The curse of growing up with power and money

I was having breakfast with my good friend Nitin Gadkari at his apartment in a building assigned to parliamentarians and legislators from Maharashtra when the subject turned to Rahul Mahajan.

He was on Big Boss 2 at the time and expressing the desire, on air, to contest elections after he got out of the show.

“I have to shut my eyes sometimes when I come up or go down the lift,’’ Gadkari said, flummoxing me completely. “You come and visit me sometime late evening and you will see what I mean.’’

“What do you mean?’’ I asked.

“Oh, there is a succession of girls in the skimpiest of clothes and outlandish make-up who go in and out of the flat above mine at all hours of the evening and night. I do not know how his family allows it.’’

“Whose family?’’ I asked still without a clue as to what he was talking about.

“Rahul Mahajan’s. He has the flat above mine and the liftmen here are driven crazy separating brawling, crying women and sending them home through the wee hours of the morning.’’

“Oh, then, that’s not good for your party’s image,’’ I said.

“The party’s image has nothing to do with him. He is just the son of a BJP leader, not even a member of our party. We might give his sister a ticket but he is simply nothing to us.’’

That is exactly what happened in the subsequent months. Even as Rahul waited for his father’s party to come through, the BJP wanted no part of the kind of spoilt brat that he had turned into. Not far from Gadkari’s mind that day was the thought that Rahul was being tried for a drug-related offence in a Delhi court and that his ex-wife had lodged allegations of wife-beating against the man.

Now amid allegations of wife-beating again from his second wife Dimpi, I felt utterly sorry for Rahul as I read he had once again expressed the desire to contest an election in 2014. “The BJP is in my blood,’’ he is reported to have said but clearly here that blood is no thicker than water. And when I think about it, I realise that Gadkari, who now has even more of a say in who gets a party ticket or no, is right to be wary of the kind of image that someone like Rahul brings to his late father’s party.

It was during that breakfast meeting, when I told him that the party might be dashing the hopes of the legitimate expectations of the son of a prominent leader in the party who had had an untimely demise, that Gadkari told me, “There are sons and sons. And daughters.’’ And left me to interpret that as I would.

But then, as now, I was reminded of what Rashmi Thackeray, wife of Bal Thackeray’s son Uddhav, had once told me in a rare moment of candour. She was sitting with me in Thackeray’s parlour, keeping me entertained as we waited for her husband to finish with his political duties and give me the interview I was seeking.

She would dearly have loved to open a boutique of designer crockery, she said but had decided to keep her desires and ambitions on hold as her two sons grew up. “I learnt this from Hema Deora, Murli Deora’s wife,’’ she said. “They have two sons as well and Hema told me that if your sons grow up badly, there is no amount of power and money on earth that can make that right. Girls, you have to watch for just a thing or two but boys have to be kept in strict check all the time lest all that power and money go to their heads. Drugs, women, everything bad follow and then not just theirs but even your life has gone for a toss.’’

I believe her two sons have grown up quite nicely — just as Hema Deora’s did (one son, Mukul, is a successful musician; the other, Milind, is a Member of Parliament). But then, as Gadkari had pointed out at the time, despite their fathers being in power almost all their growing life, Sharad Pawar’s daughter Surpiya and Vilasrao Deshmukh’s three sons had grown up with none of the problems that Rahul Mahajan brought to the table and they were assets to both their parents and their respective parties as poor Rahul could never be to his.

Over the years I have met many other politicians who have been terrified at the (negative) effect their power might have on their children and, like Maharashtra’s Home Minister RR Patil, have left them behind in the villages as the best way to prevent Bombay from getting under their skin.

Vilasrao Deshmukh, though, sent all his boys to school and college in Bombay but still shielded them from his power and money throughout. One is now a legislator, the second a film star and the third a successful businessman.

As for Supriya Sule, she once told me, “I desperately wanted to go to the disco like all my friends when I was 16. But my father wouldn’t give me the money and put his foot down. “You can do that when you are 21,” he said. `Until then your time will be better spent getting yourself an education and a degree.’ But by the time I was 21, I had lost the desire to disco.’’

But, then, she and many other politicians’ kids, including Rahul Mahajan’s own cousin Pankaja Munde, daughter of Gopinath Munde, have since danced their way into either parliament or the state legislature.

Gadkari had said something rather uncharitable to me about why Rahul Mahajan never would. And I think he was right.

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  • mahens

    Problem with Rahul Mahajan are at many folds. He does not know what to do with life. He has no job and does not worry to have one. Politicians spoil their kids that way by leaving enough money for them. Beating wife is not only uncivilized but also show that he has not be raised with proper value system or did not mind what ever was being told to him in his growing days. To me, it seems, he does not care about what other think about him. Media made him hero. If someone is beating his wife, there is no need to make it headline on the national media. if media learns to ignore such people, they have no life beyond media glare.


  • Sameer

    This what i hate about our people.

    Whats your problem Mr Gadkari. If you see girls coming out of house at time in the day. What is your problem.? Why don;t you Mind your own business.

    You lost desire to disco then do you expect whole India to loose interest.

    Vilasrao Deshmukh you do not tell me go and check in his hometown what they do. How much tax money has been spend to launch his son n movies which is worse crime than what rahul is doing.

    So many discounts to movie industry was given to make movies in Mumbai.

    Common speak from your heart.


    Heena Sharma Reply:

    The problem: Not the girls. But the wife beating, misogynist in the offing, attention *****, useless scum whose only claim to fortune seem to be the draconian laughter that can put many ugly corpses to shame and being born in an illustrious family whose member’s favorite pass time seem to be ‘let’s kill each other one morning. See who dies first!’


    Nikhil Reply:

    I hope some day the editors would stop looking to the scions of powerful politicians as our future legislators or parliamentarians. Only then we may not have to pay heed to the likes of Rahul Mahajan and wonder if they are worthy of our elected representatives or not. Anyone who rises on the basis of merit and not on the virtue of birth is what India needs, more so in its democractic institutions.


    Nikhil Reply:

    That sounds like many in the page-3 crowd who are feted as celebrities.


  • Saravanan


    Do some useful work rather than commenting like this.


  • cjaskjcbn

    Even though most of your posts are deeply partisan
    and pro establishment, you are spot on on this one,
    RM is a spoilt brat nothing less nothing more,
    who has not matured with age.
    The BJP is right in distancing itself from him.
    It was utterly disgraceful to see him first in the
    drug case and then in Eligible bachelor show
    lording over.
    Its most unfortunate that he didn’t grow up as illustrious or
    worldly wise as his father. I won’t be naive to expect he
    will change his ways. It is heartening to note that
    a majority of Politician kids at least from the ones
    you’ve mentioned have turned out to be decent human beings.


  • Praveen Saxena

    No quarrel with the Lady Reporter on this one, unless it is intended to drive a wedge between the Gadkaris and the Mahajans by going public with such personal conversation intended to be off the records.


  • bindu singh

    @ Sujata , you are absolutely right. this is not for the first time. The sons rather kids of the politicians take it for granted as it is their birth right . There is always a grey area of these so called well known people. The people like Rahul are more frequently picked up on headlines of media only because he is a son of a well established politician.Either of this sides,positive or negative makes sense in terms of newsvalue. And the people like us who are from media are well aquainted with this fact, but as a media person we hit these headlines for gaining TRP or readership. Apart from that we must give a resonable thinking to it that our young generation can be affected with showing such dubious character on the TV screens.’ Swamvar’ word reminders us straightway our holy epic ‘Ramayana’ in which Sita choose Ram through this ancient way of marrying. Rahul was flrting with girls on the show which was shown on screen . these sought of shows are complete disaster for the young generation. What messgae it gives.Do any thing wrong or right but even then one can have preveilge on getting media and then people attention.Not admirable.I am also surprised for the girls like dimpy. How could she or any other girl trust such man who doesnot know the meaning of relationship, trust and bonding. He was posing on the screen in the reality show as if he was a very well mannered , reformed and composed human being. Now it appears as that all was totally scripted one and getting married in this way is not at all be meaningful. It is also equally true that money , muscle and power together are antonyms to mannerism, morality and commitment.


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  • Dirgha Raj Prasai

    Respected Editor,
    Nepal is in danger position. When the traitors-Congress, UML, Maoist declared republic and secularism, China is coming with Communism for its security. If monarchy is not in Nepal, India also convert as a Communist country gradually. It was the great mistake of Indian diplomats and Nepalese power hunger agent of RAW and CIA. I think that you have read the news of Indian Army’s meeting. The secret of
    getting is ahead is getting started.’ A two-day secret meeting was held between
    Indian ambassador Jayanta Prasad, former and current Indian army generals at Lucknow
    headquarters, the infamous anti-Nepalese Indian Prof. S.D Muni, former
    ambassador K.B Rajan and leaders with keen interest on developments in Nepal
    but the former Ambassador of Nepal and former Secretary of Indian Govt. Shayam
    Saran-the most biased and anti monarchist, was not invited there. In the
    meeting Indian army generals blamed some Indian intellectuals for being
    responsible for widespread anti-Indian sentiment in Nepal. At the conference they said-
    ‘Nepalese people feel that Indian intervention has played a role in deposing
    the monarchy, and declaring Nepal
    a secular nation.’ They were concerned that it was against the interest of harmonious
    Nepal-India relationship. They suggested in moving ahead with serious concern. Expressing
    concern that the instability would pose a threat to Indian security the army
    generals suggested that the Nepalese Royal institution could also be

    But the traitors can’t realize the truth because the Maost leaders Prachanda and Baburam Bhattarai have double standard who are cheating India also. It was the open secret conspiracy of Indian side. It is a matter of grief, as a first Christian prime
    minister in Nepal, the
    technocrat Babauram Bhattarai is destroying Nepal. In the year of 2006 in Delhi, Bhattarai initiated
    12 point agreement that made Maoist, UML and Congress leaders and so on. Since
    then unbearable games like republic and secularism were begun in Nepal.
    In fact Baburam Bhattarai is guilty of acting against the state. Bhattarai is
    become criminal of ending the existence of Nepal on the direction of Indian
    intelligence, European countries and Christians. Being a catholic Christian, he
    wants Christianization of Nepal through the conflicts of ethnicity based
    federalism. Actually, no one traitor, except Baburam Bhattarai was in post of
    prime minister of Nepal.

    On the direction of Indian intelligence, scattered
    Madhesis leaders who are followers of India
    were gathered and 4 point agreement was made to be Dr. Bhattarai as a PM of Nepal. As he
    became prime minister just a day after 4 point agreement he initiated to
    incorporate 10000 Madeshis in Nepalese army, supported anti-national slogan
    ‘One Madhesh singe province’ and displaced national dress of Nepal. He decided
    to demolish the statue of Father of nation King Tribhuvan insulting him. King
    Tribhuvan has made great contribution in revolution of 2007 BS. He denied
    accepting national unity day and the birth occasion of the founder of big Nepal the great
    King Prithbinarayan Shah. He tried to implement AD instead of BS. He protected
    murderers, kidnappers and corrupts and incorporated in his cabinet. Actually
    Bhattarai obstructing formulation of constitution by CA pulled the country in
    drain just as newly born baby thrown in boiling water by a doctor.

    We Nepalese people
    should be aware against such anti-nationalist activities. His own party men are
    repeatedly saying that he is agent of Indian intelligence-RAW. Due to him Maoist
    party was spitted. Further he made dissolution of CA because of desire to
    continue his post of premiership with creating confusion. If he does not
    resign, on the basis of aforementioned facts he and his party’s
    Chairman-Prachanda should be punished by state. State means permanent organs of
    the nation like court, national army and Nepalese people. The Nepalese people no longer want the
    unconstitutional rule of these traitors- Maoists, Congress, UML, Madhesi. After
    the dead of CA, the constitutional provisions of 1990 constitution have been
    restored with monarchy automatically. So, to rescue this holy land from an
    imminent dark future all patriotic forces Nepalese monarchy and people, Nepal
    Army, the court and the chief organs of the state– must unite to commit
    themselves to save the pious nation.


  • Dirgha Raj Prasai

    Dear Editor and Readers !
    Why USA- the democratic nation is involving to intervene Nepal? US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake Jr has exposed about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission of Inquiry on The respected countries representatives should understand that Nepal is passing unconstitutionally after the experiment of CA. Then, why they compelled to pass the ordinance of–’Trust and Reconciliation Commission and Commission on Disappearances.’ which was forwarded by the government to the office of president by the government to the office of president on 28 August 2012. After the experiment of Constituent Assembly, the Interim Constitution and the PREZ and the head of the government the PM have already lost their existence. Now the president and PM have been exercising in futility in the name of so-called consensus. Is it not a naked intervention to the Nepalese Internal affairs? It is very shameful and regretting for all Nepalese people. It is a matter of grief that the democratic nations-the EU diplomats have directed exposed attacking to our internal affairs. And then it is very suspicious that secretly how had and have been involving these diplomats to destroy the Nepalese Hindu religious identities for Christianity with huge amount of money. So, we Nepalese people suggest them with requesting not do so according to the international diplomatic norms. It is not the good manner to the EU diplomats.
    They should understand thye international diplomatic norms.

    President Rambaran Yadav and PM
    Baburam Bhattarai have already lost their posts after the death of Constituent
    Assembly (CA). Their posts are not in existence. The dead interim constitution
    cannot secure the post of President, as well as Baburam’s post of PM. With the
    dissolution of the CA, the interim constitution was cremated. Down with persons
    willing to bargain off the country for power positions! So in a sense, Rambaran
    Yadav, who opened the gates of treason, is considered more fatal than the leader
    of treacherous acts–Baburam Bhattarai. So, this nonsense element should be
    removed immediately. Foreign powers especially-RAW, CIA and EU nations are
    investing their full energy to fulfill their selfish interests for
    establishment of Christianity in Nepal, and carry out the campaign
    of Free-Tibet. The republic setup is not in the interest of this country,
    instead it is fatal. We will honorably fight against such anti national
    injustice resonant in republic setup and secularism. So, all the organs of the
    state shall unite, and in accordance with the 1990 Constitution and in presence
    of the King, we shall strengthen this Hindu Kingdom.
    If not China will come with communism for its security. If Monarchy is in Nepal, China thinks its security. But in the name of republic, gradually, China comes with communism, then not only Nepal India also coverts as a anarchist-Communist nation in South Asia. So, the safe the democratic sense in this Zone, Monarchical democratic system should be maintain in Nepal for the sake of Nepal, India as well as China. It is the duty of all Nepalese, whether in political parties or outside, Nepal
    Army, and even the nationalists in the Maoists’ party to save this
    Please, send me comment with arguments.

    Thank you.
    Political Analyst-Nepal
    Dirgha Raj Prasai
    Kathmandu, Nepal


  • Plumbline

    2 Corinthians 5:17-18……….
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  • JB

    Pushing the hindu terror propaganda? We all know that’s a myth but I guess you’re oiling the Congress brainwash machine. Equating a few disgruntled hindus on a killing spree to a terror network’s like calling Taliban doe-eyed peaceniks since they offered recently to negotiate


  • Sehar

    Very nice article Mr. Chauhan…u r absolutely right…our politicians will not pay attention unless animals are given right to vote them in power..