Archive for January 2009

satyam – ?!

January 14, 2009

I felt that my purse was forcibly opened to give alms, but since the recipient was never ever going to be a beggar, I felt that my work was being taxed to give the greedy a better lunch. I felt that I was robbed not by Robin Hood to pay to the poor but by scheming scoundrels to pay slipshod crooks.
The Government of India has decided (or is deciding) to give 2000 crores to bail out satyam! Am I supposed to feel sorry or angry, since I don’t feel happy? When the USA started bailing out fraudulent or inefficient organizations, I was just curious, not concerned. I was wondering why fools are given grace marks to pass exams, but then, I do not understand economics or politics. I was just a news-consumer with the inherent apathy of the breed. But this ‘indian’ news struck a chord. I blinked. I tried to wake up.
After a few hours of ingesting the news I could not digest my emotional reaction to it. I felt I was selfish. When my thinking should have been globalised I was thinking in a very indianised strait jacket! Shameful? Perhaps! But then, how can I be as much worried about the world as I am about my own country? Surely I do not belong to the class of Manmohan Singh and P Chidambaram. They are globalised, industrialized, intelligent and with foresight much beyond my corrective lens’ distant vision. They know what they are doing. They know what to do and when. They may even know how. After all, I was dreaming (like millions of idiots) that they are going to make this country and consequently my life better. I was silent when many things happened. I was just thinking that every mess was just a precursor to prosperity. After all, I am just a middle-class Indian with a middle-class dream. Now when they plan to take 2000 crores of my money – (in this country when I keep believing that the guy I voted for rules and regulates the country, I am also deluded that the government is using my money constructively) I feel uneasy. My philistine conscience tries to tear the shroud of indifference. My selfishness takes over my pseudo-liberalized-currently-vogue attitude that India’s image is more important than squandering of hard earned pittance.
Ok. So, a much-hyped company is in shambles. 50,000 guys are unsure of their future. If the company crashes many homes would weep, but more importantly the image of Indian business would fall in the eyes of the world. We (again it is my delusion to use the collective pronoun), would not be able to get the world to transact business with us. Lots and lots and lots of such ‘dire’ consequences are portrayed. So it is up to all of us to stand united and save the company. Sounds good. Sounds even sensible. But if sounds are sensible enough why do we have words?
In a bizarre thought process that wondered about what went wrong and who was responsible, I briefly speculated whether it was all because of Rajiv who wanted computers all over the country or his grandfather who believed that industrialization and modernization were the routes to prosperity. The silly thought vanished like mist in the face of my patriotic sun. My leaders, (I believed, wanted to believe, and hypnotized myself to believe) are doing whatever is best for the country. So when Manmohan Singh decides that my tax (not even worth calculating in percentile against the 2000 crores) should be spent on reviving a fraudulent organization, I accept. Even when you accept defeat or victory, happiness or sorrow, you can’t help wondering- in other words thinking. Thought and emotion are never the same despite the constant flirting between the two.
So, stopping my emotions from surfacing out of the gutters of my mind, I turn to the pseudo-sanitation of my thoughts to rationalize and deny facts. I wish to forget the misuse of my non-existent (figuratively and literally) paisa.
50,000 persons and perhaps 150,000 would suffer. This government wakes up to the fact and acts swiftly, whereas 182,936 persons were dying a slow steady and sure death in the past 10 years. if i know it, i presume MY government knows it too!
They died.

These guys are just going to suffer.

So what? Perhaps in the liberalized, globalized, modernized thought process of the pseudo-socialism that we embrace, living is worse than dying.
And, how long and how many are going to suffer? The inefficient would lose money and face in the community. The efficient would get other employment offers. They may not buy a BMW but instead get just a Maruti 800. Their pub and bar expenses would have to be cut. Italian shoes would have to be replaced with Indian ones.Some may settle for lesser jobs for just some more time!

Are they going to die? of course they should not, but will they face death when they can’t even face defeat? There may be some idiots who commit suicide among the thousands who are going to get depressed. But their depression would be a consequence of a loss of desires but not needs, unlike the farmers who could not even feed their infants. They still would have stocks to sell, houses to live, food to even waste and throw. It will be just a blow that perhaps devastates the dream castles that they have(having been sold with cunningness ) bought with greed. But are they going to stop living?
Read this.“The suicides of thousands of farmers around the country tell poignant and revealing tales of our country, and the desperation that marks the lives of so many millions. Disastrous policies, woeful access to affordable credit, greedy and corrupt middlemen, and indifferent administrations are among the factors that have pushed farmers to their breaking point.-
Suicides by farmers of Maharashtra crossed the 4000 mark in 2007, for the third time in four years, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). As many as 4238 farmers of the State took their lives that year, the latest for which data are available, accounting for a fourth of 16,632 farmer suicides in the country. The national total represents a slight fall, from 17,060 in 2006, but the broad trends of ‘the past decade seem unshaken. Farmer suicides in the country since 1997 now
(2008) total 1,82,936. http://www.indiatogether.org/agriculture”

Does this mean anything?

Those farmers WERE NEVER BAILED OUT. They just put votes, did not pay taxes. The sugarcane farmer did not come forward to fight for the cotton farmer. They had things to do. things which meant life that met needs not greed. Since they meant nothing in the globalized economic equations, they were allowed to rue, rot and die- unlike in the present scenario.

Sister/brother software companies have pledged that they will not poach the employees of the falling organization. Without going into the realistic question of “for how long”, it just sends a simple message. Birds of a feather flock together! Would it be wrong on my part to wonder whether the government’s feathers and satyam’s feathers belong to the same plume?
If frauds win always, should we become frauds to survive?

i care what the government does even if  the government  does not  care what i (an ordinary inconsequential voter) think. i wish we talk about it even if, as usual, we do not think about it.

TWO DAYS AFTER THE POST WAS WRITTEN, THIS MORNING  (16/01/09)THE NEWS WAS THAT THE GOVERNMENT WAS NOT GOING TO CONSIDER GIVING ANY MONEY FOR SATYAM (certainly not because of my post!). but in no way does this absolve the government for sitting quietly and pondering on what to do with dying farmers, when it acted swiftly to save possible-job-lossers amongst whom, there were quite some who were very disturbed about their plummeting matrimonial-market-value!

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