ENTREPRENEURS
‘Must change the way we treat  entrepreneurs’

T.V. Mohandas Pai, former Infosys CFO and partner, Aarin Capital

I am very shocked and devastated. He is a dear friend, always jovial, positive and always willing to help. He built a vertically integrated company. The chances of the letter doing the rounds (purportedly written by V.G. Siddhartha) being genuine, is quite high because the details that are there in the letter are difficult to fake.

That said, nothing is worth taking your life. Nobody should ever do it. Siddhartha should have spoken to and confided in his friends, if somebody had put pressure on him. He could have also explored other options.

The income tax department in our country does not tell people about their rights. Citizens are hence traumatized.

Tax defaulters are hauled up even in Parliament, but you should be careful when calling them defaulters because these are disputed tax issues in most cases. We have to take a look at such issues carefully. Citizens have to be treated with respect.

In the case of Siddhartha, we should ask for an investigation by an independent person or body. On our part, we business leaders will meet the politicians concerned in private, and discuss these issues because we would not like to vitiate the atmosphere with charges. While we are concerned about the rule of law, we should also treat our political leaders with respect.

What can entrepreneurs learn from this? They should know that nothing is worth taking your life. They should know whom to go to for help in such situations. Society should change the way it treats entrepreneurs, and they should be treated with respect. They should not be called thieves, etc., (without proof or substantiation). We should have judicial restraint and follow the due process of law. This is a wake-up call for all citizens of our country.

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