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Philanthropy or a helipad?

November 1, 2010

Rashi Khilnani of the Indo-Canadian Report asks a provocative question on her Facebook page about Indians:

Are we humble or are we ostentatious? What does Mukesh Ambani’s home say about Indian values? Are Indo-Canadian values different?

c/o New York Times

This is in regard to the news that Indian industrialist and billionaire Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, has built a 27-story home in Mumbai – filled with hundreds of staff, parking garages, helipads, swimming pools, and more, all for a family of… FIVE!  My favorite quote from the New York Times article is from executive and actor Alyque Padamsee:  “I think people see it as a bit show-offy.”  A “bit”???

What do you think this says about Indian values?  Shouldn’t Ambani be directing some of his wealth to philanthropy?  Especially when the disparity between rich and poor in India is so stark?

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