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Archive for February, 2012

Just 4 weeks away

When you begin a journey, your mind runs through a million thoughts, will it be fruitful, will i be able to complete it, etc etc. This thought began around Jul 2011 when I decided I wished to keep a 16 Monday fast. These fasts are typically to please Lord Shiva. I kept the fast for the general peace of the household, when I called the priest to keep the fast with the proper process, he almost laughed. Girls usually keep it for a good husband. I stated, I want peace at home, husband aa jayega..uski mujhe tension nahi hai… and I started practicing keeping a “Nirjaal fast” around two-three months in advance. I usually keep a fast on Mondays (with water and one time food). This is a tougher version of the kind of the fast that I keep. This involves a strict discipline to be followed. No water and food for 24 hrs on Monday. The fast begins at 12am on Monday and ends at 12am Tuesday. Typically, during this phase one can’t drink liquor, eat non-veg (incl egg) and think anything sinful. You are supposed to pray everyday and keep thoughts pure, speak truth, etc, etc…You begin your day with prayers every morning and on a Monday, you visit the Mandir and bathe the shivling with milk and water, wear white clothes and conduct your prayers. The negative part is that if you have your menstrual cycle the fast does not get counted though you have to fast on that day as well. So on every Monday, you fast and this continues till all the 16 are completed successfully.

I have completed 14 successfully and have another 2 more to go, post which I can keep the opening ceremony called “Udhyapan” where you invite friends and family and 16 brahmins for the celebration. I don’t know but this kind of fasting instills immense discipline into you. I can sit with you and yet not eat anything, even if you eat non-veg in front of me..I don’t even have the urge to eat or drink..I don’t know it comes from within..just a feeling of wellness..calm and absolute state of peace…the feeling is simply indescribable…but wonderful. I never thought I had it in me to complete it…but with every passing Mondays I feel more and more re-ensured.

What a coincidence this year as if God had aligned the events. Mahasivratri also falls on Monday, hence I don’t need to fast on two days during the week. Similarly my birthday falls on a Monday. I wish to keep the Udhyapan on my birthday – why not ring in the new year with an auspicious ceremony. Just an auspicious one. However, I will have to keep an extra fast if I do so..so it will be 16+2.. However, it is worth the bet.. 🙂

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Do we need another Anna for Corporate Governance?

A look at the present scenario of corporate India; indicates that people like Anna are already present but with a muted voice.  Mr.Anil Singhvi – is one such activist who continuously strives to raise awareness among investors about the company events. For example, in 2012 he expressed concern about Bharti Airtel’s rationale regarding increasing CEO Sunil Mittal s compensation to Rs.70cr, up 76%. Similarly, he also raised a voice regarding Hindalco’s corporate governance practices such as having the same independent directors and auditors for more than a few decades. However, in both the cases the AGMs took place with little or no heed given to these points.

Here begins the lapse of the corporate governance practices with the investors not actively questioning the companies about their decisions and activities. Traditionally people like to play the blame game after an event (like a fraud) has occurred; begins the chain reaction- the company should be alert and adopt a whistleblower policy, etc. But do we look at ourselves and start taking a proactive step towards becoming the change factor. The answer is a blank NO!

Then how will corporate governance practices change? The change will not occur overnight, the change will not be one-sided (on the company front). It has to be multi-dimensional with each and every stakeholder becoming a part of it. The onus lies on the shoulders of an Investor, an employee, a supplier, a company director, etc. We have to leave behind the reactive approach and adopt a more proactive one towards corporate governance.

After a scam is revealed investors typically feel jittery about their investment; to placate the investors the ministry of company affairs and other legal organizations suggest a number of laws and policies. But eventually, these laws are implemented by rote compared to in totality. The vicious circle continues with frauds (2G scam, Satyam fraud, etc) coming to the forefront. Hence till the Anna within us is awakened, the future of corporate governance looks bleak!!

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