By the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal
Say, for instance you want to rob a bank in India. You plan the act, case the location, note the timing of the staff, get a crew, weapons and possibly if everything goes right you’ll get away with few lakh rupees with your life and limb intact. Risks are great but rewards may or may not be there. Let me tell you another approach. Open a company, apply for a loan, wine and dine the top brass of the bank, take a ticket to tax haven and launder the money at your own leisure. You’ll walk away with crores without raising an eyebrow and by the time dust settles on your case, you’ll be sipping a cocktail at your own private island with beauties to cater to your every sick pleasure.
Vijay Mallya showed the world that you can rob the Indian public dry and no one would care to ask questions. No way this self proclaimed king of good times absconded without complicity of banks and law enforcement agencies. Executives of public sector banks wrote off thousands of crores of public money in exchange for kick backs and probably some good time at the brothel that is Kingfisher house. No due diligence was done to assess the soundness of Mallya’s businesses and crores were given away in the name of brand value. Had there been a clerk at a public bank, who might have signed a loan for a bundle under the table, he would have been lynched by his bank’s vigilance department but what if MD, chairman of the bank are the ones cheating the bank. This is the irony of our country; no wonder public money went into nude calendars and orgies.
Another surprising fact is that Mallya’s case is no exception, the rate with which NPA’s (Non Performing Assets) are rising shows the fact that all the caution has gone to the wind. The level of diligence that you will see for a small student loan seems to be absent in loans when it comes to big businesses. Which financial valuation gives out 3000 crores in the name of brand value? Now coming to the enforcement agencies, if a bank declares you a defaulter in India, a public notice goes out in your name, properties get auctioned and in some cases where the party doesn’t cooperate, a warrant goes out but in case of Mallya, lo and behold, the system itself laid the red carpet to farewell the culprit from the country. It’s difficult for a bank robber to cross a state with police on his heels, this guy flew first class with seven huge bags and nobody raised a finger.
I blame both UPA and NDA for this dirty blot on our system, under one’s rule the snake got free access to milk and under other’s he bit and escaped. There is no way Mallya could have left India without the blessing from the top. The money is gone, all the fuss will settle down in few days and at the end it’s the tax payer who will have to bail out the banks, guess its same everywhere US, UK or India. The money from people like you and me goes to the kings and queens of good times; it is the people like you and me who pay for mistakes and parties of the likes of Mallyas, Saharas and Satyams. We always get the bad bargain and the brunt of it and for those higher up, it’s perfectly okay.