EDITORIAL: Craze For Easy Money

It is no more a secret that the so called networking companies have looted huge amounts of money from the people of Manipur though there is no denying that a few people who joined these companies at the initial stage of their business activities or operations were benefited somehow. In today’s neo-liberal world marked by globalization, many people have imbibed a tendency of earning money as much as possible at the minimum cost or labor. Generally, these group of people, whose numbers are being multiplied every day, are ready to face all kinds of risks in their pursuit for easy money. Overpowered by their own urge to become millionaires overnight, they invested huge amounts of money after collecting the money using all means, fair or foul. But the unfortunate part is, it appears these people throw away their rationality in their craze for big returns, that too in the shortest period, and end up investing their hard-money in wrong places.

Companies based on networking of people (investors) through internet which ultimately turned out to be hoax are the only winners. These companies used all their expertise and slyness to present themselves as genuine and legal though they are actually hoax. These companies are, in fact, masters of the art of treachery and camouflage that even the educated and so called knowledgeable people fell prey to their trickery. Such deceitful practices are not confined in Manipur alone. Similar acts of duplicity and treachery are reported from different parts of India and abroad. One must acknowledge that in this age of consumerism, there are people everywhere whose talents and resources are wholly concentrated on deceiving people in the most intricate and apparently legal manner.

Manipur saw a phenomenal rise in terms of invasion by hoax companies in the last few years looting crores of rupees within this short period. In fact, the issue of network companies disappearing into thin air is still fresh in Manipur. Many inattentive investors are still suffering from the pangs of losing their hard-earned money. It is not only the cash based networking companies. There have been many instances of hoax firms taking away gold jewelry after collecting them with the promise of free gold coating/plating; disappearance of dubious agents after collecting huge amounts by dangling household articles at unreasonably lower prices etc. Some other frauds offered loans only to disappear after collecting huge amounts from a large number of people as deposit.

Again, some other groups offered employment to people at their own homes only to rob people of their hard-earned money. There is another group of frauds who used mathematical problems with a wager that those who can solve the problems would be given certain prizes through postal services. But when people sent their solutions, they were asked certain amounts in the name of service tax or transportation charge. In the end, what the people got as their prizes were not worth even half of the amounts they sent. There were also cases of some people collecting large amounts of money in the name of securing jobs or sponsoring professional training courses, only to disappear with the money without delivering their promises. Sadly, it’s been a long time large sections of the people of Manipur have been duped by such hoax companies and frauds.

It’s natural for man to seek happiness at the cost of minimum labor. It is this natural tendency of man that is being exploited by their own fellow human beings. This tribe of people exercises all their ingenuity and shrewdness to earn big and easy money from the larger public who are not as shrewd or treacherous as themselves. It was this misfortune that befell upon a sizeable section of the people of Manipur very recently. Nevertheless, as the Manipuri saying goes Huranbagi Tarani, Mapugi Nongma (ten days for thieves, one day for owners), there were instances when some frauds who disappeared and re-surfaced to dupe people again and again landed in trouble.

In Manipur too, some people who deceived people in connivance with frauds or hoax companies wittingly or unwittingly have been penalized. But it is the manner and degree how these frauds were punished. Though many of them are outright frauds, it remains a tricky question when it comes to penalizing them within the Indian legal system. According to the Indian legal system, no accused can be convicted without concrete evidence. Nobody would argue that such legal set up often provides escape routes to many frauds and criminals. Just as they know the escape routes, they have little fear of the law or reservation to indulge again and again in their criminal acts. Under such circumstances, it is the general public who are at the receiving end. Having said this, we hope the recent episode of the collapse of hoax network companies would serve as a constant reminder to all the people that short cut to richness can also be route to doom. For the overall and uniform well being of the society, there is an urgent need to re-groom the ethics of industry rather than focusing on earning easy money with minimal labor. It is also imperative to give exemplary punishment to all the guilty frauds in order to wean them away from their deceitful acts, and also to prevent further victimization of the ignorant or gullible public.

*The Sangai Express Editorial

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