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Riding the populist tiger [Mail Today (India)]
[January 13, 2014]

Riding the populist tiger [Mail Today (India)]

(Mail Today (India) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) NOT many years ago, a ' giant killer' of its kind in information technology ( IT), the infamous B. Ramalinga Raju — founder of Satyam Computers ( now Tech Mahindra) — in his last communiqué to then Board members had acknowledged the ambition that caused the fall of the company after the unearthing of India's biggest corporate fraud case. " It was like riding a tiger not knowing how to get off without being eaten," Raju wrote.

Having surfed the IT wave by becoming the pioneer of outsourcing, Raju eventually had to step down after admitting to faking financial figures of the company to the tune of Rs 7,136 crore — money that wasn't actually there.

The recent rise of Aam Aadmi Party ( AAP) chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal bears some similarity to Raju's ascent.

Kejriwal is riding a wave of aspirations of millions of Indians with his way of politics suddenly becoming the route to bring change. The appeal, for the moment, seems unlimited, but how far this will last is another question.

AAP's big promises during the Delhi elections are being pushed through quickly keeping in mind the due date of the general elections.

Populist measures like the water subsidy will impact the exchequer and eventually hit the taxpayer's belly. Is this not the same method used by other political parties in power? Besides, Kejriwal's alliance with the Congress seems no different from what other parties have done to the electorate once the votes have been counted.

Kejriwal's idea of governance is appealing and his style dynamic.

His rise as a politician is spectacular.

But his over- ambitious moves remind one of Raju's fatal tiger ride. What remains to be seen is if Kejriwal's fate will end up being the same as his IT compatriot.

AAP's Arvind Kejriwal can learn a thing or two from the rise and fall of former Satyam chairman B. Ramalinga Raju (c) 2014 India Today Group. All Rights Reserved. Provided by, an company

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