Satyamev Jayate (Sanskrit: “Truth Alone Triumphs”) is purportedly the foundation stone of India’s value systems. The Indian newspapers have been indulging in wordplay about how Satyam means not ‘truth’ but lies. Like every other scam, this too shall die out of public memory and that’s no surprise. What is surprising is that while we keep touting the need for innovation, we’ll do exactly the opposite in Satyam’s case and in every such future occurence.
First let’s look at some ‘facts’.
1. We are expected to believe (media plays Government spokesperson here) that one man is responsible for the Satyam scam and that he kept at it for 7 years without being found out. Yeah! We believe you!
2. The Indian business environment (read regulatory frameworks) encourages entrepreneurship and officials are above board. Corruption is the fault of the citizen and not the government. Yeah! We’re wet behind our ears.
3. The 53,000 employees of one of India’s IT powerhouses does not have even 3 employees that can be elevated to the Board and we need the Government to appoint some ‘untainted’ officers. Yeah! See what happened to Colin Powell?
4. If the Indian Government does not follow the leader (read US Government) by bailing out the company, employees will be on the streets. Yeah! Sure, the company was paying its salaries on receipt of monthly payments from their customers.
5. Statutory auditors are supposed to sign on Company results based on the Chairman’s statement and are not meant to independently verify the accounts. Yeah! Capitalistic businesses will protect the interests of the guys who pays most and therefore they would defintely find private players more attractive to side with.
The truth could be that there are several ‘powerful’ vested interests locked into the company. How many hand-in-glovers are involved in the scam is something I think will unfurl in the weeks/months ahead.