The Satyam scandal: now what?

January 9, 2009

Posted at rediff at http://www.rediff.com/money/2009/jan/09satyam-scandal-now-what.htm

Like most of us, I am shocked at the enormity of the scam. And disappointed.

I supported Satyam and the promoters on principle: when an Indian company looks like it is doing good for its employees and for its shardholders; when it appears that the company has prospered by the sweat of its brows, then I support it. This is exactly what I did when I wrote the previous article.

Now that I know there was bad faith and fraud, I certainly cannot support the promoters.

I am also not particularly impressed by white people’s accolades or pats on the back, nor am I impressed when they make noise about others’ malfeasance.

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8 Responses to “The Satyam scandal: now what?”

  1. naradar Says:

    The facile manner in which you talking heads switch allegiance is akin to condoms being disposed off in Amsterdam or Bombay’s red light district. Once a purpose is served get rid of the filthy thing – which perhaps once protected you.

    Being in the field were you in any manner involved with Satyam? Have you made full disclosure?

    I am aware of your trenchant Indian nationalism – perhaps inflamed by the usual feeling of global slight that most Indians feel. But you should realize and concede that the Indian business ethos has no place for transparency or honesty. WASPS have traits of greed and Indians are dishonest. Research and propound on this will you.

  2. rajeev2007 Says:

    naradar, that is a rather dumb thing to say. i work on a hypothesis, and if it is proven to be wrong, i abandon the hypothesis. you mean you don’t?

    there is the story of some famous scientist who was accused of changing his mind. he asked, “when i am presented with data that negates my theory, i change my mind. what do you do?”

    if you don’t change your mind when confronted with evidence that negates your hypothesis, you are in the excellent company of:
    a) the church guys who burned giordano bruno at the stake and forced galileo galilei to recant his theory that the earth did in fact go around the sun
    b) the so-called eminent historians of the JNU school whose pretzel logic to protect their precious ‘aryan invasion theory’ is hilarious, when in fact the evidence negates the theory from all kinds of perspectives.

    as for reactions to the satyam scandal, i find the following three characteristics of semi-literacy available aplenty:

    1. difficulty in maintaining a sense of proportion, for instance in differentiating a misdemeanor from a felony. all crimes are not the same. in fact the criminal code exists partly to codify the fine gradations of the crime. the foiled purchase of maytas was a misdemeanor. the cooking of books is a felony.

    2. the acceptance of dogma. people latch on to something and then are 150% on board. they fail to see that things are not all black and white, there are many shades of gray. for them, there is only villany and sainthood. most real human beings, and real companies, are in between, but people can’t see this. this is also seen in the 150% acceptance of, say, communist dogma, by people. they don’t realize it is possible to accept the 5% that is good in communism and reject the 95% that is bad

    3. the willingness to be victims of the manufacturing of consent. just because the TV or the paper tells them, people are led by the nose into accepting received wisdom. this is something noam chomsky has demonstrated aplenty in the US, but it appears to be true of india as well. thus, manuel ortega of panama or saddam hussain of iraq is a good friend one day, the greatest satan who ever existed the next. the media is able to turn on a switch, and on orders from the rulers, turns so-called public opinion around in the US. in india too, this has happened with ramalinga raju: saint one day, greatest sinner ever the next.

    i have been concerned about the fact that indians are getting increasingly to be as deliberately dumbed-down via a lousy educational system as americans. here is the proof.

  3. naradar Says:

    Wow – what a gamut of emotions my reaction has provoked!

    Self-professed pundits like you cannot hide behind the fig leaf of a hypothesis gone wrong. You folks opine, expect others to trust your well researched POV. Your credibility is as good as the Bombay red light whore who insists she is clean.

    As for the Aryan invasion fact – the last documentary I saw on India on PBS seems to agree with the JNU folks you so berate. Apply your hypothesis logic here old chap.

    As for lousy educational system in India – we both perhaps traversed a similar path. I am an engineer from IIT Madras of the late 70’s and advanced degrees from lowly Ohio State. No ivy league here – though IIT seems to have falsely morphed into one.

    My children though are both products of the US system – and since both are in the medical profession they seem to have done well for themselves. It is the home environment, the intellectual atmosphere and the entrenched vigor to mentally explore that transcends the compartmentalization into ideological, agenda driven mental ghettos.

    And you old chap have descended into some sort of grieving for the slighted, software-coolie image that Indians have descended into. Surely you are made of sterner stuff!

  4. dhara Says:

    naradar : Even though You implied otherwise, unfortunately your struggle with ghettos is visible in your utter contempt.
    I can show you Europeans -pucca , people who didn’t necessarily had to carry as contempt as you do- disagreeing with the aryan stuff and showing its origins. The JNU people have made a major revision since books published in 2000s…the “Aryan Invasion” is turned into immigration lite..In self anguish some unnecessarily pretend as being more loyal, please read more on the european racial politics to understand more.

  5. sonraj Says:

    BHUBANESWAR: Hindu priests in an eastern Indian state are under investigation for conducting a purification ritual soon after a minister belonging to a lower caste visited a famous temple, officials said on Friday. Minutes after Pramila Mallick, a minister in Orissa state, prayed at the temple this week, Hindu priests shut the doors and threw away holy offerings, washed the floors and changed the idol’s clothes, one official said. “Some priests opposed the minister’s entry into the interior chamber of the temple,” Upendra Mallik, a senior government official told Reuters. “We are investigating.” In India, millions of people formerly known as “untouchables” remain oppressed at the bottom of the ancient Hindu caste system. The minister said the purification ritual, at the Akhandalamani temple in Orissa’s Bhadrak district, could have been conducted at the behest of her political rivals. “I have been visiting the temple for years now. Some politically motivated people want to create controversy,” she said. In spite of India’s secular constitution banning caste discrimination, Dalits – those at the bottom of the caste system – are still commonly beaten or killed for using a well or worshipping at a temple reserved for upper castes. More than 16 percent of India’s 1.1-billion population are Dalits, occupying the lowest rank in a 3,000-year-old Hindu caste system. reuters

    Home | Region

  6. dhara Says:

    Sonraj : I don’t see reason for this post in satyam thread. People of all castes, priests in many situations are banned from certain areas of temples. The rules are getting more relaxed than it used to be for everybody, and the reuter write up is alarmist.

  7. naradar Says:

    dhara – agree we should not clutter up Rajeev’s blog and my last response.

    Having worked for decades with Scandinavians and Irish I would dispute your contention – I have always found non-UK Europeans to be benign and respectful of India and Indians.

    My observation is that Indians have a propensity to be crooked – given the option to be honest or devious they always opt for the latter. Satyam and Raju are symptoms of this.

    Rajeev Srinivasan and his ilk are so enamored of some past glory Indians had that they tend to adopt blinkers when it comes to a deep character flaw that infests the desi psyche.

    Avaricious, Shylockian Jews and devious, dishonest Hindus!

  8. dhara Says:

    naradar : Thanks for sharing your observations. I didn’t europeans are disrespectful at a personal level. But I don’t have the same opinion at organizational level.

    The continental europe and its intellectual association with Indian ideas goes to early modern era. Many of the giants and great philosophers of modern era looked at India very differently than crooked dishonest hindus. [ Check for example http://www.atributetohinduism.com/, but to really appreciate it, one got to review some of great european works or go in a tortous way to appreciate Indian works ] . While India has more understanding of europe, colonial europe screwed it up with contempt and negation. The anti-semitic statement Shylockian Jews and devious, dishonest Hindus! is a cultural prejudice. How is that the nazis and imperialists and socialists are not b**** suckers and instead the jews are ? How is that the imperialists are not dishonest and the hindus are ?

    Thanks for your concern about the Raju scandal, Rajeev has criticized the Indian established more than anybody. He has supported Satyam – which was going through some of the best practices and succeeded until it collapsed. Imagine where your argument would be, if Satyam(s) of India succeed through open practices and legal frameworks instead of business through corrupted political and media backing and unfair advantages. I have no doubt this was the kind of reason why Rajeev supported it initially taking a big risk. I have no doubt that you would love to support such corporations.


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