New Delhi: सिर्फ़ News has received photographs of unseemly displays of gold jewellery by certain politicians just a day after the government scared the whole country with poor communication of a proposed amendment to an old law. While a few of those wearing gaudy and expensive jewellery are not politicians, they are no less answerable to the tax department. The same act by representatives of the people looks, of course, more brazen.
The adjoining photo is of Shiv Sena leader Anoop Swarup. He reportedly wears gold weighing 2 kg all over his body. On research, the allegation turned out to be almost correct. When he made news on 27 February this year, he was wearing a kilogram of gold.
He was spotted that day at a demonstration where an outfit called the Maratha Sangh was demanding reservations in education and employment for its caste. Swarup reportedly moves around surrounded by a posse of security personnel to safeguard his life and the ornaments he sports all the time in public places.
It is strange that while the media speaks of several ‘gold men’ of Maharashtra at different points of time, Gaikwad just gets a passing mention in the last paragraph in most reports of the type. He is into the business of pipelines.
If that was not enough, he travels in a luxurious SUV, Toyota’s Fortuner. His ashram is located in Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat. He had grabbed news headlines during the last Kanwar Yatra that marks pilgrimage to Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri, abodes of Lord Shiva, a Hindu god on whose idol one finds no sign of material opulence!
This 34-year-old politician is apparently a real estate agent. He spells “owner” as “oner” and “agent” as “ajnt” on Facebook. Perhaps to address his guilty conscience, he posts photographs of some weirdos who sport more gold than him.
Soni lives in Ratlam of Madhya Pradesh and is a jeweller by profession.
He has told media persons that he helped a Jain muni a few years ago, who wished to bless a person who wore rings in all his fingers. Soni believes he did his bit in ensuring that the holy man met with a person of his dreams.
Parakh also wears a gold watch, gold chains, large gold rings, a gold mobile cover and golden-framed spectacles. All these put together makes the weight of gold that he wears daily as much as 10 kgs.
Not only does Parakh carry a gun but there are also two security guards always flanking him.
Phuge is also a reality show personality who has appeared on Marathi language television wearing a golden belt, chains and bracelets, spending about Rs 6 crore more on these ‘accessories’ over and above his shirt of gold.
These NCP politicians couldn’t care less even when, in 2013, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had appealed to all her party members and allies to lead a life of austerity.
The list of Indians with a fetish of gold could be somewhat longer. The issue is now whether the taxmen would pay renewed visits to them even though this shirt is quite famous and known to have been bought with all white money. It is to be explored why one sees a concentration of these men in the State of Maharashtra where people traditionally wear minimalist ornaments of gold of less than 22 carats.
Finally, while a private person is entitled to do whatever he desires with his money, a politician steeped in gold seeking votes in slums and villages could be seen as being insensitive to the plight of the poor. They do it even in parched lands of Vidarbha that is infamous for suicides of indebted farmers.