Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Does honesty really pay?

I would have definitely made my parents proud had I chosen to become an IAS officer.  They were very confident that I could have easily cracked it. Well, I can hear their mumbling mind voices now that I didn't even try for it. It was in my second year in engineering that it dawned on me that we live in India and all such proud IAS officers can thrive only in movies. My friend and I had serious discussions about the profession and finally decided that there shouldn’t be a dilemma between the two, Money and Power. It was never between money and service. Even now nobody considers IAS as a service rather it is known for the power it gives. We chose money. Fast forward ten years, the same friend and I started a business venture (you cannot call it a venture; it is more of a hobby).

When you run a business or work for some business, time is the most valuable commodity. You cannot run from pillar to post to get your files moved and waste your days particularly when you have a foreign partner. Time is money. Either you get it done or your competitor would get it done. It is cut throat competition. But how far will you go to win in this competition. Would you bribe someone through money or other means? Would you desist from wrong-doing even if you lose? Welcome to India, where honesty in life is a rarity. I am sure you’d have heard about honest officers from the cadres of IAS, IPS and IFS being transferred every now and then for being honest. Today when the nation mourns the death of the honest and upright officer D K Ravi’s untimely death, there are few questions that linger. When the entire police force is solving or covering up various scams and rapes in this country, can we expect the Police Department to probe this case without any influence? Already they have concluded that there is no foul-play and it is a case of suicide. It is highly surprising why an officer like D K Ravi would commit suicide. What was he going through? There are lots of stories floating around the internet and one thing that is clear is, today, every parent of any IAS, IPS or IFS officer would be worried. Forget about movie dialogues, which will never happen in a household. My dad would have advised me to go to office wearing blinkers had I been an IAS officer. If everyone is going silent about the scams, why should you worry would have been the exact words he would have spoken.

From the Facebook wall of DK Ravi's batch-mate

I can say with no doubts that he is an honest and proud dad but when it comes to his only child, this is how he will talk. For parents who would love to teach their kids about honesty and being courageous, they would be in a dilemma today whether to teach them to be courageous, upright and lose them or to go with the flow and prosper. What would you do as a parent? I was wondering few days back, would we have Bhagat Singhs in India again. Would we have such patriots for whom the nation comes first? Yes, there are many amongst us. Again, I would like to ask this question, what would you do as a parent? Would you teach your child to be honest and upright or to go with the flow?

PS – My heartfelt condolences for the family of the officer D K Ravi. I have never seen such public outrage and protest for a death of a Government official. You will always live in our hearts!