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From Nirav Modi To Harshad Mehta: 5 Biggest Scams In India

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Here are the five biggest scams in the history of India. This makes us think: how rich is India?

When we were kids, we were told by our parents that India was a Golden Bird before the British invaded the subcontinent. They are alleged to have taken control of the most glorious country in the world around 270 years ago. But how much has the financial situation of the country improved since then?

Not much. India has always been prey to rampant corruption and weak government norms. In the end, who pays the money? The precious taxpayers. Today, through this article, I am going to highlight the five biggest scams in India that shook the government and the country.

The Harshad Mehta Scam

The famous stockbroker of the late 1980s and early 1990, Harshad Mehta became the buzz in 2020 after the release of the web-series Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story. After figuring out a loophole in the governmental norms, he got involved in multiple scams like the bank receipts and stamp paper scam and the Ready Forward Deal scam.

Credit: Hindustan Times

Harshad Mehta, the Big Bull, was quite a personality. He managed to take a huge amount of loans from various banks and put them up in the stock market. Then, through fictitious practice, he would raise the stock price of the specific company he was investing in. This process was running well until the stocks crashed and the loss was huge — Rs 10,000 crore, which was more than the total health budget and education budget of India combined. He was arrested in 1992 and kept in custody for five years for the fraud.

It is one of the most popular and biggest scams in the history of India.

Nirav Modi

How about a celeb diamantaire who has handled the famous IPL for the country? Nirav Modi, with his uncle Mehul Choksi, scammed the Punjab National Bank (PNB) and disappeared. The non-repayment cases in banks are not new, but the jeweller businessmen became an exception as the amount of loan they had managed to take from the bank was of whooping Rs. 13,500 crore.

The bank officials accepted that the loan was issued by some of the senior management officials by violating the rule of arranging a legal guarantee document in case of a loan as big as this. Nirav Modi used to receive the amount in his overseas bank branches through the SWIFT financial communication system. This is how the taxpayers’ money was lost in the end. Even though the fugitive was arrested in London in 2019, the money is still far from retracted.

Vijay Mallya

The former owner of Kingfisher, Vijay Mallya was also a celebrity and a former member of Parliament, who took a loan from multiple (17) banks and disappeared. The combined loan amount was Rs 9,000 crore. He was later accused of fraud and money laundering.

Vijay Mallya was a businessman involved in a profitable brewery business. However, he then entered the airline business to expand his company. Soon after the initial days, the airline went into breakage and he had to borrow money to keep it running. Loans were taken through various banks but led to nowhere. Finally, he collapsed to a limit and he had to leave the country instead of repaying the loans. He was also arrested in London recently but hasn’t been sent to India for further enquiry.

The Kingfisher scam is also one of the most famous and biggest scams in the history of India.

Ketan Parekh

Ketan Parekh was the second person, after Harshad Mehta, to shake the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). He was a protégé of Harshad Mehta and knew the market in and out. He had invested in stocks that got him a 200% annual return.

Credit: Times of India

He started playing the role of the operator of the market and as the market came in control, he got involved in insider trading. And again, like his teacher, he took unguaranteed loans from banks and invested them until the stock market crashed and got Ketan into trouble. He was found guilty of investing a loss of Rs 2,000 crore and arrested later.

Satyam Scam

This was a scam produced by the former promoters and managers of the Satyam scam, Security and Exchange Board of India. They were able to carry out fraud on a huge scale. Ramalinga Raju, his brothers and seven others were accused of the fraud.

Credit: Indiatimes

He and his allies were arrested for the biggest scam in the history of India, each jailed for seven years. The fraud was carried out by overstating the amount in the balance sheet of the various transactions in the Exchange books. The total amount incurred was Rs 14,162 crore. The scam broke out as Ramalinga Raju wrote confession letters to SEBI and the stock exchange.

Note: The article was originally published here.

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        An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

        Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

        Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

        The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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        Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

        Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

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        MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

        With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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        A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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        A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

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        A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

        The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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        A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

        As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

        Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

        Find out more about her campaign here.

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        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

        A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

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        A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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        Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
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