Admiral Joshi? To ‘Honour’ or to “Responsibility”! (Written in 2014)


Two very important personalities of India have forced me to write this piece for our future generation lest the idiosyncrasies of the primitive men being adapted by some people erode the foundations of the modern man who has to face a barrage of criticism based on distortions of his actual or perceived actions.

Admiral Joshi and Arvind Kejriwal!

Two people who would be perceived to have made an important sacrifice from the position of power, the former in the name of honour and the latter in the name of being let down in bringing ‘Lokpal’ power to the commonly misrepresented ‘common man’!

I know nothing much about the Indian navy and would always be respectful for the way the Indian armed forces represent themselves and what they do to preserve the honour of our country!

I have absolutely no intention of understanding the real reasons why Arvind left the position of Chief Minister of Delhi or of imagining what he could have made of Delhi by the drama being enacted by him and his colleagues of “sitcoms nee dharnas” and “night raids on innocent but unacceptable residents of a locality”.

But as an ordinary mortal who faces challenges in day to day lives, I too have incidences to recite of times when one has to choose between one’s self and the responsibility that one has accepted!

In mid 2004, I took upon the task of reviving a sick industrial unit in the outskirts of Delhi. After turning around the same within a year, the stakeholders further agreed to my suggestion of building it into a much larger unit with a bigger manufacturing base to enable its sustainability for decades to come, a task which ensured that I had to curtail my plans of moving out of India and stay put for a few more years in India.

Unfortunately, as things so very often occur, in early 2007, I had to face a barrage of criticism for some of my actions directed towards a section of employees which were distorted and made me the villain of the piece. For weeks I had to face ugly stares from almost the entire unit and had to undergo various lines of questioning and character assassinations right up to the stake holders’ level.

Every night I would go to bed, after feeding my ego and my spirit to the vultures who would feast on it with their blood thirsty hands! Every day I would get up with every cell of my body fighting with my id and begging it to leave and go away from this mess!

The only thing my spirit knew was that I had done nothing wrong and that I had a mission to complete! To leave a unit with crores of investments committed and yet not in place, a building half in construction and putting a question mark over the future of workers by resigning and maintaining my dignity was just not acceptable to me.

I did stay put, commissioned the new unit, hired the entire staff for the same including hundreds of new workers, launched new products successfully in the market and then left a year and half later for my next assignment, with the same company in US. Memories fade and people are forgotten, but the tears I saw in the eyes of my workers at the time of departing are the most precious gems I own for this life!

I am just one amongst the millions and millions of men and women who would face a barrage of criticism from various quarters in our day to day lives for our actual and perceived actions. The modern world is such that the information and misinformation flow is in seconds, unstoppable and irreversible.

The modern man is subject to far more pressures due to the same and especially the public figures like these two gentlemen, who have to live in media eyes all the time.

But does that mean that we leave our positions of power, which we could use to set right the wrongs, in the name of defending our dignity or the cause that we stand for? Is it not hara-kiri by any other name? Are we not taught to consider our welfare last and only after considering the same of our colleagues, our people and our country first?

No Admiral Joshi! I respect you and your circumstance but if yours is to be an example for our children, then whatever be the cause, the same is not acceptable.

No Arvind, you were given a mandate to perform and if Lokpal was not acceptable to the fellow politicians at one forum, it could have waited and its time would have come when your stalk could have risen based on the actual performances of your team!

Yes, if Admiral Joshi wanted to teach honour to the politicians of our country, who would do anything to stay in power, then it is understandable! If it was intended for the likes of Modi to accept what he allowed to happen in Gujrat (or did not stop from occurring), regret it from the heart and then stand for the Head of state, then yes, it could be understood. If it was for Rahul to not just accept that the killings of the Sikhs in 1984 was a mass murder but also take action against the perpetuators, then yes, it could be understood. If it was against Mulayam to stop shedding his crocodile tears for the poor and take responsibility for what he was done in Muzaffarnagar now and during the Uttarakhand movement, then yes, it is understood!

But Admiral you fired the gun at the wrong target! These are not wolves in sheep’s clothing’s but wolves in their own skin, made more aggressive with the blood which is dripping all over from their ever thirsty mouth!

If for a moment you thought that anyone of them would defend you then perhaps you were wrong as they are not men of steel but men of ‘steal’!

As for the common men like us, I wish you had stay put Admiral for the sake of your own people and their morale and for the sake of this country which is the cynosure of our eyes, India!


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