12 Kg Gold, Mercedes, Crores in Bank: Self-Proclaimed Chowkidar Kirron Kher In 2014
Do the chowkidars you know come close?
A “chowkidar” — a watchman — is a profession that does not pay well. Reportedly some earn as little as Rs 1,500 per month for keeping watch over others. Guards at residential complexes, office buildings, mall and pretty much everywhere are also usually looked down upon by the middle class and upper-middle class masses. Yet, members of the Bharatiya Janata Party, aping Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have decided to prefix “chowkidar” before their names.
And a lot of these politicians are enormously wealthy, who have lived lives of privilege, despite their education have turned a blind eye to their affluence and appropriated the profession of the watchman.
One of these BJP leaders is Kirron Kher. Chowkidar Kher, the Lok Sabha MP for Chandigarh, took to Twitter to declare in a video: “Main maa hoon, behen hoon, pyaar hoon. Par rakshason ke vadh k liye, main sher pe savaar hoon. Haan, main bhi chowkidar hoon” — I am a mother, a sister. I am love. But to slay monsters, I will ride lions. Yes, I too am a chowkidar.
— Kirron Kher (@KirronKherBJP) March 17, 2019
Ignoring the kitschy showmanship of the Bollywood actor, let’s take a look at how much of an affluent life she has led. And does she, like all others in the BJP leadership, fail to understand class-appropriation?
As per the affidavit that Kher filed in 2014 declaring her assets and liabilities, she has a lot more money than what a Rs-1500-per-month guard would dream of. Her immovable assets then amounted to a total of Rs 16,19,17,444 (Rs 16.19 Crores). Her movable assets, on the other hand, came to a whopping total of Rs 7,69,24,317 (Rs 7.69 Crores). She also had no liabilities to show for.
Among the many things listed in her affidavit, Chowkidar Kher owns a Mercedes Benz that she had purchased at a frugal sum of Rs 61,08,797 (Rs 61 Lakhs). She holds 12 kilograms of gold and eight kilograms of silver jewellery and bullion worth Rs 3,73,95,785 (Rs 3.7 Crores) only.
Unlike most chowkidars too, Kher inherited from her father properties that, in 2014, were worth Rs 5,34,71,296 (Rs 5.3 Crores) and Rs 7,84,46,148 (7.8 Crores). Listed in her immovable assets is an additional property that was five years ago worth Rs 3 Crores!
There are loopholes that not only allow politicians to undervalue assets and earnings but also to hide them in plain sight. While Kirron Kher may just be the odd-honest politician, she is in no position to prefix a typically impoverished profession to her name on social media. Yet, Mrs Kher calls herself a “chowkidar”. Of whom, is the real question.