In Gurgaon the general ‘body shop’ is yet another boom sector.

“Gurgaon Workers News – Newsletter 9 (February 2008)

*** Thoughts on Gurgaon Kidney Trade and the local Medical-Industrial
Complex, January 2007
Mid-January 2008 the media reported on a private clinic in Gurgaon that during the last eight to nine years has removed about 500 kidneys, mainly from migrant workers, for the global organ trade. Most of these workers are very likely to be dead by now. This ‘scandal’ is just one public secret side of the capitalist drive to open new markets by opening bodies, be it as source or receivers of ‘new’ commodities: organs, stem cells, drugs, fertility treatment, abortions, surgery services. In Gurgaon the general ‘body shop’ is yet another boom sector. If you have a look at the specific industrial composition in Gurgaon you will notice that Gurgaon is an eldorado for bio-technology and the extension of the body market: a constant supply of desperate and cheap bodies from the poor parts of India (or from recently sacked garment workers?!), dozens of private clinics and medical institutions, dozens of pharmaceutical laboratories of major international companies, state subsidies for ‘clean industries’, a rich career-orientated upper middle-class in need of medical treatment or adjusmtment, a pleasant (medical-)’tourism infrastructure’, well established (transport-)links to international markets, a mafia-type collaboration between state and private sector. In Gurgaon the capitalist production process consumes bodies on a daily basis, without producing media worthy ‘scandals’. On a daily basis poor labourers are mutilated and die in factories, on construction sites, on the way to or from work. Their injuries and deaths are often covered by the very same mechanisms that made the ‘kidney trade scandal’ possible: victims of industrial accidents are brought to company-friendly doctors, the official administrations turn a blind eye, the victims are victimised once more (see the report on industrial accidents in newsletter #7). First we briefly summarise the
facts on the ‘kidney scandal’ and then consider some questions concerning the systemic and ‘unscandalous’ elements behind it, and conclude with a brief over-view of the medical-industrial complex in Gurgaon.”