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Aussie cowboy Murdoch's big Indian pow wow

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(image courtesy navbharattimes.indiatimes.com)

At 84 years of age, Rupert Murdoch's great big new Indian (ad)venture launches a new chapter in his often shaky but always incredible career. Rodney E. Lever reports.

THE OLD sinner, twisty as always, is about to turn the great nation of India into one of his major achievements, and never mind that the other parts of his empire have given him enough headaches.

Celebrating his 84 years of acquisitions this month, his Indian venture opens a new chapter of his often shaky but always incredible career. 

How much money he has now chucked into the Indian pot and how he came by it, doesn't seem to matter. 

Just last week, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp added another Indian acquisition to its portfolio, VCCircle Network. 

Commenting on the announcement, his chief News Corp publishing executive Robert Thomson, said:

'India, is an increasingly meaningful part of our portfolio, which is increasingly digital and global.'

Does that mean that the newspapers are no longer the source of his power, but merely to continue disrupting governments in Australia, England and the U.S.?

The answer to that is NO. Rupert Murdoch will always own newspapers. They are part of the family, part of his own life. Not until his death is there any chance of him selling any of his newspapers. And who would buy them anyway?

But a dead Rupert would never see the shut down of the 200 odd newspapers he owns in Europe and the three other countries in which he operates. His successors, surely, would see them as antiquarian playthings of no useful value.

Rupert, of course, uses his family as the reason he must continue to build his sandcastles in the sky. His father died at 67, refusing to retire in spite of serious heart trouble. Rupert, although not in perfect health, will never give up either.

India has changed dramatically since Narendra Damordardas Modi became its prime minister in 2014 and began a drive to lift the nation's economy with a skill that no previous leader had matched since the days of the British Raj.

India has suddenly become one of the more prosperous nations on the planet, while Narenda Modi has acquired keen skills as an administrator and a reputation unsullied by any suggestion of corruption in his government.

He has had to deal with many problems, including savage Hindu riots that killed many people and destroyed property. He has failed to condemn attacks on Muslims, leading to more deaths and more terror.

So this is the country where Rupert Murdoch has invested heavily in companies like PropTiger.com, a real estate site that originated in Singapore, and BigDecisions.com, a company originally established to encourage and help ambitious business people in India to start new business ventures. 

While I will always loathe the way he used and abused his newspapers, one can only give him some credit at least for his unceasing longevity. 

You can follow Rodney Lever on Twitter @rodneyelever.

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