-By Sanjay Jha
When I read the news item about former Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Mallya distributing scotch whiskey bottles to MPs ( both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha), frankly, it did not surprise me. Austerity is a word singularly absent from the dictionary of this flamboyant character whose passion for fast cars, horse-racing, wild parties and instant cricket far overshadow his other more serious business pursuits. In a country where the poverty line might just escalate to 38% if new measurement norms are accepted, Mallya is an island by himself. For him it’s not about being in the have and have-nots debate; he belongs instead to the have-yacht exclusive club.
I quite admire the BJP MP Prabhat Jha for returning the scotch bottle with a straight-forward polite NO. That Mallya can be so grossly naïve or blissfully thick-skinned as to send pricey alcohol to elected leaders in parliament is by itself an absolute shocker. This at a time when Maoist violence perniciously spreads it’s tentacles across our country’s breadth, a manifestation of desperate destitution, despite their regrettable methods of redressal. Some cynics might say that is how he perceives the modern-day netas, but as Jha’s action palpably establishes there are several who will almost contumaciously reject his magnanimous Diwali gift.
For the King of Good Times it might be a good time to take a walk. And take his black dog along.