Two Cities, Two Deaths, Different Reactions

On 15th Nov, 2012 three people passed away. One was Balasaheb Thakre in Mumbai and other two Ponty a.ka. Gurdeep Chaddha and his brother Hardeep Chaddha in Delhi. However, comparison ends there. 

Balasaheb died after protracted illness. Ponty and his brother shot each other. Balasaheb had created Shiv Sena party. Shiv Sena had ruled the state of Maharashtra, been an ally of NDA, under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, at the centre. Balsaheb has been accused of divisionary politics, he has been accused of creating a band of hooligans called Shiv Sena. Sena would terrorise non Maharashtrians in Mumbai – Tamils, Gujratis, Biharis, Muslims etc. Sena would threaten big industrial houses, would organise strike and shut down Mumbai. Sena has been held responsible for many things bad. Yet the day Balasahebs remains were taken for cremation nearly 20 lac people came out. They marched 8 km distance in 8 hours. They cried when Balasaheb was put on fire by his son. It beats logic, why would so many people come out spontaneously and why would they weep at Balasahebs death.
I think it indicates, how Balasaheb was connected to his supporters – ordinary sainiks. Any bad deed of a sainik/s Balasaheb would own up. He will accept responsibility. He gave ordinary people a voice. Ordinary Maharasthrians felt there is someone who would understand them and listen to them. I guess this deep connection, which is intangible, which is not based on give and take, is responsible why ordinary people wept at funeral of balasaheb. 
Chaddha brother, Ponty had also created an empire worth 2000 crore rupees or more in one generation. He was well connected to state politicians in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, may be Uttrakhand and Haryana also. Ponty Chaddha and his family including his brother Hardip, had business interest that included liquor distribution, agriculture, real estate among others. No body believes Ponty Chaddha’s wealth was created by legal means in one generation.

To me, Ponty Chaddha personifies greed. The family, brothers amongst themselves, have 12 farm houses in the area. They could not settle ownership of one amicably. Also consider this, the ownership was settled by the court of law. One brother did not want to respect the decision. So much for respecting rule of law. Probably he knew with the money they have, anything can be purchased. The family has risen meteorically in one generation, that of Ponty Chaddha. Is this possible through legal means? May be Chaddha should have opened a business management institute to teach people how to make money. 
In the end, both Balasaheb and Chaddha brothers had met the same end. However, for one people were weeping.  It is a pity that people are questioning why Balasaheb was given a state funeral in Mumbai. He had challenged states authority many a times. He had done terrible things like organising riots. Yet there were many people that loved him. They came out spontaneously and shed tears for Balasaheb. On the other hand, Ponty Chaddha probably represented all that is wrong with our political system and its link with unscrupulous business men. It is sad that people like Ponty Chaddha, that acquire wealth through dubious means are eulogised and given front page and prime time coverage. Other than having a lot of money, people like him are nothing better than petty hoodlums.

Man who shot Ponty Chadha’s brother Hardeep identified – The Times of Indiat.coFifteen people were picked up for questioning in connection with the killing of controversial liquor and real estate baron Ponty Chadha and his younger brother Hardeep, who were locked in a dispute over ownership of a farmhouse in south Delhi on Saturday.

Ponty Chadha: Rise and demise of a wannabe realty baron

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