Mukesh Ambani’s Tower of Babel
Today DNA India reports that as per government communique, the plot of land that Ambani is building his new home on, was obtained illegally.
Maharashtra government on Tuesday termed as “illegal” a land deal by Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani’s group firm for a posh mansion now under construction in the plush Malabar Hill area of South Mumbai.
A notification issued by Revenue and Forest Department has directed the state Wakf Board to ‘take back possession’ of five wakf board properties, including the 4,532 sq metre land where Ambani is building the 27-floor skyscraper. [link]
Right from the time, news about the new house became public, I was apalled at the hypocrisy of such an act. However coming from Reliance, I am not surprised. Reliance Industries may be one of the biggest industrial houses, but by no means is it the most ethical or moral. And the reason for that starts at the top. For years Dhirubhai Ambani, never paid income tax. This was in the early days of Reliance. Through a system of loopholes in the law, he perfected the art of being rich and not paying tax. This same ethical code is seen in the daily workings of the company, be it bribing Pramod Mahajan to get telecom and cellphone contracts or steamrolling the building of petrochemical plants, with nary a care of the environment.
One of the most hard hitting books on Dhirubhai Ambani, called The Polyester Prince: The Rise of Dhirubhai Ambani, was written by Hamish McDonald. The book is out of circulation and it is impossible to find this book for purchase. The publishers in Australia, refuse to print more of these because Mukesh and Anil have made sure through the threat of legal action, that the true stories in the book do not become public knowledge. They also managed to get the book banned in India. What one wonders is in the book that has made it disappear from bookshops around the world.
And now this same family, goes about building an absurd tower in the sky. A 27 storey building, which in regular height would equal a 50 storey building is coming up on Altamount Road.
It is a proper study in Indian class dynamics. First six floors for car parking. Then floors for the servants, and then the family.
And of course their money and clout has made sure that no one questions Mukesh Ambani and the tower gets built.
It does not matter how rich one gets. Morals and ethics cannot be got by money and Mukesh Ambani has just once again proven that.
Maybe he should take a page out of the Tatas or look at the life of Warren Buffet, an even richer and wealthier person than him and the life he leads.