To readers of this blog – Wish you a wonderfully blessed year 2016, full of joy, success & peace!

 Kulwant Singh, Fatehsinhji, Kulwant Singh, Lt Col Niranjan Kumar and 3 other soldiers sacrificed their lives in the first 3 days of this new year. They cared enough for our nation to make the supreme sacrifice of laying down their lives! Our hearts grow heavy, our heads are bowed and our hands rise in an automatic salute to the memory of these brave souls..

On quite another note. Pradeep Niphadkar lost his daughter Pranjali last September to a hit and run accident when she was driving her two-wheeler without wearing a helmet. His response to condolence messages or attempts to visit him was – ‘purchase a helmet, gift it to a woman rider, and send me a photograph with her!’ On January 1, he launched a movement – Helmet Pune – together with city activist Anil Mandrupkar, to promote helmet usage.

Why must it be that someone has to pay such a high price in order for others to learn the lesson that timely care is more important than post-facto analyses? In Marathi there is an old proverb which goes, ‘Pudhchyaas Thhech, Maagcha Shahana’ which translates to – when the one ahead stumbles, the one behind learns… Going back to the army metaphor, General George S Patton has been famously quoted as saying, “An ounce of sweat will save a gallon of blood!”

 The Companies Act 2013 (CA 2013) came largely as a result of the Satyam imbroglio. Satyam almost died, so we could wake up. Reportedly, CA 2013  is filled with drafting errors and internal inconsistencies. Admittedly, the time given for implementing the first set of rules issued on March 27, 2014, with them becoming effective from April 1, 2014 was too short. The MCA has since then come out with a spate of modifications to the first set of regulations. Some have reversed earlier requirements, some have amended them significantly, some are additions and some are deletions.

When it comes to Governance in Corporate India, let us take the lesson that these events offer. It is critical to commit to taking care now, so there is no possibility of problems later. How much should we care? We must care far more than just ‘ram bharose’ or ‘chalta hai’ or ‘jugaadu’. The time for that kind of approach is long past.

How the Government does its job is not only its concern, it is ours too! How does the Air Force organize Security of its bases, how Pune traffic police manage the city traffic, and so on. All this is too important to be carelessly left to politicians and bureaucrats…

However, before biting off more than we can chew, let us ensure our own houses are in order. Let Corporate India make good Governance a matter of choice and pride. Let us really care – to make Governance a foundational pre-requisite rather than a cost of doing business. That way, we will ensure we take all necessary actions to bring Governance into our lives as a permanent and necessary resident!