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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Probe The Role Of Media in the Speak Asia Scam

Speak Asia online reeked of a scam even when it first started and if you check out the Google search results, for the period of April May 2011, when the company’s advertising campaign had reached a crescendo, you will find many items, blogs, and groups calling it a scam. There are many who actually carried out a detailed online investigation and suggested why the company and it’s offering was a scam. During the IPL, the authorised channel was continuously barraging the viewers with Speak Asia ads. Not only that, even the Times of India carried an advertisement for the company. See it at Here I am certain many other media companies also carried the advertisement.

The question which goes a-begging is that why is the media allowed to run ads for any company without verifying the credentials of the business they are carrying the advertisement for. Just a fine print of requesting the readers to verify the credentials is not sufficient. If thousand or lakhs of investors have been duped of crores by this company, the media which carried the advertisements, i.e. helped in the promotion of the fraud, are actually accomplices to the crime, if it is one. Remember Home Trade. Is it not a social responsibility of the media to investigate and blow the lid off such scams aimed at looting of the masses? But here it is working the other way round. The media is actually helping scamsters and fraudsters to loot people by promoting their ventures.

Even now, when arrests have been made in connection with the purported scam, why is the media still carrying advertisements of the company, helping it to build credibility and garner public attention / sympathy? For the last two days Times of India has been carrying advertisements for the company. I am sure, so are the other newspapers. How many individual accused are allowed to use the media to justify their innocence in such a public manner? This gives a whole new meaning to the term, “Trial by Media.” The media acted as a promoter first and now has taken on the onus of the defence. Many of them are now going to respond with a freedom of expression thingy. Don’t believe it, at all. Someone’s got a stake large enough to have the motive to bail the company out. Someone powerful.

The photograph shows the COO of Speak Asia Tarak Bajpai after his arrest. Does his expression show any signs of a man who is scared or ashamed of his arrest. He is grinning, just like that Haryana Police Officer SPS Rathore accused and convicted in the Ruchika Girhotra case.

It just goes about to show how the politicians, bureaucrats, rich businessmen and the media join hands to loot the public. The investigative agency has already stated that it may not be possible to recover any of the monies. Today’s news reports indicate the scam could be well over Rs 8000 Crore. Maybe they decided it was enough and they could close down the operations officially by letting the tardy, slow legal system take charge of burying the company.

Let us wait and watch how many big names tumble out of this closet.

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