2018 has been a roller coaster ride for the country. Since the year started, almost every day every news channels and newspapers have been flashing news about some or the other scam and leak in different sectors of industry. So I would term 2018 a ‘Leak Year’.
Rahul Gandhi tweets in Hindi, How many leaks? Data leak! Aadhar Leak! SSC Exam leak! Election date leak! CBSE papers leak! Everything is leaking, The watchman is weak.
PNB scam, the most shocking scam of the leak year was revealed when on February 14, 2018, one of India’s biggest banks, Punjab National Bank (PNB), disclosed a fraud of $1.77 billion. PNB filed a complaint to the CBI alleging the villain behind this scam is Nirav Modi, a jeweller who has dressed top Hollywood and Bollywood personalities. From Kate Winslet to Priyanka Chopra, Modi’s list is unending. The entire country was taken aback by the revelation. The scam dates back to 2011, the bank claims that Modi and company used fake PNB guarantees worth $1.77 billion to obtain loans from the overseas branches of Indian banks, claiming to need the cash to import pearls, according to documents made public or seen by Bloomberg. The entire country was going ga ag over social media platforms, every tweet and post was about #PNBscam. Only one person had nothing to tweet about, PM Narendra Modi. While the entire country was ablaze, PM Modi was tweeting birthday wishes.
Followed by the PNB scam, a couple of scams came to light. The CBI registered a case against diamond jewellery exporter Dwarka Das Seth International for an alleged bank loan fraud to the tune of Rs 389.85 crore towards the Oriental Bank of Commerce. The CBI on Wednesday filed a case against businessman Amit Singla and others on a complaint of Bank of Maharashtra for securing a loan on the false representation by forging documents and its criminal misappropriation and use. The banking and finance sector was quite in news for a while.
While the whole country was still discussing the PNB scam, the Rotomac scam barged in. The CBI booked Kanpur-based businessman Vikram Kothari, his wife and his son in connection with the alleged swindling of Rs 3,695 crore of loan funds advanced by a consortium of seven banks to his company Rotomac Global Pvt Limited.
Well, the PM had nothing to comment on this too. Rafale deal was another issue which jolted the country with its inside story. Congress president Rahul Gandhi slammed the Narendra Modi government over the Rafale fighter aircraft deal and raised doubts about the ‘secrecy’ surrounding the negotiations and cost of the France-made fighter jet, according to several media reports.
Rahul tweeted: “Top Secret (Not for Distribution) RM says the price negotiated for each RAFALE jet by the PM and his “reliable” buddy is a state secret.
1.Informing Parliament about the price is a national security threat
2.Brand all who ask, Anti National#TheGreatRafaleMystery”
Congress’ attack came after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman created an uproar after she told the Rajya Sabha she could not divulge details of the deal citing a secrecy clause in the agreement signed with the French government. Why was it so hard for the Defence Minister to reveal the amount, after all it’s the taxpayers’ money and the government owes them an explanation.
On this situation, ANI tweeted “The Defence Minister says that we will not reveal the amount paid for buying the aircraft. What does this mean? This only means there is a scam. Modi ji personally went to Paris, he changed the deal. The whole country knows it: Congress President Rahul Gandhi.”
The country was just sinking in with all this commotion until Facebook bombarded them with news of data leak.. In a post, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, while explaining how the data was misused pointed out how, in 2013, “A Cambridge University researcher named Aleksandr Kogan created a personality quiz app. It was installed by around 300,000 people who shared their data as well as some of their friends’ data. Given the way our platform worked at the time, this meant Kogan was able to access tens of millions of their friends’ data.”
While Zuckerberg claimed that since then Facebook has over time changed the way it platforms functions to ‘dramatically limit the data apps could access’, it could not stop the breach of trust by Kogan, who had shared the data collected with Cambridge Analytica.
Well, this is not it, post the data leak, SSC exam papers, CBSE 10th and 12th Mathamatics papers leaked too. The students who worked the entire year and appeared for the exam were left with nothing but disappointment. Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “The exam leaks destroy the hopes and futures of millions of students. The Congress always protected our institutions. This is what happens when institutions are destroyed by the RSS/BJP. Believe me when I say, this is only the beginning”.
And yet again our Prime Minister had nothing to say about instead he just showed how disappointed he was with this incident. All these incidents and the reactions of the present government regarding such incidents makes me think ..Did we really choose the right watchman for our country?
Is it deja vu for the common man, with so many scams coming out and a silent PM, reminding us of Manmohan’s UPA era. have we come a full circle?