Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ratan Tata is angry

About a week ago, I may have been forgiven for getting the impression that the Tatas could not start an airline some years ago because they didn't want to bribe the minister concerned. That is the impression I got from newspaper headlines.

I now learn that it wasn't anything like that. A businessman told Tata that he would be stupid to pass up an chance to start an airline just because it meant paying some minister R 15 crore. Here are the details that I came across at a site on the Internet (and I hope they have reproduced Tata's clarification correctly):

I ( Ratan Tata) happened to be on a flight once, a fellow industrialist sitting on a seat next to me & he said you know I don’t understand, you people are very stupid. You know that the minister wants 15 crore of rupees, why don’t you just pay, you want the airlines. I said you will never understand this; I just want to go to bed at night knowing that I haven’t got the airline by paying for it.”

The company then included a clarification on the following three points, which India Real Time is reproducing verbatim:

–No minister ever asked Mr. Tata for a bribe

–The fellow industrialist expressed his personal view point that some minister (sic) were asking for a bribe

–Mr. Tata in no way was in agreement to the fact that he was asked for bribe by any minister
Business Standard wrote an edit saying that instead of 'whining' about the issue, Tata should name and shame the minister. Tata has written an angry letter to the paper roughly making the same points as above.

Which raises the question: how did so many papers report the news inaccurately?

10 comments:

Wanderer said...

You know, "beg the question" doesn't mean what you think it means :)

http://begthequestion.info/

T T Ram Mohan said...

Thanks, Wanderer, that was quite enlightening. I have made the necessary change in my post.

-TTR

Devi Sri Marii said...

This short clip of story is quite interesting and makes us think as well. Thank you Ram Mohan

Anonymous said...

sir, everyone knows that bribery is the norm rather than the exception in india, so i dont know what's the big deal about this issue.
- Johny

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K.R.Srivarahan said...

It is a pity that Ratan Tata has now turned uncharacteristically articulate about corruption in public places and has ended up more as a purveyor of obfuscation than as a provider of clarity.The celerity with which he has furnished a clean chit to Niira Radia despite the apparent dubiousness of her methods has eroded public confidence in the "Tata culture". It is time that scholars like your goodselves calculated the diminution in the value of the Tata brand caused by Ratan Tata's misplaced faith on unreliable lobbyists euphemistically known as PR agencies.

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