Sunday, November 23, 2003

The businessman of the decade
Jaspal Bhatti

ONE must spare some time to think about and praise Abdul Karim Telgi who made a personal fortune of more than 15000 crores by just producing fake stamp papers.

Those who are into making fake currency must have died of shame, wondering why such a brilliant idea didnít occur to them. People who are making duplicate wrist watches, jewellery or diamonds are feeling very petty and have been heard consoling each other, "Yaar, one should not be so greedy as Telgi. After all, God watches all of us."

I have learnt that Telgiís skill lies not in using technology but in the ability to bribe everyone. With his finesse in bribing, he could make friends from top grade politicians to top notch bureaucrats. He did not sensibly waste any time in trying to import printing technology or try to manufacture it indigenously. Instead he had the machinery at the Nashik Press declared junk and then simply purchased the same machinery in an auction.

Such were his skills of bribery that he created a false shortage of stamp papers in the Town Hall Office so that he could sell his own fake papers at a premium.

If we ignore some minor factors like the government exchequer losing a few thousand crores, it is easy to see the great contribution of Abdul Karim Telgi to the institution of bribery. What a great manipulator he must be to have managed to get the original painting dye from Nashik security press itself.

Telgi deserves the "businessman of the decade" award. But at the same time letís not forget to honour those politicians and policemen also who have stood by him in lean times.