Thursday, August 20, 2015


Moral policing has become increasingly common in India. Are we restricting individual rights in the name of Indian culture and safety? We are still pondering over whether there's life after death, we can add another question to the cart. What has happened to democracy? Has it been emptied of meaning and scooped out?  Are we mutating into a totalitarian state?

Being the largest democracy in the world, it is a matter of great offence and disgrace if the Government suppresses or controls the ideas, public communication and information within a society. The Government's order to the internet service providers to block access to 857 websites hosting pornographic content being socially disparaging and advance violence against women was one of such attempts. Few days later, Mumbai police arrested 13 couples and 35 others following raids at hotels and a beach for indecent behavior in public. What have we turned democracy into? The need of the hour is the Government's long term vision and not its dependency upon immediate and extractive short term gains.

Let us glance at the pitiable state of affairs of our nation. We cannot provide food and water to our people. Our Government policies have created a population of 800 million people who live on less than 20 rupees a day.[1] India has the largest number of malnourished children in the world. India's demographic dynamics are such that even humdrum projects, such as constructing a road, dislodge thousands of people let alone large dams and mining projects. In 2012 alone, around 14,000 hapless farmers committed suicide in India.[2] These villages are completely resource less, barren and dry as dust. India is home to the largest number of poor with one-third of the world's 1.2 billion extreme poor living here. [3] In the name of development,  the rivers and forests are destroyed. In the name of progress of the nation, land is destroyed by dam reservoirs and thousands of homes are bulldozed. India is suffering from problems like poverty, illiteracy, racial discrimination, famine and drought which needs immediate solution. Where basic education, health care and survival is a task, our Government's major priority is the desire to distribute Unique Identification cards(UIC) to all of its citizens and moreover do moral policing.  In short, we are a state incessantly at war with its people.

Further, what did the Government formulate of these many corruption exposes? Does the Government see major scams like Commonwealth games, 2G and Coal-gate as a vigorous development of the nation? It is indeed an essential development as it helps a ordinary man know the politics of the current process of political and economic destruction and the other innumerable things that make India’s engine work, or not work—all through the contracted, frail lens of corruption but the worrying thing is that each scam pushes the last one out of the way, and life goes on. 

We live in a civilized society. Creating havoc over a movie poster spreading vulgarity and trying to smear the purity of the Indian culture, vandalizing Valentine's day celebrations to safeguard morals, banning beef to protect our religion, banning porn or raiding hotels intruding someone's privacy to safeguard morals and values will not help our nation develop or progress or evolve in anyway. Let the police do only policing and value education be the means to learn the difference between good and bad.

India is certainly not yet the worst place on the Democracy issue but the state needs to focus of its development and leave moral policing aside. Having said that, the anarchism in our people, the fact that it is such an insurmountable country and though the institutions of democracy are of their way to corrosion, there is a revolutionary sprit among the people. They know that they have to preserve energy and how and when to deploy it. They have apprehended that they are on their own and have to fight their own battles.


[2] TAHIR MEHDI — UPDATED MAY 23, 2014 01:08PM
[3] Himanshi Dhawan,TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 04.19 AM IST

Friday, August 7, 2015

Getting Into A Hot Seat - Lawyers In The Boardroom

In a complex and competitive world, every successful business needs access to lawyers who can bring experience, commercial acumen and legal ability to bear on the various corporate, commercial, regulatory and taxation issues which affect them.

The role of a solicitor/lawyer is no longer limited to managing the legal risk associated with the business that they work within. Effective solicitors/lawyers now need to partner with the business, understand its issues and produce viable and tangible solutions that prove their worth to business. This poses a new challenge for companies and thus a Solicitor as a Non executive director is an ideal solution.
A Non Executive Director must be an effective and valuable stakeholder of a Company. The purpose of bringing in non-executives is to use their skills, knowledge and experience to help the company with strategy, performance, risk, resources, standards of conduct and the appointment and remuneration of executive directors. Typically, non-executives are utilised by companies where governance is an increasingly important issue, but such appointments can also be useful in family businesses where the directors are also the shareholders.

Solicitor as a Non Executive Director is misconceived as an expensive luxury. It should not be viewed as a cost or unnecessary expense of the company but as an investment and necessity rather than as luxury. Companies do require someone who can provide their specialist experience or know how and who can administer the company's strategies with a viewpoint that a director may have overlooked.
Apart from being highly experienced business professional, a solicitor's address books can unlock the doors to significant new clientele and a network of manufacturers and suppliers important to the particular industry. Moreover, a company benefits to a large extent by having a Solicitor on board and realizes their worth primarily due of the following factors:

1.     Since they are committed to high standards of virtue and moral value, they are comfortable dealing with complexities and can bring significant outlook to the grey area between morality and the law. They not only bring on the table legal acumen but also commercial and transactional proficiency and competence.

2.     They have ample of exposure to client's business challenges.

3.     They have the aptitude to understand and absorb key information which benefits the company.

4.     They contribute multiplicity and insight to boardroom debate and decision making.

5.     Boards should not be limited to people with trade and commerce and finance experience only. Diversity of thought and background is equally important.

6.     They are well placed to make well-informed decisions and judgments on range of matters from legal, regulatory, social obligations and consumer needs and benefits.

7.     They have exigent and forensic mindset which every Company seeks.

8.     Board directors have to steer the growing wave of regulation and administrative complexity.  A solicitor on board is considered a boon for such situations.

9.     They are dedicated to precision and fact based decision making.

10.  They can absorb large amount of material and assimilate detail quickly.

11.  Any company doesn't prefer relying on buying legal services on a 'need must 'basis when the want for legal perspective is most pressing.

12.  They have the capacity to contribute to strategy and to tackle current and future opportunities and threats.

The appointment of a Solicitor as a Non Executive Director may not be a solution for all problems of the corporate, yet , a company at all times involves one who has clearness of thought, good judgment and germane experience. It sees the skills, potential and cerebral qualities which complement those of the existing directors.

In short, companies know that having a solicitor on board would unquestionably work as a determined move towards realization of excellence not only in terms of amplified income and returns but also in terms of uprightness for the laws of the nation, safeguarding of the interest of shareholders, creditors and employees of the company.