Thursday, December 8th, 2022 20:50:56

Desi Tycoons Believe: Charity Begins At Home

Updated: July 5, 2014 12:15 pm

And it ends at home. It has been generally known that our Indian billionaires and millionaires are very generous when it comes to building a temple in the name of their family. This way they feel gods will be pleased and bless them with more lucre and laudatory praise. It would also, and this is a major consideration, mean deduction in their total taxable amount. This is the best way to secure a drastic cut in their payable income-tax.

These ‘desilogs’ also use their money on their near and dear members, like a private jet to the wife on her b’day or a Porsche to their son, on his18th birthday.

The motto of our lucre-loaded desis: Charity begins and ends at home, it seems has infected the Indian tycoons in Britain. The Sunday Times, in which the list of 1000 wealthiest in the UK, has to our utter shame, concluded with facts and figures that British Indians who are so rich as to be included in the list of 1000 wealthiest—headed by the Hinduja Brothers, a matter of pride for all Indians—intriguingly do not believe in philanthropy.

The Sunday paper said “Intriguingly not one British Indian on the rich list makes it to the top 20 most charitable list”. Obviously they would argue that we have earned our millions through blood, sweat and toil—by blessings of our gods who do not take any commission—so we need to enjoy. But there are few exceptions.

Lord Gulam Noon has developed a village in Rajasthan—power, school, hospital, housing and road et al—at a cost of millions of pounds. Narottam Puri, more known as Nat Purie, has built a modern college near Chandigarh. Prof Lord Bikhu Parekh, who is not a millionaire, has donated along with his brother a huge mobile ‘hospital’ equipped with the latest medical equipment and facilities. A string of good doctors is attached with the mobile hospital. It moves from village to village. Thousands have benefited from the medical services provided by it.

But in India one has not come across any exception. An Indian magnate built a house at a cost, which if spent on electrifying or building a small emergency hospital or a school, would have covered thousands of villages in India.

The Mystery At PMO

The Delhi cocktail circuit is intrigued. The members, all well-placed in various vocations and fond of single malts and cognac and gossip, are vexed as to why an additional principal secretary, Dr PK Mishra, has been brought in within a week of the appointment of Nripendra Mishra, an IAS officer of UP cadre. Dr PK Mishra, a 1974 batch IAS officer, was the principal secretary to Narendra Modi when he was Gujarat chief minister and is a workaholic. He has all the attributes Modi wants in his officers.

Nripendra Mishra too has varied experience, is very suave and a sober person. Modi wanted him in the PMO so much that he got an Ordinance issued to clear a hitch that barred his employment. So what made Modi bring in another officer. This is possibly the first time that two principal secretaries are in the PMO.

Theories abound. Why two ‘swords’ in one scabbard? The mystery would surely be solved, much depends on the fate of the Ordinance. If it is not pressed or, gets defeated in the Rajya Sabha then Nripendra Mishra goes out automatically.

More likelihood is that functions and responsibilities have been divided between the two Mishras and they shall co-exist. Any odds offered?

UK Premier’s Ash Wish

The report that the British Prime Minister David Cameron wants a film starring Aishwarya Rai to be shot in London surprised many, even evoked a smile and pride in India having a beautiful person like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. A source said, “ Aishwarya was in London for a charity event…when she was at the British Prime Minister’s residence, he invited her to shoot her next film in London.” At the time when Cameron became leader of the opposition, the British media was full of the “Indian beauty, the most beautiful face in the world”… and Daily Mail said a high class…Time had her face on its cover. Then the film Bride and Prejudice was premiered and then her full-length wax figure was opened at Madame Tussauds’. There was no one in Britain who did not know about her and her beauty. The boards showing a smiling Ash—alias Elizabeth Bennet—were put on many London buses and also those plying in Midlands. Such a campaign psyched the English. So far India was known for dark, dusky beauty, but here was Ash, a fair young woman with blue eyes and angelic face.

That the youngish Etonian Cameron knew about her was therefore no surprise. Then as if by coincidence, when as Prime Minister he visited Bhaktivedanta ISCKON temple in Aldenham, near Watford—about an hour and half from London—after prayers and dinner, head of the Temple in his thanks speech re-named Cameron as Devdas Cameron.

A smiling Cameron had then said it would as Devdas be easier for him to meet Paro, Aishwarya Rai, next time he visited Mumbai. He, it seems, remains fascinated by her. No surprise this.

Modi’s EDICT: Cleanliness Next To Godliness

“Dekho Dekho Gentleman Thook Raha Hai”; “Shastri Bhawan Hamari Shaan, Mat Banao Peakdaan”, These are some of the bill boards that have suddenly appeared overnight in government offices. Those who have visited government offices in various Bhawans and even in South or North Block are quite familiar with stains of assorted things spewed or thrown at all corners and the stinking toilets.

Now the bill boards laying stress on keeping offices clean have come up following disappointment on the ‘cleanliness’ in some of the offices and government buildings by Narendra Modi. In his maiden speech in Parliament he specifically spoke on “cleanliness”. He repeatedly referred to Gandhiji and said, “Mahatma Gandhi laid great emphasis on cleanliness. His ashrams too focused on the same. Let us pledge we will give a ‘clean India’ as a gift to our father of the nation on his 150th birth anniversary in 2019.”

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