30 Monday
July 2018
Organized bank fraud?

In view of the less cash movement, I had encouraged my staff to open bank accounts so their money would be safe. Imagine the irony when I found that Karnataka bank has started cheating these poor people!

My clinic boy was withdrawing Rs 10,000 from his account on 10th July at 8.40 pm from Karnataka bank ATM in sector 31 when the ATM machine shut off. He got an sms saying the money was deducted from his account but no money came out. There was no guard on duty so he called the call centre from there itself and told them his predicament. He was advised to go to the bank following morning and everything would be sorted. He filed a complaint on 11th morning and was told to come back after a week. On 17th he went again when was told to come back after a week. He asked them to open the CCTV footage but was told to wait. On 24th he got an sms saying his claim was rejected. I went with him and spoke to the deputy manager, gave another written complaint and was told to wait. Today, he got a final message saying your claim is rejected! Repeated emails to the bank have gone unanswered.

We filed a complaint online addressed to the Commissioner Police gurgaon and physically at the sector 40 police station. This is absolutely unbelievable. For this man,it’s a very significant amount of money. He feels cheated and doesn’t see how justice will be served.

I had read a few years back that the bank is responsible for keeping people’s money safe and as long as the complaint was made immediately the customer is not held responsible. Here the customer was cheated by his own branch and the officers shrug off responsibility to the call centre, while the call centre sends them to the branch.

On one hand we have a whole push for digital cashless India , and on the other poor people are being made scapegoats of such fraud. I urge the police to take immediate action and hope he will get his money back into the account ASAP. He feels really shaken up and was wondering if he would have to take leave every month to withdraw money from his bank account to pay for rent and grocery, as I doubt he could ever trust an ATM again.

The nonchalance of the Bank’s attitude makes me feel that this is something they do routinely, especially to people who do not have the wherewithal to reach out for justice. He doesn’t know how to write an application and the Bank’s officers seemed very dismissive until I showed up at the branch. They could have accessed the CCTV footage immediately and identified if the money was taken by someone else or if the money did come out of the ATM machine at all.

I’m very disheartened to see this kind of organized fraud by Banks who’s integrity was the keyword in another era. I don’t know what to tell my staff now,I’m sure they will all want salary in cash from now on. I don’t know how to tell them that we are supposed to work towards a cashless economy. They already got less cash left in their account thanks to the bank theft.

25 Wednesday
July 2018

The incidents are beginning to numb the brain. Earlier there was shock, disbelief, disgust, anger,curdling of the blood, and now , the news of another cow associated human murder story. If we don’t raise our voices, we will become a part of the system that supports this. I just want to say, this mob madness is not in my name.

In Germany, decades ago, there started a fringe persecution of Jews. Some fanatics would make comments, harass and beat, isolated incidents which were brushed off by the majority of Germans as random acts of violence. Their silence led eventually to a madman becoming the head of Germany, and more than 60 lakh Jews being killed; a holocaust so brutal one cannot make sense of even today. Similar radicalization has started in India. Beating up of a disabled person for not standing up in a movie theatre during the National Anthem. Calling him anti-National. Branding anyone who speaks against the government policy as “Anti –National”. Anti-Hindu. “Psuedo-secular”. Banning beef sales as it was not acceptable to the majority. In selective states only. Killing a human being on a suspicion that the meat in his fridge is beef. ( It wasn’t, but the man was dead) Killing a 15 year old on a frivolous argument in a train, and then arresting his family members for the fight. Killing people for transporting cows even when they have the papers. Killing a boy for falling in love with a girl from another religion. Raping and killing a child because she belonged to another religion. And instead of justice, there is a celebration of the lynchers and government jobs being given; they are being honored by a minister. We have become such a pitiable society. Nothing like this would have happened if the head of the country put his foot down and said this is absolutely unacceptable. This is not what we tolerate in India. For the first time when the person was hit in the theatre if the law agencies took stringent action, do you think any of this would have happened?? In silence, lies complicity. Police personnel took turns hitting the injured instead of taking him to the hospital, took the unharmed cows to a shelter, before taking him to the hospital, and brought him 4 hours later to the hospital. Dead.

Inside the court premises, a man was attacked because he wanted to register and marry a woman of another religion. Inside court premises! Inter- religion marriages are completely legal in the India I knew. What has my country become?

We were held hostage by a fringe Sena for some imagined injury to their pride in a movie. They beat up the director while his movie was being shot, and refused to let it release despite the censor board’s certification. The movie was released with unprecedented police security, I have never before seen policemen walking inside a theatre. And it turned out to be much ado about nothing. The movie was an ode to Rajputi valour and pride, just as the director had said it would be, but school buses were burnt and whole cities came to a standstill because these fringes have now become mainstream.

India continues to be the largest beef exporter in the world. And the owners of these export houses are mostly Hindus. Still the small butchers’ shops have been shut down. Small leather units are affected.The small farmer who doesn’t know what to do with his cow when it stops being useful is at risk of being beaten up or killed if he transports his cows.

How many people will be hit, injured, maimed, killed before we cry out, Enough??Stop!! I don’t want anyone to be hurt in my name.In the name of religion.Or caste.Or gender.Or cows. This country has welcomed people of all nationalities for 5000 years. We have 29 states, 22 languages,9 religions, and 1.3 billion people. Can’t we stop hurting each other?

I call out to each and every Indian to please help stop this politics of hatred. I don’t care which political party you support, or who you vote for. I don’t care what caste you belong to, which God you pray to, which language you speak. Please do not keep quiet while people are being killed for cows, religion, rumors and fake WhatsApp forwards.

No religion is in danger. Only Humanity is in grave peril. I want a very strong fear of the law, not mobs. I want justice to be given to those who have been persecuted, not the attackers. I want a Zero Tolerance for crimes against humanity.

I want my India back.

Jai Hind.
Dr.Sarika Verma
ENT Surgeon & Allergy Specialist