Monday, January 12, 2009

Satyam all the way

Conscience is a bothersome thing. The more I think about it the more annoyed I get.
Hitler did fine without one. Gandhi had loads and still got shot.

It is that persistent nagging voice that makes a mess of a great bank robbery.
Or lands you in jail for fudging your company's profits.

Ramalinga Raju, the tainted former chairman of Satyam Computer Services Ltd. wrote to the board of directors that his fantastic profit figures had started to become a “tremendous burden on my conscience”. In other words Rs 5040 crores of inflated bank balances and cash just did not exist.

It is hard not to feel sorry for the guy. Termed as the biggest corporate fraud India has ever seen, Raju pulled off a stunning feat that will put his name in history for ever a wrong reason as there ever was.

You might argue that with the failed Maytas (Satyam spelled backwards) acquisition deal, the truth was to come out sooner or later. But writing out that dramatic letter must have been hard.

How do you step away from a company that you built over two decades? How do you go from leading the industry as a roaring IT whiz to sharing a tiny cell in the jail with your brother, stretched out on a thin blanket?

Such is conscience.

When he gets out, after a long long time (if law takes it's course, which in our country merits another blog post) I hear the West Bengal government is looking to set up a public-private partnership with him.

They are simply delighted to finally find a man who represents what they stand for. Inflated development figures on paper, non-existent rubbish on ground.



Hatikvah said...

Cynicism is perhaps as bad as conscience if not worse. It makes us suspect everything, even the degree of evil. For example, R Raju's moving letter elicits more doubts than the intended sympathy. Did he inflate non-existent assets, or did he siphon off hordes of cash solidly and sweatfully earned by his company? One may feel that its far fetched, for this was the company he headed for almost two decades. But then, the world has seen worse acts for lesser gains... (the conclusion, yet again was memorable)

Mystique Wanderer said...

everything else i can understand...what i dont why didnt he write the letter from a caribbean non extradition country while sipping jamican obelix wud say...these romans are crazy

Hatikvah said...

Just out of curiosity,who are these five wise men (please don't tell me that they are the Indian selectors). Google search rendered guesswork redundant given the enormity of the options...

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