Friday, February 03, 2012

Kapil Sibal's advice to TRAI chairman

J.S.Sarma, the Chairman of TRAI was a worried person. The Supreme Court had rubbished the role played by TRAI which in the court's view had enabled Raja to play ducks and drakes with 2G licences. Kapil Sibal on learning about Sarma's anxiety lost no time in realising that GOI had made a huge mistake in appointing a conscientious person as TRAI chairman.

Kapil Sibal summoned Sarma and enquired what was worrying him. The eventual conversation proceeded as under:

JSS: I am ashamed to head an organisation that has received such strong strictures from the Supreme Court.

KS: Don't be stupid. What has the court said?

JSS: Hon.Minister, the court has commented that TRAI's recommendation not to have auction started the whole fraud. As the present head of TRAI, I take responsibility for TRAI'S actions.

KS (laughs loud): You are the head of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and not of TRAI. So, the strictures do not concern your organisation, and much less you.

JSS: How can you say that? TRAI and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India are one and the same. I am scared.

KS (laughs even more loudly): You must have more confidence in your organisation. I have already confirmed there is zero-loss. If the court indicts TRAI, you remember that you are heading Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. If the court admonishes Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, remember you are the head of TRAI and not Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. Do you know how many cases are handled by the courts in India? The number is in millions. Even assuming that the Supreme Court criticises you in two cases, are you not given a clean chit in millions of other cases? Did you not hear Hon.Minister Narayaswamy who has unequivocally said that the court may make an infinite number of observations and we are not in the business of being concerned about them. The courts may do their job, we will do ours.

JSS: I don't understand sir.

KS: That is why you continue to be a bureaucrat. If you start understanding and interpreting the strictures as certificates of good conduct, you would become a cabinet minister. If you ignore them totally, you may even become the Prime Minister. Remember the golden rules of Manmohan Singh government:

Court's criticism is not condemnation.
Condemnation is not a stricture.
Stricture is not censure.
Censure is not criticism.
Above all, criticism, condemnation, stricture and censure should not bother us. We should interpret criticism as praise, condemnation as compliment, stricture as approval and censure as endorsement. Remember that we are governing a nation full of contradictions and we should truly represent the nation.

     Sarma was beginning to understand.

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