Tuesday, October 16, 2012

EDITORIAL: Bon Voyage Seshasai

LOA Vol 36 - Issue - 02 - 15 Oct 2012
Bon Voyage Seshasai

Capt. Seshasai Director Shipping Services had a graceful exit from the Islands with loads of disgraceful accomplishments to his credit. He had inherited everything Capt Paul James left, including his corrupt practices. But, Seshasai was of a different league altogether. He went one step ahead, tweaked and reinvented better tactics. And as a master of anecdotes, he could easily floor anyone with his countless jibes on everyone and everything.
When Captain Seshasai joined the Shipping Directorate, he was one of the three Directors and assigned Operations and Maintenance. Anyway, he was not keen to continue as 'one of the Directors' and had told LOA at that time that without complete control, he would not be in a position to bring any positive change to the department. He was given complete control as the whole and sole Director. Like any tenderfoot, he too showed all idiosyncrasies in the initial period. In boiler suit, he was found in the dockyard early mornings as a timekeeper. By the time, he could understand the work culture of his employees; he had obviously learnt the ways to consolidate his grip on the cash-rich department. With a large fleet of sick vessels, unable to decommission or make operational, he found it a tough go. New vessels joined, but could not cover the demand. The onus once again fell on the whole and sole director to explain. He had by now learnt how to dodge the complaints. Technically, he would try to convince or ultimately confuse those who went to him with complaints. It was a cakewalk for him to charm the gullible Secretary Shipping and even the Chief Secretary.
The Shipping sector touched the lowest ebb, with stars too failing in favour of the captain. Three ships which he did not place order joined the fleet during his tenure and all three of it failed to sail and remained tethered for more than 4 years. It gave him another weapon to blame his predecessors.
Capt Seshasai had made lots of demands and promises to bring sanity to the department But, his hollow promises failed miserably, with the services severely hitting rock bottom. And, in the meantime, corruption touched another level with his sordid greed increasing day after day.
After a series of Vigilance and CBI raids, glaring instances of corruption came to the fore. From crankshafts, gearboxes, navigational equipments and corruption in everything, the department had turned into a black hole of corruption.
But, it is unfortunate that the Admn instead of keeping him tethered to the Islands and making him pay for the corrupt deeds, he was given a soft kick with repatriation to his parent organization. The safe passage to Capt Seshasai shows the resolve of the Admn in tackling corruption. It was not the efforts of the Admn, but the tireless efforts of a few who had to approach court to get the big fish in the net. Unluckily, the fish got a free and safe passage.

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