Friday, January 23

How Much Land Does Ramalinga Raju Need ?

According to some media sources, Ramalinga Raju of Satyam has confided to siphoning off huge funds from the software company to the ones owned by his sons. Maytas Properties has a land bank of around 6,800-acres with around 670 acres of land in Hyderabad. Raju wanted to acquire as much of land as possible with money he could get his hands on.

This kinda kept me thinking as to what personal greed can lead a man to. During my schooling, I had read this kind of thirsty greed in a story by the famous Russian storyteller, none other than Leo Tolstoy. In 1886 he wrote a short story about a man who, in his lust for land, forfeits everything, including his own life.

Well to cut the short story shorter –

There was peasant named Pakhom, a humble man with good values. He was poor and did not have much land to sustain. By fate of luck a landlady in the village sells her estate and many of the peasants bought as much as they could. Pakhom purchased some land and earned more.

However, Pakhom becomes very possessive of his land and starts to quarrel with his neighbors frequently. This was the first sign that greed was disrupting his moral values. Later, he moves to a larger area of land at another Commune. He cultivated more crops and amassed a small fortune, but he had to grow the crops on rented land, which annoyed him very much.

Finally, he meets the Bashkirs, simple-minded people owning huge amount of land. He goes to them to take as much of their land for as low a price as he could bargain. Their offer was very unusual - for a sum of one thousand rubles, Pakhom could walk around as large an area as he wants to, starting at daybreak, marking his route with a spade along the way. If he reached his starting point by sunset that day, the entire area of land his route encloses would be his. He was delighted as he believed that he could cover a great distance and had chanced upon the bargain of a lifetime.

In his greed to acquire land he tries to cover as much land as possible, not content with what he already had. As the sun set neared he realized his mistake and ran back as fast as he could to the waiting Bashkirs. He finally arrived at the starting point just as the sunset. The Bashkirs cheered his good fortune, but exhausted from the run, he drops dead. They bury him in an ordinary grave just six feet long and six feet deep.

If only Mr. Raju’s fate had him read that story, it would have changed his life for good.

The great storyteller sleeps in this beautiful place


  1. first think about your self Mr.Guruvardhan,hate to call with your name also.there are times that we are all proudly said that satyam ramalingaraju is our icon .although he did the mistakes , he had accepted that , he had plenty of chance to escape from this but he didn't done it.
    just recollect the past & question your self then comment on others o.k.

  2. Are you a satyamite Mr. praveen? Let me put it this way... Certain situations make people bad. Ramalinga raju may have been good person , i am not debating this. What i am trying to recollect through the story is that one should not be over greedy. There is a LIMIT. I wrote this post because i questioned myself. I know Mr. Raju might have supported thousands of families, but that doesn't mean he isn't greedy does it? We always dig our own graves, be it a sinner or a saint, one day or the other. Our actions result in equal reactions. Don't be misled. Think logically. :)

  3. I have come across many people who could empathise with Ramalinga Raju, ex-Chairman of Satyam. Guess why? They felt they were also in one way or the other treading the same path. Take the example of a sales person. In his own way, he routinely inflated his monthly sales figures. He often changed the dates to accommodate sales to the particular month. He often got into trouble, but managed to get away as his figures were small and could be written off easily. This is the case of an entry level salesman, an insignificant cog in the wheel!

    How about a senior manager in a top company? He literally went against company policies to meet the target by backdating and fudging accounts. If caught, he would be in a soup. Many of his teammates are aware of these wrong doings. However, they are wary of discussing this with him as he was a senior person. He is confident that he can pull it off. He also feels it is okay to do such things as meeting the target was the most important thing. However, he doesn’t realize or refuses to understand that this is fraud. Figures are more important to him. Even his boss wanted “figures”. Did his boss expect his manager to say he couldn’t meet the target? No way. It’s not for nothing, people say, “by hook or crook”. Why would people coin such terms if they don’t mean it? “Anything is fair in love and war.” Is the corporate situation any less than war? Of course, no one is a thief until he is caught!

    Jesus said, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone”. So, there we are!

  4. Well said Ann... see the truth is no one thinks that he/she is committing a fraund...its all about pleasing someone or winning at that moment which leads one to commit such things...but it all ends up in one simple question... how much(land, money, fame, etc)does anyone need? isn't there a limit to human greed...why can't we try to be simple folks..


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