Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Gaurav writes about his IIML senior and IOC officer Manjunath who was killed for sealing a petrol bunk selling adulterated petrol. News like this jolts us, makes us stare vacantly for a few minutes and shrug and get on with life or whatever we call it.

On a tangential note, is it possible to be corruption free? From what I have seen in my grand working experience of 10 years, I doubt it. Any discussion on corruption generally focusses on Government / PSUs. I have worked through out my career in private companies and can confidently say that corruption is prevalent as much in private enterprises too. The degree of corruption varies, but it is prevalent. We as a society accept it. I personally have paid money to people in various positions. We call it by various names, the one I fancy is "cost of doing business". I have had opportunities to make money myself, but the middle class morality has kept me from taking money. Of course this holier than thou attitude doesn't absolve me. It is like saying I am only a pimp, not a prostitute.


Hawkeye said...

i like your direct style. you are my kinda guy :-)

Nilu said...

There is just one means of measuring ourselves - and that is handed down by evolution. Its called survival.

Ethics which go against this grain is just plain laughable.

Anonymous said...

"middle calls" mentality is hypocrisy. I guess you are quaoting from a tamil movie..(i feel i have heard this before)...It is a blatant lie. Tocuh your heart and say....of n number of ppl you many were non-middle class ?

Chenthil said...

hawkeye :-).

Nilu, I am yet to get out of the ethics vs survival debate and evolve.

Anon, I hardly see movies. What are you driving at? Most of those whom I bribed are middle class.

Anonymous said...

The movie u guys are talking is probably Kuruthippunal where Badri (Nasser) claims Aadhi (Kamal) can't have him killed because of his middle-class manasatchi.
Just an excuse to talk about a movie I loved :p.

Bart said...

Bcoz everyone does, I do it.. yes, I too am a pimp!
But, lets look at the same issue in another angle. If I had been a customer in the same petrol bunk.. Lets say, the adulterated petrol say has spoiled my vehicle engine. Now, I go to the petrol bunk, make a hue and cry about this and the manager settles the issue by apologising or faking ignorance or in the worst case hush-hushing the matter paying me the loss. What I do - I accept whatever he offers and move on in life as if nothing happened. From thereon, I am careful not to step into that petrol pump and thats it. However, since people like me are one-off cases, the petrol bunk manages to survive. Had I taken it in a big way, probably taking it to the consumer court or so, I might have faced the same end as Manju did. But then, its not my role to correct the society... So what is wrong here? The fear in law, the keeping-up of law and abiding law... Actually, in-short, this is the problem area touched by Shankar in "anniyan".
You cannot correct all pimps who live free.. But is there a way of instilling fear through the pimp / prostitute if caught? Can the govt take some hard steps in achieving this based on degree of guilt? Like hanging the persons caught in Manju's case, publicly, for eg?
Manju was a good friend of mine, whose enthusiasm used to spark the place around. An atrocious end to a very nice human being.

Anonymous said...

chenthil, anon again....naming your consciousness (not to take bribe) as middle class morality is not true...many middle class take bribes is self consciousness and not middle class morality..

Nilu said...

I thought it was "Dhil"

Anonymous said...

u r are on the right track. u dont have the "all in the game" "so what" stuborn in your views.

Deepa said...

corruption exists at all levels everywhere. And its been so since Aam-Eve era. So don't hate yourself.:-)

Arun Chabria said...

Perhaps the the question is whether we can stop being a nation of hypocrites. We may not accept bribes but will willingly give them to get what we want. Its the hypocrisy that kills. All of us have ranted about bribery at some time. But what if any has been our contribution towards putting a stop to it. Its not like we are the victims you know. We actively aid and abet this system of bribery. Its far easier to pay the bribe and get on with it that it is to do so otherwise.

It tickles me pink to see the holier than thou pretensions of the middle class.In terms of the sheer numbers and volume they are perhaps the largest payers of bribes. And when it come to receiving them they are pretty much on par with everybody else.

And yes a pimp is more morally culpable than the prostitute. Because I feel w.r.t the bribery thing he has choice, its a difficult one but its a choice nonetheless.

And nilu, ethics are not laughable. Even if at times they require us to make sacrifces. It seems like your saying its ok to go to any lenghts to get what you want. Just because you commit a wrong for your convenience or because its forced on you dosent make it right.

And by the way where are you willing to draw the line.

Nilu said...

I do not have a line. That line is meant for chicken hearted individuals like yourself who would like to sit in judgement of others.

There already exists a mechanism to measure these things up. Its called evolution. So save your patronizing attitude.

kansub said...

As a former government official now settled in the US it pains me to read about Mr.Manjunath. It is particularly poignant to read reactions to his murder from some very educated people have not grasped some fundamental problems with Mr.Manjunath�s approach to solving the issue of adulterated petrol, as it relates to his job.

The blame for Mr.Manjunath�s death falls squarely on IOCL officials for not providing adequate training for doing Mr.Manjunath�s job, whoever is doing it now. I am sure he had his opinion of the world but, he was in the end doing a job ( or did someone tell him or was he made to believe otherwise?)

My views:
1. Was Mr.Manjunath made aware that he is not the individual responsible for solving all adulteration issues in his area?
2. It is not news that many station owners are thugs. Did someone tell Mr.Manjunath that he will typically deal with thugs ?
3. Did Mr. Manjunath (being as educated as he is) not know to not broadcast his findings in front of such thugs?
4. What were the job expectations set on him by his superiors? Go tell the owners that they clean up the station or else? Whose bright idea is it to assume the role of a policeman without arms? What results were expected? How was such enforcement expected to be followed through? What were the guidelines? Even if his life were spared, what did he expect. Close stations and the bureaucracy will give him medals and station owners meekly comply?
5. Who is responsible for idealistic views of any job? What management training was provided by IOCL? Did Mr.Manjunath question or review the methods he was supposed to follow when confronted with an infraction?
6. Bureaucracy has methods to protect and methods to punish. Which of these were known to Mr.Manjunath?
7. What lessons were learned from previous such incidents by IOCL? How were they applied? Mr.Manjunath cannot be expected to know all these from IIM @!
8. So my view is ��. What�s new? Why is adulteration my problem if I am doing my job which incidentally does not give me the privilege, capability or authority to change the system.
9. Brings me back to Bhagavad Gita �Karmanye�.� Sorry Manjunath, your karma was probably not to confront thugs without arms.