In the early hours of Wednesday body of Café Coffee Day (CCD) founder VG Siddhartha was found by a group of fisherman on the banks of Netravati River in Karnataka, far away from the bridge where he was last seen. Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada Sasikanth Senthil said, “A body has been found and it appears to be of Cafe Coffee Day owner VG Siddhartha.” The body was then sent to Mangaluru for medical formalities.
While prayers for the deceased flew in from around the nation, several sections of the media, like in case of every other unfortunate incident were fast to come in push their agenda riding on the sympathy wave for the deceased entrepreneur. Nonetheless, as more details are coming into light the meek attempts by these ‘journalists’ also stand exposed.
According to reports, VG Siddhartha had left from Bengaluru to Sakleshpur in Hassan district on Monday afternoon but asked had asked driver to turn towards Mangaluru en-route; Basavraj Patel, the driver in a statement had claimed that Siddhartha told him he was going on a walk near the bridge and also asked him to wait at a distance.
A letter, allegedly written by VG Siddhartha had also surfaced in which he had said, “I would like to say I gave it my all. I am sorry to let down all the people that put their trust in me.” The letter also read, “There was a lot of harassment from the previous DG income tax in the form of attaching our shares on two separate occasions to block our Mindtree deal and then taking position of our Coffee Day shares, although the revised returns have been filed by us. This was very unfair and has led to a serious liquidity crunch.” The letter concluded, “My intention was never to cheat or mislead anybody. I have failed as an entrepreneur. This is my sincere submission. I hope someday you will understand, forgive and pardon me.”
Though investigations on the authenticity of the letter are underway, nonetheless, Lutyens journalists have molded this distressing incident into an anti-government narrative in a bid to peddle their political agenda.
Controversial journalist Rajdeep Sardesai had tweeted “If VG Siddhartha letter is genuine (yet to be verified), then it only confirms what bizmem have been saying for a while now: tax terrorism is taking us back to the past, retarding investment/growth. And if this can happen to the son in law of SM Krishna, gods help small bizmen.”
If VG Siddhartha letter is genuine (yet to be verified), then it only confirms what bizmem have been saying for a while now: tax terrorism is taking us back to the past, retarding investment/growth. And if this can happen to the son in law of SM Krishna, god help small bizmen.
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) July 30, 2019
Another journalist Shekhar Gupta had tweeted “VG Siddhartha is a hard-working, understated & cheerful entrepreneur. Let’s hope he’s ok & wish SM Krishna family the best. India’s entrepreneurial climate, however, is turning toxic by the day, with tax terror & over-criminalisation added to an economic collapse we keep denying”
VG Siddhartha is a hard-working, understated & cheerful entrepreneur. Let’s hope he’s ok & wish SM Krishna family the best. India’s entrepreneurial climate, however, is turning toxic by the day, with tax terror & over-criminalisation added to an economic collapse we keep denying
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) July 30, 2019
By these tweets, it is clear that based on the unverified letter both the journalists have taken this incident and tried to push the sole responsibility of the incident on the government. However, it is to note that these are the same journalists who have in the past have tried to corner the government for its efforts to tackle Loan defaulters like Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi while they were fast to call this incident a result of ‘tax terrorism’.
These journalists while blaming the authorities have conveniently left out the financial details around the sad sequence of events. Along with growing his business from an annual turnover of 6 crores to a total 2500 crores, the company had also acquired a debt of around 6547.38 crores and as stated in the letter allegedly written by the CCD founder; he was under pressure from the creditors over repayment of the dues. Any possibility cannot be ruled out however this high debt and pressure over repayment might have had an adverse effect on the psyche of VG Siddhartha; however several reports of financial inaccuracies on part of VG Siddhartha have also emerged.
The IT Department has also indicated that the firm owed around 650 crores in tax and clarified that shares were attached to protect the revenue. “The provisional attachment was made to protect the interest of revenue out of the income admitted by assessees (Siddhartha and Coffee Day Enterprises) based on credible evidence gathered in search action,” IT department had said in a letter.
Nonetheless these meek attempts of several journalist surely stand exposed as they use this unfortunate incident to peddle their agendas, While entrepreneurs are always at a risk for losing out on their venture and maybe even forced into borrowing more sums of money to keep their venture alive; these circumstances point towards a possible suicide which is surely not the way out.