The teeming and hungry legions of phony Gandhian patriots, freedom and social reformers had overnight transformed into traders in treachery and merchants of patriotism occupying high ministerial berths. It was the outbreak of an epidemic of epic proportions especially in the provinces (states). These sudden, opportunistic ministers who had never eaten two square meals a day now began grabbing everything in sight, their illicit acquisitions limited only by the limitations of their skullduggery. They were friends with black-marketers, bootleggers, pimps, and every wealthy lawbreaker. Less than a decade ago, they travelled by foot or tram. Now they were travelling in fancy Buicks, Packards, and Cadillacs. Some changed as many as five cars each year. American cars were in great demand among this class of Gandhian patriots who loudly and publicly upheld the ban on British cars. But there was a catch even here. Import laws on automobiles were stringent and not surprisingly, only these patriotic Congress ministers could magically import them at controlled prices. It was a tidy racket. Congressmen who were not ministers also made a killing in a different fashion. Using their clout, they would buy these American cars at the controlled prices, keep them for some time and then resell them in the second hand market at double the price. Needless, all such transactions were executed in cash. The favoured denomination was ₹ 100 notes.
We repeat: this was just eight months after “independence.”