Cheating Chits: From Sanchayita to Saradha

Chit fund had been cheating the greedy or needy poor as well as rich equally since time immemorial. Everyone wishes to earn some extra money or make fast buck. I have still few certificates of Sanchayita that my clerk while in HM in 80s, sold me. He had brought to my company flat in Hind Motors one of the senior managers of Sanchayita, who was an alumnus of Presidency College. I had to extend the due courtesy, though I hardly enjoyed it. My clerk knew my weakness of everyone connected to my alma mater. He wanted his officer to convince me to invest more. As I didn’t open my purse, they were disenchanted that evening and finally left. Perhaps just after a month, Sanchayita scandal was in media and many lost their hard earned money. 

For last few days now, the public outrage in street protests has again been growing over a fraudulent investment scheme run in the name of  ‘Saradha’ in West Bengal. Thousands of ordinary men and women have lost their money again in a chit fund. According to media, Mamta Banerji and many leaders of the Trinamool Congress leaders, such as Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh, Lok Sabha MP Shatabdi Roy and Mamta’s transport minister Madan Mitra had proximity with the dubious firm. Sudipto Sen is the villion CEO of Saradha. And after the arrest, Sen has ignited the bomb that may inflict serious damage to the image of Trinamool of Mamta. This is something that didn’t happen when Sanchayita was busted by the then finance minister of left front, Shri Ashok Mitra. Perhaps, that was due to Jyoti Basu.

Mamata Banerjee’s government would set up a Rs 500-crore relief fund to pay back to some poorer investors in the Saradha depositors. She planned to rake in Rs 150 crore from hiking taxes on cigarettes by 10%, at the same time suggesting that people should “smoke more frequently” — never mind what doctors may have to say on the subject. 

As reported in media,  the victims of Saradha Group hailed primarily from the districts and from villages, who have lost their life savings.Many of the agents are TMC leaders at the grassroots level and even panchayat members. Most cannot return to their homes since they are being hounded by investors. Sanchayita didn’t cause this much of upheaval.

But unfortunately, the government during the last thirty years couldn’t enact laws to protect ignorant Aam Aadami from fraudsters.

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