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ON THE ROCKS!

-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.

3 Comments on ON THE ROCKS!

  1. it is better to have 400 MP like that ,than who spend all thier life to become an MP to only to enrich themsely not to mention
    number of rogues and with crimal record who are already MP.

    • Sanjay Kohli // October 21, 2009 at 11:07 am // Reply

      Totally agree. As long as he is paying his taxes and not bribing the MPs to lobby for him, a bottle of wiskey is too trivial to bother about. Plus, he is built a world class alcohol business. He has added much much more to what he inherited.

  2. It is precisely this high handed thinking that is an irritant with the Government’s recent austerity drive and the ilk. (I assume your irritant here again is that there is so much of wasteful expenditure and therefoere I wish to connect it to the Congress government’s austerity drive)

    There are two things which one might wish to clarify from you sir. Does your top brass flying economy class for a limited period of time achieve anything flying economy class apart from some political mileage? Has this actually translated to more of the Congress MPs and MLAs cutting down on their traveling expense? may we wonder how many MPs and MLAs drive expensive gas guzzlers and can not live without the air conditioners and then talk about austerity drives, global warming and environmental protection?

    Coming back to the issue at hand, again a statistic as to the number/percentage of teetotalers in the Parliament would possibly explain why Vijay Mallya sent across liquor and not anything else. Going by the same logic, I do not know what would be an ideal gift? Homemade wooden toys which will boost up the sales of those items by a whopping 900 and lead to a mini economic recovery? Or would those in the Parliament who are in the habit of drinking not purchase the same/similar products in the recent future?

    It is but natural that as someone who produces that item, he did not deem anything wrong in sending that across. It is to me the same as sending people a big can of rasogullas which are home made.

    And would the author please clarify on what increasing Maoist violence has anything to do with this? If anything the Maoists are feeding on the anger and desperation of scores of people who have been left out of India’s development through the policies of the dozen and more governments at the centre and the scores at the state government level. Do not see why Mallya sending across bottled alcohol is in any way going to aggravate the problem or him not sending it going to help in it subsiding. I find the connection to be extremely frivolous.

    While the actions of the BJP MP in rejecting the gift may be applauded I do not see why Mallya’s action needs to be lambasted.

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