“Mind Without Fear” is a self-narrated real life story of an international business tycoon who reached to the peak of corporate world from scratch and then equally fall from it when he was charged with insider trading, arrested and then was imprisoned for two years. Rajat Gupta never accepted the charges and in this book he has told his side of the story what actually happened and how just a business relation with a subcontinent acquaintance and his fraud or wrongful acts brought him the shame and made his accused of something which he never committed. Not only this scandal, he has also given an account of his journey from troubled childhood, his father struggle in freedom movement, how he reached United States, his stint as McKinsey, his trial and imprisonment and how he has moved in life after his release and his current work in health and education and on criminal justice and prison reforms.

Title of this work, “Mind Without Fear”, is taken from a poem, published in ‘Gitanjali’, the famous compilation of poems of Rabindranath Tagore that inspires one not to surrender before hardships but to keep head and hopes high. And whereas some may dispute and may call this work as a one sided explanation of someone who was found guilty of unprofessional conduct, but the details and reasons provided by the author seems convincing and force one to think if Mr. Rajat Gupta was not made a scapegoat for a bigger scandal.

Rajat Gupta regrets in the book why he didn’t testify at his own trial and didn’t persuade the jury that false charges were made against him and he feels that he was a victim of human misjudgment. He however feels that three years of prison has helped him in better understanding of himself, life and people around him. If many doors are closed to him due to his imprisonment, many new avenues have opened up and he feels that it is the best time to speak out, to tell his side of story so that he may face the future with a “mind without fear and a head held high”.

Author provides with some concrete logic and argues why the charges made against him were wrong. While the said beneficiary Rajaratnam was never charged for illegal trading in two companies for which prosecutor claimed that author passed him the “insider information”, how was the author charged for that offence seems to be a valid question raised by author.

Author has also given details of prisons and how the life is tough for most of the prisons even in the most developed country like United States. How the prisoners are just thought to be subservient and raising any question or disagreement means tagging the prisoner as bad guy and shifting, subjected to further harsher conditions and solitary confinement. Author feels that in a way these harsher conditions and confinement helped him to return to his core values and helped him achievement enlightenment and he resolved to emerge as a better and stronger person, physically, mentally and spiritually.

Author has given a detailed account of how he came in touch of Rajaratnam through a common friend while working on his project to establish Indian School of Business, how Rajaratnam has donated a million-dollar donation for the project and how author became a partner with the common friend and Rajaratnam by launching an investment fund and how Rajaratnam has taken out large sum out of the fund unfairly without information resulting in a dispute between their relationship. Authors argues that Rajaratnam was in touch with some other contacts at Goldman and author could never even imagine to pass classified information as it was against all his personal and professional ethics.

He then describes about his another colleague Anil working with him at McKinsey and writes how he played in hands of Rajaratnam in order to impress him and got caught with Rajaratnam on ‘inside trading’ charges and how he pleaded with him to help to let continue his insurance cover provided by the company so that his son treatment can continue and then writes how all these summed up resulting him also blamed as an accused of inside trading.

There are many more incidents and details which are spread over 18 chapters of the book, all of which give one or the other details of author’s different phases of life, family, his stints with different organizations, his academic pursuit, his case, confinement and how the holy book “Bhagwad Gita” gave him inner strength and helped him in becoming a “Karma yogi” and how he won inner freedom even in solitary confinement by reciting and understanding deeper meaning of shlokas of Bhagawad Gita. He writes that he came out of prison in January 2016 as a much stronger and spiritual being and then in epilogue he has given an account how he then chose a different path that has given him inner satisfaction and a different perspective of life.

In brief, this book is primarily a detailed account of Rajat Gupta’s life and the problems he encountered including imprisonment for a fault he never committed, as he claims, and how different incidents changed his outlook towards life. How he reached at the peak of corporate world and how some misunderstandings resulted in his falling from grace and how he is trying to build up his life post his imprisonment period by working for betterment of society. He feels that there is scope of lot of improvement in criminal justice system and there is urgent need of prisons reforms in United States.

For full text of this article, Contact Mr. Jitender Sharma at jitender.sharma@jaipuria.ac.in

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