Saturday, May 11, 2013

The unputdownable!

Subrata Roy Sahara should come out winning on all fronts in the current face-off with SEBI! And why the erroneous Supreme Court judgment against Sahara goes beyond Parliamentary Acts and is being misused by SEBI to its own benefit!

There are a few things about Subrata Roy Sahara that even his harshest critics accept. That the man is a visionary – his mammoth investments in media, housing, hotel, sports and other industries being compelling evidence. That his open assertions of being a patriot have their weight in the various behemoth social initiatives undertaken by his group – with no apologies to the slanted English media in India which, I feel, hypocritically slanders anyone who represents the ‘other’ India (lest you should forget, it was this very media that shamelessly reported gossip a few years ago about him being ‘critically ill’ and on his deathbed; no surprises then that the same English media chose to ignore reporting how sprightly he was while meeting UK Prime Minister David Cameron a few weeks back in a closed door meeting discussing educational and research initiatives). And yes, that the man religiously knows his numbers and has a financial acumen that is better than the combined intellect of all Indian regulators in the various industries where he operates.

There are a few things about India that even its damnedest supporters don’t deny. That the License Raj era spewed out a few handfuls of family businesses that shamelessly chewed away the very idea of India, criminally sucking it hollow by monopolising industries, encouraged by corruption soaked politicians – and encouraging them in return. That this venomous combination over the decades led to a jaundiced India that today has hundreds of millions of illiterate people below the poverty line; that has no global brands to speak of, but many billionaires borne out of the excesses of the License Raj era (I call most of them ‘blood billionaires’, given that they’ve made the money on the blood of Indians). That the same group of blood billionaires, in cahoots with a similar group of corrupt bureaucrats (regulators included) and politicians, have fought and will fight tooth and nail, criminally and illegally, to ensure that there is no new honest and ethical claimant to their industry space, especially if such an entrepreneur were from the proletariat.

That Subrata Roy Sahara titles himself as the Managing Worker of his group only adds to the ire of India’s caustic bourgeoisie, which, hand in hand with the English media, would be loath to have such an unabashed community representative of workers amongst their well ‘oiled’ and ‘greased’ group. So every time Subrata Roy Sahara and his likes attempt to tread the path of diligent and astute effort – assuming the same equated to returns – they’re pulled down acerbically and vindictively by the group representing the old, feudal India. You see, this group believes that only they know how India should be run and by whom. Look around and you’ll see many examples strewn across India of how honest upstarts have been trampled upon by the powers that be before they could gain ground – wherever there has been anyone attempting to improve the condition of India, they’ve had a horde of regulatory, tax, police and judicial bodies running up their door to initiate the so-called enquiries and ‘search’. The current face-off that Subrata Roy Sahara has with SEBI actually exemplifies all this too well. A group that has issued OFCDs (Optionally Fully Convertible Debentures) since the year 2001 with all relevant government permissions, and which has regularly submitted all details as required by the concerned government authorities, suddenly gets a prohibitory order from SEBI in November 2010 against the OFCDs issued by two unlisted group companies (Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd. and Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd.) – and this despite the fact that just seven months before that, SEBI had, through its own communication to Ministry of Corporate Affairs, commented that as these were unlisted companies and had not filed a draft red herring prospectus with SEBI, any complaint with respect to these two companies should be handled by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2013.
An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri
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