Thursday, August 09, 2007
dial 'm' for malhotra
malhotra is a common surname among punjabi hindus.yesterday while i was in delhi and when i was flipping through the telephone directory searching for a phone number,i realised that the population of malhotras having a telephone is huge.it ran into many many pages.the surname agnihotri is derived from the sanskrit word agnihotra.one who does regular sacrifices to the fire.i wonder what malhotra means. i must find out.quickly.because several of them are in the news these days.for their affluence and sharp practices.not for any sacrifices by any stretch of one's imagination.
one of them,amit malhotra, is from ludhiana,the land of the noveau-riche.he paid a whopping rs 15.5 lakhs to get a unique mobile number 97800-00000.the auction was organised by hutch. amit,26, says that it is his hobby. to collect mobile phones and have different unique numbers for each one of them.his papa,a ludhiana property dealer and garment manufacturer,expressed his happiness on his son's selection of vip numbers when the family celebrated the acquisition of the new unique number. he then distributed mithai to relations and friends on the joyous occasion.incidentally,ludhiana has the most mercedes benz per capita.the affluent women of this prosperous city are wellknown for their kitty parties.
another malhotra who has hit the headlines recently is a canteen contractor.known as 'chhole bathura' malhotra,he runs a canteen in parliament house in new delhi.he also a has a fascination for unique numbers.he has 52 cars parked in front of his house each with a special number like 0001. the cars are of all shapes and sizes.including the swankiest of imported cars.the central bureau of investigation suddenly seemed to have got whiff of the bathura king's illgotten wealth.they raided his house and found 17 lakhs in cash,17 cars parked outside his house(where were the other cars?) and lots of incriminating documents. he had appropriated land allotted to slumdwellers and was involved in a few other scams.and had made a huge fortune.he was doing all this openly without the least bit of fear. what does that say of our vigilance system?
malhotra is only the tip of the iceberg.there are many malhotras in india.spread all over the country.amassing illgotten wealth by bribing officials and considering themselves above law.ultimately though the long hand of law catches up.but its short and slow legs allow such people to carry on without any punishment.we need to tackle this menace.and snuff it out of our system.