Sunday, December 5, 2010

At the blow of a whistle

Many things happen at the blow of a whistle. The policeman brings traffic at a halt, military personnel are warned of infiltration, motormen are able to communicate with each other, and boys signal their girlfriends...all this achieved at a simple blow of this small piece of instrument which produces sound from a stream of forced air, which we famously call a 'Whistle'.

Well, this loud-mouthed whistle has varied and pretty interesting roles to play…Isn’t it! Even more, when recently whistleblowers have come out to blow the whistle upon the diplomatic world to expose the not-so-good deeds of dishonestly and unfair practices by global governance.

Changing the course of diplomacy
Yes, you are right; I am precisely referring to the leaks from the secret Wikileaks website that has been making headlines since the past two weeks. Fearlessly exposing the vicious policies made by diplomats, the 39yr old Dean of Wikileaks, Mr. Julian Assange is causing a stir across the globe. Personally, I like the style in which Julian kicks off leaked confidential documents on this secret Wikileaks website. Even this time, before he published some serious internal diplomatic cables, he gave his website customers a teaser by releasing information about how US nicknames global leaders, like the Iranian President is referred as "Hitler"; French President Nikolas Sarkozy as “an emperor without clothes”; Afghani President called a "weak personality" who was "driven by paranoia". I’m sure this guy must be wittingly humorous!

Subsequently, Wikileaks published some explosive secret diplomatic documents that not only left the common man speculating, but has also left the global governance shaken and stirred.

Being politically right always
It is well received and accepted when diplomats are being diplomatic! But then today, most from the corporate world, the fourth estate, and a layman like you and me are also learning and implementing the art of being diplomatic in our day-to-day living. We are busy being tactful, discreet, cautious, and selfish in all our dealings with the world, whether it is with our colleagues, our managers, media, or for that matter even our family and friends.

So then, why do we do, what we do? Why do we keep quiet and act ignorant, when we observe and witness swindles and unethical behavior & practices happening in front of our eyes. Why do we snub people at less powerful positions and exploit them to the fullest to accomplish our personal goals. Is it because we want to become Mr. Popular in our circles or is it to simply earn quick promotions to the top.

Like my good old friend always said that “to increase your knowledge, you got to share it”. Well said…isn’t it! But then, does that really happen in today’s world? Commonly, we see the so called Mr. Popular bragging about his essentially ‘bankrupt knowledge and expertise’, skyrocketing his way to the top. While the ‘humble but intelligent’ Mr. Unpopular scores no points because he can’t yap and sing his own praises like Mr. Popular. So you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours seems to be the new way of life!

Whistleblower rights
Every time a whistleblower speaks out…he is murdered or falsely put behind bars or sacked from his job for being vocal and upfront. For instance, if the diplomatic and corporate world believes and is convinced that Wikileaks is publishing inaccurate and forged documents on its secret website, there is no need for anyone to break out in a sweat. This kind of fiery situation can simply be seized by discussing with the whistleblower face-to-face…at the same time bringing in global transparency as the dialogue is unfolded.

A plumber is certainly required to fix this leaking tap from which secret information about dishonest diplomatic agendas is made public. But then, in this case, it is not the whistleblower who should face the wrought of the spanner…but it is the diplomatic world that should face it and take corrective and preventive actions to live in harmony.

Global corporations have a full-fledge highly competitive and resourceful customer care centre to handle customer feedbacks and concerns. So why not also encourage incorporation of a ‘whistleblower hotline’ and ‘protection of whistleblower policy’ as part of the corporate and governing strategy. One such unique Japanese company called ‘OMRAN’ has built-in the hotline and the whistleblower protection policy encouraging its employees, its customers, and the public to be honest and upfront. Take a look at this company’s fantastic and elaborate CSR report at (see page 215 for whistleblower rights)

Indeed, it is time for global corporations and diplomats to accept whistleblowers as disgruntled stakeholders who in their little way want to make this world a better place to live in for you, for me and for the entire human race. And, we need to stop considering whistleblowers as activists who are determined to spoil relationships and peace…because there is more to what actually meets the eye.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Do write to me with your reactions, opinions or critical comments at or leave your inputs in the comments tab below.

Before I sign out, as I always say take very good care of yourself and God Bless!


Pradeep shetty said...

very true,...................

ooooooooohhhhhhiiiiiiiyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.........m trying hard to whistle........

Uma said...

Hi Mearl,
A Well filed editorial which has all the ingredients to provoke n think analytical.
I am glad to read your logical take on this contemporary subject raging world headlines and rendering sleepless nights to various Heads of State 4 what Wikeleaks has been exposing.
I wish the “Ministry of Corporate Affairs” also reads your article to get any insight of the “Whistleblower Rights” which is nonexistent in our country. Whistleblowers r thwarted, smothered in 2days fast eroding Political & Corporate world.
The cables exposed by Wikileaks has confirmed how deep rooted concocted the ROT in our system is!! Be it the West or East, Developed or Developing nation, Rich or poor. The leaks speak in volumes of how our so called Leaders acted in cynicism n orchestrated many conspiracy/attacks. It is just not restricted to any Country or Governance. It seems many of the world Leaders r suspicious n weary of not only their neighbors & ally but also of their own administration. Big Brother seems to be leading the pack, who manipulate for their advantage. Wikileaks have only reaffirmed what many of the commentators have bn fearing for so long. Citizens like u n me are merely a pawn in this rigged, scripted, concerted policies. We r no less than a guinea pig. These Leaders have deceived us for voting them to power. Planning from, who will be the Head of Organization, to how long the war/proxy war needs to be fought 2 keep the arms race alive are just some scripts out.
While Wikileaks has exposed most of the cables relating to the diplomatic circle n put them in a fix. I pray n wish Julain the founder of Wikileaks expands his scope further to cover a “Corporate Wiki leaks” which boosts of following good business practices Viz : Ethics, We Care, Corporate Social Responsibility, etc, etc. Which is nothing but a hypocrisy, thus losing their creditability. The bitter truth is very few India INC are transparent in their business practices leaving the majority Co’s to make of joke of all these fancy jargons. Just flip on the newspaper and u will find enough examples/editorials.
Whistleblower r Champions 4 a cause.
I today world, answering diplomacy is more of a survival kit than facing the facts. “Being politically right is a road to success in the Corporate World”, is like hitting the Bull’s eye. Appreciate your comments without mincing words, for this is the truth in what occurs in some of today’s Corporate world. “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours seems to be the new mantra”. I fully endorse your views. The only qualification required to climb the ladder is casting couch, so u become Mr. Popular. Today’s Corporate stands for Co-Operate to live and climb the ladder. Those who do not join the bandwagon and stick to their Principles, r either shunted out or mentally harassed so that they quit. Sadly not many employees today standup to call a spade a spade, due to absence of economic/security to pay their monthly bills. Managers will go at any length to stay in chair, compromising their own self-esteem/respect n dignity.
Can we clean our System ???
Yes, whether it is Diplomacy or Corporate world, U need the Commitment and the Political will to change. I appreciate your idea about having a hotline where in Citizens/Employees can voice in Anonymously the malpractices/harassment meted out to them by the Govt Officials/Management in the Corporate.
Further to clean our system we also need Honest Leaders/Head of the State or Entity who are Responsible, Unbiased, Accountable, Transparent and who do not have any hidden personal agenda.
Corporate should not be apprehensive about Whistle blowers, on the contrary they should looked upon as enforcement agencies as a (Healthy Watchdog), who ensure the Co’ comply with their Objective, Vision n Values . Whistleblower audits should be part of Company law and made Statutory.
Hi Mearl, TC, Please keep writing such Whistle blowing stories, and I am sure V all can muster the courage for a better society n nation. Cheers.

Mearl Colaco said...

Thanks Pradeep. I heard the sound of the whistle real hard ;-)