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CPM & JD-U go after Indian holders of Swiss accounts

Indian accounts in Swiss banks

Indian accounts in Swiss banks

JD-U president Sharad Yadav told reporters here: “India tops the list of countries whose citizens have deposited monies in Swiss banks and we must ask the government there to reveal the names.”

CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat made the demand last week during the release of his party manifesto. (via The Hindu News Update Service).

Back to the sources

Google search showed that this Swiss Bank story originated from a chain-mail.

The Swiss Banking Federation has NO such report – that I can make out. (BTW, the Swiss Banking Federation has only French and German versions of their reports. So, much for English being a universal language).

I also found just one blogger who did trash this chainmail. Again, like the Indian Hacker Hoax, the New York Times made no mention of Indian accounts in the Swiss banks – and neither did Time magazine. But another lazy Indian journalist, Praful Bidwai, hedged his statements, by the use of words like ‘off-the-record conversations’ and ‘highly credible independent accounts’ along with with words like ‘substantial‘.

This looks like the Indian hacker story which appeared some time back – and Indian media picked up without verifying anything. Turned out, that it was a complete hoax – a fabrication.

Such chain-mails, I think spring from: –

  1. The low esteem of Indians.
  2. Willingness to believe the worst about other Indians.
  3. Colonial era prejudices and biases – especially against our politicians and industrialists.

Chain-mail hoax

This story seems to be in the same category as

  1. Indians are 40% of NASA; 50% of Microsoft and Intel is 40% Indians chain-mail story, which our Minister, D Purandeshwari used in the Parliament to embarrassing effect.
  2. The other type of email that periodically does the rounds is the one about Indian Parliament meets for less than 100 days and our politicians cost the Indian taxpayer more than Rs.100 cr. for every minute kind of email.
  3. Do you know how many people were hospitalized /died after Sankrantri /Holi /Diwali kind of chain mail.

The imaginary Indian Swiss Accounts

The imaginary Indian Swiss Accounts

The same text, has been on the blogosphere, pseudo-news sites, Internet for most of the last 1 year. Google Search throws up more than 200 links which quote the same chain-mail.

I went through about 80-90 of these links and practically all of them were the same text. People are just doing a copy paste of the same story. I wonder who did this story – first. What was the motivation?

All political parties, (CPM, JD(U), BJP, et al) – everyone, jumped onto this hoax chain mail.

Maybe our esteemed politicians and the Great Indian Middle Class should actually go after some real problems – instead of imaginary windmills.

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  1. March 28, 2009 at 12:57 pm

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