What stands out is the accused has used his/her position to promote and safeguard the interest of their kin.
When public personalities find themselves in the eye of a storm, it’s not always a pretty picture. Worse still, when a close family member is responsible for compromising their position.
ICICI Bank has sacked former MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar and revoked her bonuses since April 2009 after Justice B. N. Srikrishna’s report indicted her of violating the lender’s code of conduct. It seems that in the process of trying to promote her husband Deepak Kochhar and his businesses, the couple eventually landed in major trouble and had to face public embarrassment.
In yet another case of public disgrace, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram have been facing charges from the CBI over alleged irregularities in the FIPB clearance to INX Media and for receiving overseas funds during Chidambaram’s tenure.
Similarly, in what could be dubbed as a major humiliation, a few years back, N. Srinivasan had to step down as the President of the BCCI for his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan’s alleged involvement in betting/spot fixing in the Indian Premier League cricket matches.
In the above mentioned cases, what stands out is the accused has used his/her position to promote and safeguard the interest of their kin. And by being brazen in a cover up, they eventually land up being too smart for their own good. They try hard to get away from the consequences by using their clout but ultimately the law catches up.
Sociologist Shalini says, “Sadly, these tainted personalities go through a lot in such situations. They find it extremely taxing to cope with such circumstances, especially considering the fact that they received bouquets when they were in the limelight.”
Suddenly, everyone is talking about them as frauds.
Guidance is the key
Relationship expert Dr Nisha Khanna shares that ‘the people in trouble’ should be empowered by the immediate family members who can guide them regarding when and what to speak and what not to.
“I remember when I met the members of the family in Aarushi’s murder case; they told me that they were misguided. As such, sensitive matters involving family members should be dealt with carefully. The right guidance has to be given at a very early stage to prevent further damage and embarrassment,” explains Nisha as she points out that a lot depends on how the ‘people in trouble’ want to take it forward.
“If one amongst the duo (be it father-son or husband and wife) is a dominant personality, then the other has to give in to them. But they need to stick together and take a common stand,” adds Nisha.
Honesty, the way forward
Amidst a lot of hue and cry, it is highly difficult for the ‘tainted personality’ to put up a brave show in public. However, image consultants feel that admitting the mistake makes the public more forgiving.
Citing the example of former Australian captain Steve Smith who drew a lot of sympathy after openly admitting to being part of the ball—tampering scandal, Image Management Consultant Chhaya says that honesty is the best way forward. “The public will be far more forgiving if you admit your mistake,” says Chhaya, adding, “We are all humans who are driven by emotions and we do tend to make mistakes. But the public will always sympathise with the one who accepts their mistake.”