for human rights; it has made things worse."||
Background to the Protests: Ratnagiri District
Table of Contents
V. Ratnagiri: Violations of Human Rights 1997
Appendix A: Correspondence Between Human Rights Watch and the Export-Import Bank of the United States
Appendix D: Correspondence Between the Government of India and the World Bank
Organization of Opposition to the Project
In response to villagers growing concern, local nongovernmental organizations were formed to protest the Dabhol Power project, including the Enron Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti (Organization to Oppose Enron), and the Guhagar Taluka Enron Vaa Salgana Prakalp Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti (Guhagar District Peoples Forum for Opposing Enron and Other Related Projects). These organizations comprise social activists, lawyers, villagers affected by the project, local political figures and other individuals.
In addition, activists and nongovernmental organizations of various political affiliations based in other areas of India observed the developments in Ratnagiri, viewing them as part of a pattern of non-consultative environmentally dangerous development decisions. As local opposition to the Dabhol Power project increased, these activists and organizations expressed support for and participated in local demonstrations against the company. Among the national and regional organizations involved were the Bargi Bandh Vistapit Sangathana (Bargi Dam Displaced Peoples Organization), Konkan Sangharsh Samiti (Save the Konkan Organization), the Narmada Bachao Andolan (Movement to Save the Narmada River), the Samajawadi Jan Parishad (Socialist Peoples Conference), the Sarvodaya Vikas Manch (Organization for the Complete Development of All People), and the National Alliance for Peoples Movements (NAPM).
Enron was initially skeptical of the [Shiv] Sena government. The civil and political rights violations that occurred under the current government happened because the [Shiv] Sena had to prove that they would safeguard Enrons interests.100
100 Human Rights Watch interview with Katy Irani, Bombay, January 24, 1998.