There you are again. Reading this column after a long gap. You might be wondering what has been happening in the Capital all this while. Well, well, the last few weeks were so full of drama and excitement! So, what was it, you would ask. Well, first it was a scamster who made news. But this scamster happened to be linked to the Delhi Vidhan Sabha. So, he made bigger news. Yeah, we are talking about that half-bald, chubby cheek Malhotra whom most of us hadn’t seen till the other day. This guy – Ashok Malhotra to be precise – has got a big tummy and the Central Bureau of Investigation sleuths suspected the tummy was full of land plots illegally acquired and later on sold at hefty prices.
The CBI men raided Malhotrs’s house and recovered a truckload of papers that they said was evidence of Malhotra’s misdeeds. Then suddenly Malhotra disappeared from the picture leaving behind (a) the CBI sleuths beating their own trumpet and piecing together the evidence (b) the prying journos putting forth their conspiracy theories (c) enterprising news channels incessantly harping on this story and, (d) of course, the general public speculating about the possible outcome of this thrilling episode that had become a sort of soap opera thanks to a dozen news channels.
From city’s cheap tea stalls to plush offices every nook and cranny of the Capital was buzzing with the ‘M’ word, though the fact was that most of the viewers had not seen the hero of this soap opera and in all likelihood could not have recognised the baldy even if he sat beside them in a bus or in any restaurant. Then suddenly one fine morning within a few days of his disappearance (the CBI had procured non-bailable warrants against Malhotra during this while) the chubby guy appeared on a private news channel for the benefit of all waiting for him, offering to surrender before the CBI. This was the first darshan that our hero gave to the public.
Mr. Malhotra refuted all charges levelled against him as a team of journalists questioned him about the matter and his sudden disappearance. The CBI men hung around outside the office of the television channel and patiently waited for Malhotra to finish his interview. Then, finally he came out and CBI took him into custody and we have not heard of him since then. Although, everyone was expecting that Malhotra would disclose names of some political bigwigs but nothing has happened so far. The Chholegate has not proved any politician’s Watergate (as everyone including the know-all journalists was expecting). It did cause ripples in the Delhi Cabinet and at one point it seemed that heads are about to roll but nothing of the sort happened. A couple of weeks later, it’s business as usual in the Delhi Secretariat. A wise man whispered in my ear “Yeh hai Dilli meri jaan.” Right he is. We cannot go to such an extent in copying the West.