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Maharashtra Man With Golden Shirt Makes It To Guinness World Records
In Maharashtra the politicians obsession with jewellery is well known. Earlier there was MNS MLA Ramesh Wanjale who wore 2 kilos of gold on his person. Then there was a NCP functionary Samrat Moze (30) from Pune who wore gold ornaments weighing 8.5 kilos on himself.
However the obsession with gold has been taken to a new level and one might add absurd lengths by Datta Phuge. Phuge who is from Pune and is the husband of a NCP corporator has actually stitched a shirt made of Gold for himself.
The Gold Shirt that Phuge sports around proudly has been made up of 3 kilos and 200 grams. Phuge already sports close to 4 kilos of gold on his body (besides the shirt). He wears two huge bracelets, more than five necklaces and rings on all his fingers except one.
In fact the bracelets and the rings which he wears together weigh more than a kilo.
While Phuge claims that he has around 7 kilos of gold on his person, others say it is around 10 kilos.
Ask Phuge on why he is wearing so much gold and has even stitched a gold shirt for himself and Phuge gives a weird explanation. «I am a Maharashtrian, a Maratha hence I like to wear and display Gold.» Said Phuge.
He added that not just women but even men from the Maratha caste liked to own gold a lot.
He added that he has stitched the shirt to get attention as he wanted to do that no one else has. » I got this idea to stitch a shirt of Gold from one of my friends who said that no one has done it. We wanted to do it below 3 kilos however we over stepped the mark,» said Phuge.
Phuge says that the shirt would be worn only on special occasions like attending functions or any event. Since he is a walking jewellery shop he has a retinue of 20 people close to him always guarding him.
Phuge claims that the gold on his neck has nothing to do with the fact that his wife is in politics. » I am in to the financing and I had sold my land from which I have invested in gold,» said Phuge. The latter now aims to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Shirur assembly constituency on a NCP ticket.
However Phuge might be denied the chance as the NCP doesn’t approve of such garish display of wealth. For instance Ramesh Wanjale the original ‘gold man’ had first approached the NCP for a ticket, however when Pawar Sr disapproved of Wanjale’s fascination with gold he joined the MNS and became an MLA.
Even Samrat Moze was interested in fighting the civic elections from a NCP ticket. However he was not successful in getting a ticket. Phuge however hopes that fate or rather Gold could could smile on him.
Pankaj Parakh has shirt, weighing exactly 4.10 kg, is currently valued at over Rs.1.30 crore.
Maharashtra’s well-known businessman-politician Pankaj Parakh called ‘The Man With The Golden Shirt’ by his friends — has earned a place in the Guinness World Records (GWR).
The GWR certificate issued on Tuesday cites Mr Parakh, 47, as the man with «the most expensive gold shirt in the world costing Rs.98,35,099 ($161,354/GBP 95,856)» as on August 1, 2014.
«This is simply unbelievable. I am a small man from a remote area in Maharashtra. I am happy that this achievement had catapulted my village name into the whole world,» an emotional Mr Parakh told IANS on Tuesday.
The school dropout, who made his fortunes from a garment fabrication business is also the Nationalist Congress Party’s Deputy Mayor of Yeola town in Nashik district, around 260 km from Mumbai.
The shirt, weighing exactly 4.10 kg, is currently valued at over Rs.1.30 crore, is supplemented by other golden paraphernalia including a gold watch, several gold chains, large gold rings, a gold mobile cover and golden-framed spectacles — the total weight of this opulence being a whopping 10 kgs!
Whenever Mr Parakh steps onto the streets of Yeola in his full ‘shining golden gear’ and his licensed revolver worn discreetly, he admits that women stare and men glare at him, while two stern private security guards manage to keep everyone at a safe distance.
«I had stitched this special gold shirt with seven golden buttons for my 45th birthday two years ago. I have been fascinated by gold since my school days and over the years it became a passion, almost an obsession,» Mr Parakh smiled.
The shirt was designed by Bafna Jewellers, Nashik, 85 km away, and meticulously executed by Shanti Jewellers at Parel in Mumbai.
A team of 20 select artisans spent 3,200 hours over two months to craft the 18-22 carat pure gold strands, to the last thread and ‘stitch’ it, and the deal was fully billed — to keep tax sleuths at bay!
Though made of gold, the shirt is fully flexible and comfortable, absolutely smooth and harmless and with a thin cloth lining the inside to avoid rubbing or chapping the body, washable and even repairable with a lifetime guarantee, Mr Parakh said.
Barely three decades ago, the poor, young Mr Parakh could ill-afford his school education and dropped out after Class VIII to enter the family’s small garments business in Yeola.
In 1982, he branched out to an independent business and a decade later even entered politics to be elected as a municipal councillor in Yeola.
«At my marriage 25 years ago, many guests considered me an embarrassment as I wore more gold than the bride,» he recalled.
Progressing and prospering over the years, he took care of all his family’s needs — a good house looked after by wife Pratibha and higher education for his two doting sons Siddharth (24) and Rahul (21).
Then, he indulged in his passion and invested his excess incomes to acquire a ‘gilded edge’ that helped him enter the GWR.
However, his unimpressed family does not share his passion for gold, they ignore it as ‘a necessary evil,’ but all his relatives think he has gone bonkers, Mr Parakh guffawed.
Mr Parakh remembers how, when the entire family attends weddings or important social occasions, he adorns himself with around three-and-half kg gold ornaments while his wife looks bare and stark with just 40-50 grams gold jewellery!
Yeola is renowned for its Paithani silk saris and the Shalu and Pitamber varieties of saris, considered nationally-recognised brands.
Despite his gilt-edge, Mr Parakh is a down-to-earth and caring human being, deeply involved in a variety of social and educational activities.
For instance, he has fully financed 150 polio operations in the past seven years through the renowned Narayan Seva Sansthan Hospital of Udaipur in Rajasthan, the country biggest 1,000-bed polio hospital.
He spends a week each year to offer voluntary services, financing poor patients, providing food, medicines and other requirements.
Maharashtra has had other ‘gold-men’ including Datta Fuge of Pune, Jagdish Gaikwad of Navi Mumbai (Thane), the late Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader from Pune Ramesh Wanjale, and to a certain extent, famed music director Bappi Lahiri of Mumbai.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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Ramesh Wanjale, MNS legislator from Pune, dies | Pune News — Times of India
Mumbai: After 30-year-old businessman Samrat Moze followed the footsteps of late legislator Ramesh Wanjale and caused a major stir in Pune early this year by moving around the place wearing golden ornaments — weighing 8.5 kilograms — on his body, a third gold man has now surfaced in the same city of western Maharashtra.
The new gold man, Datta Phuge, has stitched himself a shirt made out of the precious yellow metal weighing approximately 3.5 kilograms. The shirt is in addition to 6 to 6.5 kilograms of golden ornaments — including chains, bracelets and rings and necklaces — that he has been wearing for the past few years.
In effect, this “10 kilogram gold man” — as 42-year-old Phuge prefers to call himself — is being valued in terms of money at around Rs3.25 crore, of which the golden shirt — his new possession — is a part and it is worth Rs1.27 crore.
Apart from wearing so many golden ornaments, what made him to stitch himself a golden shirt?
“Unlike many, I have no passion for high-end luxury vehicles like Audi or purchasing something else that is fancy. I had money and wanted to invest in gold. Even while investing in gold, I wanted to do something that would earn me the title of being a gold man. Then the idea of stitching himself a golden shirt came to me when I visited a jewellery shop a month ago,” Phuge told “Gulf News” over telephone from Pune.
A finance broker by profession, Phuge is the husband of an NCP corporator from Pune Seema Phuge. “I am a Maratha (a person belonging to a warrior caste). Marathas have fascination for wearing golden ornaments. I am no different”.
Ask him as to how did he land so much of money to purchase such a huge quantity of gold. “I had landed property at Chakan near Pune. In 2005, there was a proposal to set up an airport in that area. As a result, land prices shot up phenomenally. Making most of the situation, I sold two acres of land that I owned. Whatever the money I earned from the sale, I invested in a financial firm which helped me get sizeable returns. Of the money earned, I have re-invested on gold,” Phuge said.
According to Phuge, velvet cloth has been used from inside to stitch the golden shirt. “Though there is gold on its exteriors, it is stitched in such a way that it can be folded and kept inside a shelf like any other shirt. In all, It took jewellers 17 days to have the golden shirt stitched,” he said. The shirt has been stitched by Ranka Jewellers, a leading jeweler firm based in Pune, using 22 karat gold.
Asked if the shirt is going to be his permanent possession, Phuge replied in the affirmative and said: “Yes I am going to keep it with me till I am alive”.
Did his wife Seema being from the NCP – a party that has made no bones about its dislike for people displaying their wealth — come in the way of his seeking to become a gold man? “If my wife is an NCP corporator, it is because of the social work that she has been doing. As far I am concerned, I am a professional in my own right. It was always my dream to become a gold man. I have become one”.
Despite being a finance professional now, Phuge has an ambition of becoming a Member of Parliament (MP) some day in the future. “If NCP fields me as a candidate in the forthcoming Lok Sabha poll from Shirur constituency in Pune district, I am more than willing to contest,” Phuge said in a matter-of-fact manner.
On her part, Phuge’s wife Seema seeks to distance herself from her husband’s fascination for gold. “With no gold ornaments on my body, do I look like a person who has fascination for gold?. I like social work and will continue to serve the people by being a part of the NCP,” she said.
It was Wanjale who incidentally came to be known as the first-ever gold man of Pune. However, after the untimely demise of the “original” gold man in June last year, Moze sought to replace Wanjale and earn the sobriquet of being the new “gold man” of Pune.
Incidentally, all the three gold men have had something common among them. They have chosen to associate themselves with the ruling Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) led by federal Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.
Late Wanjale and Moze may have been denied the NCP nomination to contest the Maharashtra Assembly and Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) polls on the ground that the party disliked their love for display of gold, but that has not come in the way of Phuge in “dreaming” to contest the Lok Sabha polls on a Pawar-led party ticket.
A known social worker, Wanjale — laden with 2.5 kilogram golden ornaments on his body — had approached the NCP for a ticket to contest the 2009 Maharashtra Assembly polls from Pune’s Khadakvasla constituency. The NCP leadership refused Wanjale a party ticket on the ground that a vulgar display of wealth by him would have a negative impact on the party’s image.
However, the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) duly obliged Wanjale with its nomination. Wanjale not only won the October 2009 Assembly poll by trouncing the NCP candidate Vikas Dangat and others in the poll, but he also went onto serve the people effectively for the following 17 months. A hard-working and people-friendly MLA whom his constituents looked up to, he also became one of the popular members in the Assembly.
It is small wonder that when 47-year-old Wanjale died of a heart attack on June 10,2011, thousands of people had participated in his funeral procession.
Subsequently, Moze desperately lobbied with the NCP leadership for a ticket to contest the PMC election in January this year. However, the NCP did not oblige him for the same reason for which it had denied nomination to Wanjale earlier.
On its part, the NCP has swiftly distanced itself from the display of gold by Phuge.
Reacting to the golden shirt that Phuge has stitched for himself, NCP’s Pune-based spokesperson Ankush Kakade said: “Datta Phuge is not an active worker of the NCP. Yes. His wife Seema Phuge is an NCP corporator. Our party does not approve of the vulgar display of wealth as being done by Datta Phuge. It is his personal matter. The NCP has nothing to do with it”.
PUNE: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s MLA
of cardiac arrest in a city hospital at 9.50 pm on Friday.
«Wanjale was brought to the hospital at 8.30 pm with no recordable blood pressure and no pulse. We tried to resuscitate him by administering all emergency medical help, but could not succeed. He was declared dead at 9.50 pm,» said
, director, medical services at
Wanjale had an appointment for an MRI scan at Joshi Hospital on Friday after he complained of shoulder and spinal pain. «He was advised to undergo shoulder, cervical spine and whole spine screening. He arrived at around 7 pm at the MRI section. He collapsed soon after he was taken for screening. Our doctors revived his heart beat with the help of a cardiac massage and a cardiac defibrillator. But his relatives insisted on taking him to Jehangir Hospital. An ambulance with doctors accompanied him. His son-in-law was with him along with some party workers,» Ashish Atre, radiologist at Joshi Hospital, said.
As news about Wanjale’s condition spread, party workers gathered at Jehangir Hospital where there was heavy police bandobast. Deputy commissioner of police zone I Dnyaneshwar Phadtare said, «As a precautionary measure, we have stepped up police security in the city.»
Wanjale was a colourful personality__ his physique and the gold that he always wore made him stand out. The MLA, who sang Tukaram’s abhangs, was a household name in his Khadakwasla constituency from where he won the assembly election in 2009.
Soon after, he was suspended along with three other MNS MLAs for causing a ruckus in the assembly after Samajwadi party MLA Abu Azmi took the oath in Hindi instead of Marathi. Wanjale had rushed to the well of the house and lifted the podium to disrupt the proceedings. The suspension was later revoked.
Wanjale took on the Congress-NCP alliance in Khadakwasla, which is a part of the Baramati Lok Sabha constituency. He defeated Vikas Dangat of the Congress and the BJP’s Murlidhar Mohol.
He wore nearly two kg of gold while campaigning and said he wanted transparency so that he would not be accused of making money after he became an MLA.
Wanjale came into the political arena when he became the sarpanch of Ahire village. He was a Congressman when he became the deputy chairman of the Pune zilla parishad. Wanjale changed parties when he was denied a ticket to contest the assembly polls.
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