We all, well most of us, agree with the notorious Gordon Gekko that ‘greed is good’. At least aspirationally. The problem is that many of us don’t have the resources to make such a blasé statement. Here is where our netas come in. While the rest of us are trying desperately to climb the slippery pole and make a few shekels more, they seem effortlessly to change their incomes either upwards or, in some cases, downwards.
So we find that LK Advani, that epitome of modest living, has managed to increase his net worth from Rs 1.3 crore in 2003 to Rs 3.5 crore in 2009. Clearly, if not next prime minister, he has a job waiting for him as an investment banker. Now most of our political leaders never tire of telling us that they are ordinary people, risen to high office through sheer hard work. Well, most of us rise from rags to semi-rags, but never to the sort of riches that, say a Supriya Sule of the NCP has amassed. She has a fortune of Rs 53 crore and growing. Or if you are trying to evade the taxman, take a lesson from AP Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, whose assets dropped from Rs 3 crore to a mere Rs 33 lakh. Could this have something to do with his son notching up Rs 77 crore?
We are still figuring out the figures. Since they are in the game for the public good, we beseech our leaders to hand out free investment advice. We’ll forget about all the other promises, after all, it won’t cost us anything.