Less fortunate are those who haven’t stayed at a 5-star hotel. And hardly there would be a person who would not like to spend a day or a night at a starred hotel. Politicians and journalists frequent these 5 stars on a daily basis, almost. Aren’t 5 star hotels then the second home for ministers and editors! No matter how tall, well-located a 5 star hotel is, for them the luxury building’s seductive and juicy ambience are a mass of hexagonal waxen cells, formed by bees. Yes, I mean a honeycomb, used by them to hold their honey and eggs.
But look at this. Some greedy news channels intercepted a link in Tuesday’s Indian Express that carried a story about External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna and his deputy Shashi Tharoor making suites at Maurya and the Taj their temporary homes. At the end of the day, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee stood before the camera like a police inspector driving the two ministers out of Delhi’s 5 star hotels. The fact that the government houses allotted to Krishna and Tharoor were not in state where the high-profile duo could move in was malafidely played down.
I am afraid if Pranab Da or anyone else in the government would be aware of the fact that Tharoor just had many sleepless nights in the southern city of Kochi because of non-living conditions, where after he was pleasantly forced to share among his friends: “If mosquitoes had a vote I’d win every election in Kochi!”
Today, The Indian Express went into self-patting after Krishna and Tharoor were dictated terms by their high command. But, when contacted, Tharoor told Greater Voice: “Ironically, the question of my stay at the Taj was raised by J. Lukose of Manorama TV and answered more than two months ago! It was on my website for weeks.”
“I have been pushing hard for my official residence to be made ready. I would much prefer a home to a hotel – wouldn’t everybody? I would be ashamed if I was spending the people’s money. But I’m not – I’m spending my own savings.”
Senior journalist Barkha Dutt echoes my views that the government hasn’t made a rational or consistent point in reprimanding the ministers. “Yes, ostentatiousness is crass and unworthy. But every individual sets his/her own bar and as long as it’s well earned money, who cares?”