My friend, who lives on the 21st floor and has a business empire which makes Orkay and Vimal look like sari shops at Marine Lines, is worried enforcement branches of the government.
When I called on him this morning, he said. "Oh, it's only you. When you rang the bell and the butler went to open it for a moment I thought it would be the officers or the revenue intelligence departments."
"Heavens forbid," I said. "You are not expecting them are you!"
"Why shouldn't I expect them!" my friend said, taking some receipts of money deposited in a Hong Kong bank and putting them alongside money deposited in the Chase Manhattan. "Am I any smaller than the Mehras and the Kirloskars that I should not be raided! In fact, I should have been raided first, then all the other." You don't really want to be raided," I said.
"All industrialists want to be raided, it is a matter of prestige and status," my friend said. "If you are not raided and incriminating documents are not found on you, you are not an industrialist that counts."
"I had no idea industrialists were so keen to be raided," I said.
"There is not industrialist who does not want a raid at this juncture in the country's economy," my friend said spreading out his foreign exchange dealings in Japan on the table. "I would not be surprised if the Kirloskars used their influence to get the DRI to look into their FERA. These days influence and money talk in New Delhi."
" I see, there are wheels within wheels," I said.
"Yes," said my friend. "Many of the old fashioned business houses like the Tatas and Bombay Dyeing, who never in their history dealt through anybody except the Central Bank of India are appointing experts to see how they can bring the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence come knocking on their doors."
"I hope they succeed," I said. "I hate these new upstart companies taking away all the limelight from the solid old business houses of the past.'
"It is a dog-eat-dog world," my friend said," otherwise some of them would not be sitting in police stations, basking in publicity while real industrialists like myself are still sitting at home waiting for the raid."
"I hope you are investigated soon," I said.
"I hope so also," my friend said," "Do you realise I cannot get my son married till there is a raid. How many guests will come to the reception of an industrialist who has been ignored by the DRI!"