Great Lakes Management – We thank you!!! The sessions with Mr.Vittal, former Central Vigilance Commissioner, as part of a course on Ethics and Governance have been awesome. They have been thought provoking. During the course of 5 sessions Mr. Vittal covered so much about life in business and politics. He shared his experiences and showcased how one can change one’s methods to adapt to times and yet stick to one’s values. One of the topics he discussed was the rampant corruption in government and business. To borrow his words – “the nexus of the Neta, babu, lala, jhola, and dada”. He raised concerns over corrupt people’s innovative abilities.
Mr. Vittal highlighted the various issues involved in staying true to one’s values. He used anecdotes to great effect and illustrated how the individual and society together create rules of engagement. Students posed queries on various ethical dilemmas they have encountered which elicited some very interesting viewpoints. The delightful part was that he encouraged all sort of questions – the dirtier, the better he said. Mr. Vittal’s ideas and learning drew inspiration from various sources including several scriptures of great importance such as the Bhagwad Gita. Often discounted as simply religious texts, he proved that these are sources of abundant knowledge for life and business alike.
During one of the discussions, he stated that Corruption Free Service should be made a part of our fundamental rights in a bid to tackle corruption. He threw light on how Indian civil servants have converted corruption into a low risk, high return industry. To a question on whether lobbying, if legalised, can help control corruption levels and moderate the politician-businessman nexus, he answered in the affirmative. The US Lobbying industry has flourished in the legalised format. We could take a leaf out of their book and create a similar system in India. This would help rid of a lot of black money in the market. Further, it will give a chance to the common man to voice his/her interests. We could use a Pro bono publico system to achieve the same. A report by World Audit ranked India 64th in corruption in the world. Perhaps we need to LOBBY to legalize LOBBYING in India.
None of us wanted Mr. Vittal’s lectures to end but they had to! However, learning the importance of ethics in governance and business from a person of Mr. Vittal’s stature is indeed truly rewarding…
– Prannoy Kankaria