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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chit Fund Scam: Cheating At Grassroots!



Trinamool means grassroots and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) party with Mamata Bannerji as its leader romped home in the 2011 elections of West Bengal seemingly winning the votes at the grassroots and rescuing the poor commoners from the ‘clutch’ of the long ruling Left. The masses of the state had hailed the win as a kind of revolutionary, not knowing what would follow. In fact, a whole lot of shockingly bizarre events followed with Mamata Bannerji as the Chief Minister ranging from Baby Deaths, Rape controversies to curbing of freedom of expression. The Merciless Mamata syndrome showed no signs of stopping. And now, the grass-root reality of her government gets exposed again with the Saradha Chit Fund Case that looted the poor of their lifelong savings. 

Chit Funds (Ponzi schemes) are very common in India flourishing with the investments of fallible and vulnerable commoners and with rampant political patronization. Scores of poor investors went bankrupt as the Saradha Chit Fund was proved a Cheat Fund with its kingpin fleeing first and then getting arrested. The scenes of the poor people of West Bengal and Assam losing their lifelong savings were heart wrenching and so far two poor investors reportedly committed suicide. The people of West Bengal erupted in protests all over the state demanding immediate refund.

Fighting complicity of several politicians of TMC in the scam and with the continuing crackdown of the Government of India on such fraud chit funds Mamata became desperate. She wanted 50 million bucks to somewhat compensate the poor investors and in her efforts to raise that money she created more controversies. She started making donations that were allegedly donated earlier to her government only by the fraud Chit Fund. More bizarre happenings were in store. Mamata imposed a ten percent local tax on cigarettes to raise some amount of the money needed and in a media conference advised people to ‘smoke as frequently as they could’ so that she could compensate the poor. Her ‘smoke joke’ has shocked all and irked particularly the medical fraternity.

In India the poor provides the vote banks to most political parties and the ‘gratified’ political parties offer sops in return. But, in the final bargain the poor only stands to get looted, looted and looted.  

Is this just the tip of the iceberg?

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