The news that I hear

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

How much money does a man need?

The only story of Leo Tolstoy that I know is "How much land does a man need?" . I saw a dramatised version of this story in Doordarshan some time in the late 80's. This is a wonderful story depicting man's greediness for more and more. When I read about the raid on Om Prakash Chautala's properties, it was easy to fit him in as the hero of Leo Tolstoy's novel. Chautala (Picture source: and his family own Rs.1400 crores worth of properties, amoung which are cars, plots of lands, a shopping mall, a hotel and restaurant. Chautala had accumulated wealth for generations of his family as he was enjoying his status as the Chief Minister of Haryana. That's awesome, look how much Chautala's wealth could be used for:

1. Chautala's wealth is sufficient to wipe poverty out of the face of India. (does that sound too exaggerted?)

2. Run 46,66,667 families a month on a Rs.3000 budget.

3. Feed 140,00,000 orphans a month.

4. Run several schools for poor kids.

5. Operate free hospitals.

Enough of this, what will Chautala and his family sustain on? Should he be stripped of all his hard-earned wealth (or ill-gotten wealth) ? Is he the only person with so much properties? Of course not, there are many more people like him who wear Khadi and live on dhal-roti.

During the recent TN elections, DMK supremo Karunanidhi declared his assets to be worth Rs.26 crores. (Source: He has spent all his life in politics. He is also a prolific writer and probably has a share in the media empire run by Kalanidhi Maran.

Amma declared her assets at Rs.25 crores. Amma's wealth has been the spotlight of several debates. Some of her assets are under judicial probe. Amma has been an actress and most of her wealth is supposedly attibuted to her work in the film industry.

Dayanidhi Maran looks like a poverty striken person when compared to these folks. He declared a mere Rs.1.6 crores when he stood for elections in 2004. Too good to be true.

What about Sonia? Poor woman, she does not even own a car or a house in India. She has jewellery worth Rs.10 lacs and has, beleive it or not, around Rs.20000 in cash. Her total assets stand at a paltry Rs.1 crore.

So this is what some of our Khadi clad folks earn in political life. Who ever said India was a poor country.


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