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Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Mittal Saga

I must say, I am very puzzled with the way the whole Mittal episode was handled not just by the media but the politicians and also public at large.

Yes, Mittal owns the largest steel company in the world and yes, he is an Indian. But let us get our facts straight
  • Mittal has lived outside India for more than 3 decades
  • Mittal has no business interests in India
  • His company is not an Indian company
  • His retaining Indian passport is also likely due to the tax status (I happen to know another 'Indian' who lived whole of his life outside India but retains Indian passport solely due to tax purposes!)
  • He has never publicly championed the cause of either India and Indian business
  • He is a very ruthless businessman (for which I respect him)
Yet, inspite of this the issue was talked about as if we were referring to a person next door - a person who is a national hero.

Sample this
  • We believed (rather convinced ourselves) that the hostility to his take over bid was his 'race', rather his being an Indian - without knowing that over the last few months there have been objections to take over of European companies by Europeans as well.
  • Our Commerce Minister (Mr. Kamal Nath) believes that it is his conversation with the Luxemburg head of state that ensured that Luxemburg did not oppose the deal - Who is Kamalnath?
  • We believed that Mr. Mittal is a shining of modern Indian businessman - bold, audacious, ambitious etc etc etc - what's the relation?
How convenient of ourselves? As the famous McEnroe saying goes, I wish to ask people - You are not serious.

Don't get me wrong, I have lots of respect for Mr. Mittal. But there is not need to eulogise him. I am proud of his being of Indian origin and I wish him luck, but I don't godify him.

Lets not go overboard..

That's it for now...

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