When the going gets tough, the tough get going, they say. And sometimes the tough (folks) may have some company, if they are lucky.
For Subrata Roy, the circle thinned as he fell on tough times. The boss of the Sahara group – that had interests ranging from media to aviation and chit fund – was a rare corporate honcho who never hesitated from flaunting his political, filmy and celebrity associations.
And yet, when the going got tough after he found himself mired in a legal maze following financial irregularities, he was left with very few whom he cound count as friends.
On Thursday, Harsh Goenka echoed this thought as he paid tribute to the Sahara chief on X, formerly known as Twitter. The 65-year-old RPG Enterprises Chairman, rewinding to his association, recalled that in his days of glory, Roy would be flanked by celebrities, politicians and corporate chieftains. But when he was beseiged by trouble, he found himself alone.
“In his heydays, I have seen, when Subroto Roy (Sahara) walked, the tallest of film stars, the most powerful politicians and the biggest businessmen followed him. When he fell into tough times, he was almost all alone. And this my dear, is unfortunately the rule of life,” Goenka wrote.
From Amitabh Bachhcan to Anil Ambani and Mulayam Singh Yadav, the Sahara founder was known to have high-profile friends. In what was seen as his close bond with then Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam, his group openly supported SP candidate Raj Babbar against none other than the stalwart of Indian politics Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1999 Lok Sabha polls from Lucknow constituency.
In a media interaction in 2013, Roy had said that his group landed in trouble with the regulators (SEBI) following his “emotional” comment about then Congress chief Sonia Gandhi that only a person of Indian origin should become the country’s prime minister.
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