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Chit-funded media

April 23, 2013

With the Sarandha chit fun scam in West Bengal, a side-effect has been the going bust of its media investments. Seema Guha, Delhi bureau chief of the recently shut down Bengal Post writes in The Hoot:

The executive editor Ranabir Roychowdhury and several of the core journalist team were known to us, but none of us had ever heard the name of Sudipta Sen, the owner. We in Delhi were far away, but our colleagues in Kolkata too did not know anything about him, except that he was a real estate tycoon with a land bank of 100 acres or more. He was also into chit funds. It was much later that we came to know that this was his main business, our money was basically derived from the collections Saradha made from the poorest people in Bengal and other eastern states. He had business in the north east as well as in Odisha. [Read the full article]

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 30, 2013 7:29 AM

    These days the most distinctive feature of the Bengalis is to keep on talking endlessly in order not to tell the truth, which is often both evident and simple. In India, no political party has ever alleged of shortage of swindlers in its fold. The CPIM was in power for long 34 years. There must have been many thieves in the party. To deny it is nonsensical. I guess, some of them may have had some benefits from Sharda-engineered financial genocide too. Nevertheless, there is a very very fundamental difference between CPIM and TMC. Neither CPIM as a party nor LF as a government had any interlocking relationship with Sharda, or any other Chit Fund company. On the contrary, Sharda’s economic fortune and TMC’s political ambition were mutually reinforcing. It is true, but less significant, that Sharda flourished after TMC came to power. Politically, far more important is the fact that Sharda had a role in TMC’s coming to power by convincing its agents and investors that the security of their investment depended on TMC’s coming to power. Thus the economic interest of a chit fund company and the political interest of a party were convincingly projected to hundreds and thousands as identical. To secure their own financial interest many, and really many, served the political interest of the TMC. This is something possibly unprecedented in Indian politics and Mamata and her think-tank really deserve kudos, morality and interests of the poor having suffered Machiavellian banishment long back. But that makes the obverse equally true. It is not a financial genocide committed by Sharda alone. The equally responsible perpetrator is the TMC and the Mamata government. While the Company deserves to be stringently punished, its equally liable political accomplice must also be awarded exemplary punishment. I fail to understand why the Left is so reticent in demanding, most aggressively, the immediate resignation of the co-perpetrator of the massacre — the government of Mamata Banerjee.

    • July 17, 2013 3:13 PM

      That the current rulers as a party were hand in glove with the Sharda group is clear from the following facts:
      1. The total collection from small savings scheme dwindled in the last two yers. Did the finance ministry take note of it? Did the experts try to find out as to what was the cause for it?
      2. The channels and newspapers owned by the Sharda group turned into virtual mouth pieces of the present ruling dispensation. Even if we assume that it was an internal editorial matter, no effort was made by the ruling party to disscociate from it.
      3. Several other anti- CPIM newspaers with wide circulation were not accomodated by the government in govt sponsored libraries. Why?

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