In a controversial remark, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday slammed a section of the country's upper class for their lack of sensitivity towards the society and likened them to “rotten potatoes.”
Malik, who is known for making controversial statements ever-since he took over as the Governor of the restive Himalayan state in August, said, “The big segment of society in this country, those who are wealthy — in Kashmir, politicians and bureaucrats are all wealthy — do not have any sensitivity towards society. They do not do charity of even a single rupee.”
“But there are a few like this in the upper classes. Please do not take it badly, I consider them sade se aalu (rotten potatoes), not human beings," he said while addressing a function of the state's Sainik Welfare Society in Jammu.
In a veiled attack at Reliance owner Mukesh Ambani, the Governor said, “One of the richest men in the country spent Rs 700 crore in his daughter’s wedding, but donated nothing for charity.”
“The owner of Microsoft does charity of his 99% wealth. In Europe, and in other countries, they do charity. But he (Ambani) says he does not do charity, but adds to the wealth of the country. Does he increase the wealth of the country by spending Rs 700 crore on the wedding of his daughter?" Malik questioned.
Elaborating further, he said, the money the billionaire spent for his daughter's lavish wedding ceremony could have been used for opening 700 schools in Jammu and Kashmir or given to 7,000 widows of slain Army personnel to raise their children.
The outspoken Governor added that society is not formed due to the upper classes, but farmers, working class people, those working in industries and men in the armed forces.
Last month, Malik dropped a hint that he may be transferred from his post as his statements continue to create controversies in the state. “As long as I’m here — it’s not in my hands — I don’t know when I will be transferred from here. I will not lose my job, but the threat of transfer is there,” he had said after making a statement that had he listened to the Centre, the Peoples Conference (PC) leader Sajajd Lone would have been the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir.