Saturday, January 10, 2009

Satyam- beyond incredulity

That the Satyam fraud scam is massive is beyond doubt. Here is a Tier-1 company, one of the top few representatives of the neo-Indian big bourgeoisie, one of the few IT tags-to-riches stories that have defined the Indian liberalisation period, and one of the few perennial contenders/winners for the multiplicity of the bourgeoisie instituted "awards of the year" every year.

Much has been written about it or is still being talked and written about it in the media already. Justify FullWhat is unsaid is the level of colossal failure that can be stuck to several authorities who were seen to be unimpeachable in quality and prestige.

Can you imagine it? Here is a promoter/chairman who says that books were fudged to the tune of Rs 7100 crores and no one in the all powerful and independent"Board of Directors" knew a thing about it. And all this seems to have happened under the nose of a supposedly prestigious accounting/auditing firm (a global "powerhouse" at that)- PriceWaterHouse Coopers. And the CAs who are supposed to have colluded or perhaps simply been utterly inefficient in going about their jobs are considered to be the creme-de-la-creme of the Indian literate, having passed their tough CA examinations conducted by the prestigious ICAI. And to beat it all, not a whimper or a whiff of this scam could be noticed or deciphered by the even more powerful overseer of India's official arena of casino capitalism- BSE/NSE - the SEBI. The one letter by Ramalinga Raju has blown up into shreds, any notion of "checks and balances" in the finance capital institutions in the country. Satyam surely is among the many who have been twisting, ignoring or simply breaking the law of the land in its financial transactions in the country.

The ever growing myth of affluence, prosperity, growth and value addition quarter after quarter, built up a institution of such high repute that Satyam received award after award for "corporate excellence", "best employment", "best CEO" and what not, only for one big lie resulting in the crashing down of this edifice resembling the collapse of a pack of trick joker cards.

Several questions need to be raised and thankfully, already being raised - Whats this Maytas story all about? How much of Maytas' contracts and projects got to do with political patronage and plain crony capitalism. How much of a finger in the pie do these Rajasekara Reddys and Chandrababu Naidus have, in the Maytas-Satyam crony capitalist enterprise? What is the nature of the real estate story in the environs in and around Hyderabad? Already real estate has been swarmed and eaten up bit by bit by land sharks all around Hyderabad, leaving shreds for the government to pick and develop for public infrastructure projects and the likes.

I wish, we in the media, have the gumption to dig as deep as possible and possibly bring about a change in the "system" as it stands. The Satyam-Maytas story is now, surely, the tip of the "liberalised" iceberg, nay glacier. It needed a simple spark to heat up this glacier; it requires a bonfire of media activism to melt this mammoth bit of crony capitalist enterprise which has now threatened the well being of even the most upwardly mobile employees in India today - the IT workers.

Watch this space for more on the affair as things descend further into the spiral.

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