“Nanhi chhaan” overshadowed by corrupt wealth - 27/02/2011

Sardarni Harsimrat Kaur Badal                                                               
Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha)
12 - Safdarjung Road
New Delhi

27 February 2011

Dear Bhenji,

“Nanhi chhaan” overshadowed by corrupt wealth

The opening on 1 March 2011 of The Oberoi, Gurgaon, proudly owned by your husband, will surely be a source of great joy for you and your family. This 202 bedroom Rs.1500 crores crown jewel will add to the vast array of assets that Sukhbir now owns directly and indirectly. It is surely the icing on the cake that will protect many future generations of your family from poverty.

Maybe your husband could explain to the Akal Takht his promotion of “the country’s only exclusive Cigar lounge”.

Wealth may be a private matter for most persons but in the case of politicians it becomes a matter for significant public concern when neither hereditary transfers nor successful legitimate business activities are able to support the assets accumulated by them.

The sad fact is that in spite of a political career spanning several decades the Badal family has through its actions become inextricably tainted by the stigma of corruption.

Only the family and those closest to it would know the reality but in the public mindset there is the firm impression that the family governs Punjab primarily to serve its own interests, ahead of those of the Akali Party, whilst the people of Punjab come a distant third.

Immense wealth brings with it huge responsibilities and, in most cases, philanthropy. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, two of the wealthiest persons in the world, have recently been encouraging other billionaires globally to donate large parts of their wealth to charity.  I am not sure whether they have so far sent such a request to Sukhbir Badal but I am certain that their worldwide initiative has not escaped your attention.

You now have an incredible opportunity to follow the philanthropic philosophy of Bill and Melinda Gates by making a pledge to donate 98% of your family’s wealth to charity. That would still leave sufficient wealth for several future generations, which would also benefit from the considerable opportunity for legitimate wealth creation.

By doing so, in one fell swoop, you would provide the perfect riposte to the countless allegations of corruption against the family. I am certain that the political advantages of such a move are not lost on you.

You are a short pen stroke away from becoming the Melinda Gates of Punjab.

Please grasp this opportunity and history might even be kind to your family.

Kind regards,

Yours sincerely,
Jassi Khangura MLA

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