A Tale of Murder and Intrigue in India

The Murder: I just read a short piece in Supply Chain Digest that noted that Lalit Kishore Choudhary, the India CEO of an Italian transmission company, was murdered by an angry mob after dozens of angry laid-off workers pummelled him during a meeting to discuss possible re-instatement.

The Intrigue: Searching for further information, I found this story in Industry Week which quoted India’s labor minister, who declined to criticize the attack, who said it should serve as a warning for management, workers should be dealt with compassion, and the workers should not be pushed so hard that they resort to whatever happened.

WTH?!? As far as I can tell, it sounds like the labor minister is saying that if you get fired for violence, and the discussions to reinstate you don’t go your way, that you can form a mob and kill your former boss. What?!?! You have the right to demand better pay and employment guarantees, but in today’s economy, you can’t expect the latter. If you don’t get what you want, you have the right to leave, and if you get laid off, you often have the right to severance. But you don’t have the right to resort to violence, and you definitely don’t have the right to kill your boss — who may not even have any say in the matter. Even the CEO has to answer to a self-serving Board of Directors!

According to the Industry Week article, a domestic industry body said the incident would hurt India’s international business image. Furthermore, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry has said that such a heinous act is bound to sully India’s image among overseas investors and deserves our utmost condemnation. All I have to say is that I nominate that as industry statement of the year. If the reporting is accurate, the labor minister effectively said it’s okay to mob and kill your boss if you get fired for violence. Who’s going to want to open an operation in India in that economic climate?