People worship

This is one of those drafts which has been lying around for a long time. This old article in newsminute was from when Jayalalitha was alive! At first, I couldn’t believe it was actually budget speech of Tamil Nadu’s Finance Minister O Pannerselvam. So I went to Government of Tamil Nadu’s website to pull up his budget speech to find the article to be true. You can find his full budget speech here.  I have looked into some of his earlier budget speeches and found that this to be a norm rather than an exception. A lot of water has flown under the bridge since then. Jayalalitha is no more in this world. Pannerselvam briefly became the chief minister but was ousted from the post by mannaurgudi mafia led by Sasikala. Seems bootlicking didn’t help him much. In India, it’s common to find film stars, cricketers, politicians, and self-proclaimed babas to have huge fan following and these fans worship them like demigods.

I may be overreacting but I think I am seeing a similar trend with the CEOs. For example, Soon after taking office Vishal Sikka, CEO of Infosys, has been praised for all his moves.  Everyone praised his vision of making Infosys achieve $20bn revenue by 2020. That would have required Infosys to grow by 20% y-o-y. The plan seemed impossible and extremely ridiculous. Infosys is not an early stage startup to expect 20 percent growth y-o-y (here). However, he was made to look like a hero by the media and all the founders who warning were vilified. The latest annual reports seem to suggest that Infosys won’t be able to reach the target. Hopefully, this experience will teach the media to be a bit more skeptical and not make demigods out of nothing.

 

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Author: Bobbur Abhilash

I am a fourth year Doctoral student in the Finance and Control Department at IIM Calcutta.

1 thought on “People worship”

  1. Reading this reminds me of a discussion from a class on Socio-Economic evolution. Every society (country) needs an identity which they derive from their so called ‘heroes’. If we fail to give them a hero who is worth following, they end up with the wrong role models. That’s the case here, it’s like people anyway going to talk about a movie at weekends, if there are no good movies they’d talk about tubelight.

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