Friends with benefits: Lalit Modi’s only a customer of India’s ‘who-you-know’ culture

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The BJP’s biggest problem with L’affaire Lalit is that Indians know a favours-trading during a heart of this liaison distant improved than they know 2G spectrums or buying scandals in counterclaim deals. But a BJP’s opposition’s biggest problem with L’affaire Lalit is that 9 out of 10 Indians would have substantially finished a same if they had been in Lalit Modi’s position. So while a Congress wants to keep adult a feverishness on a other Modi, it can frequency design a tsunami of open outrage. It’s a good thing that Modi and his threats of some-more revelations has bust open a friendly back-scratching sequence between a abounding and a absolute with other abounding and absolute though we’d be hypocrites to fake we are not concerned during all. Let’s not upset some schadenfreude with moral indignation. We competence be tiny grill though we come from a same multitude as a large fish and float in a same ghastly waters. “Size badey hai, yeh hi farak hai,” as Azam Khan memorably pronounced once in another context.

We are not a multitude that is formed not on a affability of strangers. We are unequivocally resolutely a multitude formed on who-you-know. We magnitude a arise by multitude mostly by wealth, generally unexplained wealth. But it should unequivocally be totalled by a merger of connections. Wealth is only one phenomenon of a brilliance of a connections. We were a LinkedIn multitude prolonged before that thought became a company.

File design of Lalit Modi. Getty ImagesFile design of Lalit Modi. Getty Images

File design of Lalit Modi. Getty Images

We live in a nation where all is formed on relationships. And it has always been. We needed, searched for and cherished connectors of all sorts – a landline phone connection, a gas connection, a propagandize acknowledgment connection. Connections get we to a conduct of line. Actually it ensures we do not have to mount in a line during all. Connections get we a answers we need from a babu who would differently not give we a time of a day. Connections concede we to bypass laws, permits and licenses. You wish to erect your residence in a approach that flouts and tweaks building codes in your area? Do we have a tie in a metropolitan corporation? You need a No Objection Certificate from a government? Do we have a tie in a ministry? Confused about unfamiliar sell regulations before your daughter goes abroad to study? Don’t we wish your tie during a bank had not late final year? We assiduously favour and maintain these connectors since they are value their weight in gold.

The problem is we need these tie not only to bypass laws or get undue favours. We need them to get what is due to us by law. Just perplexing to get elementary answers about a treacherous skill taxation check from a metropolitan house we was told “Oh do we have a tie inside? Otherwise you’ll never even get to a right person.” You need connectors to get your building assent clearance, your widow’s grant or a pursuit interview. Most of us have during one indicate or a other used those connections. And all of us, many positively have wished we had them. After dual days of using from opposite to opposite in a rabbit warren of a metropolitan house we would be fibbing to contend we didn’t wish we could accidentally dump a mayor’s name to jerk to courtesy a proxy who was presumably in assign of my sentinel and a skill taxes.

Should any of us be astounded that when he was held in a gummy conditions Lalit Modi incited to his “connections” for help? Tavleen Singh writes “I would like to contend (Lalit Modi’s) preference to ‘abscond’ was what we would have done in his position” and charges that instead of a genuine box opposite him “the Enforcement Directorate has strike him with allegations and innuendoes.”

If anything there is substantially some tacit indebtedness for Lalit Modi about how good he played this diversion and a extent of his connectors from Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje to Rajiv Shukla and Sharad Pawar. He even tweeted “Happy to accommodate a Gandhi family… in London. we had run into Robert and Priyanka separately.” The indignant Congress responded that it was not a crime to run into anyone in a grill and no amicable communication happened. But a indicate of that twitter was different. How many of us reading that twitter only occur to “run into” Robert and Priyanka in a restaurant? The subtext of Lalit Modi’s twitter was unequivocally to remind us that embattled or not, he stays magnificently well-connected. And to remind a Congress that people in potion houses should not chuck stones.

If anything, what a Indian open has a harder time stomaching about Lalit Modi is, as Indrajit Hazra writes in his column, “his many dishonourable crime seems to be that he’s carrying a good time.” The refugee allegedly on a run is happy to give interviews from Montenegro with yachts on a Adriatic Sea bobbing behind him. The father who requests favours from tip politicians to accompany his cancer-stricken mother to a sanatorium in Portugal posts cinema of himself merrymaking on his Instagram account. “The fact that Modi was not sensitively praying during a Portuguese bend of a Guruvayur Temple flattering many nailed his shame for many,” writes Hazra.

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Does that meant zero wrong happened? Absolutely not. When Tavleen Singh writes “Sushma and Vasundhara were right to assistance a friend, What they did wrong was to distortion about it” she glosses over a fact that while we competence know because Sushma and Vasundhara competence wish to “help” a friend, that does not indispensably make it “right”. That depends wholly on a assistance being sought.

This is not a counterclaim of Lalit Modi and his connectors during all though unequivocally an complaint of a complement that creates his kind of connection-building one of a top aspirations. As good as a best word during uneasy times. The annoying law is had we been in Modi’s position, many of us would have wished that a Call-a-Friend helpline had someone like Sushma Swaraj or Vasundhara Raje during a other end. And they would contend not “Lock kiya jae?” though “Manage ho jayega”.

To misquote William Shakespeare, Lalit Modi seems to taunt us “The fault, dear Indian, is not in a VIP stars, But in yourselves, that we are underlings.”