Now comes a news report (Mumbai Mirror) about how an expat managed to tell tall stories about his bravery at the Taj Mahal Hotel, how he saved lives in the face of death. Not only was he feted by the UK media, but he even managed to rope in Prince Michael of Kent to be a patron for his charity purportedly to help the victims.
26/11 got registered in the international psyche, grabbed eyeballs and brought the world media at our doorstep. It would have been sensible for these media groups that had access to almost everyone who mattered to check on the veracity of the claims made by businessman Deepak Kuntawala and his father Vinay.
They managed to talk about saving 150 lives, making our police force and commandos look like fools. As Deepak told the press in Britain:
“No-one knew what to do, so I took charge. We tore up the curtains and any material we could get our hands on. I made people get into four teams and pretty quickly we had our makeshift ropes ready. We tied them to pillars. People were fighting to go down first. But I restored calm and made sure people got down OK, starting with the elderly and then the women. It took 30 minutes.”
He received an award in India too because we are such a shameless bunch of still-colonised-in-our-minds people that anyone who lauds us in the West has got to be right. Some celebrities are concerned that the Prince got taken in. As far as I can see this prince is one of the satellites of British monarchy and ‘doing good’ is part of the portfolio, whether it is talking to plants or collecting being nice baubles. It must have seemed so, er, charitable to host a charity evening at Kensington Palace on the anniversary. 2,50,000 pounds were pledged in support of the DVK Foundation, which incidentally is an acronym for the businessman’s name and clearly indicates he is on an ego trip.
Why did the celebrities agree to be a part of this? Why did an event management group help organise the event? What was the Indian government doing when all this was being rattled off to the media and the man was taking away bravery citations?
Worse, he has lied about how he saw the gunmen in a boat off the Gateway. What if the intelligence agencies decided to probe this angle? It would have been totally misleading.
Even today as he stands exposed, it is the glitterati that will be in the news about a lesser celebrity, a bit like the gate-crashing incident at the White House. They will talk about how they, poor souls, fell prey because they were so emotionally distraught.
The neat hierarchy will remain. This, indeed, is an open and shut case, isn’t it, dahlins?