The students of Indian School of Business (ISB) may miss slokas from the Bhagadvad Gita this year as Mr Rajat Gupta, its Chairman, is likely to skip the graduation ceremony on April 2.

The US Securities Exchange Commission had recently filed charges against Mr Gupta for revealing sensitive boardroom information of Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble to the Galleon Group's Mr Raj Rajaratnam in the Galleon Hedge Fund case.

Participating in the graduation fete of the Hyderabad-based premier business school would be ‘tough test' for Mr Gupta as he always took a ‘high moral stand' before the students by reciting slokas from the Bhagavad Gita said a student.

“If he comes, he is also expected to make reference to this issue before assuming such a high moral stand. Even otherwise, the media will hound him,” said an alumnus of ISB who now works as a Vice-President of leading IT firm.

Interestingly, in every graduation ceremony, Mr Gupta always ends his speech with the 47th sloka in the second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita (Karmane Vadhikaresthe…), which says that one can do one's act(s) but does not have rights to the fruits of them.

Further, Mr Gupta has always avoided making any public reference to his alleged involvement in the case.

“I did not hear what you say,” was the blunt reply he gave to this correspondent in April last when he was confronted on the role in the case.

Even as the ISB management had directed the staff, students and the alumni to keep away from media and not to share any information, the campus is rife with ‘rumours' that Mr Gupta had already indicated to the management that he may not turn up for the annual Graduation ceremony.

UNLIKELY TO QUIT

Mr Gupta is also ‘unlikely' to quit his position of Chairman of Board of Governors of ISB in the immediate future, feel a section of senior faculty who have been with the premier business school since its inception 10 years ago.

“Unless another major charge or any disturbing revelation comes from the US investigation agencies, he might try to continue in his role at ISB, which has been very dear to him,” a senior faculty of the Hyderabad-based school told Business Line on Saturday.

Though Mr Gupta had quit directorship of some corporates including Genpact and New Silk Route (a venture fund he co-started), stepping down from ISB's chief role will be a tough call for him as he has been involved in the very concept and its setting up.

“This is the feeling among the majority of ISB community at present,” explained another faculty member.

(This article was published on March 13, 2011)
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