- India's Billionaires- some details
A very interesting story on India 's caste issues...
Forbes magazine has put out a list of the world's 1,210 billionaires.
Fifty-five of them are Indians. A billion dollars is Rs. 4,480 crore. A Baniya is a member of the Vaish caste, originating mainly from Rajasthan and Gujarat. They are under 1% of India 's population. Yet, 26 of them 55 are baniyas!
India's richest man is a Baniya (Lakshmi Mittal, world's sixth richest with $31.1 billion),
India 's second richest man is a Baniya (Mukesh Ambani, $27 billion),
India 's third richest man is a Khoja (Azim Premji, $16.8 billion),
India 's fourth richest men are Baniyas (Shashi and Ravi Ruia, $15.8 billion),
India 's fifth richest person is a Baniya (Savitri Jindal, $13.2 billion),
India 's sixth richest man is a Baniya (Gautam Adani, $10 billion),
India 's seventh richest man is a Baniya (Kumar Mangalam Birla, $9.2 billion),
India 's eighth richest man is a Baniya (Anil Ambani, $8.8 billion
India 's ninth richest man is a Baniya (Sunil Mittal, $8.3 billion).
India 's 10th richest man is a Parsi (Adi Godrej, world's 130th richest with $7.3 billion).
Score: Baniyas 8, Rest of India 2.
The list has 16 Rajasthanis, and 13 Gujaratis. Every single Rajasthani is from one caste, Vaish, though they are from two faiths: Hindu and Jain.
Only Gujarat is capable of producing billionaires drawn from four different faiths-Hindu, Parsi, Jain and Muslim-and three different castes: Baniya, Khatri and peasant.
Gujaratis don't have the numbers to dominate its democratic politics. But businesses are not run in democratic fashion. And to rise, you need quality not quantity.
The heartland of India, where our quantity resides, is missing from this list. Bihar, Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh have little or no representation and this does not surprise us.
Two final observations. India's greatest businessman is not on this list. Why is that? It is because Ratan Tata owns less than 1% of Tata Sons. He is exceptional in every way.
Some of you may wonder why Pallanjee Mistri with his wealth of around $6.00 Billion does not feature in the top ten?
That's because he is an Irish citizen.
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