Bad Boy Billionaires: India; 4 episodes (3 released); Documentary; Netflix, 2020.
By Neeraj Nanda
MELBOURNE, 6 October 2020: After winning a reprieve from the court to stream this docum entary, Netflix released three episodes of the four-part series on scam-hit Indian tycoons. There is a stay on the fourth part and hence not released.
The three episodes ‘The King of Good Times’ (on Vijay Mallya), ‘Diamonds Aren’t Forever’ (on Nirav Modi), and ‘The World’s Biggest Family’ (on Subrata Roy) make a chilling see and the fourth episode on Satyam’s Ramalinga Raju will enlighten us when released.
Vijay Mallya (liquor, airlines & Formula One), Nirav Modi (diamonds), and Subrata Roy (pyramid scheme) are no strangers to viewers but the minute details of their luxury lives and scam-ridden doings that made them symbols of corruption in the economically liberalized India speaks for itself.
These are stories that will reverberate the conscience of people for years to come. Hard-working people who toil for years and pay their taxes and deposit money in public sector banks feel cheated. Or, is this the way the neo-liberal economic system works? And, after the misdeed (or loot) escape to London or if you are jailed you are out on parole. That’s how it worked for these tycoons.
One day before I saw ‘The Panama Papers’, where private banks and shell companies helped tycoons siphon away massive money to tax heavens. Top banks and prominent names involved. Some heads rolled. One journalist in Malta died in a car bomb explosion. Not sure what happened next. The point is that in the Indian scams state-owned banks were involved and in Panama Papers global private banks. Does it matter who owns the banks?
There is not much comment in the episodes. Many of the interviews speak for themselves. The sordid facts themselves are reflective of what the system is. It’s stark and dark. Millions remain without daily necessities.
I am not detailing the facts in the three episodes. Please see the episodes and … The Panama Papers tell us 1 % of these fellow’s own 60 % of the world’s wealth. India’s figures might not surprise us.
I give this documentary 4 out of 5 stars.