Time to move
Ever since anti-corruption crusaders brought their crusade to the streets of Lutyens' Delhi I have waited for them to notice the monumental corruption that stands hidden in clear sight. Our 'socialist' political leaders live in homes that are valued at more than Rs 400 crore each. What is Robert Vadra's Rs 300 crore 'empire' when compared with him living in a house that is worth Rs 100 crore more than that? A house that a small-time businessman like him could not dream of were it not for his wife's high government connections. Security is just an excuse because sprawling bungalows are harder to secure than modern apartments.
So why does Citizen Kejriwal say nothing? Is he genuinely ignorant about real estate prices in Lutyens' Delhi or does he remain silent in the hope of living in 'socialist' splendour himself some day soon?
When newspapers reported last week that two of India's richest industrialists were competing to buy a property in Amrita Shergill Marg that is valued at more than Rs 400 crores, I had hoped that our hyperactive news channels would notice. They did not and nor did us equally hyperactive anti-corruption crusaders in the print media. Only one newspaper, Mail Today, decided to investigate further and reported correctly that only 65 bungalows in this part of Delhi are privately owned. The rest are occupied by ministers, memorials, high mandarins and members of Parliament with high connections. Those without high connections live well too in apartments that would cost more than Rs 2 lakh a month to rent.
As your humble columnist points out often, it makes absolutely no sense for us taxpayers to continue paying for our elected representatives to live like billionaires. The contrast between how the 'aam aadmi' lives and how they live becomes especially ugly in Mumbai. Half the population of that city lives in windowless hovels in filthy shanties while ministers of the Government of Maharashtra occupy bungalows on Nariman Point where land costs hundreds of crore rupees an acre.