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A lifetime of achievements

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

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This year NDTV presented its Indian of the year awards which was decided by a jury which consisted of people like Shashi Tharoor and I tend to agree with their selections for most of the categories except for the lifetime achievement award which was presented to Lal Krishna Advani. This was the worst selection the jury could have made. What kind of achievements were these people thinking about? Here is a person who came to limelight on only one plank…communism, divisive politics, hatred against one particular community or is it just a simple (safest) case of selecting the senior most politician that we have in active politics now that Atal Behari Vajpayee has retired (not that even he deserved this award).

Let us list out few of his events in his political life… The most important one is his Somnath to Ayodhya rath yatra which resulted in the demolition of Babri Masjid and the subsequent communal riots in rest of the country and his party came to power solely on the election promise that his party will build the Ram mandir and when they did occupy the treasury benches then they conveniently forgot about it to remain in power saying they were following coalition dharma but in fact were being following the dharma of hypocrisy.

Now when he was in power first as a home minister and then as the deputy prime minister there was a genocide committed by his party in Gujarat and what did he do to prevent it ? ZILCH.

Also Mr.Advani never gets tired of calling names to prime minister Mr.Manmohan Singh accusing him of being soft of terror and it was his government whose mishandling of the Kandahar resulted in the release of so many dreaded terrorists from India and it was during his tenure as home minister that terrorists attacked our parliament and the Akshardham Temple in Gujarat…

Indeed it has been a lifetime of achievements……. Mr. Pranoy Roy hope you do a good job next time….

Aftab Ahmed

Corporate governance and business ethics

Monday, January 26, 2009

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One of the inevitable fallouts of the Satyam saga has been the way almost every private sector organization has been indulging in blowing their own trumpet about how much better they are in terms of corporate governance. The Satyam crisis has become a PR exercise for almost every company portraying themselves as the mascots of clean management and hoping this branding will get them some new projects from the same clients whom they shared with Satyam earlier. During this entire episode unfolding in front of us, the question that is foremost on my mind is, is corporate governance only about having clean account books or does it also involve having impeccable business ethics? Mr. Mohandas Pai of Infosys has been spending more time in TV studios than his office saying how unethical Mr. Raju has been all these years. Now this is coming from a person who belongs to a company whose very foundations are surrounded by dubious business ethics when the great Mr. Murthy walked out of Patni Computers along with its best talent and its client. Was that ethical Mr. Murthy? What makes Mr. Murthy more vulnerable to the accusation that Infosys is based on an unethical business decision is his reluctance to come with the truth about those days of his Patni to Infosys transition. Mr. Murthy also says Infosys will not take Satyam employees because it’s in the interest of Satyam but they will not hesitate to take its clients. What will the Satyam employees do if you or other IT majors take all their clients, who will these employees, cater to?

Another corporate bigwig who has been talking about this is Mr. Kamath of ICICI bank. Now open any consumer grievance web site and check and this is the bank against maximum complaints are registered. The way it employs illegal means to recover its loan by hiring goons and this has even resulted in a person’s death. Is this your definition of good corporate governance Mr. Kamath? According to me this is the most unethical bank in our country today and yet no one talks about this. Infosys and ICICI are the best examples of some great PR. They must have some very talented people working in their PR department. The need of the hour is that all corporations realize that clean governance is not only the absence of any fraud or cooking of account books but also providing your products/services to the customer in the most ethical and transparent manner. Only then these people can boast that they are really different from Mr. Raju. All this brings to my mind a Urdu couplet which goes like this:

Is basti mein kaun hamare aansoon paunche ga

Jisko dekho uska daaman bheega lagta hain …