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"That which was successfully practiced is what is spelled out here.

Not practice following theory but theory emerging out of successsful practice. First practice, then theory. There are more fresh truths and insights here than what could be learnt from a hundreds of conferences, seminars, TV discussions and Davos type conclaves of the rich and powerful. The experience of one lifetime spent in the successful revival of so many organizations and the consequent conflicts is more than sufficient to draw some conclusions. Most of these are in the nature of revealed hope paths out of the impasses each one of us faces and some describe sterile dead ends which we ought to abandon immediately - the destruction of misleading illusions only after which is the truth grasped, the correct path seen. These illusions are lucrative, so demolishing them will be fiercely resented. I am not an commentator who has gained his knowledge of the world around us from reports, libraries, journals, studies and interviews with the distinguished. No documents are referred to , only my memory spoke to me. My understandings narrated here are forged from a real lived life, which is my own. Action was the drum beat which urged me forwards. I acted first, out of some intuitive beliefs and a general understanding of the world around and never from rule books, and drew my conclusions afterwards. It is these conclusions that are presented on this site. The actions are described in greater length in my memoirs. Both this site and my memoirs are very different from anything you may have read tilll now. This is reason enough to read what is written here. But this is not a feel good book. As I mention repeatedly, doing good is never feel good. I learned directly from life and never took any superfluous advice. When you seek directions autonomously , the measuring instruments and score card of the experienced world directly tells you every second what is happening and also the best way to go, and any corrections can be made in real time by constant feedback. In such situations all advice is superfluous and I made my own decisions. This book is about how this process played out. Here you will find no hackneyed phrases, no buzzwords; everything is freshminted from a real life. The accounts narrated here were played out on the business stages. These are real as you can get, success or failure are splashed in primary colours, of black and red. They cannot be faked or if they are, time will expose them. After every success , I faced opposition from the official stakeholders who benefited the most. The conclusion is damning - ethical success is opposed in India. It logically follows that most of what are shown as successes in public life in our country would have a question mark around them and need to be examined carefully. This implication will multiply manifold the number of those who will be opposed to my conclusions. They are the vested interests who will oppose the ethical. And thereby hangs the tale which I now narrate.

#" Each person at the head of any organization , government or private, must think independently to be ethically effective. The phrase Seeking Directions, which is the title of my Memoirs, in its two opposite meanings covers the entire spectrum of a civil servant's ability to act. One meaning

would be seeking orders or guidance from a higher level. The other meaning refers to a way of thinking and acting which is at the other end of the spectrum. The ethical leader seeks directions autonomously looking to the needs of the organization to grow and flourish. He assumes that the powerful stakeholders of the organization, those who posted him and can remove him, will be satisfied if the organization does well by objective market measurements. He does not try to please the powerful in any other way. Those who experienced my ways of working both in Gujarat and Kerala, will agree I was such an ethical. There is no point in writing about ethical managhement unless one has successfully demonstrated it in the real world of business. I did this." #" Nobody chooses to be a rebel. One can do it in college but that is only a pose and is forgiven provided it stops there. It usually does. In real life it is almost always the weak who rebel and this act is always against some condition which restiricts their freedom or keeps them in a subordinate postion unjustly. The rebel whose postion is weak almost always fails in his effort to win for himself that measure of fairnes and dignity he is entitled to as a human being. The rebellion of the weak can succeed only if it is a social movement on a large scale and is led by charismatic and dedicated leaders. But what about a person in a positon of some limited power and influence? Such a person is not usually a rebel as then he would be pitted against the very establishment from which he draws his power. But the role of a rebel IS THE INEVITABLE CONSEQUENCE for such a person if he decides to SEEK DIRECTIONS AUTONOMOUSLY IN HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES, in other words, if he functions ethically. The weak person rebels against unjust conditions. The strong person positively fights for that which he sees is good and which he feels he can himself achieve in his own organization which he heads, with his own powers, without any outside help. As he succeeds in this, the powerful including the official stakeholders turn against him. He is then engaged in defending his organization's interests and stands up against these persons. Once a person heading any organization takes up an ethical role, then success in the organizational goals and conflict with the powerful is the inevitable consequence. But he rebels not against that which is wrong but for that which is right. Society benefits greatly from such persons.

# This is a digital doorway leading to the memoirs of Alexander K. Luke, who served in Gujarat and Kerala in the Indian Administrative Service for long. He also worked in two private sector organizations in Mumbai. Being posted as CEO to companies when they were in distress, he was able to turnaround or substantially improve nine of them. The corporations he headed were among the biggest and most important in Gujarat and Kerala. He does not complain that he was not given crucial assignments. But they were in a critical state when he took charge and there was no interest among other officers for these assignments because the task was dificult. But he does charge the owners of all these companies of turning against him once he had

revived them. This was understandable as they saw the threat Shri Luke posed. # Perhaps no one in the world has such a record of turnarounds. He shares no similarity with other civil servants. He differs from them in practically every way.

# His academic record was mediocre and he possessed no exceptional personal capabilities.

# He was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai in 2001

# Because of his serial successes, he was known as the Turnaround Man of Gujarat. Many referred to him as the Man with the Midas Touch and some as Parasmani. His efforts created thousands of crores of new wealth and presented to the world a new model of ethical business success, something which most persons had thought to be nothing more than a utopian fantasy.

# Faced with the choice of maintaining good relations with the powerful and improving the organizations under his charge, he chose the latter. He allowed no interference - political, administrative or of power brokers - in his organizations. This generated intense hostility against him among those excluded who then combined to remove him from his post as soon as the organization had been revived.

# His memoirs highlight the practice and theory of ethical management in the revival of commercial or economic organizations. It is an uncompromising but true account of his professional experiences and provides insights that can be drawn from them.

# He shows how ethical management produces results far superior to existing corporate and civil service models. But it faces intense opposition from those who benefited from an unethical set up. He defines an ethical as a person in a position of power and responsibility who, working for those he does not know and those who cannot pay him back, yet achieves the practical

business goals of the organization even while facing the opposition of the powerful. The ethical is strong, not in the sense of his ability to coerce others or take what he wants, but becasue he creates a sheltering canopy for those who need it. There are so many who do need it. Strength is the ability and desire to nurture others. Strength is also the willingness to face the enimity of the powerful and the grit and stamina to face adversities and setbacks in the running of the organizations, day after day, month after month, without quitting. Honesty and intelligence are such minor qualities that they are not worth mentioning. A commitment to ethics overtops these qualities. An honest and intelligent person can be and is quite often unethical. Being honest he feels he can commit the lesser sins.

# Shri Luke joined the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd in May, 2003 and left in November , 2006. When he joined, this company, which was called The Pride of Gujarat, was tottering on its legs and dirges were being sung for it. It was burdened with huge debts, negative cash flow, low production and high stocks, serious technical problems in the new ammonia plant, and large overdues to raw material suppliers.For the three preceding years, 2000-2003the total loss was Rs. 680cr(Rs 6.8billion), including Rs. 392cr. for 2002-03. For the three succeeding years, 2003-6, the profits were Rs 42cr., Rs 251 cr. and Rs. 437cr., before tax, totalling Rs. 730cr. EBIDTA increased form Rs 100cr. in 2002-3 to Rs 670cr in 2005-06 (higher than Tata Chemicals which had a larger turnover). The turnover went up from Rs 1890cr to Rs 2940cr even with lower fertilizer prices. The EBIDTA to sales ratio went up from 5.4 % in 2002-03 to 23.4% in 2005-06 ( Tata Chemicals 19%, Coromandel 11%, and RCF 10% ). The return on capital employed went up from minus 9.8% in 2002-03 to +20.3% in 2005-06( ROCE for Tata Chemicals that year was 14%, for Coromandel 15% and for RCF 13%) . The share price which was around Rs 14 when he joined, reached Rs. 251 three years later in May 2006, an 18 fold increase ( today, more than six years after he left, the share price has gone up to Rs 300); during the same period, the share price of similar private sector companies- Tata Chemicals went up from Rs 68 to Rs 275, Coromandel Fertilizers from Rs 62 to Rs 114 and that of RCF, a similar Central Government company, went up from Rs 22 to Rs 72. GSFC, comatose in beginning 200304, outpaced and overtook all these well known companies. Technical problems were set right. All plants worked at full capacity. These results were achieved without any cash infusion from any source or the retrenchment of a single employee. Shri Luke's salary of Rs 25000 pm was three times the salary of the lowest paid employee of the company. The entire long term debt of the company, of Rs 970 cr including Rs. 90cr. of the state government, was prepaid during 2004-05 and 2005-06 as against the scheduled 10 years. Many business analysts would find it hard to believe these figures. The most imaginative fiction writer would hesitate to project such a successful fightback. It was the most inspiring turnaround ever witnessed in India or even perhaps even the world. No member of any of even the most illustrious private sector business dynasties in India could have a record to rival this intense

effort. The revivals he brought about in eight other companies under him , though a bit less spectacular, were of the same calibre and quality. Among these was the rejuvenation of the giant Sardar Sarovar Project which was in a state of terminal coma when he took charge - there was no work at any of the project sites when he took over; all these sites, including many new ones taken up, were working round the clock the day he left, except the dam site which had a legal stay; the other works were many times the value of the dam. The Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals which had run out of cash with cash losses, was revived by him in an epic effort. The GNFC showed substantial improvements under him. Under his personal direction, the Fisheries Department convincingly demonstrated brackish water prawn culture, on a large commercial scale, to entrpreneurs in South Gujarat thereby establishing this practice there. In Kerala, he revived the KMML and TTP which were both sickening, within three months turning them from loss to profit. His unprecedented record of serial revivals was based on unselfish love and dedication towards the public interest. This is a never before witnessed scorecard of turnarounds of sick companies while functioning as CEO, and that too for such pitiful rewards and continuing opposition.

# The Financial Times of London recently published a ranking of CEOs in UK for the value they deliver to share holders. The increase in share value of the company during the CEO's tenure divided by his total compensation is the measure by which CEOs are ranked. For the biggest 100 companies, the average ratio was 339, for the biggest 250 companies it was lower at 120. The highest score for a CEO was 3631; that is for one pound paid to him he created 3631 pounds of additional value for share holders.Taking a conservative share price increase of Rs150 during Shri Luke's time in GSFC, the share value of the company increased by Rs 1200cr. for its 8cr. shares. His total salary for the 3 and half years in GSFC was Rs 20 lacs. His score would be 6000 which is higher than the best in the FT rankings. With the EPS going up from minus Rs 48 to + Rs 37, a swing of Rs 85 which taking it over 8cr shares, comes to an annual postive swing of Rs 680cr which would translate into the net present value of the company going up by Rs 5000cr. and the ratio for him would go beyond 25000! For those For those three and half years, probably he was the word's most cost effective CEO; taking little, creating a lot.

# During a six month period in 2009 -10 as CEO with the Gharda Chemicals, a private, very private, sector company, with an admirable culture of scientific research, but very poorly managed, he doubled the profits in spite of low rainfall and lower prices. The profit during this time was Rs. 102 crores against Rs. 97 cr. during the previous year. ( The working capital utilization with the bank was brought down to Rs 2 cr. the day he left from the Rs 118 cr.when he joined. This figure, which is verifiable, supports the profit claimed above). He now feels this to have been his easiest effort. Such low hanging

fruit are in plenty in most private sector companies. His success here prevented the company takeover by a private equity giant as the price agreed to by the owner before he joined was now felt to be too low looking to the profits Shri Luke generated. In a short time he proved himself to be the greater wealth creator than the owner. But he decided to leave the company when the owner insisted on remaining present in his daily coordination meetings with the officers. Ethical success here too was generating insecurity and resentment in the principal beneficiary. Control is preferred to performance. Performance can be sacrificed, never control. In much of corporate India including the private sector, control is in the hands of persons who lack the capability of taking the organization to peak performance. # The drip irrigation program in Gujarat had become bogged down in inefficiency and irregularities. While serving as MD in GSFC Shri Luke volunteered to take up this program in a transparent and efficient manner. This program was withdrawn from the Agriculure Dept. and handed over to GSFC to implement. Under his close supervision, the newly formed company, the GGRC, of which he was the founder Chairman, implemented it speedily and effectively, becoming a model for drip programs else where in the country. The farmers of Gujarat enthusiastically appreciated the way it was done when Shri Luke was at the helm. There was no corruption, leakage, bogus reporting or delay and the quality of work satisfied the farmers; 100% benefits went to the farmers. This success, along with the GSFC revival, infuriated the state's leadership, which claims to be pro industry and pro farmer, and precipitated the events which led to his taking early retirement from the IAS and leaving Gujarat. This leadership, like all other power formations in India, is pro farmer and industry but not if such programs are led by an ethical. They want the leverage and they want the credit for success; neither of which is given to them if such programs are led by an ethical. # In Gujarat, adverse remarks in Shri Luke's Annual Confidential Reports, approved by the Chief Minister, were communicated to him for two consecutive years, 2004-5 and 2005-6, which was the period of the most intense flowering of the GSFC miracle. In Kerala, after the company revival by him over a period of 18 months, one day the KMML unions physically prevented his entry into the company premises for 5 days, an act for which they drew no rebuke from the State Ministers. His resignation followed immediately and the Industry Minister accepted it in indecent haste the same day. BJP to CPM, and all political formations in between, they know how to deal with an ethical who thinks the public interest is a sufficient warrant to act! At these times Shri Luke was isolated and stood alone. The opposition to ethical successes was not imagined by him, it was real and formidable, and caused him severe personal dislocations. This was how the Gujarat and Kerala governments repaid him for his services, services which were without equal in the history of these states.

The qualities of economic leadership which are now ascribed to the Gujarat leadership were displayed by him in the purest form in the revival of its major corporations. What's sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander. # In all these organizations revived by Shri Luke, he left behind systems of transparent information flows and structured decision making. In every such organization, these systems were retained and constituted the mechanism for day to day functioning after he left. None of his decisions, including those involving huge financial ones, have been questioned. Even those who ousted him began to speak glowingly of his contribution once he was safely out of the way Shri Luke's ways of working and contributions have stood the test of time even in ideologically opposed camps like Gujarat and Kerala. He estimates his ethical model created real and potential future wealth, additional to what would have been created in his absence, of more than Rs 10000cr. by all these efforts. This is wealth which would not have been otherwise created. To illustrate, nobody, not even the brightest star from the private sector from India or abroad, could have revived GSFC the way he did unaided, unrewarded and unsung.

Shri Luke's views

# All these revivals and turnarounds under me were achieved without any cash infusiton from outside and without retrenchiing a single worker. These turnarounds happened so quickly and almost, as it appeared, inevitably, that I received some friendly advice not to make it look so easy but to spread it out over a longer period! Today I am confident of turning around any organization which is not yet certified dead. But there are no takers. It is the ethical baggage I carry that dissuades them. The Government of India considered my name for heading HMT, which is very small and very sick, turnover for the first two quarters of 2012-13 is Rs. 84 cr. with a loss of Rs. 53cr., but somebody decided against it, perhaps for fear I would actually turn it around! The company has some prime lands. # A person who drives an expensive car shows everyone that he has made enough money to have bought one. The owner of a large house is also exhibits his wealth to the world. He who checks in to an expensive hotel likewise shows he has the means to do so. An industrialist who names his company and even his products after his or his family name is glorifying himself even more audaciously. All of them are loudly exhibiting their wealth and achievements no matter how humble their personal demeanour. It is the same with anyone who attains high office , a fact which is soon known to all. All this is accepted as normal. Ethical success also needs to stand on that lighted stage where exceptional deeds are celebrated. It is therefore proper that ethical success like mine also be projected particularly as the unethicals

would otherwise prefer to ignore it as it embarrasses them. Ethical success boldly projected would also encourage others to attempt it. This is my answer to those who feel talking about one's own success is hubris. If you have made wealth then one must not boast about it as the reward for efforts is already received. But if one has ethically revived organizations, improved thousands of ordinary lives, created wealth for others without doing it proportionately for oneself, and done all this against the opposition of the powerful, and if those who benefited have not formally acknowledged it, then one must continuously blow one's own trumpet and wave the ethical victory banner from the highest point so that all can see these deeds repeatedly. A person with hubris could not be an ethical. The ethical makes great wealth for society and nothing for himself. People need to know this. If nobody else does it, I will myself make it known to all who take some trouble to know these things. I take pride in what I did. It was big, it was unique, it was hazardous, and it was unselfish and altruistic.

# I am presentling my achievements somewhat prominently also because without these my ethics would not be taken seriously at all. The men of power, wealth, or long experience would smile disdainfully, and remark that what I talked about was something out of cloud cuckoo land. These successes will make clear that ethical management did win astounding victories in their own fields. And unlike them I did all this without any possibility of becoming wealthy or personally successful or any sort of reward , in fact against opposition. A system of values which can do this is surely superior to their money and chair driven exertions. It is worth a respectful look. In fact let me say it without ambiguity. Ethical management can make India a country great in wealth and material prosperity. The present policy driven administration or even creating a broad highway for the free market can never do this.

# In any merit loving society, these breakthroughs should have yielded an extraordinary payback of praise, honors and public expression of gratitude by the owners and other stakeholders . A huge tidal wave of applause reverberating accross the entire country and even beyond, was what I visualised in my more sublimely hopeful moments! But the owners of these companies saw the revivals as a danger and me as a threat. They saw looming ahead of them the terrifying prospect of these engines of wealth creation (and wealth destruction) slipping away from their grasp and into an autonomous and ethical mode of functioning, an existential threat. Most businessmen/industrialists/ CEOs too would find these figures uncomfortable to read, having created less and taken out more. None of the business and management associations and institutes acknowlegded and praised this rarest of the rare occurrences. They all turned their faces away. It was an unambiguous thumbs down to practical business ethics of which they all have a visceral fear. These persons now appear frequently on TV ,

wondering why the India growth rate is slipping. I can tell them. The scam induced acceleration in business confidence is losing momentum, the easy pickings are over and yet the Indian government and business men resolutely refuse to turn to ethical pathfinders to lead them out of this maze. There is enough talent, drive capability, imagiantion and sheer intelligence among Indian entrepreneures and managers to take India to an even faster growth path, with equity, than what was achieved in 2007 -2010. But they are all aware of an absence of ethics among the powerful because of which they slow down their responses holding back their best. This is the only reason for our economic disappointments. I wish everybody would say it out loud and shout it from the roof tops, using the most powerful megaphone they can find. But it is nothing more than a wish. There is a conspiracy of silence on ethical management.

# There is nothing personal in the hostility I faced. It is a characteristic of our public life which in some form or essence, is repeated in hundreds and thousands of cases, every day, somewhere or the other in our country. If I was the only person who had ever experienced this, then this story would not be worth narrating. This hostility among the powerful towards ethical action is all pervasive in our country and has kept India weak, divided and forever hobbled with conflict , controversies and factions. Our human capabilities of brain, heart and soul entitle India and its people to a far better life than the obscene wealth, middle class angst and grinding poverty of the masses that we now see.

#Everyone wishes to be ethical but most give up when they see the frowning face of Authority. I was stubborn and kept an unwavering ethical keel. But ours is no country for bold men. Ideals die young here.

# There are two fundamental realities that face India today. Both these are contained in my experiences. My book revolves around these. This is why it is so important for every thinking Indian to read or at least know about my experiences. The first reality is that all of our difficulties can be convertd into opportunities by an ethical approach in which success is certain and failure impossible. The other fundamental reality we face is that the ethical approach will be opposed tooth and nail by today's leadership. This is the tragedy India faces. Every thing else follows from these two fundamentals.

# It is a tragic scene we behold. Great hopes lie suppressed and anger sweeps the land. Mother India distraught and weeping, her children cheated

and deceived, hopes betrayed, promises broken. But within this cathartic scene lie the seeds of a different future, a brighter better future, a future where we become what we were meant to be, just as a seed has within it the capability of a giant oak. We just have to break the chains which imprison us. Only ethical leadership will do this.

# The ethical engine is powered forward by a scientific ratio and not traditional morality. The reader should now click on the Principles of Ethical Management icon and quickly go through it. Ethics works on an understanding of human motivation. Ethical management releases man's suppressed capabilities. That is how its amazing victories are won. It is not becasue of the personal skills or ability of the leader in performing field tasks better than any of his employees. They are capable of doing it far better than him. He only opens the locks that hold us back and brings out the hidden capabilites of eacteam member. An ethical leader is one who uses this scientific ethics with courage and single minded dedication towards the organizational peak performance. The ethical leader has the courage to face those stronger than him. Moreover the ethical is prepared to to suffer personal setbacks in the defence of his organization's interest. This is essential, for without this he cannot be called ethical and will definitely fail. The failure in Indian leadership is largely here. Except in the rare cases, the ethical leader will find the keys to the organization's revival and make it happen INVARIABLY. An ethical leader never fails. If he fails, it means he has not scientifically applied ethics here. He was therefore not ethical in this particular case. It must be repeated that ethical is a term for describing a scientific approach to organizational revival by motivating its employees. It is not a term describing a traditionally moral person. No adverse personal judgement is implied by calling a person unethical. Such persons could display all those qualities which in society's eyes make him a good person. It is similar to saying he is not scientific in his professional work. A gardener will not be called a good gardener if his plants are in a poor shape. A heart surgeon will not be called a good heart surgeon if his patients have a high mortality rate. The same way, a leader cannot be called ethical if he fails. To repeat, an ethical leader NEVER fails in the task alotted to him as long as he remains ethical. Because of powerful opposition, he may be removed before he completes the task but that is not failure. Even during the time he was there, people will say he was successful. So when we talk of an ethical leader, it is a very exclusive club we are talking about. Perhaps the most exclusive in the world ! This is not hubris. In fact, it is very far from it. An ethical is condemned to walk alone, facing the slings and arrows of an outraged elite. But ethicals are self appointed. No application form is required to join this club. Any person holding any position of power and responsibility can become ethical by just deciding to be so. His capabilities will increase many fold immediately though he will become more vulnerable to the anger of the powerful unethicals. I always knew that many persons, who being unethical

and consequently unable to achieve successes like mine, were inherently more capable than me and could have surpassed mehad they turned ethical.

# The ethical leader continuously seeks ethical directions. Ethics then tells him what must be done, never what should not be done. Unlike the traditionally moral person who defines himself as moral by the wrongs he did not commit, the ethical person sees himself as ethical because of the positive things he did. The traditionally moral person rejects wrong doing because of the fear of adverse consequences to him personally including lower self esteem. The ethical goes ahead to do the right things, as revealed to him by ethical direction seeking, even while being aware of theharm that may result to him personally because of it. So there is a world of difference between a traditionally moral person, otherwise known as the honest and intelligent person, on the one hand , and the true ethical. The ethical does not try to please the powerful and does not even not try not to displease the powerful. He assumes that organizational success under him would please them and organization weaknesses would displease them. The fact that this is not so does not change his behaviour. Belief in a moral world is not an option. This belief is not a reflection of the world as it exists. It is a transformational vision which will create a moral world within the radius of his control. This ethical world that he creates around him is successful in all its organizational goals. Practical success is not at the cost of ethics but because of it. # Being ethical is a description of a person's record in his professional life. First and foremost, he should have grown and strengthened his organization's legitimate interests. He could do this only if he had defended the organization's legitimate interests. It is only persons who are powerful who can threaten an organization's interests; this situation is particularly so in our country. The ethical should therefore have defended the organizational interests against these powerful persons. So the ethical must have a record of conflicts against powerful persons incuding those who appointed him and those who can harm him and even remove him from his post. Secondly as stated , he should have been successful in improving the health of his organization or that part of the organization that he controls. For this he must be creative in his work. He must be able to spread his creativity to other memebers of his team and bring out the best in them. This in brief, is how an ethical is identified. And how to identify an unethical? Anyone who is not ethical is, by exclusion, unethical. Not being ethical is the single failure that damns him. The unethical does not have to commit any of the deadly sins to qualify. Most unethicals are pious, good family men, honest, hard working, do not tell lies except by suppression , in fact law abiding, decent folk, very often the pillars of society types. The only reason for calling them unethical is that they are not ethical as per the above two requirements. Naturally the number of ethicals in any society is minute. They are like those trace elements in the body which are vital to its health. It is in society's interests to maintain a small number of these elements.

# The ethical is identified by his record of what he has done and not by what he intends to do or what he feels is worthwhile doing. After a thing is done it will be added to his tally. This simple filter will keep out all the advisory experts, thinkers and policy planners and other busy bodies who keep talking about what should be done. They should be asked- What did you do/are doing when you occupied/are occupying a seat of authority?

# There is the Primary Ethical who pursues the ethical path regardless of opposition and personal setbacks. He is able to influence and convert to ethical behaviour those over whom he is in some position of authority. These Secondary Ethicals turn ethical only if someone in a position of power over them behaves ethically. In any society the number of Primary Ethicals is very small but almost everyone is potentially a Secondary Ethical. In time, some of these Secondary Ethicals will turn into Primary Ethicals. The number of Primary Ethicals in any society is directly proportional to the desire of that society to progress ethically.

# A philosopher had said - "Mankind always takes up only such problems as it can solve; since, looking at the matter more closely, we will always find that the problem itself arises only whenthe material conditions necessary for its solution already exist or are at least in the proceess of formation." We never take up a problem that cannot be solved. Nobody tries to revive a man who has been dead for a month. Today it is impossible to turnaround a factory which used to make tape recorders except if some new technology has developed which produces a superior product. That is why any organization which is capable or was once capable of serving a useful social or economic purpose can be revived. This applies with greater force where a new plant is set up. Nothing that is worth doing is impossible. The conditions for its success already exist. But the solutions will not come to us on a plattter. It has to be sought ethically, that is scientifically. By scientific I do not mean exclusivley physics, chemistry and thermodynamics but the scientific approach of pursuing cause and effect relationships, even while searching for human motivations. The forces that shape this world have an intelligence that pose only those problems to us that we can tackle. Nothing we wish to do, provided it is an intelligent wish, is impossible. But courage is required, and stamina. Consequently any failure to achieve success is entirely becuase of the limitations of the person leading the effort. We are judged harshly for failure. History is a pitiless judge. This philosophic insight is one of the profoundest in philosophy. It is a trumpet of hope to rouse those who are dejected and tired, lost and directionless. What is even more heartening is that the revived organization is different and better than what it was before the crises. The Hegelian dialectic of thesis, antithesis and synthesis is at work. The world we live in is potentially capable of infinite improvement. But this improvement requires the ethical and does not happen by itself. The ethical

will be in charge only if society has faith in the transforming power of ethics. Thus only societies which believe in ethics can progress. # The choices decision makers in India face is not between agriculture or industry , between social equity or material progress, between tribal rights or development, between forst conservation or coal and mineral extraction, between fiscal prudence or pro poor programs or any of the involved debates which occupy the time of our leadership. It is between taking an ethical path or persisting with the unethical practices of least resistance. The unethical approach will see problems that will tie us into perpetual debates. The ethical effort will reveal solutions that will propel us into perpetual and meaningful actions. A conversion to ethics will liberate the energies and potential of millions of people. This is the real choice. Most of the present discussions on policies are pointless and gives precedence to the talkers, pen pushers and seat warmers who are the least productive agents. Let each decision maker choose ethics and then the solutions will follow.

# It is a difficult path the ethical walks on and he always walks alone. Those who benefited under him did so because of ethical environment he created in the organization. He obliged no one personally. As the freindships between the men and women of influence usually begins and is sustained by the giving and taking material favors, though rarely of a directly monetary nature, the ethical has no friends among the powerful and influential. Each one of them knows that they will get whatever is rightly due to them so there is no need to cultivate him; they will never get what they are not entitled to, so let us keep clear of him. But he is no mystic or a lotus eater who has withdrawn from life. Quite the contrary. He is passionately interested in improving the real world around him. He walks alone because this is the way to deliver the maximum benefits to those he leads.

# In a society where succcess itself is defined as winning the goodwill of the powerful, the rich and the well connected, an ethical role in the running of business would invite ridicule. That is why the ethical role has so few supporters except among the weak and the vulnerable who benefit most from it. Today management literature reserves its highest accolades for those exhibiting a quality called 'leadership'. Earlier this term was used for those who had earned it fighting for others on behalf of some cause. A leader was seen as someone who took risks for those he led. Now the businessmen and executives, who have no intention of taking risks on behalf of anyone, definitely not for the weak, have jumped in and have appropriated this term. But this 'leadership' is by the strong and for the strong. These golf players and frequent flyers will never fight for the weak, so how do they call themselves leaders? This term is now nothing but a euphemism for a sugar coated aggression and greed, making symbolic concessions to corporate social

responsibility. The real corporate responsibility is for the management to be ethical. A leadership for the weak and vulnerable, which is what ethical leadership is, would be dismissed without comment among today's business heads and management thinkers. To them such leadership is reserved for the trade unions, NGOs and the Mother Theresas. But the weak and the vulnerable need the ethical in their daily economic life, having no one else to lead them and so many to mislead them. To me that was good enough reason to be ethical. There is a vacancy for good men here. The management field is crawling with leaders for the strong and well off. There is a shortage of leaders for the weak and the vulnerable. So I decided to pitch my tent here.

# Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for. They are lost, not destroyed. Lost because abandoned, but being yet worthy, must be rediscovered. To use a term our business experts will understand, the returns here are far greater. And if you fight for a lost cause, you do not have to fight off others who are after that chair. They will stake a claim, but only after the organization has come back to health and your work is over.

# The ethical leader sets up systems wherein all are treated fairly and their strengths utilized. In a socially unjust set up the weak and the vulnerable find themselves patronized at best and marginalized usually. They are excluded from the benefits due to them. In an ethical arrangement, they would get their dues without discrimination and treated as complete human beings entitled to respect. But the ethical leader is not a spokesman for sectional interests. The arrangements he sets up benefit the organization and all its stakeholders fairly.

# The material in this book is not Prahlad, Porter or Peters . They worked for rich corporations and in the process became rich. It is not Paul Coelho though there may be a superficial resemblance; he too became rich preaching of the mystical loner who shuns wealth and comfort. It is not, God forbid, Chetan Bhagat. None of them actually turned around a corporation and were far too intelligent to have worked against powerful interests. In fact they made men of wealth and power feel good about themselves portraying them as historical agents of modernization and change or even heroic Ayn Rand characters - the man of destiny silhouetted against a dull, disinterested and greedy world. (To Ayn Rand I would say, I did more than what your heroes did but did it for altruistic reasons, so that leaves your philosophy in shambles! There can be altruism among the powerful. But perhaps Ayn Rand would have replied that doing a good deed increases our self worth and so it too is a selfish act. I would agree with her on that. ) There are no management terms here in the book. This is not even a self help book. On the contrary! In fact, the

book may convince you to act in a manner prejudicial to your own material self interest, though it may liberate your soul from a meaningless existence. It will not help you in your career, get ahead in life or even get along with people. The steps outlined here will align powerful persons against you. This book will appear foolish to those who have done well materially in their lives or wish to do well and even to those drones who are without any driving ambitions and just desire to live pleasantly and safely.

# What is in this book is heady stuff and not for them. They espouse the self serving belief that a person holding a position of power and influence can be ethical without coming into conflict with the powerful and without making any sacrifice in one's career. This belief is wrong and the book will show why. What is written here would destroy their self image which has been so carefully built up on such ratioanalizations. It would taste of gall and wormwood to them. But if you are different and relish the whiff of danger in the pursuit of a good cause and feel thought intoxicated by a " possibility beyond already existing reality ", and are prepared to fight for those who cannot pay you back and those you do not know, and accept losses and personal defeats on the way, and are a patriot in the true sense of being "one who tries to make his country worthy of his love", then read on, read on. This book may be for you. # A patriot is one who tries to make his country worthy of his love. This is the finest definition of a patriot. Let me explain. The poet had asked Breathes there a man with a soull so dead, Who never to himself hath said, This is my own, my native land? Every one loves his country but the real patriot recognizes there are blemishes and imperfections. Most of these he cannot remove but he does not see or even experience the whole country. He sees only that Little India which he experiences and sees daily. A small part of this Liittle India is within his control. This he/she can improve and this is the only real expression of patriotism for any individual. His love is expressed in wanting to improve that whixch he loves. A school teacher has with her those thirty or so children for a few hours every day whose minds she tries to open up. This is her Little India which she can influence and improve. A mother looks after her children the best she can. The soldier guards that bit of the border he is asked to defend. A company CEO cannot improve the entire country but he has power to strengthen his company. This is the only way he can show his patriotism. A thespian, if he is good at his craft, can recall to us those qualities we the audience had forgotten and fortify our resolve to live better lives with courage. A doctor too by treating his patients with the utmost deication improves that

Little India he has control over. Each one of us can be a patriot regardless of what is happening in the rest of the country. But patriotism has to be exhibited in your main professional field by doing your best to improve that little patch of land you nurture. This inevitably leads to adopting ethical principles as this is how the optimum results are obtained. To a patriot one has to be professional in one's professional life. If you are ethical in your professional life, you are a patriot and nothing more is to be done to show your patriotism. Being ethical is a necessary and sufficient condition for patriotism.

# The Indian middle class is angry with the corruption within the government. The agitations are being waged in the Indian streets and maidans to win the heart and mind of every Indian. My journey was different but perhaps more hazardous and lonely. I worked for thirty five years within the government and, against powerful opposition, revived more than a dozen organizations, including nine commercial ones. I was a rebel within the government and displayed more courage than those who left the government and now speak from public platforms. My successedid not require me to atttack anyone, I only defended myself against the enraged attacks of the unethical powers. I accused none of wrongdoing, preferring to clean up and then prevent further wrongs. I left no victims in my wake. It was victors I created. The governments can be reformed only by more efforts like mine, from within and not from outside. The agitations on the street will create not one additional grain of food or an extra unit of industrial production. In fact it may slow down enterprise. It is only persons like me working and taking risks for the public interest within the fortifications of power who have brought about real change in institutions. But it is more thrilling to attack people and this attracts more support than what I did.

# But there is one positive aspect to what the movement against corruption is doing. The powerful forces who earlier were in the vanguard in attacking an ethical like me will now be under attack themselves. The ethical will find his main foe considerably weakened. The ethical would now have greater freedom to act within the government. In addition, now that the convention among the corrupt of not attacking each other is also not in place, they will be exposing each other which is a very good thing.

# Ethical leadership and management are not being proposed anywhere as alternative paths out of the country's ills. To most men of power and influence in India, an ethical success is a cure worse than the desease. Looking at an ethical success they would, like King Pyrrhus say - " A few more victories like this and we shall be utterly ruined." For them the price paid by the powerful is too high. It is not a victory but a defeat for them. The left

hand side of the ethical menu delivered wonderful fare but the right hand side payment bankrupted them.

# Let me give a logical demonstration of this absurdity. If removing corruption, but without bringing in ethical functioning, saves the organization x amount, then ethical functioning would create an additional benefit of 10x, with a bonus of zero corruption thrown in free. Yet everyone froths at the mouth against corruption but no one is championing ethical leadership. Similarly those who expose scams are rated higher than the ethical who may have revived an organization creating huge additional wealth and, as a biproduct, wiping out corruption completely. I am unknown while the anti corruption campaigners are folk heroes. A benefit of x is preferred to 11x! It appears illogical beyond belief. It is not illiogical but a carefully thought out reaction of those in power. The benefits of ethical functioning would go to the organization but it would stop their cash flow and leverage completely and that is why they oppose it. For this very reason the common people must support it. They do not do so because the common man mistakenly equates mere honesty and intelligence to ethics. An honest and intelligent officer is capable of being unethical and siding with the powerful without taking any material benefits. He covers up the wrongdoings of the powerful or he pretends he does not see it even though it looms up in front of him like the Himalayas. He frequently does this and that is how the government functions because a government composed 100% of the corrupt could not possibly function. They would cheat each other and the illegal work could not be done. They need the honest, hardworking and intelligent officers to provide the justification and respectability, do the paper work and defend the decision. This is a sort of partnership! Such honest and intelligent persons insist only on one thing - that the proposed action has the tacit approvel at the top. The number of corrupt persons in the government is comparatively small. Most persons in the government are honest and intelligent but not ethical, lacking the courage required. An ethical person is prepared to stand up against the powerful on behalf of the public interest. Only ethical persons benefit society. # Contrary to the common understanding, the proportion of the actively corrupt in government organizations overall is not high. I would put it at 5% though in some notorious offices it may be higher. The identity of the corrupt officers and staff is known to those who make payments, the middlemen who arrange it and also to the honest officials in that office even if they are not officially caught. The rest of the employees are the ones who are honest and intelligent but unethical. They are the mainframe or flywheel which keeps things happening and gives an air of normalcy and business as usual. Their motions not only help cover up corruption but more important, allows the predominantly unethical acts which are done in government offices to go ahead. Unlike the corrupt, the uethicals are never identified, or exposed. They have a squeeky clean image. It is these persons who are the real stars in government non functioning. They cause more damage than the corrupt

officials. An ethical organization head like me can convert both these groups into ethical functioning within days at the helm. # The honest unethical does not see any danger from the corrupt elements in the office provided these corrupt elements observe decencies and are outwardly respectful to the honest unethicals. This requirement is always met as the corrupt are usually most friendly and respectful. The corrupt and even more , the honest unethical, see the ethical in their midst as the common foe. The ethical can control the organization if he heads it and then the corrupt and the unethicals will fall in line; if he is not the chief, he is toast. But as the chief, his opposition will come not from inside the organization but from the outside, from the powerful who are thus excluded.

# In all my asignments as CEO or Head of Department, I also functioned as the de facto CVC, CAG, CBI and Right to Information activist within the organization. Today there is an impassioned talk of a life and death fight against corruption. The organizations I handled were the most cash rich in Gujarat and Kerala. I tackled corruption and, frankly, it was not much of a fight. The corrupt are stupid and apt to scare easily. It was no contest. Corruption headed for the exits and caught the first bus out of town the day I joined. The present national upsurge against corruption leaves me a little uneasy. It pretends that senior officers like me can do little to fight corruption in their organizations with the existing laws. This is false. May I remind such persons that there is already a law against corruption whcih is a criminal offence. It is in effect, theft of the organization's resources. Is the CEO supposed to watch this while twidddling his thumbs, merely because he wants to avoid unpleasantness which may align some powerful persons against him? Raging against corruption in general provides a vicarious satisfaction but we are hitting out at a straw man. The real failure in India society which contains within itself all other failures is the intolerance towards the ethical action in the public field.

Corruption is nothing. As a CEO and Department Head, I could remove it as easily as swatting a slow moving fly.

# More than corruption, the real damage in the government is the wastage in unproductive schemes and worse, in not taking advantage of the great opportunities which an ethical eye would spot and convert into practical achievements. Compared to these, the loss because of corruption is negligible. That is why instead of trying to remove corruption, the nation should encourage ethical leaders. Merely trying to remove corruption is like spraying an overdose of pesticide on a flowering field. It may kill the pests but

will also remove the fertility of the soil. It will sap initiative in organizations just as excessive pesticides kill the micro organisms in the soil. New and even more deadly pests will emege against which the normal pesticides ( or anti corruption measures )will have no effect. Morality would be reduced to a method. Follow the laid down procedures and, whatever the out come, the process is acceptable. Bureaucratic rigidity would be established and and following a methodology of decision making would vindicate the effort. Rules and procedures would be paramount. The results would be secondary. This is already happening. Ministers defend a decision by narrating all the steps which were taken and how everybody was consulted. They never give the logic of the decision and explain the benefits of it. "Based on the relevant opinions, the Committee met and took the decision and all laid down procedures were followed. so what is wrong with it?" they ask plaintively. The objective oriented dynamism is being lost. No decision should be justified by the procedure followed to arrive at it. The tail cannot wag the dog. The decision must first be arrived at, preferably by the person who is to implement it. Only then should the procedure be followed to implemnment it should be gone through. The procedural aspect requires the least brains, it is mechanical work, and yet the skill in this is what is accorded the highest respect in the government. The ethical approach would be a casualty in a system of mindless rule bound compliance which is what the movement will lead to. This movement will seriously crimp decision making and slow it down in the sands of procedures. This movement assumes that removing corruption is enough. At present corruption provides some incentive to work. With this also gone, things will come to a stand still as people sit back and play safe. The ethical incentive is a thousand times more powerful than that of corruption. This is what needs to be brought in.

# The techno solution providers, sensing good business opportunities, will suggest IT as a painless way to cut corruption and wrongdoing. Information technology will be effective but only at the cutting edge level. To the customer or beneficiary, wrongdoing would appear to have vanished. But it may have just travelled upwards and become invisible. It is also likely to get much bigger. Corruption and wrongdoing which was earlier more democratically spread among the subalterens will now be the preserve of higher functionaries. Aided and covered up by technology, it is far more dangerous. A similar effect is seen in tightly controlled near dictatorial regimes with surveillance by the party cadre and/or police. Here too corruption and wrongdoing moves upwards and the citizen experiences corruption free and efficient functioning of public services. But it has merely But it has merely expanded and become invisible to public scrutiny. The corruption, or rather, what is worse, a state business nexus, takes the form of giving away the public rights to the commonwealth of land, what is under the land, air, sea, beaches, coast, water , the electro magnetic spectrum, access to common paths and other misappropriation of public interests. The citizen ends up paying, not in the form of bribes, but in the form of having to pay for

what was earlier nominally priced, cutting back of social services and higher prices for essentials including power, unfair working conditions and low wages, and curtailment of fundamental rights, police surveillance etc. This model will fail as people realise the corruption and exploitation from which it draws its fuel. All development has to be of the people. This model cannot accept this. As my experience in Gujarat showed, it is intolerant of an ethical functioning within it. Like many autocracies, it may win elections but this model is anti democratic in spirit, and serves the interests of the economically dominant classes; all achievements are ascribed to The Leader who thereby acquires the status of a economic wizard. As I proved in Gujarat itself, the ethical approach is immeasurably superior to this model.

# Most failures in the public field are the result of ethical failures by the leadership. Similarly, ethical leadership ensures successes. By leadership is meant potentially every one of those who hold positions of authority/control over organizations. In this group are included the Prime Minister, Chief Minister and other Ministers but also the higher civil service and those in decision making positions in the public and private sectors. All those who have some control over an organization's or a nation's resources are a part of the leadership I talk about. The Prime Minister or Chief Minister or other Ministers, Cabinet Secretary, Chief Secretary cannot be blamed for my failure to run my organization properly. These failures, wherever they occur are individual failures of character and not policy failures. What is the point in changing policy? Yet in every discussion one hears of, the talk is about what policy changes are required to deal with organizational failures and corruption. In other words, it is the fault of the system! Please do not point the finger at me even though I head the organization which is underperforming ! This is an attempt to shirk one's own responsibility which requires one to act independently while esponsibility which requires one to act independently while sitting in a seat of authority. In every organization there are unnecessary costs and neglected opportunities for benefits which is the duty of the CEO to exploit and the politician has nothing to do with it. Even if, and particularly if, the politician opposes such measures for improvement, the ethical leader should press on regardless. I saw myself as working not for the political leader but for the people he led. All the conflicts I faced grew out of this choice.

# Very often individual failures of our functional leadership are aggregated and shown as a new entity, as a collective failure. One such measure that is frequently talked about now is the fiscal deficit. For the common man's understanding, the fiscal deficit is the amount by which the government's income falls short of its expenditure. Today it is high at around 5.5%. This fiscal deficit is treated as some mysterious economic or monetary force which which springs up independently. We frequently see the grave and anxious faces of our finance boffins as they srtruggle with this problem. But

the fiscal deficit is not their creation and the solution is also not in their hands. The fiscal deficit is the counterpart of the ethics deficit among leadership. A thousand ethicals like me in positions of functional leadership in the field could bring down India's fiscal deficit to a level consistent with future growth and social objectives. The wastage and corruption which bloat up government expenditure would vanish. At the same time income due to the government and profits of companies too would rise with coresponding increase in inflow into official treasuries. Let me show how. During my time as Commissioner Cottage Industies, a large number of bogus handloom societies were weeded out. Out of 1050 societies, only 95 survived our field inspections. The rest, 955 0f them, found to be fictitious, were derecognized and barred from further assistance. This was perhaps the most comprehensive cull, in Indian administrative history, of those zombie units which consume development funds. The amount saved was comparatively small compared to the huge scams now reportedly happening in the more 'advanced' sectors of the economy. The profits of all my companies rose, adding to the government's income. And so on ...

# The fiscal deficit is a respectable term, a sort of mask, an alias for something never admitted , something disreputable and always hidden, the elephant in the room. And that something is the ethics deficit. It is an unpleasant reality every one expereiences, like the stink of untreated sewage never talked about and countered by burning agarbatties, but which in economic terms has such a massive impact on people's lives. Not only does ethics deficit explain our failures but ethical management could show us the way out into greater economic well being and greater equity for all our people. Yet no economist or management thinker talks about ethics as the solution. It must be repeated ad nauseum that removing corruption alone is not the answer and that honesty and intelligence is not the same as ethics.

# The fiscal deficit is not a real independent condition but is the manifestation on the public finances of the ethics deficit among the powerful. If the government wants the fiscal deficit to reduce, it should ask all important leaders and officials and also the private sector to become more ethical. They should be asked not to follow whispered sugggestions but to seek direections independently like I did.

# For a government to ask its citizens to tighten the belt of iscal discipline, without the government subjecting itself to ethical discipline , is immoral. The poor who benefit from pro poor programs, and the middle calss who use public services, are being asked tp pick up the tab for the waste and corruption by the powerful, which is what the fiscal deficit is. If the

government had been ethically disciplined, there would have been no need for fiscal discipline and the fiscal deficit would vanish.

# Most of what are seen as macro issues or Problems Facing the Nation is a shorthand to describe the conditions which result from innumerable ethical failures in the field. But their ethical origin and solution is deliberatly hidden. Instead it is handed over to academicians and experts who make a living talking about it. A real concrete situation, arising out of some human weakness, develops in the field from a leadership weakness. It is then agggregated over an entire region by mindless statisticians and presented as a brand new abstract entity which then becomes "a problem" existing only at the national macro level. Once this happens there is now a new national abstract problem which justifies the creation of a new department at the national or state level and this creates opening for experts to move in. The real work to be done in the field is given a makeover to show it cannot be tackled in the field but must have "a wholistic approach which recognizes backward and forward linkages etc". Policies need to be framed for which a whole battery of policy makers arrive in town. The discussions which now take place are too complex to be understood by an ordinary person. If an intelligent villager were to walk into one of the chambers of the government planners where his situation was being discussed, he would not understand a thing. Much of what is discussed is reality converted to a high level of abstraction with many acronyms and other esoteric terms having only the vaguest resemblance to reality. This purely abstract entity, "the problem', is seen as something real through a proces of reification. It is this reified thing which is now talked about. Something in the field which should have directly been solved in the first instance has now become a full blown national problem which will be unrecognizable to those who experiences it at first hand. The experts and the joint secretaries who can do nothing about it, take it over and they will talk about it in a language nobody in the real world will understand. This is the intention and not accidental. This ends up convincing the common people that "The Problems Facing the Nation" are very complex indeed which is beyond their understanding. An entire school of expertise grows around these abstract issues and they guard their turf furiously. There are today experts on drinking water, poverty, environment, forests , corruption fiscal deficit and a host of other ills that beset mankind. This would b OK if they were out in the field successfully tackling these ills. But they sit in Delhi and other state capitals making presentations in conferences.

# These challenges are shown as complex. Nothing could be further from the truth. The solutions are difficult but not complex; just as farming is difficult but not complex and financial jugglery is complex but not difficult. It is the heart and not the brain that is required to tackle the challenges that we face. A willingness to struggle continouously in the field with all its

uncertainties can find solutions to these challenges. My book describes a field oriented method to find solutions by seeking directions autonomously which is the polar opposite of the centralised system now prevailing. It is this determination to ignore the ethical way that is stunting our nation. Our government is an entity whose head has grown very large but whose limbs are withered for lack of use. Its leaders are looking at screens and pressing buttons which are not connected to the real world. I am not making the trite observation that our schemes and plans are good but the implementation is where we are weak. I am saying something else entirely. It is that planning and devising schemes cannot be a separate activity from implementing it. The person who plans must also implement it with accountability for success or failure. The person at the spot must be the one who designs the schemes. This huge head which is a malevolent presence shadowing the exuberance of forces in the field must be drastically shrunk. Those who sit in the country's over centralized capitals looking so intelligent, crafting all these elaborate schemes with convincing presentaions and talks, must be given the task of implementing whatever they have formulated. In hunting this would be equivalent to insisting that the person must eat whatever he shoots; subject to this , you can shoot anything! In one stroke you will make the Indian government machinery accountable. Which is why this suggestion will be savagely ridiculed, asssuming it is at all taken seriously. It will create panic among those who look so smug today, bemoaning the lack of implementation. The person who implements it will have the motivation for it only if he/she is the person crafting it. But this move will turn upside down the hierarchy which governs us which is built on the principle that the man of intelligence does not get his hands dirty with stuff in the field. This belief is what makes possible the exploitation in our society. It also explains why the government consistently underperforms. There needs to be a massive decentralization of functioanl powers. Only the very broad directional strategies and policies should radiate from the centre. The problem of implementation will vanish.

# But the difficulties for those sitting in those Bhavans in Delhi and their equivalent in state capitals would grow to their proper size. Making field problems into abstract entities allows them to be discussed in a relaxed environment where solutions are found in centralized establishments. Here analytical and verbal skills are more important than nerve, guts and character. These old fashioned virtues are needed by an ethical who functions in the field. This reification of complex real world situations into elegant cerebral entities makes it seem all so easy. Development of this great country is made to look so easy by those who have the symbolic and analytical skills and the administrative footwork to get postings in the capital ciites of our country. They have, with a clever and dishonest trick, made that which calls for the highest ethical dedication and risk taking commitment - the revival of our country, into a facile and facetious skill. Our countrymen, who respect that which they cannot understand, assume that the convoluted phrases emanating from our officials must be an accurate description of the complex

state of affairs. Let me tell them there is nothing complex about field and organizational development. It is difficult but not complex. It does not need so many office workers in Delhi . Can anyone tell me what that huge Krishi Bhavan and other similar establishments are doing in Delhi ? Just creating work for each other. If they were all to be wound up, national development would not only not suffer but would actually speed up. These Bhavans could be converted into hotels for the middle classes. # Let me explain what I mean by saying situations in the field are difficult but not complex. If we at any time try to look at the entire world, or a country or a state or even a village and try to propose solutions, and we try to do it from a study table or office, its complexity will defeat us. But in our real indivdual lives we are not required to do this. At any particualr time, when we stand facing a specific situation in the field, the solution is obvious. We are not dealing with the entire macro picture but with a situation which our instinctive knowledge allows us to understand. What needs to be done stands with a demanding clarity before us. No detailed discussions are required. If there are uncertainties, these will not be solved by discussions and 'further studies' (a phrase beloved by time wasters and bureacrats) but by taking the first approximate steps and making changes with the 'eye on the ball'. We must think on our feet and not on our seat. Thinking follows action and not the other way round. In this action mode, the quality of our effort improves incrementally. Sitting in the office we see problems, in the field we see solutions. While solutions are not complex ie they do not require analytical skill, making thing happen in the field is difficult. Farming is difficult but not complex. The rain, the sun, and the cold assault the farmer, mosquitoes bite him, wasps sting, snakes slither in front, the muscles ache, the sweat pours into his eyes or perhaps it is tears, his crop may fail, or with a bumper crop the prices may crash, the may be no one to buy.. and a thousand other misfortunes. Character is required, not the glib phrases of a financial analyst. But it is only the person in the field mode who gets things done, not the policy formulator. How does the peson in the field mode innovate? He does it in two ways. First when he instinctively feels some new practice may give a better result, HE TRIES IT OUT in a limited scale and then proceeds ahead looking to the results. Second, he comes to know of a new practice elsewhere and then, after visiting that field, TRIES IT OUT. This is how 99% of the innovation in the field takes place. There are too many policy framers in the government and not many willing to work in the farmer mode. Things are not complex, things are difficult and the difficulties are in the fileld. The difficulties are not conceptual or intellectual but of human muscle and thought endurance. This quality of endurance in the field is almost absent in office bound civil servants. Yet it is the policy framers who are seen as the doers and not the actual doers in the field. The qualities required for a doer are guts, courage and commitment. The top bureaucrats and policy framers would guffaw helplessly at this assertion.

# There is too much knowledge, intelligence, confidence,cleverness and cold calculation in our leadership; the harshest charge is answered with a complacent good natured smile and a first name chumminess with the inteviewer. Many of them have the smooth, well fed and manicured look of the luxury hotel, spa and gym habitue. Some emotion, even anger, honestly conveyed, may beget more trust in the common people. The people respond to the truth no matter how clumsily stated and this truth releases their capabilities; they detect falsehood quickly and it signals them to hold back their best. This explains the performance of organizations, and as nations are collections of organizations, of nations as well.

# As implementation of government schemes are done by lower level functionaries who may be subject to unbearable pressures, most field report should be looked at sceptically. I would not go so far as I.F Stone, an American journalist, who said that all governments are run by liars and nothing they say should be believed. But those in governments do speak falsehooods in a convincing manner. There is no deliberate intention to mislead but they rely entirely on documents supplied to them from the field. These are made up in a way as to be most convenient to the authority supplying them. They are quite often misleading where the facts are controversial and cannot be independently verified by a common man. Very rarely would a senior official go to the field, as I did with the handloom societies, to physically verify a fact. They end up swearing by falsehoods believing them to be true. If they just visited the field more often independently, government reports would be more trustworthy.

# Keynes' term "Animal Spirits" is not an immoral or even an amoral force, akin to the neighing of horses or the baying of hounds or " the brokers roaring like beasts on the floor of the bourse". This term refers to the native sense of optimism, risk taking and the desire for achievement , not confined to the businessmen but inherent in every human being whether he/she is a farmer, an industrial worker, a weaver, a housewife, a mother, a school teacher or a jawan on the border. The mistake which the finance policy planners make is in assuming it is only confined to business entrpreneurs and the animal spirits of only the business community needs to be unleashed. The country's leaders should try to unleash the animal spirits of the entire country. These will surge up when Indians all over the country perceive ethical functioning in the organizations they work. When this is established, the government needs to do little and the creative engine of development will move ahead on its own. This is how I achieved all the turnarounds narrated in this book. It can work for the country as well. Conceptually, the country's revival would be my achievements multiplied a thousand times.

# Perhaps, with one exception, there are no big canvass national problems just as there are no macro solutions for our country. There are issues at the micro level all across the country exisiting in various organizations. These could be seen as problems by those who do not like to act but prefer to analyze, or they could be perceived as challenges with built in opportunities to the ethical leader operating at the spot. The ethical leader always operates at the spot and only from the spot and never from the centralized policy making establishments. He knows that a policy based leadership is a fraud on the people. No nationally prescribed policy solution is going to work because the precise mix of factors is different in each situation. What will work is ethical leadership at that particualr time in that particular organization. What will definitely fail is the absence of ethical leadership there and its sustitution by a centralized policy driven functioning. So the only true big national issue or since I am an optimist, the national opportunity and sure fire solution, is for all leaders wherever they are to begin acting ethical and advising all around them around them and down the line to do the same. This is the only one big policy issue facing the country. All good things will fall into place and follow. All solutions are local and specific and will become visible through an ethical lens at the site. This is the biggest issue facing the country and is systematically being ignored. It is being lost sight of by every one.

# But my acting ethical is not ruled out even if every other leader or person of importance decided to remain unethical. I can still act ethical and "win marvellous victories' even in an otherwise unethical world. This is what I continuously did. I would have no right to preach ethics if I had not achieved practical business victories with it. Without these astonishing business successes my views would be hard to distinguish from any of the hundreds of business books that have been written. Without these successs being narrated here, the hard headed, experienced practical men and women dominating the government and private sector would be able to convinvcingly say that the sort of ethics I talk about ,while being most admirable, does not work in real life. I have shown that it is in real life that it actually works and it is their careful, cautious and calibrated but timid and selfish responses which are failing spectacularly. Ethics is the most practical way to real success in the field. Every person who wishes to be ethical can act independently even if the whole world were to scowl.

# The Indian economy is slowing down as the government is under attack on the major issue of having taken wrong decisions. The government is countering with a battery of " reforms". A curious fact is that the reform of its own functioning appears to be off the agenda. The top leaders of the country are silent on bringing in ethical functioning at the top as a reform. They just need to take one step. Become ethical , not in your policy pronouncements which are today meaningless though they raise the most strident reactions -

witness the FDI in Retail debate -, but in your day to day actions. And ask all officers in a decision making level to act independently and not ask for guidance from above. Persons down the line will get the message and they too will act acccordingly. The number of ethicals in the government whose actions are autonomously generated is miniscule in the country and most persons need to see the person at the top setting an example. This reform would add more wealth and voter satisfaction than anything else. The Indian growth rate would shoot by 10%. Yes. it is a GDP growth rate of 15 - 20% we could be looking at. My success in widely different assignments shows that an ethical can handle complex field level challenges better than the usual civil service and corporate models though the corporates and civil servants can talk far better, just as Harsha Bhogle or even Navjot Sidhu talks better than Tendulkar or Dravid. Today I am the foremost practitioner of corporate revivals in the country. But any bright civil servant in Delhi or even the state capitals will outshine me in a debate on the subject of "Corporate Revivals in India". An educated Indian watching this exchange would point to the civil servant as more capable than me in corporate revivals! Though no one would rate Sidhu higher than Tendulkar, a civil servant is judged by how well he talks and makes presentations; no one looks at his actual score card of organizatinal field successes. In general, in any bureaucracy, the smooth talkers, the articulates, are precisely those who have have not been particularly successful in the field and are better at deciding policy than working in the field under uncertain conditions. The trouble is that in the government these persons are over represented and that is a reason for our failures. They come up with too many policies as a way to assert themselves and most of which are nothing more than logical word games in their minds. But they give a good impersonation of competence because of their verbal fluency and this is the basis of the inflated reputation of the Indian bureaucracy. The much vaunted dynamism of some of them is nothing more than the skill to guide a favored few through the thicket of obstructions and fences which they themselves have erected. Their record is unlikely to show any creative and ethical effort in the field. Why dont the government and opposition parties, not to mention the entire phalanx of experts ever ready to comment on any public issue. including an increasing number of business men and women who would never talk about their own organizational weaknesses, ever suggest ethics as a solution? Why do they find ethics so scary?

# They correctly see it as a deadly danger to the existing way of doing things. It would ovethrow the present lucrative patterns of deception, domination and control which have allowed otherwise worthless but clever persons to corner so much material wealth and opportunities while denying them to the more deserving. That is why they are all united in not allowing ethical functioning in any of their establishmments. This is the only reason for all our country's ills. All patriotic Indians must support ethical leadership wherever they see it becasue the ethical is busy enlarging your capabilities and fighting for your family's future. And better still, if you are in a position of

power and authority, become ethical yourself. If you are unable to become ethical or even positvely support the ethical, then at least do nor oppose the ethical. But even this prohibition is unbearable to the powerful. How will this additional 10% growth rate emerge when the best efforts of the government have taken us only onto 8% , a percentage that is now rapidly silipping to sub 5%, with the Q3 2012-13 reported around 4.5 % ? This additional 10% will be the capabiliites that are freed when persons work in an ethical set up. Unethical leadership prevents the potential within persons from emerging. No one is able to give his best when he works in an unethical set up. The realization that the organization is manipulating you and others in some way or the other will convince you to hold back your total commitment to the common effort. All my successes were because of this incremental release of new and vital energy at the realization of ethical direction seeking by the leadership. Creativity too , which is the ability to find new ways to solve problems, is released in an ethical effort. There is no need for FDI to create fresh investment in the country. All the investment we need is lying incactive because of our unethical leadership. Release this submerged potential and see the growth rate shoot up.

# If the number of ethicals is so miniscule today, from where where will all these ethicals be forthcoming, is a question that could be asked. Potentailly there is no shortage. Within every person there is an ethical being struggling to emerge. Every person, no matter how unethical today, can turn ethical overnight. It would also help if people created a demand for them by honoring the ethical wherever they are found, which is not being done today. The ethical fights for those whom no one else fights for. Yet no one fights for the ethical when he comes under attack. That is why the number of ethicals is so small.

# The number of ethicals can never be large. Just as a small amount of sugar can sweeten the milk, a pinch of salt savor the dish, and a bit of yeast make the dough rise, a few grams of catalyst ignite a reaction, in the same way a few ethicals, say less than 5% of the power elite, say a thousand individuals, can rejuvenate society and save the country. But the rest of the power elite and other stakeholders must defend and respect the ethicals because the ethical is fighting for the organization , unmindful of his own interests. The ethicals should be seen as the advance guard of the society and an expression of the nation's will to develop its full potential. It is repeated here that an ethical is one who succeeds in the practical task given to him. Society is not required to defend a person who fails in the task allotted to him even though he may claim to be ethical. Such a person is not ethical. But please do not attack a person who succeeds beyond expectation in his work while keeping his hands clean and winning the trust of the stakeholders. But such attacks

happened to me, time and again. And this is what will happen to any ethical, as the opposition to me was never personal. In attacking the ethical, we in India are atttacking our common future. We do not need enemies. We are doing the job of destroying our future hopes quite well ourselves. The ethical is acraftsman who creates a future vision for the country through individual organizations. A nation which does not honor its ethicals does not efffectively have a reality based vision of the future no matter how well its economists, businessmen, politicians, intellectuals and others who can be heard in seminars, conferences etc, actually speak.

# A good society would place the ethical above the person of wealth. If he has been successful in business, the market has already rewarded the person of wealth. Further respect by the society is not justified. The Ambani, the Tata, the Birla have already been rewarded with wealth by the market. They have no further claim on society's estimation unless they go out of their way to be ethcial and expose themselves to danger for the public interest. Their successful business ventures, no matter how creative, have been rewarded monetarily, and no further credit for these is required. Their present high profile is entirely because of the build up by the commercial media which needs their monetary ad support and other help. The members of the elite would be valued, not by how much they took but by how much they gave. This ratio, of how much material wealth a person created and how much of that he took for himself and his associates, should be the measure by which society judges a person and bestows her honors. (My efforts at GSFC created a ratio of 6000 as explained above, which is perhaps the highest any Indian corporate chief has achieved.) By this yardstick the ethical would stand very, very high, higher than India's billionaires, politicians and civil servants. He had power but used it for empowering others; made money but made it for others; fought but in the defence of the common wealth. He is even better than the rich philanthropist who gave away a part of the wealth he made whereas the ethical put into the public exchequer the entire wealth he made; he does not even have around him the virtuous glow of being a philanthropist! Every society gets the kind of leadeship it deserves. If that society values wealth and power, then its leadership will comprise men and women who pursue their own interests, enriching those who help them. If it values the ethical who works for those he does not know and those who cannot pay him back or help him in any way, then the society will have a leadership where the ethicals, even in a small number, will be the direction setting and dominant voice over the others. Today in India wealth and power are deferred to and the ethical is slighted and attacked. With none to defend him, he fights at his own risk and cost even after having benefited society. Not surprisingly, the ethical is practically extinct, having been hunted out ruthlessly.

# The stories narrated in this book provide the key to the country's potential greatenss. In a microcosm are found the answers that elude us. We see the world in a grain of sand. Today the TV screens bring us endless exposes of scams and discussions on what ails the country and new laws that are required. So many wise men and women engage in this pointless activity. They do it for just one reason. It is a feel good activity with no downside. None of them talk about the wrongdoings in their own organizations or even criticize them. They would never agree to a open Tv discussion with shareholders and other stakeholders of the kind they subject the government to. There appear to be no answers other than more laws and punitive hunts. But the true answer is staring us in the face. Our decision makers are unwilling to take decisions independently and face up to the consequences. This is the real answer to what ails our nation. My book revolves around this concept of autonomous direction seeking. In this book , unlike the TV experts, I point out the weaknesses and wrongdoings in the organizations I headed, and how instead of analysing them or asking for new laws or seeking help from others, I set them right. I write of new opportunities which were leveraged and the benefits harvested. The confrontations I had with the powerful, those who could help or harm me and who did end up harming me, are described in detail. I never hid behind the self serving argument that one can do good in the public service without having it out with the powerful and getting a bloody nose now and then. And how corruption was tackled and routed is narrated. I have little interest in analyzing the weaknesses of other organizations except to say they probably arise from ethcial weaknesses, though perhaps not always. I would not presume to advise the CMD of Tata Steel or Air India on what they should do. But both of them would turn more effective and achieve better results if they used an ethical direction finder frequently.

# I urge you to read this book which was written over two years of bleary eyed efforts. It is a labour of love, brought to your screen without cost or obligation. The language is harsh at times and even damning, but considering the number of organizations I turned around, the great wealth I created for our legitimate stakeholders, and the number of powerful persons I took on, this is a right fully earned and paid for. But please start the book only if you are in sympathy with what is written here.

# Our power elite lack character.By this I do not mean they have bad moral character. Far from it. Most of them are good family men, pious and religious and suffer no addictions to mood altering liquids and powders. They are all intelligent and work hard to please or atleast not to displease those who determine their life fortunes. What I mean by character is something else. It means grit and conviction in the pursuit of some moral search. It is a personal quality that forces us into making those promises which every individual is required to make depending on his position, and then standing by those

promises; it means having an emotional understanding of human expectations, displaying courage against the strong, possessing a belief in an abstract good which may be opposed to one's own material interests and safety, and a willingness to walk alone; moral stamina and the ability to inspire others to believe in what one believes in. The crises India is facing is not economic slowdown and weakening government authority which are but consequences of the rot. There is something else. It is a crises of character among our elite that we are now becoming aware of. They will fight for nothing, they will defend nothing because deep down they believe in nothing except their own welll being, safety and survival. Whatever serves these needs, they will show as being good for all. This is how they justify themselves and feel good. Daring, noble and dangerous things they wish to do but will turn back at the last minute, telling themselves they will do it the next time when the odds are better. They will never get around to actually taking that leap. The fist is clenched but always in the pocket. They will run down the ethical amongst them. Bloch's statement, that most men are too cowardly to be wicked and too weak to be good, applies to them. But when a country's elite behave this way, then the possible paths ahead close. Without the elites showing the way ahead, India cannot attain its true potential. India's elites lack courage to risk anything. This is perhaps becasue of India's long history of subjection to despotic forces and the elite know that standing up for what is right rather than standing with the strong will leave one exposed and isolated as happened to me. In any case why fight for the weak and the vulnerable? One wrong step and one could go hurtling down from the perch one has so carefully climbed on to. It requires a leap of faith to imagine them building that great country which Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Bose and countless other freedom fighters and patriots hoped for. We need women and men who are different. Our power elites today defer to too many authority figures and unexamined beliefs. They fear freedom and think they cannot make it on their own.

# So how to remove corruption in the government and elsewhere? Support, defend and honor the ethicals. Create a demand for them by putting a proper value on their contributions. This higher valuation will be monetarily cost free as the ethical accepts only respect and honor and not material rewards. Their number will increase at no cost but this increased number will benefit society by thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of crores. The corrupt persons under an ethical leader would turn clean overnight just as so many Indians turned bitterly against the Emergency once it was all over. The citizen will get the services he is entitled to by an alert and motivated staff. Ethical leadership in the field will remove corruption far more efficiently than a prosecutorial program against the corrupt. An ethical in the field will multiply the number of other ethicals to grow exponentially. Ethics is not a vocational skill but a moral striving. An admininistrator will become better at his job, an engineer will be a better engineer, so will a school teacher, an industrialist, a football player, an economist, a doctor, a gardener, a mason and everyone else

you can think of. It is through this magic process the country will be rejuvenated.

# There is another effect which emerges from the rule of the ethicals in society. I make this claim hesitantly but I make it as I am sure of it. In every organization , once I had established myself, the level of moral decency improved. There was greater courtesy between employees and stakeholders as also trust. Falsehoods and wild allegations died down. Promises given in day to day transactions were kept. Self confidence increased. Women were treated with greater respect and they felt more free and confident about themselves. And many other good things began to happen. This good feeling spread even to those who were dealing with the organization. Many of them including private businessmen vowed to follow ethical principles in their businesses. Yatha Raja Thatha Praja. When the common man knows that ethicals are ruling in government and other organizations , then crime will come down in society, particularly those crimes which arise out of injustice as there will be less injustice. Women particularly will feel safe in ethical rule as ethics will replace force as the decisive principle.

# 'We want Justice!' This cry seeks not the outcome of a judicial process which in a technical sense is justice. The young girls shout this as an expression of pain and rage and are asking for ethical rule. That incident in the bus was just the spark. The young have the greatest stake in the future. But they see this future is turning to a nightmare and this scares them as they have longer to live. Today they pour their scorn at the unethicals who are destroying their future. That is this great hurt and anger being felt palpably on the TV screens. As I watched the screens during the last few days, and saw these young girls running up the Raisna Hill with no one to listen to them, great gusts of anguish and grief shook me. They had sought assurances but were met by silence and water cannons. They deserved better. An ominous wind is blowing over our land and over those magnificent stone structures of power on Raisna Hill a moral darkness, or rather a moral blankness descends. If you look for villains you may not find them. It is weak , unprincipled men who insist on sitting in positions of power but who do not care to equip themselves with an ethical direction finder who have caused this state of despair. I do not see any evil, scary men among the powerful. To destroy a country, incompetence, arising from lack of ethics, is more effective than any deliberate malign intention. Rape is not a crime of passion or even of lust. It is a repudiation of our common humanity, a reversion to that darkness from which we have only just escaped. When it happens on a large scale and is a part of a general breakdown of values, it rings alarm bells. That daily mobilization in Delhi is not against a specific rape. It is a cry of horror against the subjugation of right by might, of morality by brute force, of angels by demons, and of light by darkness and this they see happening all around them. It is against a leadership that has systematically deceived and lied to the common people and treated them as as mental defectives talking to us in a language we do not

understand and having created a society that allows such assaults on a human being to occur with increasing frequency. Where is my India, they ask. It is an ethical India they ask for, a country where morality, not force, would rule. Ethicals in power dispersed all over the country are the pathfinders for those who search for this India. We do not need big powerful national leaders whom we can blame when things go wrong. Things will go wrong when important persons stop seeking directions autonomously. As I have repeatedlty said, I ignored politicians, bureucrats and power brokers and used my powers, that is why I succeeded. Our future is too important to be decided by these persons. Let us take it in our own hands. If anyone is to be blamed, it is the Indian elite, cosying up to the powerful when it suits them and then blaming them when things go wrong. ( I have written this para today on 22.12.12 and revised on 29. 12. 12 after the girl's death )

# An ethical effort would asphixiate corruption and devastate its operations in that organization where an ethical sits at its head. The limitation is that an ethical can do this only in his own organization. He cannot improve the working of an organization over which he does not have direct operational control; this is why elsewhere it was said that policy prescriptions do not work in the absence of an ethical leader "at the spot". Corruption in such organizations with an ethical at its head would be routed so easily that it would embarrass the anti corrruption crusaders who today fight corruption from outside. The anti corruption activists fight corruption fom outside after it has happened and all the damage is caused. The Auditors too point out wastage and loss post facto. They are not the answer and their efforts, howsoever well meaning they are, will cause only more finger pointing and controversy. None of them would be prepared to run organizations like I did. The ethical leader would prevent corruption from taking root. As explained, the other benefits would be far greater. The organization would perform better and it would satisfy both the Auditor and the anti corruption activists. But it would set far higher standards of conduct for those who are not corrupt. Ethical successes would strip away the alibis for inaction which are useful to so many now. Its message would be a call to action which would dissipate the present complacencies. The limitations and shortcomings of too many luminaries and "men and women of eminence" would become painfully evident to others and to themselves when they are judged on the scorecard of field action and objective results instead of notings, discussions, speeches and ability to get along with fellow incompetetents. I call them incomptetent for one damning reason. The policies they frame so impressively and with such transparent intelligence and after detailed discussions and analyses in the elevated and dignified forums of the governmant, just do not work in the field. These policies obviously work for them because we see them rise in the hierarchy, in that official sense they are competent. In the Indian government , the criteria for competence is never whether the policies succeed or not. Failure is admittted only long after the event and then it is ascribed to poor implementation - "we will look into it and will take steps to tone up implementation and plug the loopholes" and then the whole policy making starts again. Our civil servants have not not delivered. That is why they must be branded as incompetent.

# Let me state clearly that no Lokpal is required. Lokpal is a very distant second best to what I propose which is ethical leadership of the kind I exhibited. None of those shouting against corruption ever mention and recommend what I did. I not only eradicated corruption but also generated undreamt of benefits though profits. Honor us and there will be a lot more like me. Corruption will vanish like rats against the light. The rule of Occam's Razor tells us to use the simplest and minimum measures to achieve what we want. Lokpal will create a Kafkaesque bureucracy which will be worse than corruption. # An ethical heading an organization will cleanse and revive it, as sure as day follows night. Nobody has to remind him or follow up. Maintaining the indignation which arises after important persons are accused of coruption needs a determination and persistence which an average citizen cannot summon up. The reverberations from almost all of Shri Kejriwal's exposes on TV , naming names, producing facts , presenting documents have become faint. The public is not aware of any corrective steps taken by the government and none is even agitating for it. Shri Kejriwal with his rare sense of mission, conviction and courage could not cleanse the dirty stables. This route is therefore impossible to cross. Their efforts have done nothing but strengthened our sense of cynicism and depressed morale. On the other hand I was able to clean up and revive every organizations entrusted to me within months. No outside prodding was required, the hints I received from the powerful was to go slow! The reader is invited to verify my assertion by asking those who worked under me. Ethical action is superior to corruption fighting. But corruption fighting is more emotion laden and entertaining to the man in the street. # During my working years I did not ask for new laws or any outside support. I turned around the organizations which were handed over to me in a sick condition. Some were huge, some medium, some small and covering all areas from civil engineering, dam construction and irrigation , court litigation, housing, chemical engineering, pesticides, fertilizers, artisan development, fisheries, minerals etc. No expert sitting in Delhi or the state capitals, or even the financial centres of the world, definitely not the economists, would have even a fraction of such successful field experience; yet these are the experts who diagnose and prescribe curative policies and strategies for the country . In all my successes I never used advisory experts but thought out the revival strategy inhouse; practicing experts are sometimes essential and we did use them. ( A practicing expert is someone with a specific skill, which the organization hiring him lacks, which is required to set right a specific problem or perform a task, after successfully completing which , he collects his fee and leaves; an advisory expert is one who prepares a report advising the customer how he should act to set right an organizational or some other deficiency. A management which needs such advisory experts is incompetent and must be replaced. I recently read that the Air India is asking

an IIM professor to suggest ways to cut costs. This is the core role of the management and an outside expert should not be necessary.) My analyses and prescription for cure is unerringly accurate but compared to the appeal of advisory experts , my words are that of a prophet crying in the wilderness and would invite snide smiles. I could succeed because I acted independently , using my powers, allowed no interference even from the mighty, breaking many icons, frequently coming into conflict with the powerful and personally losing out but only after having turned around the organizations under my care. No advisory expert will ever suggest this. The label of expert will be torn off from his lapel.

# Think of thousands of such revivals and you are looking at a rejuvenated and self confident India. The trust between the leadership and the people will be restored. Our problems are not so complex as are being made out. It is the heart and not the head that is called upon to show the way when there is an ethical collapse which is what has happened now. Or to put it better, the heart will tell us what we want, the head will tell us how to get it. The head can never tell us what we want, this only the heart can do. The book you are about to read will enlarge your thinking and you will see the world around you differently and as being fundamentally alterable by individual action. This book urges every Indian in a position of power and authority to stop looking at others and act independently but ethically. The Indian elite is called upon to act. This call will be heard by those whose antennae are tuned to receive it. It radiates hope and faith in that future which each one of us can create around oneself. Together we can realize our yet unclaimed future. # I am not hopeful of anything like this happening to a significant extent. The sunk costs of the Indian elite in the present ways of working are substantial and have a long cultural and historical lineage. They will not hear that which is not convenient and they will not change. The large majority of them are honest and intelligent, but unethical, and they have no intention of taking a single step beyond this. Acting intelligently and honestly , but unethically, has worked well for them and given them full security, comfort and prestige of office. Why should they change this winning stategy? Having done nothing wrong, they suffer from no guilt feelings. Not doing that which they were ethically required to do is not counted as a transgression by them. They are seen by all as Men and Women of Integrity. They work very hard in offices attending an unending series of meetings and after that the files! The look on their faces suggests they are carrying burdens the common man cannot imagine. They genuinely see themselves as good persons, untainted by any wrong. They are clad in an unbreachable armour of self approval. They are never held accountable for the failureof policies in the field. Failure is OK but any deviation from procedure, or even worse, autonomous direction seeking, is seen as an unforgivable sin. "Thou shalt not act ethically! " Their ethical impulses which they have suppressed lifelong is now a faint inner voice hardly audible. All the real misery and failures in the field have been

reified into abstract scholastic entities. Abstraction of real life hardship, perennial hunger, malnutrtion and fever among millions of Indians causes no guilt. The costs of unethical leadership will not be paid personally by them. They will never change and will reserve their indignation for those who advise them to do so. It is the poorer and powerless Indians who will pay. There are more than 500 million of them. Their suffering will provide a shock absorber to smoothen out all the jolts of an unethical leadership. Their rations could be reduced, the whip cracked a little bit harder with the blood flowing a bit more. It looks like a stable equilibrium. # But this assumption may turn out to be wrong. We need a growth rate of 10% continuously to take care of the pressure of the rising expectations of our people. This growth rate can come in one of the two ways. It is best and most easily obtained by an ethical leadership operating in the decisive sectors of the economy and influencing other areas too. Or it can happen by the outright plunder of our natural resources and the common wealth through corruption as happened in Russia and also in our country till now under " bold dynamic leadership and reforms". But such an engine will not have sustainable power for long. Such actions will be bitterly resented and opposed and there will be gridlock in national decision making as is the case now. If the 10% growth rate is not achieved, then we will have serious civil unrest and a breakdown of the state. Already almost 20% of the land area of the country is under some form of control by the extreme left wing groups and they could choke off the supply of vital raw material like coal, water or even highways and railways. With the perception of venality and incompetence at the top, our police forces and even the Army may not remain disciplined for ever. Bangalore is stinking with uncollected garbage. The barbarians are already at the gate. Only ethical leadership like mine, not centralized but dispersed over the entire country, can provide the answer. So ethical leadership may no longer be a choice but a necessity. But it will be seen as a necessity only in the eyes of an intelligent leadership. If our leadership is determined to brazen it out with the same mixture of soothing words and weak, unprincipled actions, then the country will descend into some form of anarchy. It will happen, as is already happening, not by a sickening jolt but by incremental degrees which make it appear things are being managed. The daily reality will be seen as the new normal. This cannot be ruled out as a study of our leadership shows that it is quite capable of this and in fact may prefer this; then it is guile, lies, deception and force which will rule which they could feel is their core competence. #My words are likely to remain little more than "the vain breath of a common man". My book will face the same opposition as my practice of ethical management did. My turnarounds at least benefited tens of thousands of persons materially. This book will do nothing of the sort. Those among the well placed who have no intention of changing into an ethical mode will find the contents of this book personally offensive. It will strip away the alibis for their compromises and inaction which enabled them to climb onto their present comfortable and secure positions. They will hear the accusing voice of

their youthful and idealistic self which died long ago. That dead youth had imagined daring, nobler deeds. The large majority of Indians who feel powerless and in no position to influence events, will feel what is written in this book to be none of their concern. Better to make an accommodation with those who are powerful and survive instead of coming out in favor of ethical change. Thet will feel previleged if they have someone weaker than them to order around. Most persons, elite and the common man, find my indignation and hopes pointless. Big, daring future images of a finer world bring out a polite agreement, eyes dulling, and a quick change of topic, followed by a speedy exit. It looks pretty hopeless to me. A country which does not produce ethicals in a sufficiently large number, and does not even want to, is a country that does not wish to reach its full potential. That is it. 500 million Indians will remain as hewers of wood and drawers of water. Great human worth is going to waste. The Indian elite will not change. Not only will they not become ethical but they will not allow an ethical subgroup, an advance guard of path finders to a better world, to exist within them. You can be ethical in your private life but do not try it within organizations , will be the blunt message. It, the power elite, will point to its successful businessmen and women, glamorous film stars, technology innovators, software whizz kids, finance analysts, engineering structures, technology and management institutes, its artists, singers, dancers, intellectuals and other sparkling achievers, all of whom have made their private adjustments with the powerful, to show that we are not bad, in fact as good as the best in the world. Awards for professional excellence are regularly handed over on well lit stages by by a co-opted panel of ever smiling humbugs and watched by an audience of preening attention seekers. Dont get me wrong . They have achieved everything the award citation gushingly describes. But this plethora of awards generates a rotten optimism which is far worse than a realistic pessimism which could motivate us to act. None of the awardees are known to have taken a stand on behalf of the weak and the vulnerable and against the powerful within their own establishments. The power elite in India has effectively abandoned those who need their help and feel good about it. They have lobotomized their better selves. They are following the example set by their counterparts in the West and also in other parts of the world with whom they find more in common. There was a time when men and women of wealth and power did fight for the weaker side. We lost them because we made them feel unwelcome. # Being ethical means acting this way in our professional sphere, during 9 to 5, that is during our working hours. It means devoting all our energies to the well being and growth of our organization and being willing to stand up against those who work against the organizational interest as seen objectively. It does not mean feel good symbolic acts such as talking indignantly on TV panel discussions, signing on line petitions, filing PILs, candle light vigils, singing songs, weekend social work and, most popularblaming politicians while never attacking any business or professional figure, all as a compensatory mechanism for deferring to power and wealth and denigrating the unarmed truth during the 9 to 5 period. Many persons make this self serving error and feel good about it. Most people love the feel good

experience, that emotional and lyrical sensation generated while performing symbolic acts. It is great, no risk, no danger, this warm, dreamy, infantile feeling of having performed a virtuous act, so safe it is, and sure beats the real thing. Let me point out that there is no harm in doing this now and then and is stress relieving but remember that doing good is never feel good, it exposes you to hazard and risks as you walk alone; such feel good exercises should be done after some stressful real life risky do good acts. If you wish to become ethical, act ethical during 9 to 5 in your main occupation from which you earn your living. This is dangerous stuff but will do real good, as opposed to what is merely feel good. Nobody, other than your family and friends, is interested in how good you are outside your office. Being ethical outside your organization is a meaningless term. But the Indian elite is satisfied with this fake pose as the cost is so low and does not alarm the powerful. It marks you out as person who feels the pain of others. An egregious example of this is a film actor who is preaching social reform. He should focus on his acting and convey truths to us that way. Or he should shine a light on the ills of film industry and suggest improvements. But obviously he is too intelligent for that. Similarly, a retired Supreme Court Judge should speak of what he did when he occupied that august chair, the important judgements he gave, the steps he took to speed up the works of the court and things like that; or even what he is doing in his present assignment to improve say, press functioning. But to make magisterial pronouncements on matters totally outside his present official position is only playing to the gallery. My denunciation of feel good indulgence is not aimed at the common man as for him life itself is stressful and of constant hazard. For him symbolic acts are a are a sort of prayer and a source of spirtual comfort which is essential, otherwise this life is unlivable. I am targetting the man of power who substitutes feel good for the do good he should be doing. # The only way to help the weak and vulnerable is to act ethically in our professional area and nurture the oganization in our care. All stakeholders will benefit, particularly the weak and vulnerable who would be shortchanged in an unethical setup as is happening now in most places. Trying to directly help the weak and vulnerable will fail. They will be the greatest beneficiaries of an ethical leadership so that is the route to help them realise their full potential.

# India's real capacity , largely unused, is huge. The number of zeros could not be contained in a page. So even a 20% utilization of this would look impressive, particularly if the 500 million are safely kept out of sight. So those who defend the present ways of doing things can point to the very impressive collection of airports, space rockets, nuclear power, factories, highways, sky scrapers, agricultural production, shopping malls, latest model cars, and other manifestations of our growth, to justify the essential soundness of our efforts. But none of these would be respectable if measured against our actual potential that can be harvested today. The organizations I worked in were fairly

representative of the existing state of affairs. I could, using ethical management and without outside help, turn them around in a jiffy, creating great wealth. It is therefore logically probable that elsewhere too, where I did not work, similar space exists for ethical revivals and untapped energies exist to be released. Ethics is the lever which will open up India's huge treasure of unused capabiliites. This is why those who oppose the ethical are, in a real sense, sabotaging the country's future growth. They may not know it but they are. To borrow from Blake, The ethical turned away at the gate Predicts the ruin of the state

# But each one of us can still act solo and materially improve that part of the world around us which we control. My career has proved beyond a shadow of doubt that an individual can make a difference. If a person like me, not extravagantly endowed with nature's gifts, could make a difference, then anyone can. Nothing more is possible and nothing less will do. # A critical mass of ethicals, dispersed in the field throughout the country, will be an effective counter to the local authoritarians. A dictatorship over the entire country is not possible in India because of cultural reasons. But local despots who claim to be answerable only to The People are increasingly flexing their muscles in different parts of the country. The ethical can check mate them quite effectively, thereby improving the quality of our democracy. People turn to militant religion when they see promises made to them in civil life being broken by perosns they trusted. With ethical rule established , religion will no longer be a divisive force and the religious merchants of intolerance and hatred will find very limited audience. We will have true secularism where religion will not enter the public sphere at all. It will be a private converstion between man and God. # I distrust big canvass analyses and macro policy solutions for the world's ills, and confine myself to urging the powerful to become ethical on the one hand and on the other for society to recognize and honor ethicals in the field. But it is clear to anyone of the meanest intelligence that the present trends of economic development world wide are not sustainable. The major destabilizing forces globally are environmental degradation and extreme inequalities of wealth and income. Raw material shortages are forcing corporations and countries to cut, dig and drill in environmentlly fragile zones and also displacing people. This sort of slash and burn development will leave a scorched earth for our children. All these will lead to a more dangerous and violent world as the marginalized people fight back in wars where they wear the livery of religious or ideological fanaticism but are in the nature of protests against exploitative systems. To clean up the environment we need ethical science and ethical lifestyles which, along with finding new machines

and better materials, stress less consumption and more localised recycling in the backyards of the consumer and polluter. Inequality can be reduced if the powerful are more ethical and voluntarily reduce their income beyond a reasonable limit. Bringing down conspicuous consumption will reduce social tensions. Ethical direction seeking and leadership will be the guides who will navigate us into paths of safety in this otherwise frightening world and give our children something better to look forward to. Let us have more and more ethicals in the field. Put in supply side management of this most vital resource. # All over the world and in every field, leaders are distrusted. Not only the political leaders but also those who today head the world's most important institutions are seen to be unreliable persons who will use clever words to hide their unwillingness to stand by any commitment they are required to make. Lawyers and judges, the journalists, doctors, policemen all rank low in a common man's estimate. Bankers are viewed with open suspicion and so are the military. In private sector too it is very rarely that the top man or woman is instinctivelt trusted. Yet today's leaders are very well informed and make serious effforts to understand their organizations. They are definitely very intelligent and speak with great conviction. The poor opinion people have of leaders is entirely because of a single deficiency - a perceived absence of ethics in them. The world is becominfg a more violent place and increasingly difficult to govern because of this simple fact. Leaders are unable to lead and govern. It is the absence of this Vitamin E that is making us sick. Leaders cannot govern unless they are trusted. They will not be trusted if they are not ethical. # During the last sixty years, colonies have regained their independence and corrrupt and autocratic regimes have been overthrown. But the promise of freedom bringing in a better life for the people is not fulfilled. In Egypt, Tunisia and Libya tyranies have been overthrown but the result is disorder in the streets and rapid darkening of the economic horizon. This makes it appear to many that the choice is betwen autocracy or at least a restriction of freedom with economic growth on the one hand, and a free for all democracy on the other. India too will face this choice in 2014. But there is a third model , the ethical one, which can ourtstrip the growth promised by the authoritarian model. In Gujarat itself I proved it to be superior. If the indisciplined democracy we have now does not deliver, which it is not likely to , then there is danger of autocracy being seen as the only alternative. The effort will be then to build a broad highway for the Locomotive of Progress to roll. The needs of the weak and underprivileged are the road kill which is shown as being necessary for development. Special interests will take over the government agenda. The rich will be its most vociferous supporters. It will lead to permanent subjugation of 40% of the population with their leadership bought over. The hatchet men will lurk in the shadows and will convey the menace required. The ethical model is our only lifeline. All freedom loving people must demand ethical leadership.

# Great power and wealth depresses the capability of those who walk past those guarded gates. The sight and even the thought of that Rs 5000cr House on the Hill darkens my horizons. This wealth the common man sees is not the reward of a hardworking man or the fruit of creative labour. Sudden wealth is almost invaraibly the result of access to resources through some form of crony capitalism or collusive behaviour by the nation's leadership in favor of one or more parties. The sight of such wealth and its display convinces the passerby that the absence of ethics is what get persons ahead and that life is a kind of zero sum game in which people like him , the common man, pays the price for the success of the rich. He will therefore suppress his own ethical impulses and will turn clever and calculating. His creative capabilities will decline. This will happen not to one person, but to hundreds of milions in the country. The nation's capabilities will diminish. Yet no development economist or management consultant talks of the depressive effect of the sight of great wealth in a vast landscape of poverty and misery. # India will attain its potential if thousands of persons in key positions like mine function ethically and independently. The only way to show your patriotism if you are in a position of any power or authority, no matter how small or insignificant, is to function ethically. Each ethical working this way is a point of light, an emitter of energy and a store house of unrealized hopes. India can be lit up only by thousands of such dispersed sources of light and never by centralized policy making switches which give power to those without the capability to use it properly. Only the ethical in the field does that. We cannot leave India's future solely in the hands of our political and national leaders in Delhi and the state capitals. They can oppose but not prevent organizational improvement by an ethical, as I was able to repeatedly demonstrate in the revival of business organizations. Will India realize its great potential in the coming years? The answer to this lies in the answer to another question - How many ethicals will India produce in the coming years? Or, to put it another way, how many persons in power and authority today will decide to turn ethical, prepared to face hostility, risks , dangers and career disruptions ? This is the equation. It is as simple as that. # Every person is born with the ethical impulse and it stays with the person his entire life. This impulse lies suppressed in most persons. An ethical leader develops and brings out this impulse in those he leads. That is the only reason such a leader succeeds in reviving his organizations. In some societies there is a realization that ethical conduct among its leadership is good for all. In such societies, there will be a critical mass of support for the ethical whenever such a person is seen. This support is based on the realization of the material good the ethical is doing and not on a crude one to one give and take calculus or an abstract principled support for morality regardless of results . Because of such recognition and support, these societies will always have a small but decisive number of ethicals among its power elite. These societies will be successful in bringing out the best among its people and creating a reality based hope for the future. Comparatively, these will be the better societies in the world to live in and persons from other

parts of the world will try to live there if they are allowed to. People risk their lives to get in into such countries. They are voting with their feet for an ethical society, and even though such countries are far from perfect with their racism and contempt , they are still bettter than the places from where these would be migrants are fleeing. In societies that lack this understanding of the power of ethical action, the number of ethicals will be pitifully small and always under attack. India is such a society. Its leadership in every field, some of whom are intellectually brilliant and some malevolently clever, none of whom are ever at a loss for words, fail to see the ethical origin of the problems we face. They resolutely refuse to seek the solutions in ethical conduct among the powerful. They see no necessity of encouraging the few ethicals when they appear among them. Instead they seek solutions from those who peddle a value free professional expertise, mainly economists among whom the monetarists and those swearing by the market and subscribing to the corporate world view dominate, who have no understanding of the forces which move a human heart, and talk of numbers and the language of accountants, of how to balance the books and the concerns of the rating agencies. It is a government of wannabe technocrats that we see. This wont do. As long as this continues, India will continue to draw patronizing looks from the world's wiser societies, where, among the rich and the powerful, at least a small number see themselves as some sort of guardians for the weak and vulnerable and realize the absolute need for ethical direction seeking. #The ethical resource is the greatest wealth any country has.Bringing out this ethical resource in the practical work of nation building is the ONLY task of the country's leadership. Compared to this resource, its material resources pale into insignificance. Some sort of supply side policy for generating this resource, which is available in abundance and which every person has, would be a cost free investment. This would release such wealth that would provide us with all the investment required to increase our material well being. All my successes were entirely because of the ethical direction seeking I followed. The turnarounds came without any financial help from others. I could have done more if those who appointed me had the wisdom to recognize ethics as a friend and not as an enemy. This supply side policy for ethics would not be a formal or official one but a change in values among India's powerful which will make them recognize and support the ethical as soon as his success becomes evident, instead of treating him as an enemy and a threat. If such a welcome is given to ethicals , many more will do what I did. Imagine a thousand ethicals like me working with public and officail applause as successes come like plentiful harvests. But I had to fight off the enraged attacks of the powerful even as I was creating great wealth for them. If the powerful change their attitudes toward the ethicals, all our hopes and expectations would be fulfilled. The number of ethicals would grow exponentially, in course of time the country itself would become ethical. But the treatment meted outto me would have convinced hundreds of would be ethicals in powerful positions not to take the risk of becoming ethicals. Seeing the frown on the face of the Leader, the thousands of employees and stakeholders who benefited, will abandon the ethical head of their

organization without a moment's thought, confining themselves to low risk and low cost private praise. As a result of such behaviour, India has lost its ethicals, its ethical tradition has taken "Vanvas" from where it will return when times are more virtuous; thousands of crores of potential wealth was not even visualized, far more than what the CAG calculated was lost in the various scams and waste. Yet no one raises this issue in our national debates. All change is led by a few path finders but others must respect and thank them and follow the path finding habits of independent thought which have been successfully demonstrated and materially benefited so many. Ethics is not an academic discipline for study alone but an intensely practical key to organizational success, including business success. The ethicals are emancipators of human aspirations and must be given the highest status in any society that wishes to prosper. Those who do not understand this understand nothing of the real world of possibilities, that which lies hidden. This real world of possibilities, what the future can be made to yield, is superior to whatever present manifestaion of the world we see. The real leaders seek ethical directions to get to this better future. # The objective world of reality that we see and feel around us on the one hand, and the world of ethics that we believe in are not isolated from each other. The virtual world of ethics can influence and alter the world we live in. But the ideal world of values is inviolate and cannot be altered by what happens in the real world. But values do tell us what needs to be done in the real world. Ethics is the mover and the objective world is that which is moved. The real objective world must not be seen as fixed and never is it a source of values. As the philosopher says, you cannot derive an 'ought' from an 'is'. The practical, hardheaded men and women who run our day to day affairs make a great mistake in not realizing this. For them the values we deal in can change looking to the circumstances, the world as it is is the reality we have to accept. I repeat, this is a great error. The real victories are when ethics drives the change. All my successes were of this nature. The world around us is a momentary arrangement to which excessive importance should not be given. It can be changed in an eyeblink by human motives aligned to ethics. Everything mankind has achieved in its long journey from darkness and savagery to enlightenment, art, revolution, science, technology and the pursuit of personal freedom is the result of ethical direction seeking. Societies which abandon ethical direction seeeking are condemned to be blind, inferior and second rate where force and guile, aligned to wealth, will rule. Life will be nasty and brutish. A knowledge of the world as it exists tells where we are. It gives us no directional guidance to where we want to go. Ethics points us to that better world towards which we need to go. The direction must always be from the actual to the potential and never should the actual pull down the potential and destroy forward vision and hope, the imagined future is like a friend pulling you into a moving bus. This direction seeking must never be subcontracted to an expert but must be determined by the person at the spot. This tension between what we are and what we wish to become, from what is to what can be, is what pushes us forward. But to get from here to there will need material reshaping of the world around us continuously. The future we

work towards is not a sentimental or abstract mind construct. We will get there by building a path and steps and not by marching hand in hand singing songs of solidarity. Wishes are not horses. Though the eyes can look ahead, the feet must always be on the ground. We will move forwards by a series of completed projects, the steps, each of which will make life better. These steps will also build the self confidence and increase the self worth of the individual teams and create new momentums. These projects or steps must be within the common man's visibility, time frame and understanding. The kind of statements coming from our finance chiefs these days is meaningless, even long term planning is pointless and demoralizing. Handing this process over to centralized policy planners will stop it dead in its track. Their only role is to support the ethical in the field when asked for. If any of these centralized policy planners feels he can do a better job, he should offer to replace the field agent. Only ethics "at the spot" can give us this direction and the fuel to drive us onwards. Ethical direction seeking is a 100% practical exercise with continuous real time tracking of coordinates. But the goal aimed at and the knowledge of process must be united. No one but the ethical agent in the field can discover these. Only the very broad goals can be laid down from the centralized policy formulators. The actual tactical goal is time and location specific. Not only that but, more important, it is specific to that ethical leader operating at that time. Different ethical leaders may choose different goals even with identical field conditions. The ethical will lack motivation if he is not allowed to choose these tactical goals lying within the broad aspirational expectations of the people. This is how ethical goals are fashioned and realized. If we fail in realizing ethical goals, the energies possessed by humans beings will be wasted and its demonic component will seek violent ends. Indifference to ethics willl lead to exploitation and then to violence and counter violence and to the death of hope. But things do look bleak. Substantial parts of Indian society are contemptuous and even hostile to ethical striving in the practical field, particularly when it is successful; and praise ethics as long as it is confined to thought and speech. Unless this changes, the Indian promise will fade. But this abdication of ethics by leaderships seduced by wealth and power is happening all over the world. But India being poor and yet with its extraordinary wealth of human capabilities, needs ethics more than others. Perhaps I am too harsh but India is my country and I love it more. But the India I love is not what it is at present but what it can be, its possibilities and potential , its latencies, that hope gilded future reflected in the pining eyes of its brave, undefeated , ever buoyant people. It is the historical role of the elite of this country to realise this future through independent actions, rescuing it from the hold of the unimaginative and smug unethicals. And whatever part of it I controlled, that organization I managed, I improved and made it worthy of my love. That is patriotism. There is no other kind. # We must move towards a better future but it must be a future that is common to us all and not one for a few. If all are to share , it has to be an ethical future, one in which it is the commonwealth rather than private wealth

that is nurtured. It must be a future we make for ourselves and not one into which we travel as spectators or commentators, and definitely not one into which we move in either as exploiters or are dragged into as passive victims. I showed that the world around each one of us is fundamentally alterable by individual ethical action. My deeds cast a virtuous glow around them and made men and women look to the future with longing eyes. The ethical content of my exertions stands unchallenged. The years have burnished them. A dozen like me could change the common man's thinking. A thousand of us could remake our country in the image of a true lover. A patriot is one who tries to make his country worthy of his love. India looks to its patriots to realize its future - that future its poets have sung of and its martyrs have died for, that which its revolutionaries sang for ecstatically as they were led to the gallows, that which is glimpsed in those waking dreams that animate the young, and that future for which its poor have toiled and perished over the ages. # This is the promise of what can be. I have shown it can turn real. But one must loook at the Indian elite today . There are no stirrings of an ethical revival within them. I bounced my views against some of them, including some who are most indignant on TV forums . The response has been one of silence; among the others, only a few who earlier worked under me showed some appreciation of what I had written and done. But even this was was perhaps more out of politeness to the former chief. None of those who lead the debate on government reforms, will ever consider ethical functioning within the government as the solution. They ignore what I have done and the alternative model I developed. Expecting to convince persons to turn ethical by well reasoned arguments and spelling out its benefits is a quixotic tilitng at the windmills. Persons will behave ethically only if the ethical leader has power over them and heads the organization they work in. Now that I have retired, nothing I say will have any effect. There is enough intellectual fireworks in what I have written to add sparkle to the dullest afternoon. My professional accomplishments are still talked of with admiration both in Gujarat and even Kerala. Mine is a credible message for India. I piloted the GSFC to the greatest corporate turnaround the world has seen. I have earned the right to say what I have said here. Yet none want to know how it was done. And this in a country crowded with business schools and consultants. Our elite steps back the moment it senses any personal danger, embarrassment or even inconvenience, which can safely be avoided. The truth is such an annoyance. They will not come down to the fields of controversy and battle with me on the issues and facts I have raised. They will not do it for two reasons. First, they cannot answer me. What I say is irrefutable. The second, and more important reason, is that they need not. They can just walk away. No accusing voice will force them to answer. They can just walk away. They have been doing this all their lives. So what is most likely as we gaze at the future with illusion free eyes? I see good, honest, and well meaning persons in positions of responsibility. But

I see none who are ethical. They assert their belief in serving the public interest continuously. But they will accept as public interest whatever is projected as such by their superiors, provided some decencies are maintained. In their actual day to day official working they will deploy flexible positions looking at the coordinates of forces and the demands of power. They will act independently only where there are no demands from the dominant power. They will then be fiercely independent in such unristricted areas and it is this face of sturdy independence which they will show to the world. Their accommodations to power will be kept away from public gaze or suitably camouflaged through sufficient paddings of official procedures and sanctions. The people at large will see them as upright till the stuff hits the fan and this now happening with greater frequency. As time passes legitimacy is being stripped away from them. With the elite refusing to adopt ethics, there will be no ethical revival in India. Our growth rate will move between 4 % and 6 %, nearer 4 than 6, I feel. This is better than what was achieved before 2000 but that is scant comfort. The growth rate under ethical leadership will be between 15% to 20% for the next ten years and then come down to around 10%. But there is no demand for ethical leadership in India from any group of persons. The rich and powerful are against it, the middle class are contemptuous of it and the poor do not understand it, never having experienced it. I cannot escape the feeling that the Indian future will be worse than the present. There will be fear indoors and violence on the streets. Legitimate authority will be challenged frequently accross the country because legitimate authority has abandoned ethics. Ethics is the most majestic shield legitimate authority has. Without ethics, auhority cannot defend itself. India will revert to the time when it was ruled by hundreds of local chiefs whose only claim was that of superior force. What Gandhi, Nehru and others fought for and won, the hope that india could be governed ethically, was lost a long time back. But there will be no collapse. That low endemic fever and despair that has made our poor into zombies will burn on, blighting lives and turning the future into a cruel joke. But life for the elite and their followers will remain pleasant. Some of them will become well known economists, billionaires, writers and poets, artists, management professors, CEOs , civil servants, quite a number of whom could be spotted dining at expensive restaurants, and who will convince the world that India's future prospects are still good. How could it not be so with such articulate and erudite persons in the team?