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The Largest Home In The World
October 29, 2010 9:08 AM   Subscribe

The newest and most exclusive residential tower for this city’s superrich is a cantilevered sheath of steel and glass soaring 27 floors into the sky. The parking garage fills six levels. Three helipads are on the roof. There are terraces upon terraces, airborne swimming pools and hanging gardens in a Blade Runner-meets-Babylon edifice overlooking India’s most dynamic city. There are nine elevators, a spa, a 50-seat theater and a grand ballroom. Hundreds of servants and staff are expected to work inside. And now, finally, after several years of planning and construction, the residents are about to move in. All five of them.

The family will occupy about 400,000 square feet, making it the largest home in the world.

Pictures
posted by Joe Beese (84 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh hey, I have a model of that on my desk. Oh wait, it's just a bunch of junk stacked up, my mistake.
posted by ghharr at 9:12 AM on October 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


I'll bet a few dozen squatters could move in and not be discovered for months.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:13 AM on October 29, 2010


A billion dollars and they chose to live in a postmodernist Radisson. There's no accounting for taste.
posted by theodolite at 9:16 AM on October 29, 2010 [12 favorites]


Could be worse; could be designed by Frank Gehry.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:17 AM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I thought this sentence in the article was telling:

"Of the two brothers, Anil is the more flamboyant and outgoing, while Mukesh is hung like a sparrow on a cold winter's day, and is compensating for his chronic insecurities by building a 27-story house for himself."
posted by MuffinMan at 9:19 AM on October 29, 2010 [9 favorites]


Previously, and I'll just repost my comment from that thread.

More than 25% of Indians earn below the Government set poverty-line ($0.40 per day) and more than 80% live on less than $2 per day.

The richest 10% have 33% of the wealth. This guy is worth $43 billion dollars. I wonder how much of that wealth stems directly from his hard work, and how much comes from the structural (or intentional) exploitation of the poor.

Building a house for nearly $2 billion is obscene when more than 250 million Indians live in abject poverty. I can't quite express how thoroughly disgusted I am.

posted by knapah at 9:20 AM on October 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


Where's the "richasshole" tag?
posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:20 AM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


You could put 235 copies of my modest sized 3 bedroom house inside that.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:22 AM on October 29, 2010


Mr. Ambani, his wife, Nita, and their three children are expected to move into the building after a housewarming party with 200 guests scheduled for Nov. 28.

After the party, only 192 could be found, and police were called in to locate the 8 lost party-goers, assumed to have discarded their map to the exits.

Also, this makes me think of Fiddler's Green in Land of the Dead, but a worse occupant:employee ratio, and it's not surrounded by the walking dead.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:23 AM on October 29, 2010


Where's the "richasshole" tag?

Rich asshole, or richest asshole?
posted by filthy light thief at 9:23 AM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


I hope the $2 billion went in to things like construction that employs people, rather than multi-thousand dollar gold-plated toilets and the like.
posted by maryr at 9:25 AM on October 29, 2010


Speaking of the richest asshole (or, you know, the second-richest now), a recent 60 Minutes segment showed how Bill and Melinda Gates concentrate their time and money on maternal and child health issues and other basic health needs... in India.
posted by Madamina at 9:28 AM on October 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


Okay, who read this and less than five paragraphs into it thought "Arcology!" from SimCity 2000?
posted by Old'n'Busted at 9:28 AM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I hope the $2 billion went in to things like construction that employs people, rather than multi-thousand dollar gold-plated toilets and the like.

Clearly, you missed the part about the snow room.

There are plans to include an ice room in the center space, where the Ambanis could sit on a hot Mumbai day to cool off in a man-made snow flurry.
posted by Madamina at 9:33 AM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bill and Melinda Gates concentrate their time and money on maternal and child health issues and other basic health needs... in India.

Except that $100,000,000 he spent building his own 66,000 sq. ft. house.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:34 AM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


You could put 235 copies of my modest sized 3 bedroom house inside that.

You could put over 500 copies of my (actually pretty spacious for 2 people) city apartment inside that.

But probably more damning? You could probably put over 1000 copies of the average 5-person Indian family's home inside of that.
posted by explosion at 9:35 AM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Okay, who read this and less than five paragraphs into it thought "Arcology!" from SimCity 2000?

I went to another place

posted by The Whelk at 9:37 AM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


the outside is incredibly ugly and the inside looks like a casino.. fail.
posted by supermedusa at 9:38 AM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


The Forbes link has a picture that makes it look like shipping containers welded together.
posted by boo_radley at 9:50 AM on October 29, 2010


So someone went to a Grand Hyatt and thought "I could live here!"?
posted by The Whelk at 9:53 AM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can understand indulgence when you're super rich, but this seems a bit much.
posted by nomadicink at 9:53 AM on October 29, 2010


the outside is incredibly ugly and the inside looks like a casino...

which about describes what it takes to be worth 27 billion dollars in a nation of paupers.
posted by ennui.bz at 9:55 AM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just want to say I'm now feeling a lot better about that whole Columbia Tower family thread from a few days back. Perspective, sweet.
posted by chaff at 9:56 AM on October 29, 2010


> A billion dollars and they chose to live in a postmodernist Radisson.

After the first two or three slides, I expected to see a full-time 40-piece orchestra devoted to playing softer, smoother versions of jazz classics revived by adult contemporary/smooth jazz master Kenny G.
posted by darth_tedious at 10:01 AM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Except that $100,000,000 he spent building his own 66,000 sq. ft. house.

Mostly due to Windows license fees on all the electronic gadgets within.


Is this building better or worse than five giant McMansions taking up acres of land? It's certainly not attractive to look at, but is it blending in with a bunch of other tall ugly buildings in the area?
posted by mikepop at 10:08 AM on October 29, 2010


This is like something out of River of Gods, which was published in 2004. I guess Ian McDonald should hang out his shingle as a soothsayer. Man, the future is gonna suck.
posted by Quietgal at 10:33 AM on October 29, 2010


I don't know what everyone's problem is. I live by myself in a 32 story glass tower with lava pouring over the sides and there's nothing wrong with that.

Need to cut down on the Minecraft.
posted by charred husk at 10:34 AM on October 29, 2010 [11 favorites]


Any guesses as to when bonfires stoked by the furniture tossed from above will illuminate the family swinging from the eaves as the peasants cheer from below?
posted by pianomover at 10:38 AM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


What is the tax system like in India? I ask because this thing looks purpose-built to function as a home masquerading as huge business deduction.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:38 AM on October 29, 2010


Is this building better or worse than five giant McMansions taking up acres of land?

Worse. Definitely worse. There's something extremely obscene about flaunting your wealth when there are a lot of poor people living on your street. In Mumbai, possibly more than most large cities in South Asia, that is likely to be literally true.
posted by bardophile at 10:38 AM on October 29, 2010


McMansions definitely do not flaunt wealth. Bad taste on the other hand.
posted by pianomover at 10:40 AM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Versailles was pretty impressive when it was built. Hey what happened to the family that lived there?
posted by geoff. at 10:43 AM on October 29, 2010 [9 favorites]


I wonder what sort of security they have built into this place. My sense of awe for what peasants won't rebel over is continually renewed.

The future I worry about is where technology becomes so powerful that when a thousand, ten thousand, a hundred-thousand or more naked and starving wretches rise up and lash out they are utterly ineffectual and easily neutralized.
posted by Shit Parade at 10:45 AM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Man will not be free until the last king is hung with the entrails of the last priest"
posted by pianomover at 10:50 AM on October 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


SP, Hiram Maxim fixed that for you back in the 1880s.

*sadface*
posted by nonlocal at 10:55 AM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


you saw this on yahoo, too??!
posted by ReWayne at 11:00 AM on October 29, 2010


I hope the $2 billion went in to things like construction that employs people, rather than multi-thousand dollar gold-plated toilets and the like.

Well, those toilets and gold also had to come from somewhere that employs people. To my mind, the thing to be outraged about here is that someone amassed $2 billion, not that they spent it, because if they spent it, that's money they don't have that someone else worse off does.
posted by Copronymus at 11:02 AM on October 29, 2010


What is the tax system like in India?

The what system?
posted by atrazine at 11:05 AM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


What is the tax system like in India?

The what system?


No, no, no. You mean:

The tax what?
posted by bardophile at 11:24 AM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


What is the outrage here? That some rich guy has the audacity to build a crazy mansion near so many poor people? Would it be better if he built in Bel Air instead?
posted by 2N2222 at 11:28 AM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


2N2222: Yes and no. On the one hand, the contrast is a big part of the insult here. On the other hand, the more outrageously obvious the rich-poor divide becomes, the more likely that it will finally become unacceptable? I hope?
posted by bardophile at 11:32 AM on October 29, 2010


What is the outrage here? That some rich guy has the audacity to build a crazy mansion near so many poor people? Would it be better if he built in Bel Air instead?

The juxtaposition would be less obscene, but it would still be abhorrent.
posted by knapah at 11:33 AM on October 29, 2010


I think the obscene part is the amount of money one man has compared to his society.
posted by dibblda at 11:34 AM on October 29, 2010


To my mind, the thing to be outraged about here is that someone amassed $2 billion, not that they spent it

You mean, $27 billion? Yeah, I'd say he has a bit of money left over.
posted by kaspen at 11:39 AM on October 29, 2010


Bill and Melinda Gates concentrate their time and money on maternal and child health issues and other basic health needs... in India.
Except that $100,000,000 he spent building his own 66,000 sq. ft. house.


Though when you're talking about insanely rich people like the Gates, $100M is pocket change. Last I read, they're estimated to have given close to $30 *billion* to charitable causes to date.
posted by aught at 11:45 AM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mukesh Ambani was being felicitated at a newspaper's business awards ceremony recently and I was struck by a couple of his replies during the Q&A; to a question on whether the Indian elite should emulate the philanthropic efforts in the West, he curtly replied that the ground realities in India were different; and to a softly-lobbed Q on wealth concentration, he said that his wealth was mostly on paper (i.e. stocks). That's not how it looks from here.
posted by Gyan at 11:47 AM on October 29, 2010


And it still looks like a council estate in Bermondsey.
posted by londonmark at 11:53 AM on October 29, 2010


Why would anyone be insulted by the new rich guy on the block for merely being the new rich guy on the block?

And why is this rich-poor divide so unacceptable? Did his wealth doesn't come at the expense of the poor. Or is it only unacceptable if the poor actually have to see the rich?

FWIW, the location of the mansion isn't exactly among a slum. If it is, it's a slum where I couldn't afford to live, at $10,000+ per square meter.

Why is being rich obscene?

I can accept that they building may be ugly. But that he had the gall to build his castle in India? Or at all? Is that really such an offense?
posted by 2N2222 at 11:53 AM on October 29, 2010


One has to admire the faint, despairing nods towards ethics and taste.

Eg from the Forbes slideshow:
Hanging vertical gardens dot the exterior. While they make for good decoration, their key function has to do with energy efficiency: The hydroponic plants, grown in liquid nutrient solutions instead of soil, lower the energy footprint of the home by absorbing heat and sunlight and providing shade that helps keep it cool.
Cool enough for an ice room?

Or:
One of Antilla's key design themes is the mix of lavish features seen in worldwide homes and elements that are distinctly Indian. The Gingko-leaf sink designs are a good example. Native to India, the leaves in the sinks are shaped in such a way that their stems guide water into the bowl created by the basket of the leaf.
Grand Hyatt indeed.
posted by tavegyl at 12:02 PM on October 29, 2010


Why is being rich obscene?

In this particular context, asking that question demonstrates that the answer would be meaningless to you anyway.
posted by dbiedny at 12:04 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Any guesses as to when bonfires stoked by the furniture tossed from above will illuminate the family swinging from the eaves as the peasants cheer from below?

When worldwide class war comes, every person educated and affluent enough to post on Metafilter is going to be up against that wall with them...
posted by a young man in spats at 12:10 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


>
In this particular context, asking that question demonstrates that the answer would be meaningless to you anyway.

Good non answer.
posted by 2N2222 at 12:11 PM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


And why is this rich-poor divide so unacceptable?

Who was it that said that the measure of injustice in a society is the size of the gap between rich and poor?

Did his wealth doesn't come at the expense of the poor.

I assume you're saying that his wealth doesn't come at the expense of the poor. When you're talking about the richest of the rich in the Third World, that's pretty much never true. Robber-baron doesn't even begin to describe how this wealth is amassed. And these ones don't even feel the need to become great philanthropists.


Or is it only unacceptable if the poor actually have to see the rich?

No, but it's worse when they have to see them.

FWIW, the location of the mansion isn't exactly among a slum. If it is, it's a slum where I couldn't afford to live, at $10,000+ per square meter.

I don't know about Mumbai in particular, but one of the things that I've always found distinctively different about cities in Pakistan vs cities in the US (the two countries where I've spent the most time) is how much closer the slums are to the rich parts of town. Every rich neighbourhood has a really poor slum/shanty town close by. That is where the house-cleaners are generally hired from. It is indescribable until you have experienced it, as anyone who has seen it first hand will tell you.

Why is being rich obscene?

Specific to this particular man's wealth: In part because of how wealth is acquired. In part because of how wealth is spent. And in part because of the massively unequal opportunity to earn wealth.

But that he had the gall to build his castle in India? Or at all? Is that really such an offense?

Yes, it is. And more particularly so in India.
posted by bardophile at 12:12 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyone else disappointed that nobody named "Tyrrell" lives there?

I can't be the only one.
posted by zoogleplex at 12:14 PM on October 29, 2010


Actually, I'm shocked that this isn't in Dubai.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:23 PM on October 29, 2010


Actually, I'm shocked that this isn't in Dubai.

I used to have a minor member of the Ambani family as a neighbour in Dubai, so at least some of them live here.
posted by atrazine at 12:29 PM on October 29, 2010


Hey, here's another exciting construction project in Mumbai:

"Mumbai's 6.7 million slum dwellers, for whom toilets are seen as a luxury.... are building, planning and managing their own community toilets"

This project included one slum where there was "one small, smelly toilet for a population of 10000". For the price of, say, one rich person's penis house, adequate sanitation could be provided for about 2.2 million of Mumbai's slum dwellers, with the "adequate sanitation" defined as one squat toilet (without partitions) per 2.5 people.

My colleague worked in Mumbai doing land use work, and they had to divide the slums into multiple levels of quality; they used people per toilet, and I think the dividing line was somewhere around 20 people per toilet.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:32 PM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Who was it that said that the measure of injustice in a society is the size of the gap between rich and poor?

OK, I give. Who? More important, does it matter? Bill Gates and his incredible wealth widened the gap between rich and poor. But it doesn't seem to have affected me negatively at all. On the contrary, his prosperity has enhanced mine. And if you own a computer, likely yours, too.

If you take issue with how Ambani obtained his wealth, then present the facts. His description on wikipedia doesn't sound very sinister. It's crazy to think that, of all the things the poor in India have to endure, the agony of having to simply coexist in the same town, or nation with an insanely rich man really has any meaning. Nobody has actually made an argument that this construction or its owner is causing any significant harm. Would Mumbai, or India, really better of if Ambani were to take his toys and play elsewhere?
posted by 2N2222 at 12:35 PM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Would it be better if he built in Bel Air instead?

Now, this is a story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down.
posted by box at 12:41 PM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think dbiedny had it right.

But if you're really interested in why I think what I do, may I recommend reading some of these? Particularly the ones related to income inequality?
posted by bardophile at 12:55 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wealth is power. With great power comes great responsibility.
posted by Zalzidrax at 12:55 PM on October 29, 2010


>
I think dbiedny had it right.

So you really can't answer, either.
posted by 2N2222 at 1:02 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


So you really can't answer, either.

More like I think my time would be more productively spent in other ways. I'm done here.
posted by bardophile at 1:07 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyone taking bets on who is going to free climb it and/or base jump from it first?
posted by de void at 1:14 PM on October 29, 2010


He is not the 'new rich guy on the block'. He's the CEO (well, technically the 'managing director') of Reliance Industries, India's largest petrochemicals firm, and about one half of a family owned conglomerate that was established in the 1960s by his father.

The firm is enormously successful because it has enjoyed an unofficial monopoly for a great deal of that time, due to (IMHO) misguided beliefs about the virtues of a command economy. Given its leading industrial position, it's not surprising that the firm makes so much because everyone uses petrochemicals in some form for either energy or materials such as plastics, clothes and so on, even in India. And with 1.1 billion consumers, a tiny amount of money from each adds up to a huge pile of revenue.

Average wages in India are about $1,000/year. Of course, they're distorted by the incomes of rich people like this, but consider that even if someone had an income of $1 billion a year (which is unheard of), that would only move the average upwards by ~90 cents. As it is, capital gains aren't usually included in wage calculations. Now, Reliance Industries takes in about $45 billion a year in revenue; roughly 7-8% of people's spending (not everyone is a wage earner) - not an outsize amount to spend on petrochemical products. The profit margin of the firm is about 10% and they employ 30,00 or so people.

So I'm not sure that simply accumulating wealth is obscene. When you have a vast number of people, anyone who can successfully sell to a large number of them is going to accumulate a lot of money - the more so if the product is cheap and ubiquitous. What I don't like is the situation where someone enjoys a monopoly because competition is artificially excluded by regulation or bribery of officials. But sometimes people are so bowled over by the large headline numbers that they lose a sense of perspective. For example, everyone in the US wears socks at least some of the time. If we hear that Americans typically spend $6/year on socks, we just shrug our shoulders - that sounds an entirely reasonable amount to spend on a basic item of clothing. But put up a headline like 'Americans spend nearly $2 billion a year - on socks!' and it sounds horribly frivolous, people wonder why education is underfunded and people have to go hungry because Americans won't give up socks etc. etc. It's the same amount, but multiplying it by ~300 million people makes it look staggering. I can't even imagine what it's like to live in China or India whose populations are each over three times larger than that of the US. In markets of that size, you're eventually going to see billionaires whose fortunes are founded on selling toilet paper or pencils or...well, anything.

Is it obscene for someone to accumulate so much wealth in such a poor country? Perhaps, but if we confiscated all his money and distributed it to everyone in India, each person would get about $25, equivalent to roughly a week's wages for the average worker. A week's wages is nothing to sneeze at, of course, but it's not exactly a passport to financial security either. It wouldn't lift very many people out of poverty, to be honest. So it's possible that he's doing more good for Indian society where he is, modernizing India's industry, employing a lot of people, and building an Indian middle class. Indian society might be much better off if there was more competition and multiple firms were keeping prices down while modernizing and providing jobs, although if those competitors were foreign then some of the economic gains would be siphoned away to their home countries. Alternatively the government could run a national petrochemical company and the profits could flow towards India's treasury; but there's no guarantee they would do as good a job as to be both profitable and affordable to consumers. State-owned industries in India have a pretty poor track record of economic mismanagement.

Now, a fabulously expensive oversized dwelling for 5 people and a multitude of servants in the middle of a teeming city? That seems utterly unremarkable to me, and I will bet money that it arouses little or no ill-feeling among the majority of people who live in the surrounding city. No, it's not because they've been brainwashed by capitalism or empire-building colonialists. India already has a lot of expensive buildings.
posted by anigbrowl at 1:24 PM on October 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


My sense of awe for what peasants won't rebel over is continually renewed.

I used to be awed by it, too, until I got into some money trouble (not remotely comparable to poverty - I took a second job is all) and realised they're probably far too exhausted from work to rebel... and who would look after the kids?
posted by doublehappy at 1:40 PM on October 29, 2010


I will bet money that it arouses little or no ill-feeling among the majority of people who live in the surrounding city.

You'd lose that bet, if the handful of quotes in the NYT article are any indication.
posted by theodolite at 1:43 PM on October 29, 2010


Elegance is learned, my friends.
posted by keli at 1:44 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rich asshole, or richest asshole?

Touché
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:44 PM on October 29, 2010


2N2222, I suggest you read The Spirit Level: Why Equality Is Better For Everyone. It's not without critics, but it might give you an idea why some of us are not fans of rampant inequality.
posted by knapah at 2:23 PM on October 29, 2010


This doesn't fill me with outrage, but I do feel a bit of disgust and disappointment. Taking the money/resources that went into that building and improving the infrastructure would've done wonders: for example, add toilets like mentioned above.

However, my feelings aside, I think the idea of having a home/resort combo is brilliant from a financial and business perspective. Image the influence afforded by having business/government/etc people stay there.
posted by Bort at 2:36 PM on October 29, 2010


Yeah but you can have that without spending anywhere near that much. After the first hundred million or so there are diminishing returns - or you just have 47 marble bathrooms.
posted by doublehappy at 3:52 PM on October 29, 2010


Theodolite, my guess is that NYT readers have different concerns from the people of Mumbai; I'm reluctant to guess how they 'should' feel with no direct experience of living there. Maybe the first NY skyscrapers looked absurdly extravagant to people there at the time, or maybe they articulated people's aspirations.

I had the same thoughts about toilets at first, but then toilets need sewers and sewers require digging up streets. This is more a job for government and I don't know why it isn't a priority in Mumbai. Maybe people want electricity first. Or bicycles. Or schools. Extrapolating from our own ideas of what works may be unwise; Mumbai is at least 2000 years old, so our views might seem quaint, indifferent to the social complexities of Indian society.

I don't approve, but nor do I feel qualified to judge.
posted by anigbrowl at 3:58 PM on October 29, 2010


Theodolite, my guess is that NYT readers have different concerns from the people of Mumbai; I'm reluctant to guess how they 'should' feel with no direct experience of living there.

The quotes in the NYT piece are from people in Mumbai.
posted by knapah at 5:36 PM on October 29, 2010


The family "currently live in a 22-story Mumbai tower the family has spent years remodeling and refashioning to meet its needs."

That has to be one of the loosest definitions of 'needs' that I've ever run across.
posted by polymath at 7:11 PM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Say I had 1 billion, say then that I had 20 billion.

Can I really improve my quality life anymore with 20 billion than I can with 1 billion.? Not really I would argue. I can't buy better food, a car or house that really does anything more than feed my ego.

So 19 billion goes to waste in a bank account or on gold plated toilets.

How could 19 billion be used to improve the quality of life in the surrounding community for people who have trouble affording food and don't have a working sewage system as discussed above?

Sure distributing it all as suggested above (25$ each) only marginally does any good for the locals. But improving public sewage, roads, schools, educatiuon, etc. etc. can do a lot to help get people out of abject poverty. This also leads to a stable healthy society.

I would argue that it is immoral to hold on to money you can't really use, can't take with you when you are dead, and that would immediately better the lives of those around you.
posted by dibblda at 7:12 PM on October 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


From a more selfish perspective, you can at least stave off the inevitable societal collapse created by such income disparity.
posted by dibblda at 7:14 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


2N2222, I suggest you read The Spirit Level: Why Equality Is Better For Everyone. It's not without critics, but it might give you an idea why some of us are not fans of rampant inequality.

I'm not particularly fond of inequality, either. Nor am I particularly scared of it. The book sounds interesting, but as you say, it certainly has some critics. However, it's not really pertinent to Ambani and his monument. Regardless of how rich he is, or ostentatious his tastes are, he doesn't seem to have caused many actual problems for Mumbai or it's people. If anything, his wealth and home is very likely to have brought more prosperity to Mumbai, reducing the very inequality you're concerned about.


The quotes in the NYT piece are from people in Mumbai.


NYT's sample may not really be representative. The people of Mumbai are entitled to have an opinion of Ambani's wealth. But why should it have any real significance? Is any individual's opinion of Ambani more valuable than Ambani's opinion of any other person's wealth, or lack thereof?


So 19 billion goes to waste in a bank account or on gold plated toilets.


I'd argue that 19 million in a bank account, or even spent on gold toilets, is not really 19 million wasted. Rather it's 19 million put to actual use, provided for more economic expansion, creating demand for more goods and services in Mumbai and around the globe. It should go without mention that Ambani's money is far from being unused. It's not likely he's stuffing billions into his mattress.
posted by 2N2222 at 9:12 PM on October 29, 2010


If you take issue with how Ambani obtained his wealth, then present the facts.

From the first link:
For decades, the Ambani family has been India’s most famous corporate soap opera. The father, Dhirubhai Ambani, was a brazen, rags-to-riches tycoon who established Reliance Industries after rising out of the city’s Dickensian tenements, known as chawls. Today, Reliance is the world’s biggest producer of polyester fibers and yarns and accounts for almost 15 percent of India’s exports, according to the company’s annual report. The two sons, Mukesh and Anil, inherited and divided the empire and have spent years feuding
Dude made his money the old-fashioned way: he inherited it. From an empire built of polyester. I mean, bag on Ozymandias all you want, at least he had great stone temples and elegantly carved reliefs and all that. This guy? Look on my fast-food-joint uniform pants, ye mighty, and despair!
posted by gompa at 9:47 PM on October 29, 2010


Knapah, sorry, I took it to mean reader comments because the quotes from local residents were pretty laid back: 'a bit show-offy' and 'sometimes I feel bad [..] but maybe I can get a job there' aren't very strong condemnation, and the college students and artisan working on the building seemed to think it was cool.

I don't see how they bear out Theodolite's earlier remark suggesting I'd lose a bet (against it causing ill-feeling in the majority of people there). It just doesn't seem to be arousing much opposition over there, and it can't be much of a secret given the sheer size of the thing.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:54 PM on October 29, 2010


Speaking of education please ignore my spelling of the word above *blushes*.

2n2222,

Your argument sounds like Reagonomics trickle down theory. Correct me if I'm wrong.
posted by dibblda at 2:31 AM on October 30, 2010


This is the problem with the nouveau riche, they embarress everyone
posted by The Lady is a designer at 8:49 AM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


ObSF: Fort Privilege.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:49 AM on November 1, 2010


I'll bet he's compensating cause he has a really tiny rupee.
posted by subgear at 7:56 PM on November 5, 2010


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