Satyam Chairman on Trial

It’s a big day. The courtroom is packed. With journalists, shareholders, programmers & Barkha Dutt. After all, today’s the day when the Satyam Chairman & CEO, B Ramalinga Raju, is in the dock. The judge is looking solemn. The public prosecutor is looking smug. In the background, the national emblem adds gravity to the proceedings. In order to remove any trace of bias, the words “Satyameva Jayate” have been masked so that it reads “eva Jayate”. Ramalinga Raju has taken the oath and the crowd too has been quietly swearing at him. The public prosecutor purposefully walks up to the witness stand.

Public Prosecutor (gravely courteous) : Would you prefer to remain standing or would you rather sit down?

Ramalinga Raju : Oh, I’ll sit down. This might be a witness stand, but I am a chairman. Heehee.

PP : You have been accused of serious corporate fraud. Do you plead guilty or not guilty.

RR : Actually, I am golti. But, to answer your question, not guilty.

A startled gasp runs through the courtroom.

PP : Not guilty??? Do you actually deny that you falsified the books to show inflated results?

RR : No. No. I admit to that. What I mean to say is that, there was no intention to defraud. I was merely running my company along Web 2.0 lines. Including the accounting. You could call it Accounting 2.0.

PP (looking a bit out of his depth) : Er…. Could you elaborate.

RR : You see, the buzz-phrase these days is the social web. Where the power of crowds is used to create and refine content. That is Web 2.0. So, with my Accounting 2.0, I was being social, not anti-social.

PP (sarcastically) : Thanks for the tutorial. But what does this have to do with Satyam?

RR : My company had enough of writing programs, providing services and shopping bodies. So I decided to move with the times.

PP : And how exactly is declaring false revenues, “moving with the times”?

RR : In the early part of my life, I had been a hard-working entrepreneur who used to slog to get revenues. But I decided to have an easier, better SecondLife. So my revenues were just an experiment in Virtual Reality.

PP : Hmm, interesting. And does that justify cooking the books?

RR : Well, I did cook them in such a way that they were deli.co.us. And people were ready to Digg in. As long as my books are popular, who cares if some critics like SEBI object. In fact, the Satyam books were bestsellers in the fiction section of Amazon. You could call it Long Tale Economics.

PP : But your balance sheet was blatantly false.

RR (dreamily) : What is true? What is false? That is so 1.0. In today’s world, truth is what the crowd says it is. Constantly shifting but eternally true. My books, you see, were a Wiki.

PP (thunders) : Sir, I think you are just hiding behind a façade of self righteous philosophy. Didn’t you effectively loot the public?

RR : Sure I did. In fact, I’m proud to say that I’m a Flickr.

PP : You know, just for that admission, I can throw the book at you.

RR : And I will face it. I have spent a lot of time in Facebook. Look, you can’t do much to me. I have a great social network. My status has been constantly updated. Higher and higher.

PP : But if you were held in such high regard, why get into this mess?

RR : Well, people were always poking me. So I decided to poke them all back.

PP : All this is fine. What I don’t understand is how your auditors never caught on.

RR (mockingly) : What, that PWC crowd? I knew they wouldn’t StumbleUpon anything. They are just a bunch of Tweets.

The crowd twitters in mirth.

PP : So do you really expect to get away in spite of all that you have done.

RR : Oh No. The health minister can have me banned because with all this 2.0 stuff, I have spread a social disease. Everybody in this room has it. It’s called SIFYlis.

Pandemonium breaks out in the courtroom. The judge bangs his gavel for order. Case adjourned. The spectators quietly disperse avoiding contact with one another.

Disclaimer : All characters in this trial are as fictitious as Satyam’s profits.
References : Second Life, Deli.co.us, Digg, StumbleUpon, Flickr, Wikipedia, Facebook & Twitter are all up there leading the Web 2.0 revolution.
Update : I’ve subsequently found out that Satyam exited SIFY a few years back. So I guess I shouldn’t have dragged SIFY into this article. But then, if you really look at it, I shouldn’t have dragged all the other companies in either.

If you liked this post, you may want to read some other encounters like Lalit Modi & Narendra Modi,  Shivraj Patil & Sardar Patel, Manmohan Singh calling Customer Service, and Ramadoss meeting Devadoss.

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51 comments

  1. Giridharan says:

    Brilliant, as always.

  2. RR says:

    Pretty decent..I must say.
    Liked the “eva jayate” bit.. very true, isn’t it..running after profits on a QoQ basis.. values taking a backseat and valuations ruling the roost

  3. degreecopy says:

    tch, and i thought it was pester power at work (http://degreecopy.wordpress.com/2008/12/24/satyam-eva-jayate/).
    this was before the letter bomb of jan7. the end result was more or less as had been predicted. heh!

  4. rangarajaniyengar says:

    Great post! fantastic stuff. am adding you to my blogroll. ROTFL. voray kalakkals!

  5. വടക്കൂടന്‍ | Vadakkoodan says:

    lol
    especially @the disclaimer

  6. Rkms says:

    Had me rolling on the floor with laughter. Nice presentation.

  7. namelessnerd says:

    I stumbled upon your blog and glad I was drunk :-). Making light of such a situation does indeed help people get a better perspective of reality. Thanks for a very well written article.

  8. Raj says:

    M’dris – I have been reading all your blogs – hilarious man! As Sachi mentioned – we think you need to be on late night TV with this stuff :)

  9. olive oyl says:

    I would really like to know your version of Aaj Tak and India TV’s reaction. Raju was smart. Raju ban gaya gentleman out there in posh Harvard where he had his rough plans written down on a napkin after several pegs of high spirit.

  10. Ramsay says:

    A wonderful New Year gift. Feels good to know you are alive-and-poking (fun). The blanking out of Satyam from Satyameva is characteristic of your usual thoroughness. Wish you more fodder in the New Year.

  11. Ramsay says:

    The best New Year gift in a long time. Good to know you are around-and-poking (fun). The blanking out of Satyam from Satyameva is perhaps without equal. Wish you the best, and more fodder, in the New Year.

  12. Ramesh Srivats says:

    Thanks all.

    @krishashok,
    Haha. Brilliant.

    @Sachi,
    Good to hear from you.

    @Dyslexic, SRK,
    Good ones.

  13. krishashok says:

    You also forgot to put in Karan Thapar who could have spoken for 5 minutes on the philosophy of proper corporate governance, and then asked Raju – “Tell me this sir. Did you cook the books or merely sautee them lightly with onions and deep fry them in ghee. I’d like a yes or no answer”. And while Raju tries to figure out how he could reduce that to a binary solution, Barkha dutt then interviews the guard standing outside and asks him passionately – “Tell me Gurkha. How do you feel at this blatant betrayal of accounting truth?” and then proceed to cry and declare to the audience that – “we are all Indians and we need to find this recipe book for accounting recipes and burn it”. And then comes Arnab Goswami who asks Raju – “Explain in detail how you defrauded all of us. GIve me a one word answer”, and then finally, Sagarika Ghose, who instead of interviewing Ramalinga Raju, decides to interview his lawyer, and she asks him – “How on earth can you defend this vile man, this venomous snake who has cooked the books?”
    And that’s when I switch to India TV where I am told that Raju was brainwashed by UFOs to cook the books.

  14. sabena says:

    Fantastic stuff. Just last night Rayru and I were chatting and we said that you should get into late night chat show “Jay Leno ishtyle”. Maybe you can then get Barkha as your guest.
    Knowing you, had expected the Golti one to come! The disclaimer was brilliant.
    Sachi

  15. MAULIK PRABHUDESAI says:

    AWESOME!!!!!!
    one more standing ovation bro!!!

  16. anbudan BALA says:

    I came to your blog via twitter.

    your courtroom drama is outrageously funny and I wish to give you the title “King of satire” :-)

    Best were “golti” and your Disclaimer!!!

  17. suresh says:

    Golti, not guilty, brilliant, master weaving.
    cheers

  18. Sathia says:

    it is sort of a black comedy. I feel pity for that guy but at the same time appreciate your smart writing.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Poor chap…when he was doing so much for the public thru his byrraju foundation, never did he got this kinda publicity…afterall, every company goofs up the results is what i got to know from some reliable sources. Now, that he is out in the public every finger is pointing towards him.

  20. Pushkala says:

    “H I L A R I O U S!!!!”
    :D… Keep writing.
    Expected more about the drama queen Barkha… he he he. Why not dedicating a post to her? huh?

  21. Bones says:

    Brilliant and hilarious!!! Since you forgot about Barkha Dutt, you should do a post about her interviewing Raju…

  22. Kannan Kartha says:

    Hilarious … but I doubt if Mr. Raju would be that tech savvy to know Second Life, Stumble, Digg and Delicious …

  23. Nithya Krishnan says:

    Simply Hilarious!!!

  24. SRK says:

    nice post… you seem to be pretty Linkedin to the happennings…

  25. Smruti says:

    very nice take…

  26. dolphin says:

    i couldn’t laugh a bit on this. too occupied with the poster boy boasting his company’s prfits

  27. zappjack says:

    A M A Z I N G !

  28. Dsylexic says:

    in the meanwhile,it is believed that AR Antulay got worked up because ‘minority’ shareholders were duped. gotta be a hindoo conspiracy.how come the minorities cant get their own men of steal.

    hopefully ,raju (chief embezzlement officer) and vadlamani(chief fraud officer) are gulti as charged.

  29. Ramesh Srivats says:

    Thanks all.
    @Shaaaaaaam, Why did you delete your comment? For the record, the comment was : whoaaaa…Killer Post. I hate such stuff being deleted.
    @Sauvik, Golti is Tamil slang for people from AP. It’s a sweeping stereotype (like Ghati for Maharashtrians) but there’s a fondness involved.
    @lotsapeople, Yeah, I don’t know why I brought in Barkha Dutt and then forgot all about her. Maybe she asked the SIFYlis victims (as they were going out), “So how do you feel?”

  30. viswanathan udayamurthy says:

    Would anybody tell me as to whether INFOSYS and WIPRO are part of SATYAM’S SOCIAL NETWORK?

  31. Sauvik says:

    Great wit once again. Congrats.
    BTW: what is “golti”?

  32. Anonymous says:

    sick :P

    Srinivas

  33. Anonymous says:

    This is very good. As you missed one Web 2.0 channel – Newsvine – I have seeded this to plug that hole.

    http://raatkiraani.newsvine.com/_news/2009/01/08/2287586-satire-satyam-chairman-on-trial

  34. PRax says:

    :-)
    enjoyed it

  35. write2kill says:

    ROTFL

  36. Smitha says:

    That was fantastic!!! Couldn’t stop laughing aloud:)

  37. Cow-Herd says:

    lol :) Maybe you shd send this to Mr.Raju.
    Am sure he could use a laugh

  38. Ozymandias says:

    Very interesting take on things!

    Though Golti was a bit under the belt, I must say!

  39. vishesh says:

    nice :) maybe Barka would give a live report..you know she will ask the judge,what have you got to say to that?
    and judge might say, I am a microsoft and hung uphalf way?

  40. Anonymous says:

    Hilarious :D

  41. NE says:

    Found this via India Uncut. Really much fun then reading reports in TOI or NYT for that matter…

  42. Hariharan says:

    ROTFL!!

    Golti, flickr!!

    Raju seems to have mistook perform or quit for perform orkut.

    If raju can get his social net working then he will surely get away with a mere spanking as(s) is usual in such high profile cases in India.

  43. Rahul Jauhari says:

    welcome back Mr. srivats :-)

  44. Gireesh Subramaniam(girsubra) says:

    you forgot to mention that in the middle of the Accounting 2.0 tutorial that Raju was giving one and all,Barkha dutt stood up and Said,”Raju,Enough is Enough” and then looked straight into the camera,gave that Million-dollar-i am worth for nothing-look and said,”we will back after a break” :)

  45. Shyam says:

    *Respect*

  46. Deepak Iyer says:

    What ? Barkha Dutt doesn’t get to show her wisdom ?

    Great post though !
    Hope to see this blog at the Indibloggies this year.

  47. Gopinath's "Artickles" says:

    Hilarious stuff, Ramesh. I have information that Raju loved to eat Fudge as dessert and now he has to eat crow! Read more here
    http://whatnonsanz.blogspot.com/2009/01/cat-among-pigeons.html

  48. ruSh.Me says:

    Poor Barkha Dutt…. SO much for screaming, choking and tearin…err….being in tears…!!!

    and Poor INTERNET…Ripped apart..

    p.s.Can’t understand Twitter…totally out of my league…!! :(

  49. Yashika Totlani says:

    funny. alas the situation isnt so much. infact a lil birdie told me raju is in the US right now, trying to sort out another case. apathy of our corporate world :|

  50. Neelakantan says:

    Hilarious, as usual :)

  51. Subbu says:

    Brilliant…I like the one about golti…PwC Tweets…SIFYlis….and the disclaimer!
    Keep it coming. Cheers Subbu

    PS: It is a pity Barkha is just a prop. Some pun on the drivel the news channels thrive on would have helped!

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