It seems that an amnesia epidemic has afflicted several affluent youngsters across the nation. Rich brats race around recklessly in swanky cars, violating traffic rules, and when stopped by a policeman, insolently ask if he knows who their father is?
Now, the traffic constable has no clue as to who could have sired such an impertinent twit. It takes a while for the befuddled cop to realise that this is a rhetorical question designed to instil awe in the minds of minions used to genuflecting before wealth and power. The policeman quivers at the prospect of being suspended by his superiors for having had the temerity to haul up the son of an important man. He apologises for this folly and salutes as the smug brat speeds off, unpunished.
In rare cases, when the constabulary refuse to kowtow before arrogant youngsters, this makes their influential fathers very angry indeed. A recent drive by the Mumbai police against tinted car windows resulted in a senior policeman’s son being stopped for violating the law. Bruised egos came into play and a nasty blame game ensued.
Increasingly, we read of rich kids getting embroiled in ugly public spats. Two feisty girls, when reprimanded for dancing drunk in a private area of an exclusive Mumbai bar, chose to hurl bottles and abuse rather than apologise. Last week, a pair of young punks tossed a can out of a speeding BMW in upscale Bandra.
When an irate citizen pointed out their misdemeanour, the duo proceeded to give the do-gooder a memorable pummelling. While these delinquents made front-page news, their parents attempted damage control either by placating the media or by paying off the injured parties.
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As Indians, we work hard to create wealth intending to leave it all to our kids. This has given a generation of moneyed youth a sense of enormous entitlement. Rather than be industrious, they are progressively reliant on their parents’ riches. Ironically, the very parents who mollycoddled their kids and instilled this sense of arrogance and entitlement, suffer a backlash.
Ever more, we learn of nasty disputes arising between siblings and parents over sharing of the family fortune. Some money-grubbing offspring have no compunction in throwing their aged parents out of home since they believe that the roof they jointly reside under rightfully belongs to them.
Nepotism is rife. Be they politicos, filmstars or business tycoons, doting Indian parents ensure their children grow up with a silver spoon. However, in the recent elections, we witnessed the progeny of several netas lose their deposits. We have seen flashy young industrialists run their family-built empires into the ground. Star sons and daughters need to prove their own box-office mettle and can’t piggyback on their parents’ popularity forever.
A few wealthy scions still manage to coast through life without a care. But for most brats, reality bites hard when they realise that
daddy can no longer bail them out of yet another mess.