best montblanc pen Kanda is the face of the new flashocracy
Gopal Goyal Kanda epitomises a new breed of small town politicians the flashocracy. There was a time when Rajiv Gandhi’s Gucci pumps, or Arun Jaitley’s collection of Mont Blanc pens, or Narendra Modi’s Bulgari glasses would get the media excited in the silly season, but there was nothing vulgar ab
Gopal Goyal Kanda epitomises a new breed of small town politicians the flashocracy. There was a time when Rajiv Gandhi’s Gucci pumps, or Arun Jaitley’s collection of Mont Blanc pens, or Narendra Modi’s Bulgari glasses would get the media excited in the silly season, but there was nothing vulgar about the way these men carried the iconic brands. Life’s luxuries sat well on them.
The flashocracy, in contrast, has the cash but not the class. It has the Bentleys and Bimmers but it still carries the baggage of its plebeian roots. It has enormous reserves of libido but it has been deluded into believing it owns the licence to prey upon its objects of lust. If the rise of small town India’s wealth has been liberalisation’s biggest feel good story, the successful dustbowl male has become the stereotype of all that can possibly go wrong when unbound material aspirations displace cultural mores.
It’s not enough for the mine lords of Bellary, for instance, to own Lamborghinis and have their own private tracks to drive their supercars. They believe their money gives them the first right to the corridors of power; they no longer are content to be fixers greasing other people’s hands, they crave the power that guarantees them their share of the loot.
The revolution of rising aspirations has spawned a mass market of greed.
India has never been a demonstratively acquisitive culture, but with the access to wealth being liberalised and with corruption becoming a retail phenomenon, we’ll see more people like Kanda treading the fine line between power, pelf and prison. Politicians like Amar Singh, T. Subbarami Reddy, Praful Patel and Rajiv Shukla who are known more for their wealthy friends, their Page 3 parties and their material possessions than for any contribution to the public good) were the first to lower the barriers that enabled politicians of the previous generation maintain a safe (albeit hypocritical) distance between the representatives of the people and their financiers.
With the Rajya Sabha becoming the safe route for ‘high net worth’ political patrons entering Parliament, there was no need for them any longer to take favours from their former clients. The men who paid the bills of the old style politicians and supplied them their goons had now taken their place and they brought with them their flashy baggage, their Hummers and their Habanos cigars, their supreme love for their personal well being overriding even a residual concern for the public good.
Kanda is the besmirched face of this new political species with a malleable moral code and a jelly like spine whose ideology is greed and whose political god is money. And he’s not alone in the muck that people like him have reduced politics to he’s just the one who got caught.