India

Satyam case and the Dhritrashtra syndrome

The controversy and frauds unearthed in Satyam case are to continue for coming many days. Economic analysts and pundits are busy guessing about the size of the fraud and implications of the same. But for the common Indian investors and journalists like me, it is only a latest addition in the long list of victims of Dhritrashtra syndrome. Indians, be it politicians or businessmen, are known to fall pray to this disease.

Dhritrashtra was the king in Mahabharata, an epic with which every Indian is familiar and identifies himself with. Being blind since his birth, Dhritrashtra could not rule his kingdom normally. He had 100 sons from Gandhari, who tied her eyes for whole of her lifetime as a form of solidarity with her husband. Among notable offsprings of this couple were Duryodhan and Dushashan. Dhritrashtra hoped to fulfill his unfinished wishes through his sons and as a result, used to turn a blind eye towards all the misdeeds by his sons. Later on he even participated with them. When their sins crossed limits, the famous war between Kaurav and Pandav took place. It became the cause of downfall of entire empire and eventually race.

Even today, one finds many examples of this syndrome in Indian society. It appears that Raju took the wrong way of taking decision without taking investors in confidence. But had he approached the investors, they would never have approved the idea of investing Satyam’s money in Maytas Infra and Maytas Properties. He was forced to do so to save his companies and he forgot that he is deceiving everybody. Looking elsewhere, we find a case in Tamil Nadu. Chief minister M. Karunanidhi has brought his two sons and a daughter into politics. Dinakaran, a newspaper carried a poll asking the people whom they thought is his best successor. The poll showed Stalin, Karunanidhi’s second son as the front runner, enraged supporters of Karunanidhi’s first son torched Dinakaran’s office. Interestingly, the newspaper was brought out by Sun Network group, headed by Karunanidhi’s nephews. But the chief minister not only ignored the incident, he severed ties with nephews and started his own channel as an answer to Sun group.

In Maharashtra, Shiv Sena was a ruling party once. But the party supremo Bal Thackeray started to give prominence to his son, Uddhav. This enraged Raj Thackeray, his nephew and he started his own party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. To be one up, he adopted the same agenda of son-of-soil which caused a violent agitation in the state for most part of the last year. That has not deterred Bal Thackeray in virtually giving total control of his party to Uddhav.

The Dhritrashtra syndrome was also cause of the major scams in recent history of India. Most famous case was that of Sanjay and Indira Gandhi. During last years of his life, Sanjay Gandhi, son of Indira had become almost an extra-constitutional authority. Maruti, a company which later became Indian car’s identity, was set up by Sanjay and his business partners. During 1970s, it was alleged that government unduly helped the company and it was favored over others. This allegation was one of the reasons of Indira’s defeat in 1977, (declaring Emergency in the country being other). After the accidental death of Sanjay, government seized its holding in the company and Suzuki came in. It was only after this developed that Maruti was on its way to progress.

The man who succeeded Indira, Moraraji Desai was also mired in controversy because of his son Kantilal. The son was often ctiticised for being corrupt and taking undue advantage of his father’s name.

Beyond politics, there are another cases in Bollywood too. A case in point is Sanjay Dutt, who has been offered a seat in parliament of India from Lucknow just two weeks ago. He was the son of Sunil Dutt, an illustrious activist and three times member of parliament. Sanjay Dutt was booked for various offences since 1980, most famous among which was possessing an AK-56 during bomb blasts in Mumbai in 1993. But Dutt senior went out of his way to sheild his son from the controvrsies and litigation. In a most outstanding deal stuck with Bal Thackerey, who was then most powerful politician in Maharashtra, he managed to release Sanjay from jail. In return, he chose to relinquish his seat in the parliament.

One of infamous such cases involved Sanjeev Nanda, son of former arms dealer Suresh Nanda and grandfather of former Naval chief Admiral S. M. Nanda. Sanjeev is sentenced to a five year jail term for killing six persons under his speeding BMW car. The incident had taken on January 10, 1999. Just yesterday, the Delhi High Court denied to extend interim bail given to Sanjeev. Whole country has seen how the distinguished family has tried to get Sanjeev out of this case. It is possibly because of the genuineness of Indian judicial system that Sanjeev is behind bars.

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2 commentaires pour “Satyam case and the Dhritrashtra syndrome”

  1. Le 12 janvier 2009 à 11:53

    LeMagIT Blogs : L’affaire Satyam et le syndrome de Dhritrashtra dit:

    […] de l’anglais par Valéry […]

  2. Le 23 avril 2009 à 08:21

    LeMagIT Blogs : Satyam : how big is the Indian Enron ? dit:

    […] with the Pune Mirror (Times Group), the Satyam scam relates to a strong cultural inheritage, the Dhritrashtra syndrome : a king from the Mahabharata who lost his kingdom after following carelessly his sons in […]

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