• Jan
  • 13
  • 2013

An outsider’s perspective to ICAI Elections 2012

Ashish Kedia

With the Code of Conduct on Elections now having been lifted by the ICAI, I thought this article is in place

Dear Mr. / Ms. Candidate,

 It all started about 2-3 months ago, when I suddenly starting receiving e-mails in my inbox from unknown people who were “enthusiastic” to share borrowed knowledge with me – borrowed because was forwarded presentations created by people other than the ones from whom I received the e-mails. It bothered me little, for getting more knowledge seemed no harm. Then, my LinkedIn account saw a flurry of activity, connection requests from several fellow Chartered Accountants, whom I knew not.

It was only a few weeks after having accepted those benign requests, that I realised their real purpose – campaigning for the impending ICAI elections! Okay, so we all know why the ICAI elections are all so important and why the number of candidates contesting for both the WIRC and the Central Council elections are exponentially rising. But, does your desperation to win give you the right to bombard me with your campaign?

Do you forget that you are a part of premier institution, which has a strict code of ethics and conduct for its members? Why then does your election campaign look no different from that of a hard-core thick-skinned politician? If this implies that we are no different a breed than them, then, I would really be ashamed to be a part of this community! Let me clarify a few points to you candidly (to convey my thoughts candidly is what I have always been taught to do) – Once you have sent me your election manifesto on e-mail, neither its contents nor my reading of it, nor my understanding or perception of it is going to change just because you decided to burden my inbox with repeat e-mails or send me the manifesto again by couriers! My family is tired of receiving your manifestos by courier in the middle of the afternoon – wait, didn’t you already e- mail it to me? I am interested in your so-called “knowledge-sharing” only if you are doing it even when elections are not on the horizon and you believe in the sharing process genuinely – otherwise, there is a lot of information and knowledge available   out there on the World Wide Web.

I despise receiving unsolicited, animated and impersonal Dusshera and Diwali SMSes once in three years from unknown sources. Your wishes mean nothing to me and do nothing to make my festival better. Why do you constantly hammer me via e- mails, messages and phone calls with my booth information or election dates or your ballot paper number or even your profile? Let me remind you, if it has skipped your notice, that the very Institute whose elections you are contesting sends out KYC (Know Your Candidate) booklets for each Council – Regional and Central – to every member along with a letter informing of the election dates and booth information.

No matter how outgoing I might be, I am not interested in dining with people I do not know or have never heard of at your “dinner get-togethers” – so please do not bother to invite me! Your door-to-door campaigning is one of the worst strategies – did you know how many candidates visit the same firm / company in a matter of a couple of weeks? If I do not already know you personally, chances are that I would not get to know even then. And you think meeting me for barely 5 seconds at my office desk will make me vote for you?

Well, I promise I will, if you remember the names of me and my colleagues the next time you see us… I am not concerned with which all NGOs / Trusts / Associations you are involved with apart from what you have done for the profession. No wait, I am concerned because if you are “actively involved” with tens of other organisations, then, it implies you do not have enough time for the Institute or the profession. And the worst of it all – you waste precious 2-3 months of the articleship period of the poor articles in your office for election campaigning? You could hire people for this job.

Well, now that I have made myself clear, let me also tell you that I am a part of a breed of educated people. I can take informed decisions on who to vote for based on people I already know personally, based on what I know of you from professional circles and based on what the KYC brochure of the Institute says. I do not want you to spend lakhs of rupees over a few months on your disgraceful campaigning strategies with a capital ‘D’. They only speak tons about how you value your own time and the time of fellow professionals (door-to-door campaigning?? repetitive phone calls?? please spare us and yourself!!).

Remember the proverb we all learnt in our childhood – Let your actions or deeds speak for you, not your muscle power (or money power)! And of course, in future if any student seeks my advice on where to do articleship from – which happens often in my case – I will surely ask them to inter alia look out for the office of a Council member or potential candidate. Where else would they get the oh-so-valuable-and- once-in-a-lifetime experience of being a lowly paid peon and / or call centre employee during articleship itself!

Regards,
A once proud Chartered Accountant who has
started to feel otherwise.

——————-

(The author is a Chartered Accountant and is a Partner at A V Kedia & Associates, Mumbai. He can be reached at applegreenfinance@gmail.com)


13 Responses to “An outsider’s perspective to ICAI Elections 2012”

  1. Praveen says:

    I’m totally agreed with points of author. ICAI must think on this matter.

  2. payal says:

    Totally agree with the writer on his comments and observations.. i wud like to add an additional point here..to add to the horror after all this, wen i went to cast my vote, i was HOUNDED by the ‘respectable’ candidates just outside the polling booth..to get inside the buildin was a huge challenge..and i got to know that this was done throughout the day..not one, not two..but all candidates from the city whether for regional/central council were there blockin my way to enter the pollin center just to cast their last minute spell on me :)

  3. Venkataramanan A N says:

    CA Ashish deserves praise for effectively voicing the feelings of many CAs.
    ICAI should henceforth ban all types of canvassing by the prospective candidates. The KYC may be sent by ICAI to each Chartered Accountant by eMail and this should be the basis on which the Voter selects his candidate. ALSO ICAI
    SHOULD MAKE IT MANDATORY FOR EVERY CA TO CAST HIS/HER VOTE, AND NOT VOTING MUST BE PENALISED.

  4. CA Himanshu Kansal says:

    Yes its all true… even i had received so many invitations for the late dinners… i have seen a very well known CA’s who had conducted such dinners served with Wines and all stuff… But i want to know WHY THEY HAD DONE THIS??

  5. bhagchand says:

    The author has done a commendable and daring job . The views expressed by ld visitors to the site are equally commendable , who have supported the author & his views . The articles should be published in Institute’s journal & journal of BCAS and hosted on institute’s website. These should be mailed to all the elected and non elected candidates who participated in the recently held election of ICAI & all the regional councils. The Institute should also take note of the issues and control & guide the people fighting election next time

    Congratulations, warm regards and best wishes to the author- kindly accept these compliments , even though I am completely unknown to you

  6. Sudeshna says:

    Hello,
    Kudos to share such a fogetable experience but one thing is clear.. Everybody loves power and ICAI is all about this due to the exclusive statutory power it enjoys in Inida and the hype it managed to creat the so called accounts and fianance experts.So its members know where the butter is.Even fresh CAs may struggle to get a decent job,he must have enjoy the so called Dinner and Lunch invitation during election time.Its contrary of Hindi idiom Bin bulaye mehmaan.. God forbid the day is not away when general public will view its member like seasoned politicians.

  7. DUMDUMDIGADIGA says:

    EXCELLENT ARTICLE.SINCERE THANKS FROM ME AND MY FRIENDS FOR SHARING.I AM SURE THIS HAS HAPPENED WITH THE ENTIRE FRATERNITY.ACTUALLY TODAY’S CA PROFESSIONALS ARE DIVIDED INTO FOUR CATEGORIES-

    CATEGORY NO 1- THE WHO CARES AS LONG AS I AM NOT AFFECTED TYPES

    CATEGORY NO 2- MIL BAAT KE DECISION MAKER TYPES-THEY DO NOT HAVE THEIR OWN DECISIONS AND THEY WILL DECIDE AFTER CONSULTING CA PROFESSIONAL BROTHERS CHAGAN BHAI AND MAGAN BHAI.PLAY SAFE APPROACH AND NOT A REBEL-SAMMAJ ME REHNA TYPES

    CATEGORY NO 3- CA’S WHO ARE CA KAM BUSINESSMAN AUR POLITICIAN ZYADA-THIS CATEGORY CHOOSES FRIENDS FROM THE FRATERNITY AFTER DOING INTENSIVE COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS,THIS CATEGORY WILL FALL AT YOUR FEET AT THE TIME OF NEED AND WILL KICK YOU WHEN THEIR JOB IS DONE.

    CATEGORY NO 4 – DESPERATELY WAITING FOR AN ANNE HAZARE.THIS CATEGORY WANTS TO CONTRIBUTE AND DO SOMETHING GOOD FOR THE PROFESSION BUT HAS ZERO SUPPORT AS CATEGORY 1,2,3 WILL NOT SUPPORT THEM UNLESS THEY DO THEIR COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS AND IN THIS CASE THERE IS ZERO PERSONAL BENEFIT.

    IT IS SAD AND THE BUSINESSMAN CA’S WILL RULE AND MAKE DECISIONS AND ENJOY THE POWER AND AUTHORITY.

    SO NEXT ELECTIONS WHO KNOWS YOU MAY BE INVITED FOR SOME DRINKS DINNER AND NAUTANKI DANCE BY ITEM GIRL OR BAR DANCER OR EVEN A STRIP TEASE FOR VOTES.BE PREPARED FOR THE NAUTANKI AND VOTE WISE.

  8. ABC says:

    100% correct and right views. I completely agree with each and every point of author.

  9. R Balasubramanian says:

    A WELL-MEANING AND WELL-WRITTEN NOTE. I WISH THE WELL-WISHER MEDIUM HAD FORWARDED THIS ALSO FOR PUBLICATION IN ‘THE CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT’ FOR EFFECTIVE AND COLLECTIVE REACH. MAY THE ALMIGHTY SAVE US FROM THE SAVIOURS !

    REGARDS.

    R BALASUBRAMANIAN, CHENNAI-59.

  10. Kalyan says:

    I agree with the author. It is disgusting. Persons who did this must apologize immediately.

  11. Vipul says:

    Each and every word in this truly replicates our feeling towards the ICAI elections conducted this year. Hope it makes clear to all the present and future candidates and will act accordingly.

    One point I would like to add and that is:
    Why is it necessary for ICAI to waste millions of money on the KYC to get printed on high quality paper and postage even though they can publish the information on a separate online portal hosted for the purpose of elections and maintenance cost for this portal should be contributed amongst the fellow candidates. Each and every CA in our country has an access to the Internet where he/she can visit and get the information about the candidates.
    We would be grateful if the same money is spent for the needy students having inadequate resources.

    These thoughts are very simple and logical for a normal person like me to understand, but feel pity about the ICAI not understanding this.

    Regards,
    (Well to do Fellow Chartered Accountant – financially)

  12. Ashish says:

    Totally agree with your article.

  13. Ashish K says:

    The author of the article is an Anonymous Friend and all the credit goes to him/her!! The article being worth publishing I have only acted as a medium..

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