That social vultures abound is no surprise. I have often mentioned about how high society capitalised on the photo-op tragedy of the Mumbai carnage. Divas came out of crystal cocoons to do their bit. There was fear, there was righteous anger because it had hit the elite.

Now comes a news report (Mumbai Mirror) about how an expat managed to tell tall stories about his bravery at the Taj Mahal Hotel, how he saved lives in the face of death. Not only was he feted by the UK media, but he even managed to rope in Prince Michael of Kent to be a patron for his charity purportedly to help the victims.

26/11 got registered in the international psyche, grabbed eyeballs and brought the world media at our doorstep. It would have been sensible for these media groups that had access to almost everyone who mattered to check on the veracity of the claims made by businessman Deepak Kuntawala and his father Vinay.

They managed to talk about saving 150 lives, making our police force and commandos look like fools. As Deepak told the press in Britain:

“No-one knew what to do, so I took charge. We tore up the curtains and any material we could get our hands on. I made people get into four teams and pretty quickly we had our makeshift ropes ready. We tied them to pillars. People were fighting to go down first. But I restored calm and made sure people got down OK, starting with the elderly and then the women. It took 30 minutes.”

He received an award in India too because we are such a shameless bunch of still-colonised-in-our-minds people that anyone who lauds us in the West has got to be right. Some celebrities are concerned that the Prince got taken in. As far as I can see this prince is one of the satellites of British monarchy and ‘doing good’ is part of the portfolio, whether it is talking to plants or collecting being nice baubles. It must have seemed so, er, charitable to host a charity evening at Kensington Palace on the anniversary. 2,50,000 pounds were pledged in support of the DVK Foundation, which incidentally is an acronym for the businessman’s name and clearly indicates he is on an ego trip.

Why did the celebrities agree to be a part of this? Why did an event management group help organise the event? What was the Indian government doing when all this was being rattled off to the media and the man was taking away bravery citations?

Worse, he has lied about how he saw the gunmen in a boat off the Gateway. What if the intelligence agencies decided to probe this angle? It would have been totally misleading.

Even today as he stands exposed, it is the glitterati that will be in the news about a lesser celebrity, a bit like the gate-crashing incident at the White House. They will talk about how they, poor souls, fell prey because they were so emotionally distraught.

The neat hierarchy will remain. This, indeed, is an open and shut case, isn’t it, dahlins?


  1. quite interesting read. I would love to follow you on twitter. By the way, did anyone know that some chinese hacker had hacked twitter yesterday again.

  2. fv
    [He received an award in India too because we are such a shameless bunch of still-colonised-in-our-minds people that anyone who lauds us in the West has got to be right.]

    If only even 20% of these desi people think as you do, Indo/pak would be hellbent in progress to eradicate poverty which is eating their average citizens.

    But, again I would applaud West where it is due for making all other people look like some bunch of idiots and apes who feel proud to follow West blatantly and so blindly that they've mockery to themselves.

  3. Anon:

    Follow me here instead; we don't do Chinese here.


    If we had self-respect to begin with, we would not be in the sorry state we are. The West, even parts that are quite lacking in culture, manages to flaunt what is has and therefore appears superior.

    It is surprising that there has been no follow-up on this case by those who exposed it. Perhaps that too was leaked out by some other disgruntled wannabe celeb-survivor.

  4. I know this man personally and I can confirm you are spot on in your views. A perfect case of a fakir and a prince. He has a trail of ppl he owes money to in the UK.
    I am not a vindictive person, but he is finally getting his comeupance.

  5. Anon:

    I believe Prince Michael, who is on a visit to Mumbai, has stood by him. I guess he has little choice and nothing to lose.

    Unfortunately, the people are in the papers and their notoriety will make them famous.

  6. FV - very true & the Prince himself is no stranger to being in the news for all the wrong reasons ... enough said

  7. Rajesh Patel23/01/2010, 22:11

    Great Blog, I have also had first hand contact and business dealings with Kuntawala at great personal cost!!!. You are spot on with your comments. He has a string of failed companies to his name. He owes hundreds of thousands of pounds to investors who beleived were investing in his company for a specific purpose. He gave very good stories of where the money was being used. Many of these payments have ended up in his personal account. He has a petition for Bankruptcy here in the UK in the Croydon Courts in February. The man has no shame in bragging and thinks the rest of the world will not see him for what he is - a fraudster and con man. He is still looking to raise funds from private investors. His DVK Foundation has an estimated £250,000 pledged for the families of the Mumbai Attack of 26/11 - what assurances, if any, that the funds will reach these families and what amounts will be pocketed. Another Madoff in the making unless he is stopped by the authorities. True charity comes from within and by giving. I only hope he is brought to account for his actions.

  8. Rajesh:

    Thanks for the additional info and I hope those who have suffered are taking action. There is always the problem about whether the charity money goes in the right hands, and this one is no different. I see the government gong soft on him, though.

    I can imagine some bureaucrats saying they don't want to spoil relations with the Prince Michael!

  9. Do not deal with this man Kuntawala. He is not a professional. Once a deal a ready to sign he will disappear. Will not answer calls or emails. He has virtual offices. He has no real office to work from. He writes emails with different id but all written by him. He will not attend meetings and will not bother calling you back. A complete waste of time

  10. I've had similar dealings with Deepak Kuntawala, I'm personally owed thousands of punds. It makes my blood boil to see this man accept business awards when he is nothing but a fraud and a charlatan. It's about time he was incarcerated.

  11. This man will soon be exposed as the cheating CONMAN scum he really is. Umpteen bankruptcy petitions to his name, failure to pay even his legal representatives. Now he claims DVK Plc.......it just gets better and better. His downfall will be cheered on by his many unpaid creditors. His downfall cannot come soon enough.

  12. I am warning everybody off this man. He has scammed me off a large amount off money and now not responding to calls or emails. He has taken my life savings and I hope he rots in hell !!!