Friday, 6 March 2009


Vijay Mallya lrobably did the right thing (I dont know if its due to love for the country or love for publicity) by bidding successfully for the Gandhian relics.
I would've done the same. But I never had the money. Thats not the point but.
Its about Gandhi v/s Mallya.
Gandhiji - is our father of the nation. (For readers from outside India - Gandhiji is somewhat like what George Washington is for the USA plus Gandhiji was a strong advocate of non-violence and espoused simplicity by moving about in a loin cloth). The title of "Mahathma"- meaning "a great soul" truly summarises him.
Now have a look at these disparities (Iam not suggesting anything but do have a look at them) :-
  1. Gandhi fought against alcoholism. Vijay Mallya's job is to sell alcohol. (By the way Gandhi's home state Gujarat is a dry state officially and hence is blessed with a very thriving illegal liquor business like any other dry state in India. Everyone drinks unofficially. Officially all are tetotallers. Drunken driving there can potentially convert itself into a triple charge along with consuming liquor and peddling it too.
  2. Gandhi was a simpleton (psst...loin cloth...loin cloth) . Vijay Mallya is in to Horse racing, IPL (cricket) , Formula 1 racing etc. Infact anything to do with public display of wealth, glitz and glamour. In all probability he might be wearing a designer "Jockey" (thats, a highly sought after brand of under wear in India , which can make a any lady swoon , anytime any place - guaranteed) in place of a loin cloth.
  3. Gandhi fasted often - Mallya's each meal would probably follow a multi cuisine style with a lot to spare for the trash can.
  4. Gandhi lived for a public cause. Mallya has more to do with publicity than anything with any of the public causes. Personal goals and gains are stashed away carefully with the public getting the facade probably.
  5. Gandhi was the epitome of non-violence. Mallya spent millions for Tipu Sultan's sword.
  6. Gandhi travelled third class in train and walked along side cars whose owners pleaded with him to accompany them. Mallya owns a high on frills airline.
The list can go on and on...........
But yet Mallya may have done the right thing. He successfully bid for the Mahathma's slippers and all because he was deeply emotional about the Mahathma, about India (so he says). Also long-after-independence-India is much different from the principled struggling-to-get- independent-India. Is'nt it? Any how its not fair to compare two different eras. Right?
Mallya may also have felt like giving an extra kick to the teeming millions who drank his brew and who thus helped him buy such expensive slippers.
What else are we all suggesting that Mallya should've done instead of bringing the slippers home?
May be first denounce liquor. Close down his empire. Ground the airline. Tie a loin cloth, may be. One will not do though, since he is portly. May be stitch the two of 'em togather and then forget about Gandhiji's slippers since Mallya himself would 've been on the path to be a Mahathma.
Hence I really cannot dispute what Mallya did. Especially since Iam overcritical (as always Iam) because I dont own an empire and hence can never be in a critcisable position of a bidder for the father of the nation's slippers.
But had the Mahathma anticipated the shape of things to come, he would surely have done away with his slippers, spectacles and the bowl long back so that they dont grow expensive from his humble name.
["What about the loin cloth then? "
"What about it?"
"Would'nt they have snatched his loin cloth and auctioned it off too ?"]
For he had scruples in his head and slippers on his feet.
For us though slippers have got into our heads, with scruples not in the neighbouring country even.

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