In jail for almost two years now, embattled Sahara group chief Subrata Roy says being confined to a prison cell with only basic amenities came as a “rude shock” and he has often wondered what “wrong” he has done.
In a book released today — on Sahara’s 39th Foundation Day and incidentally a day before a crucial hearing in Supreme Court — Roy also said that “life in jail can be painful and lonely” but he has managed to keep the stress away at all times and he always leads a “totally tension-free life”.
The book titled ‘Life Mantras’ is the first of a trilogy ‘Thoughts from Tihar’ that Roy has penned while in judicial custody in Tihar Jail in connection with a long-running investor refund case, running into thousands of crores of rupees, with the markets regulator Sebi.
“My judicial custody in Tihar jail and being confined to a prison cell with just the basic amenities definitely came as a rude shock.
“I, like any other human in confinement, could not contain my thoughts and at times felt an emotional outrage, ‘why me?’, ‘what have I done wrong to deserve this?’. Thoughts such as these often raced through my mind,” Roy said in the book.
The Sahara group chairman said that life in jail can be painful and lonely. “Fortunately, God has blessed me with the ability of keeping stress away at all times,” he added.
According to Roy, living all alone without any contact with the outside world would make people pull their hair or even go insane.
While asserting that “time is a great healer”, Roy said money is a good servant but a bad master.
Talking about people who give importance only to money “the material aspect”, the Sahara chief said such people may say that they can live quite beautifully and happily if they have lots of money and material riches.
In a situation where all the riches wished for are given, “the man will certainly be pleased beyond measure”, he said in the book where he also stressed that the work is not his autobiography.
But at the same time there will be a condition imposed on him that he will have to live all alone with the gates of the palace locked from outside, not allowing him any contact with the outside world, not even through television or radio, Roy has written in the book.
“In such a case, some will take twenty days, some thirty and some forty, but soon after when the gates are opened, they will be found pulling their hair or having gone insane.
“If anyone of you does not believe this he can meet me and I will prove it to him practically,” Roy said.
“Do you know why such a person goes mad? It is because he has stopped getting food for his internal personality. There is no exchange of duties. He is neither performing his duties towards anyone nor is he sharing his emotions with anyone,” he noted.
Noting that greed always keeps a human being in state of tension, discontent and dissatisfaction, Roy said that a greedy character can never feel, say, accept or agree that life is beautiful.
“I feel a sense of pity for such human beings who are singularly greedy in character,” he asserted.
Stating that his father’s teachings helped him to learn to be “always happy with my present”, Roy said, “whatever situation I am in, I should always be happy and content. Therefore, we were very happy at that time and we are happy today”.
Ironically, the Sahara chief emphasised that one should never be dishonest from inside and never be manipulative, deceitful or a liar because such people are the ones who ruin their own lives.
“…such kind of people can never live a beautiful life continuously. So never be a person who deserves punishment from outside,” he said.
Further, he said that in the business of financial schemes, it has been observed that whosoever doesn’t have good knowledge of his professional subject never succeeds in and always accuses the company, its products or his bad luck.
The Sahara chief also observed that a company that believes in money motivation alone has never prospered. “I know about many such companies in India. They had no financial discipline and the demand for incentives spiralled out of hand,” he noted.
Roy said a better future can be chalked out by keeping the present in the right order, living the present and being grateful to God for what one has in the present.
“Do not worry about what happened yesterday; care for what will happen tomorrow; mend your ways today and the scars of yesterday will fade away,” the Sahara chief said.
Further, he emphasised that people should abide by right tradition and honour the law of the land.
“You have to abide by the values, the right tradition; you have to honour the law of the land. If you keep all these things in mind while dealing with others and continue to maintain them in practice, you are an ethical person,” he said.
“When I talk about life always being beautiful and assert that it is in our own hands to make our life beautiful, you may say ‘you are sitting at an apex position that is why your life is beautiful’,” Roy noted.
“I agree that I have been given the honour of being the guardian of the single largest family of the world ‘Sahara India Pariwar’,” he added.
Roy said the book has been reproduced in its original form by Rupa Publications India without any editing whatsoever.
Delving into his life, Roy said that he was never a good student. “I never studied well, I could not even finish my graduation, but I studied so much after Sahara’s inception…,” he added.
While citing that when Sahara was started in 1978 with meagre resources of Rs 2,000, Roy said, “we were far happier then”.
As per the book, the group is now worth Rs 1,80,000 crore.
The book was unveiled today at 5,120 special public events organised across the country and abroad.