The Satyam fiasco is all over the media and the oft-used phrase to express reaction is ‘shock’. Ramalinga Raju’s letter is all over the internet (and media) and people are clamouring to dig into every sentence of it and find things that others may not have found, yet.

Here’s one ignored facet of the whole story – something positive that most people may not want to comment on at this point when the collective anger on Ramalinga Raju is at its peak – the fact that Ramalinga Raju actually had the courage to accept the fraud!

Yes, I agree – he perhaps did not have any options and was cornered. His last ditch effort (Maytas acquisition) had failed him and he’d anyway be exposed very soon, had he not gone public, himself. But, think about it – he had 3 options yesterday morning,

  1. Wait for the issue to take its own course – imminent arrest and ensuing media drama
  2. Accept his fraud openly and then await the repercussions
  3. Commit suicide

Which 2 of the above options do you think is courageous and not entirely cowardly? 1 and 3?

There are also reports in the media that Raju was advised to accept his mistake in a meeting with his own community, last week. And, something to the effect of what happened to the head of Nagarjuna Finance who chose option 1, above.

Its mighty strange that I’m actually talking something positive about a man who has perpetrated the ‘Enron of India’ (oh, how the media loves such word play!) – but there is something tremendously reassuring and meaningful when someone accepts a mistake – however great or small.

Reassuring, because the law of the land or the powers above still operate efficiently – else this open acceptance would not have occurred.

Meaningful, because even amidst sure-shot hatred and infamy, a man so despicable, has at last one streak of grace left within him to find the courage to come out with the truth, himself.

That he may be cornered/ coerced/ forced etc. is not of significance here. However insignificant it may be, Raju has not only accepted his role in the fraud but also apologized to a whole lot of people – employees, stakeholders et all. It really doesn’t matter, but I’m sure anyone who has ever mustered courage to say ‘sorry’ and accept blame for any kind of mistake, will realize that it is definitely not an easy act – particularly when your entire life and reputation is at stake.

Ramalinga Raju deserves the most stringent legal punishment possible by the law of this land, due to the sheer magnitude of this fraud. 20 years? Bring it on. But, just for the final, marginal grace he displayed, he also deserves a rare, last applause…no need to clap, that’s an overkill, but a simple, heartfelt, ‘not bad, man!’ would do!

Comments

comments

3 thoughts on “Marginally graceful!

  1. Fascinating premise, that Ramalinga Raju should be complimented for accepting responsibility for fraud. The cardinal rule of crisis management is – explain what happened to the best of your knowledge, and what you will do about it to the best of your ability. But while many will acknowledge the impact of their actions or events on others, few ever really apologize. Frankly it may or may not be appropriate. In this case certainly it is appropriate, but still surprising, that he would apologize to so many people. Nonetheless, that does not dilute the impact of his actions on those to whom he apologized. So from my perspective, congratulations for such an apology, is entirely out of order.

  2. Gary, thanks for sharing your opinion. Going by the last few days’ development, it looks like surrendering himself was the best case scenario, since it seems that if he’s booked under a criminal offense, the securities exchange board of India cannot question him. It sounds bizarre and I hope its not true…

    However, he could have avoided the public apology and headed straight into the cops’ arms – which he didn’t.

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