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England vs India- Our alleged rich crooks in England

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England vs India – Our alleged rich crooks in England


England vs India is now harboring some of our most notorious or shall

we say alleged criminals like Nirav Modi and Mallya. 


England vs India , England’s historical record is more appalling .

It criminalized political dissidents who were transported all the way to Australia along with people charged with petty crimes.

is a very sordid chapter in British imperial history.

It would be proper to place these issues in the current context of the extradition battles going on in England regarding our alleged vulgar rich criminals.

I thought of this when going through the book Escaped. True Stories of Indian Fugitives in London by Danish Khan and Ruhi Khan

who hail from Mumbai and are now based in England and have laboriously covered court proceedings in some of these cases there.

They have not dealt with England’s sad record. England vs India

The book has some important insights.

But let us go back to a bit of English history. I have this wonderful, fat book the Fatal Shore by the renowned art critic Robert Hugs.

It is a highly praised book about the colonization of Australia by turning the continent into one huge jail.

It is history from below, through convicts’ testimony—in letters, depositions, petitions and memoirs—about their own experiences.”

In the 90 years of “transportation”, some 165,000 convicts were sent to Australia from England to Australia .

England vs India ,The English rulers were afraid of their own people, victims of capitalism and were seen as a danger to the ruling class and its property and so were banished.

But there were also political dissidents, the Jacobins Chartists, demanding voting rights.

The most prominent among them was John Muir whose offence was to advocate yearly elections of Parliament and

distribution of radical literature including Paine’s famous book Rights of Man. They were transported too to the prison camps.

This brings us to the contradiction. England now shelters some of rich criminals from other countries partly on

grounds of human rights when its own record of human rights was so appalling.

England vs India, England is now coming under immense criticism for being a haven for unaccounted money. Simon Jenkins,

the noted Guardian columnist wrote . Does London really want to become another Monaco or Macau, a refuge for fiscal piracy ?

The Khan couple’s book makes a disturbing reading as it throws light on the murky nexus between the police,

film stars and criminals which in a few cases at least enabled the offenders get away. Some notable cricketers dirtied their hands with match fixing.

Since I have seen cricket in its pristine days from the sixties I find this particularly offensive .

The Khans have spent days covering the court proceedings in England, pieced together cases old and new.

They have let facts speak for themselves.

I found more disturbing the case of Dharam Teja, the sophisticated conman who became a shipping magnate.

It appears that Nehru and Indira Gandhi made unfortunate errors of judgement in the case of this man who charmed his way to top circles.

He came from a family of freedom fighters, had degrees from foreign universities,

work experience in top organizations aboard and an American-Russian wife and was a jet setter in days when air travel was not so common.

He wanted to make Sanjay Gandhi an automobile tycoon. Lt General Kaul, known for our debacle in the conflict with China,

was given a cushy job with Teja. Teja also happened to be in Tashkent when Lal Bahadur Shastri died there.

One need not draw conclusions. But the facts could be stated.

His name figured with another notorious tax evader Haridas Mundhra. When Teja escaped from India,

he was seen off at the airport by Kanti Desai, son of Morarji, and the then union minister Sikandar Bakht, it was argued during investigations.

Some of the more engaging writing is on gangsters like Iqbal Mirchi, the drug lord with suspected links with Dawood Ibrahim.

But he at least came from the streets, from the underworld. Really contemptible are the alleged white collar criminals Mallya and Modi.

Mallya comes from a good family, his grand-father was a doctor and a senior official in charge of prisons during British rule.

The book’s first chapter is on Mallya, then on Nirav Modi, Sanjeev Chawla, the cricket bookie, Iqbal Mirchi, Nadeem,

the music director of Nadeem Shravan fame, Narang brothers of Ambassador hotel, called Moorti Chors

because of alleged involvement in smuggling of idols, and so on. The extreme decadence of India’s loathsome rich began long ago

though on a smaller scale. The Narangs had built a swimming pool in the Pali Hill bungalow with a glass floor and a suite

underneath from which could be the swimmers watched .

Surely, the Pali Hill lot need to do more soul searching today. They have created an environment outside

their posh bungalows which is utterly hostile to common people. It cannot be without their nexus with municipal

authorities that the entire hill has denied a footpath for common people, plus put spikes on small walls outside

the buildings so that common people are not able to even rest for a while .

It is sad that so many bureaucrats and politicians have such low taste, like to be seen in the company of the vulgar set

in Bollywood who are in league with these other crooks. It is very important for journalists to maintain a distance from

these respectable looking crooks. Inder Malhotra has narrated an interesting experience elsewhere about Dharam Teja.

He met Teja at a diplomatic reception in the U.S. and had a casual conversation over good food.

Teja rang him up next day and offered him a plane ticket for a lavish stay at his villa in Europe.

Malhotra was wise enough to instantly turn down the invite. I was lucky to be his junior collogue in TOI during those days.


Vidyadhar Date

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