Vijay Mallya’s escape to London is becoming a delectable potpourri for internet banter. The suave pot-bellied Indian millionaire flew away to England, on an ‘apparent’ business trip, leaving our oh-so-clever CBI red-faced.
The liquor baron’s escape news is not such a hot topic in itself, as much as the parties who helped him leave the country. Unlike other scams, the media need not go at length introducing the masses about the ‘who, what, when’ of the case.
Mallya has been always in the social picture, posing happily with semi-clad models, and taking out the covetous Kingfisher Calendar with bikini girls staring into the sky seductively. Mallya was a man who never seemed to care, well, until 2 March, when he slipped off the Indian soil in a Jet Airways flight, flying First Class with nine full suitcases!
The liquor baron was a popular among the crème de la crème of India until recently. He has been asked to appear in Mumbai next week for questioning in the money-laundering case that involves Rs 9000 crore. Post his escape and the court summon, the flashy tycoon has suddenly become a hot potato for his political and media friends (at least in the public forums).
While a well-known self-righteous TV anchor has deleted all her tweets to Mallya, who called her a “darling” in the microblogging site, the BJP and Congress are sweating it out in the slug-fest to prove that the other party is responsible for the debt defraud done by Mallya’s company Kingfisher Airlines.
The blame game has become very convoluted: the CBI is blaming the banks for lending crores to Mallya’s loss-incurring company without checking out the repaying credentials. The media is questioning the CBI for letting Mallya flee, right before the banks went to Supreme Court to report the funds defraud tale. The masses are doubtful that the migration officials bungled up, and Mallya, the man himself, is accusing the media of witch-hunting.
When you and I, the common masses, can’t get a loan of Rs 50 thousand from a bank for lack of a guarantor (I fail to figure out how many zeroes in 9 thousand crores), it’s plain farcical that a consortium of banks offered trunks full of money to Mallya. In April last year, the United Spirits board began a process to remove Mallya as its chairman due to financial irregularities worth nearly Rs 1,300 crores. But he downright refused to climb down from his chair.
Mallya is a selfish capitalist; he had no humanitarian agenda or moral guard. The man continued to party hard, and squander his wealth while families of his employees lived in financial and emotional anxieties. This is what makes “the emperor of good times” loathsome.
Like a truant little schoolboy, Mallya first ran away and after he landed safely in the foreign shores, he started to threaten to “tell.” In his typical boastful way, the failed businessman wrote in the microblogging site Twitter: “I am an international businessman. I travel to and from India frequently. I did not flee from India and neither am I an absconder. Rubbish (sic).”
While he gives an impression that big names will run for cover with his threat, it is he who’s run away fearing legal repercussions.