Fundamentally, stop ramming extraordinary people down our throats
I dont know about Anna Hazare, but let me tell you who else is a media creation.
Citizen Narayana Murthy
Lt Citizen Nandan Nilekani
Well the linear growth of the company they founded has plateaued. The ceaseless push of the market to keep doing more of the same thing – quarter after quarter can tire the best. I welcome Mr Nilekani in public life, but here is the catch.
When these people are thrust on to prime time TV, commenting on crucial government policy, they should be scrutinized with the same microscope as Anna Hazare was. If the media wont do it, we will.
The interview of ex Infosys CEO Nilekani with Sagarika Ghosh of CNN-IBN
I continue to be astonished at the lack of depth in what these gentlemen say on public policy. It is like reading a mismash of 60% IT sales PPT + 20% leadership self help books + 19% jargon +remaining 1% – the words fundamental and extraordinary. After listening to a long interview you invariably come off with – What did he just say ?
I watched the interview two times and I can say this:
If Arvind Kejriwal or Kiran Bedi had given an interview of this quality, TV Channels will be screaming, “Do you want these people to frame laws ?”
The entire interview was based on tearing to pieces a strawman.
The Lokpal alone is not a magic bullet
Surprise ! no one said it is.
I dont know what his brief was from the government, but he turned this interview into the weakest sales pitch ever for the UID project.
Sample this :
I am just saying that for millions of people corruption is at the point of interaction. When they are trying to get their PDS, when their are trying to get their pension, when they are trying to get their bank account open, when they move from a village to a city and nobody is willing to recognise them.
That is where corruption is.
And that is where the things we are doing like giving an Aadhar ID for every person, especially those who have no ID, (comes in).
Not about petty corruption, this is about high corruption first.
Look, I support the Aadhar project, minus the biometry wallet padding. But how many people have experienced corruption while opening a bank account ? How many experience corruption when getting PDS ? When you move from village to city – you still need address proof with or without Aadhar. I digress. The point is the current protests led by Anna Hazare have little to do with this type of corruption. Mr Nilekani is completely misreading the mood of the people. Sure there is petty corruption, but it is about the high corruption that people are most wired up about. The media is already trying to paint this to be about petty corruption because then it can say that this is a selfish protest. The truth is, for the first time in the history of India we have a protest where there are no personal benefits attached. I had to take a break from twitter because bloggers who I have followed for years mocked the protestors in a non stop deluge of abuse and ridicule. I felt I had to respond to each of them and burnt out in the process. Do they not see the significance these protests ? Do you see them shouting slogans on the street on specifics of Jan Lok Pal ?
You know, you have the IT industry, the BPO industry, the FMCG industry, the manufacturing industry, the auto industry, the financial industry which are very competitive open market kind of situations.
Oh really Sir, all the above are comfortably ensconced in their 20 to 500 acre free trade tax free havens. The policy was such that you had to move to SEZ to stay competitive. This created conditions for a large scale land grab which is at the heart of most scams today. This includes the 2G scam, where big realtors are accused by the CBI. They lobbied the government to extend their tax holidays while there is no strategic value to the country on account of their produce. This is not to be misconstrued as attacking them, just saying that the extra cash due to tax benefits do not materially enhance their abilities. For instance, none of them can do what a Huawei is doing to China or a Samsung to Korea. In contrast, IT companies make us particularly vulnerable to immigration policies of the west. Many may not know that Infosys is currently caught up in a serious case of Visa fraud before a East Texas District Court related to alleged misuses of B1 visas. There was a US Senate hearing about it late July which the Indian media blanked out. One could argue that, B-1 use is an open secret why single out Infosys. If that is the case, then why are Nilekani and Co the media darlings and not other IT players.
Why protest when excellent people are already looking at it ?
Nilekani says he has developed great respect for politicians after his two years in public life. The same two years where mega scams and coverups happened.
I am very very impressed with the quality of questions, the homework, the due diligence, the seriousness that they view these things with. And it’s very bipartisan, you can’t make out who is from which party because they all ask (questions) on the issue. So when you have such an excellent system of law-making…and you know they have asked us so many thing to clarify, they have called so many experts, they have called people who are against what we are doing to the committee.
So it’s a very comprehensive approach to law-making. So when this law is in front of the appropriate standing committee, why do we need an agitation? It escapes me why this is going on.
Well that is the point, the comprehensive law making with all due diligence has failed us for 65 years. It will only improve if they are pushed by either voting them out or by stressing them by protests. It has always been like that. Why is Anna’s protest so abhorrent to you ? The issue that riles people is the excellent people you cite are making kooky arguments about stake sale vs issuing new shares.
I have major issues with the Jan Lok Pal bill. That in no way impacts my full support to the protests who have a generalized anger on corruption. High corruption. By the current government. Not the retail version.