Article (April-2019)


Designing what works

Dr. Vinayshil Gautam

Designation : -   Internationally Acclaimed Management Expert. Chairman, DK International Foundation

Organization : -  


10000+ View        

Every cause, every objective needs an organization to deliver. Unless results come in, ideas stop at the level of concepts and nothing changes on the ground. Sanskrit dictum'Yojakasyatatradurlabhah' means literally 'an organizer is a rarity'. Indeed, a good organizer is difficult to find.

The segment of the ruling community in India, which pauses to think out ideas and are willing to take risk to move the community forward, is not large. It is not surprising therefore that notwithstanding a complex web of regulations in so many specific areas there is the general feeling that if one is 'powerful' enough one will get away with it. Notwithstanding all the noise about extradition proceedings and whatever else, literally, very few of the 'wanted' have specifically been brought back to India. There are always current media favorites. Once upon a time Dawood was particularly favored for attention, now he is no longer so chosen. Once upon a time one heard of Lalit Modi and Vijay Mallya in the same breath. Lalit Modi is no longer remembered for his forays, even less is the talk of bringing him to justice. Till a few weeks ago Vijay Mallya was hotly pursued and was up for debate. Not much is available about him since about a fortnight.

While talking of bringing order to business activities, obviously there is nothing more sought out than developing 'regulations'. The telltale stories of the impact of regulations for the Banks makes one wonder how so many scams could take place there. When the scams are trivial there is a collective agreement to ignore it. When the scams are large many take the view that the perpetrators cannot be prevented 'by negotiation'. The reach and depth of the 'powerful' is considered 'infallible.' There is a good case for studying, how many people actually slipped away from India with impunity, having made money, only the way they alone could do. Sometimes it appears things are changing. Often it appears the more things change the more they remain the same.

Consider the luminaries such as Neerav Modi, Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya and many lesser folks. One has heard so much of Neerav Modi's abode near sea in India's commercial capital. Even knocking it down takes time and was given flattering media attention.  However, if somebody has some expansive asset as Neerav Modi had, is it material? It is akin to a person, with a fixed income of say Rs.50, 000/- to Rs.60, 000/- a month losing a Rs.10/-. In spite of many financial setbacks Vijay Mallya is well settled in England. Till the writing of these sentences-notwithstanding of the noise and the hype-one still does know when he will be extradited. The elections have been announced.

There are other favored topics also. There has not been a Government since '47 which has not talked of 'tribal development'. There is a huge machinery of tribal welfare at the central level called the Ministry of Tribal Development or as in many other cases of states there is the Tribal Welfare Department. This is populated by endless schemes and all types of organization: Governmental, Non-governmental, Quasi Governmental, Private: Cooperative. They are all dealing with 'Tribal Welfare'. The priests go there. The businessman goes there, the shrewd among the land grabbers goes there and even the civil servant and the police arrive. Yet the tribal way of life is supremely untouched and the needle of the clock is glued to its hour. After all the rhetoric has died down the tribal goes about his livelihood as he has always done over centuries.

This is necessary to remember to ensure that if there is a dis-connect between meeting the people you want to meet and avoiding the people you don't want to meet, then planning of the way forward becomes difficult. Developmental intersections cannot work in isolation. For that matter no activity can flourish in isolation. If there is a connect between the 'logic of meeting' the people and 'not meeting' the people, the act will be not only forgiven but forgotten. However, if both these things are done without logic they both will misfire. The same is true about tribal interventions. There must be a logic for intervening. There must be a logic for staying away. However, connect between the two is essential for making an impact. No Indian cabinet seems to have addressed this issue.