On the agenda

Delhi weekend cultural calendar: Heritage walks, gardening workshop, and more

There is a lot happening in the nation's capital over the next three days.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2
WALKS Delhi Walk Festival
The last leg of this two-week festival will include a set of walks in Delhi’s heritage areas, some of which will be led by well-known writers and historians. The schedule includes a walk around the Khwaja Qutub Dargah led by columnist Sadia Dehlvi and a tour of the Qutub Complex led by historian Sohail Hashmi. See here for the full schedule. Tickets priced at Rs 400 per person per walk are being sold on Bookmyshow.com
When: Until Sunday, December 4, from 7.30 am.
Where: Various locations.

FILM Quotes from the Earth: An Environmental Film Festival at India International Centre
Seventeen short and feature-length films on environmental issues such as biodiversity, waste management, toxic chemicals and climate change will be screened at this two-day festival organised by Delhi NGO Toxics Link and the India International Centre. Among the documentaries that will be screened are Markus Imhoof’s More Than Honey (2012) about the global threat to bees; Taylor Graham’s Taming the Teesta (2015) about protests against the hydroelectric development on the Teesta river and Mariah Wilson’s Kaziranga (2015) about rhino poaching at the national park in Assam. There is no entry fee. See the Facebook event page for more information. For the complete schedule, see here and here.
When: Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3, from 9.45 am.
Where: CD Deshmukh Auditorium, India International Centre, 40 Max Mueller Marg. Tel: 011 2461 9431.

MUSIC THEATRE Living Lightly: Journeys with Pastoralists at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts
This exhibition and series of events that highlights the lives of India’s pastoral communities will include a performance of the Urdu storytelling form of Dastangoi (on Friday at 7pm) and Rooh ki Mehfil, a recitation of the works of seventeenth-century Sindhi poet Shah Latif set to music (Saturday and Sunday at 6pm). There is no entry fee; register here. See here for the full schedule and the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Until Sunday, December 18, from 10 am to 9 pm.
Where: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Rajendra Prasad Road. Tel: 011 2338 8155.

DANCE TALKS Natya Ballet Dance Festival at Sangeet Natak Akademi
The ongoing three-day festival features performances and talks focused on contemporary and classical Indian dance. Bharatanatyam dancer Anita Ratnam and writer Gowri Ramnarayan, both of whom live in Chennai, and Delhi choreographer Mandeep Raikhy will discuss ‘Dance Design: Understanding Choreography in Indian Dance’ (on Friday at 10.30 am at Sangeet Natak Akademi); capital-based kathak dancer Aditi Mangaldas and her troupe will perform Widening Circles (on Friday at 7 pm at LTG Auditorium); and Mumbai-residing contemporary dancer Astad Deboo will perform Eternal Embrace (on Saturday at 7 pm at Sangeek Natak Akademi). There is no entry fee; register here. See here for the full schedule. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Until Saturday, December 3.
When: Meghdoot Theatre, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Rabindra Bhavan, 35 Ferozeshah Road. Tel: 011 2338 7246. LTG Auditorium, 1 Copernicus Marg, Mandi House, opposite Doordarshan Bhavan, near Connaught Place, Delhi. Tel: 011 2338 9713.

ART Traditional and Folk Art at Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre
Art for Concern, an organisation that promotes traditional and upcoming Indian artists, will present an exhibition showcasing indigenous art forms such as mata ni pachedi from Gujarat, kalamkari from Andhra Pradesh and bronze sculpture from Tamil Nadu. There is no entry fee. See here for more information.
When: Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3, from 11 am to 8 pm.
Where: Balassi Institute, Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre, near Hotel Claridges, 1-A, Janpath.

CONVENTION Heartwork Tattoo Festival at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium
Well-known tattoo artists from India and overseas will demonstrate their skills at this convention. There is no entry fee; register here. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Friday, December 2, Saturday, December 3 and Sunday, December 4, from 11 am to 9 pm.
Where: Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, Indraprastha Estate, near Raj Ghat, Grand Trunk Road.

POTTERY Ceramic Fest Delhi 2016 at Sanskriti Kala Kendra
Delhi Blue Pottery Trust’s annual ceramic exhibition will showcase works by potters from across the country. There is no entry fee.
When: Friday, December 2, Saturday, December 3 and Sunday, December 4, from 11 am to 6 pm.
Where: Sanskriti Kala Kendra, Anand Gram, Ghitorni. Tel: 011 2650 1796.

TALKS DANCE Queer Conversations at Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan
This two-day series of talks, organised as part of Delhi QueerFest 2016, will feature panel discussions about queerness in relation to the media, ageing, art and student politics. The event will end with multiple performances of city-based dancer and choreographer Mandeep Raikhy’s Queen Size, which explores the relationship between two homosexual men in India. There is no entry fee. See here for the schedule and the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Friday, December 2, from 5pm and Saturday, December 3, from 4pm.
Where: Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, 3 Kasturba Gandhi Marg. Tel: 011 2347 1100.

FILM Anari at India Habitat Centre
Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s classic Hindi film Anari (1959), a love story starring Raj Kapoor and Nutan, will be screened. There is no entry fee.
When: Friday, December 2 at 7 pm.
Where: The Stein Auditorium, Habitat World, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, near Air Force Bal Bharati School. Tel: 011 2468 2002.

MUSIC Motonaga Hiromu and M. Mangangsana Meitei at Delhi Karnataka Sangha
At this concert organised by the Japan Foundation, Japanese musician Motonaga Hiromu, who plays the traditional Japanese flute known as the shakuhachi, will collaborate with Imphal’s M. Mangangsana Meitei, who plays the Manipuri single-string fiddle called pena. There is no entry fee. See the Facebook event page or here for more information.
When: Friday, December 2 at 7 pm.
Where: Delhi Karnataka Sangha, Rao Tula Ram Marg, Sector 12, RK Puram.

THEATRE Saag Meat at Club Patio
Directed and performed by Seema Bhargava Pahwa and based on a story by Bhisham Sahni, Hindi play Saag Meat tells the tale of Jagga, a Punjabi family’s reliable house help who is compelled by circumstances to take his own life. Tickets priced at Rs 850 per person, which entitles attendees to dinner, are being sold on Bookmyshow.com. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Friday, December 2 at 7 pm.
Where: Club Patio, Pool Lawn, Block E, South City-I, Gurgaon. Tel: 0124 458 5100.

COMEDY Sumit Anand + Abhishek Upmanyu + Amit Sharma at Canvas Laugh Club
Stand-up comedians Sumit Anand and Amit Sharma from Delhi and Abhishek Upmanyu from Mumbai will each present a set. Tickets priced at Rs 500 per person are being sold on Bookmyshow.com.
When: Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3 at 7.30 pm and 9.30 pm and Sunday, December 4 at 7.30 pm.
Where: Canvas Laugh Club, The People and Co. Premises No. 5, Building No. 8, Tower B, Cyber City, Gurgaon. Tel: 0124 414 1000.

MUSIC Neeni G + Nikhil Mawkin at Depot 29
Singers Neeni G aka Nini Gallon from Brazil and Nikhil Mawkin from Delhi will perform. There is no entry fee. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Friday, December 2 at 8.45 pm.
Where: Depot 29, Levels 2 & 3, B6/2 Commercial Complex, Humayunpur, Safdarjung Enclave. Tel: 97174 50029.

MUSIC Fundamentals with Vinayak^a + Hoax at BandStand
This instalment of electronic dance music magazine Euphoric’s gig night Fundamentals will feature sets by DJs Vinayak^a aka Vinayak Karthikayan from Bangalore and Hoax aka Akshay Bhalla from Delhi. There is no entry fee. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Friday, December 2 at 9 pm.
Where: BandStand, 7, DDA Shopping Complex, Aurobindo Place, Hauz Khas Village. Tel: 90132 08104.

MUSIC Hamza + Manu Idhra + The Rajasthan Folkstars at Raasta HKV
Delhi house music DJ Hamza Rahimtula, Portuguese percussionist Manu Idhra and The Rajasthan Folkstars, a group of Manganiyar folk musicians, will perform. There is no entry fee. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Friday, December 2 at 9 pm.
Where: Raasta, First Floor, 30-A Hauz Khas Village. Tel: 011 4062 3028.

MUSIC Sanjeeta Bhattacharya + Adhir Ghosh + Kunal No at La Bodega
Delhi musicians, vocalist Sanjeeta Bhattacharya, guitarist Adhir Ghosh and drummer Kunal No, will present a set of Latin jazz. There is no entry fee. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Friday, December 2 at 9 pm.
Where: La Bodega, First Floor, 29-B Middle Lane, Khan Market. Tel: 011 4310 5777.

MUSIC Sound Avtar at Cyber Hub Social
Mumbai-based bass music DJ-producer Sound Avtar aka Piyush Bhatnagar will play a set. There is no entry fee. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Friday, December 2 at 9 pm.
Where: Cyber Hub Social, Shop No. 4A, Ground Floor, DLF Cyber Hub, Tower 8C, DLF Cyber City, DLF Phase 2, Sector 24, Gurgaon. Tel: 0124 423 2764.

MUSIC DJ Premier at Kitty Su
American hip-hop producer and DJ Premier aka Christopher Edward Martin will perform. Tickets priced at Rs 500 per person for single women, Rs 1,000 per person for single men and Rs 750 per couple (of any gender) are being sold on Kittysu.com. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Friday, December 2 at 10 pm.
Where: Kitty Su, The Lalit, Barakhamba Lane, Connaught Place. Tel: 1800 11 6777.

MUSIC Smash Nasty at Nehru Place Social
Delhi-residing electronic music DJ Smash Nasty aka Sidharth Arora will play a set. There is no entry fee. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Friday, December 2 at 10 pm.
Where: Nehru Place Social, R-1, Upper Ground Floor, Epicuria Food Mall, Nehru Place Metro Station, Nehru Place. Tel: 78385 00838.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3
ART Parked-At with Sonal Varshneya at Limón
Parked-At, a series of pop-up art exhibitions, will display Agra-based artist Sonal Varshneya’s etchings, which are inspired by Indian mythology. There is no entry fee; RSVP by calling 98101 83427 or sending an email to info@limon-design.com. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: From Saturday, December 3 to Sunday, December 11, from 11 am to 7 pm.
Where: Limón, 1/29 C, Second Floor, Shanti Niketan. Tel: 088262 78883.

SHOPPING German Christmas Market at the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce
The annual Christmas market organised by the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce will have food and shopping stalls selling Christmas decorations, cosmetics and home accessories. Tickets priced at Rs 350 per person will be sold at the venue. There is no entry fee for children below 12 years. See here for more information.
When: Saturday, December 3 and Sunday, December 4, from 11 am to 7 pm.
Where: Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, German House, 2 Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri. Tel: 011 4716 8888.

COMEDY Sumit Anand at The Attic
Delhi-based stand-up comedian Sumit Anand will perform a show titled Buffering. Tickets priced at Rs 200 per person are being sold on Insider.in.
When: Saturday, December 3 at 5 pm.
Where: The Attic, 36, Regal Building, Parliament Street, Hanuman Road Area, Connaught Place. Tel: 011 2374 6050.

THEATRE Bade Bhai Sahab at Canvas Laugh Club
Hindi play Bade Bhai Sahab, directed by Aditya Dubey and based on a story by Premchand, is a tale of sibling rivalry in which a shy elder brother keeps getting outshone by his clever younger brother. Tickets priced at Rs 500 per person are being sold on Bookmyshow.com.
When: Saturday, December 3 at 5 pm.
Where: Canvas Laugh Club, The People and Co. Premises No. 5, Building No. 8, Tower B, Cyber City, Gurgaon. Tel: 0124 414 1000.

BOOKS The Fall at Coffee Home
Readers’ Break, an organisation that holds weekly book discussions, will conduct a session on Albert Camus’ 1956 novel The Fall. Participants are encouraged to bring their own copies of the book. There is no entry fee. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Saturday, December 3 at 6 pm.
Where: Coffee Home, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Connaught Place. Tel: 011 2336 8108.

THEATRE Hindu Code Bill at Shri Ram Centre
Directed by Arvind Gaur and written by Rajesh Kumar, this Hindi play tells the story of how the Hindu Code Bill, a set of laws to reform Hindu personal law in India especially the status of women, was passed despite strong opposition. Tickets priced at Rs 100 and Rs 200 per person are being sold on Bookmyshow.com.
When: Saturday, December 3 at 6.30 pm.
Where: Shri Ram Centre, Mandi House, 4 Safdar Hashmi Marg. Tel: 011 2373 1112.

MUSIC TALKS Lila Prism Lecture Series 2016 with the Gundecha Brothers at India Habitat Centre
Singers and siblings Umakant Gundecha and Ramakant Gundecha, who specialise in the dhrupad style of Hindustani classical music, will talk about the ancient system, at this year’s edition of the Lila Prism lecture series organised by the Delhi-based Lila Foundation for Translocal Initiatives. There is no entry fee. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Saturday, December 3 at 7 pm.
Where: Gulmohar, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, near Airforce Bal Bharati School. Tel: 011 2468 2002.

MUSIC Ojapali at Depot 48
Delhi-based band Assamese folk-fusion duo Ojapali aka Bhargava Das and Dhon Rongpi will perform. There is no entry fee; RSVP via Insider.in. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Saturday, December 3 at 8.45 pm.
Where: Depot 48, N3, Second Floor, N Block Market, Greater Kailash I. Tel: 011 4508 1948.

MUSIC Paul Dempsey + Gordi at BandStand
At this gig organised by the Australian High Commission, Australian alternative rock vocalist and guitarist Paul Dempsey and singer-songwriter Gordi aka Sophie Payten will each perform sets. There is no entry fee. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Saturday, December 3 at 9 pm.
Where: BandStand, 7, DDA Shopping Complex, Aurobindo Place, Hauz Khas Village. Tel: 90132 08104.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4
FILM Delhi International Film Festival at NDMC Convention Centre
The fifth edition of the week-long Delhi International Film Festival will showcase a number of feature, documentary, animated and short films from India and around the world. See here for the complete schedule.
When: Until Friday, December 9, from 9.30 am.
Where: NDMC Convention Centre, Sansad Marg, Hanuman Road Area, Connaught Place.

GARDENING WORKSHOPS Keep Your Soil Happy! The Soil Health Workshop at Farm 8
Organised by gardening consultancy Edible Routes, this workshop will teach participants about soil composition and composting. Tickets priced at Rs 1,250 per person are being sold on Insider.in. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Sunday, December 4, from 10 am to 3 pm.
Where: Farm 8, Aya Nagar Phase 5.

THEATRE Pakistan Aur Alzheimer’s at Alliance Francaise de Delhi
Written and directed by M. Sayeed Alam, Pakistan Aur Alzheimer’s is a Hindustani monologue performed by actor Saleem Shah, who essays a 90-year-old man with Alzheimer’s. He recounts his memories of Partition, which are factually incorrect but humourous and reflective of common stereotypes. Tickets priced at Rs 300, Rs 400 and Rs 500 per person are being sold on Bookmyshow.com.
When: Sunday, December 4 at 4 pm.
Where: Alliance Francaise de Delhi, 72 Lodhi Estate. Tel: 011 4350 0200.

THEATRE She Said/He Said at Akshara Theatre
Directed by Anasuya Vaidya, English comedy She Said/He Said hinges on two couples who learn some lessons about love in a park. Passes priced at Rs 200 per person are being sold on Bookmyshow.com.
When: Sunday, December 4 at 5 pm.
Where: Akshara Theatre, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, near Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. Tel: 011 2374 2083.

FILM Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro at Akshara Theatre
The Sunset Cinema Club will host an open-air screening of Kundan Shah’s cult Hindi film comedy Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983). Passes priced at Rs 350 per person are being sold on Bookmyshow.com.
When: Sunday, December 4 at 6 pm.
Where: Akshara Theatre, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, near Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. Tel: 011 2374 2083.

THEATRE A Woman Alone at Shri Ram Centre
In this Hindi adaptation of Dario Fo and Franca Rame’s Italian play Una Donna Tutta Sola, directed by Arvind Gaur, Shilpi Marwaha plays a housewife on the brink of insanity. She converses with her neighbour about her various problems: her husband who abuses her, her younger lover, her lecherous brother-in-law and her demanding baby. Tickets priced at Rs 100 and Rs 200 per person are being sold on Bookmyshow.com.
When: Sunday, December 4 at 6.30 pm.
Where: Shri Ram Centre, Mandi House, 4 Safdar Hashmi Marg. Tel: 011 2373 1112.

COMEDY Papa CJ at Ojas Art Gallery
Delhi-based stand-up comedian Papa CJ will perform a gig organised to raise funds for the Salaam Balak Trust, which works for the welfare of street children. For donor passes, email guntashdhingra@gmail.com. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Sunday, December 4 at 7 pm.
Where: Ojas Art Gallery, 1AQ, Qutab Minar Roundabout, Mehrauli Road. Tel: 011 2664 4145.

THEATRE Bheja Fry at Pearey Lal Bhawan
In director by Anil Sharma’s Hindi comedy, members of five generations of a family living under one roof try to outdo each other with their poetry. Tickets priced at Rs 200 and Rs 300 per person are being sold on Bookmyshow.com.
When: Sunday, December 4 at 7 pm.
Where: Pearey Lal Bhawan, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, ITO. Tel: 011 4150 9109.

THEATRE 2 Facets: The Story and Itihaas at Lok Kala Manch
Two Hindi plays will be performed by Gurgaon-based theatre group Parindey Productions. Written and directed by Prakhar Gautam, The Story is about how an author overcomes writer’s block; Itihaas recreates the Battle of Plassey, but from the viewpoint of the common man. Tickets priced at Rs 200 per person are being sold on Bookmyshow.com.
When: Sunday, December 4 at 7.15 pm.
Where: Lok Kala Manch, 20 Lodhi Institutional Area, Lodhi Road. Tel: 011 6580 6268.

DANCE Astad Deboo at Kingdom of Dreams
Mumbai-based contemporary dancer Astad Deboo will present his new show Eternal Embrace, a collaboration with Japanese musician Yukio Tsuji that is based on Bulleh Shah’s poem Maati. Tickets priced at Rs 899 and Rs 1,099 per person are being sold on Bookmyshow.com.
When: Sunday, December 4 at 7.30 pm.
Where: Kingdom of Dreams, Sector 29, Gurgaon. Tel: 0124 452 8000.

THEATRE Man Disposes, God Proposes at Alliance Francaise
Director Saleem Shah’s English adaptation of British playwright and lawyer John Mortimer’s drama The Dock Brief centres around Himaqat Qureshi, who has been charged with the murder of his wife. He’s sure to be proven guilty until lawyer Kamal Kant Tripathi comes along. Tickets priced at Rs 300, Rs 400 and Rs 500 per person are being sold on Bookmyshow.com.
When: Sunday, December 4 at 7.30 pm.
Where: Alliance Francaise de Delhi, 72 Lodhi Estate. Tel: 011 4350 0200.

MUSIC Coridoors at Depot 29
Capital-residing electronic music producer Coridoors aka Rijul Victor, who is also the drummer of metal outfit Colossal Figures, will perform. There is no entry fee. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Sunday, December 4 at 8.45 pm.
Where: Depot 29, Levels 2 & 3, B6/2 Commercial Complex, Humayunpur, Safdarjung Enclave. Tel: 97174 50029.

ONGOING
ART Enactments and Each Passing Day at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art
An exhibition of video works by 15 contemporary artists including Gigi Scaria, Vivan Sundaram, Rohini Devasher and Rashid Rana. See here for more information.
When: Until Thursday, December 8. Open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10.30 am to 6.30 pm; Monday, closed.
Where: Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Plot No. 3A, Sector 126, Noida. Tel: 011 4916 0000.

ART Jeram Patel at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art
This retrospective of the works of artist Jeram Patel titled the dark loam: between memory and membrane focuses on paintings he made using blowtorches and crow quills. For more information, see here.
When: Until Tuesday, December 20. Open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10.30 am to 6.30 pm; Monday, closed.
Where: Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, 145, DLF South Court Mall, Saket. Tel: 011 4916 0000.

ART Puneet Kaushik at Gallery Espace
Delhi-based artist Puneet Kaushik’s mixed media exhibition Barren Red showcases vanishing folk and tribal Indian arts such as weaving, knitting and bead work.
When: Until Tuesday, December 20. Open Monday to Saturday, from 11 am to 7 pm; Sunday, closed.
Where: Gallery Espace, 16, Community Centre, New Friends Colony. Tel: 011 2692 2947.

ART Santosh Jain at Art Heritage Gallery
City-based artist Santosh Jain is showing Time Frame/s: Digital Landscapes, a set of digital art photography works. There is no entry fee. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Until Tuesday, December 20. Open Monday to Saturday from 11 am to 7 pm; Sunday, closed.
Where: Art Heritage Gallery, Triveni Kala Sangam, 205 Tansen Marg, Mandi House. Tel: 011 2371 9470.

These recommendations have been compiled by The Daily Pao.

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Behind the garb of wealth and success, white collar criminals are hiding in plain sight

Understanding the forces that motivate leaders to become fraudsters.

Most con artists are very easy to like; the ones that belong to the corporate society, even more so. The Jordan Belforts of the world are confident, sharp and can smooth-talk their way into convincing people to bend at their will. For years, Harshad Mehta, a practiced con-artist, employed all-of-the-above to earn the sobriquet “big bull” on Dalaal Street. In 1992, the stockbroker used the pump and dump technique, explained later, to falsely inflate the Sensex from 1,194 points to 4,467. It was only after the scam that journalist Sucheta Dalal, acting on a tip-off, broke the story exposing how he fraudulently dipped into the banking system to finance a boom that manipulated the stock market.

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In her book ‘The confidence game’, Maria Konnikova observes that con artists are expert storytellers - “When a story is plausible, we often assume it’s true.” Harshad Mehta’s story was an endearing rags-to-riches tale in which an insurance agent turned stockbroker flourished based on his skill and knowledge of the market. For years, he gave hope to marketmen that they too could one day live in a 15,000 sq.ft. posh apartment with a swimming pool in upmarket Worli.

One such marketman was Ketan Parekh who took over Dalaal Street after the arrest of Harshad Mehta. Ketan Parekh kept a low profile and broke character only to celebrate milestones such as reaching Rs. 100 crore in net worth, for which he threw a lavish bash with a star-studded guest-list to show off his wealth and connections. Ketan Parekh, a trainee in Harshad Mehta’s company, used the same infamous pump-and-dump scheme to make his riches. In that, he first used false bank documents to buy high stakes in shares that would inflate the stock prices of certain companies. The rise in stock prices lured in other institutional investors, further increasing the price of the stock. Once the price was high, Ketan dumped these stocks making huge profits and causing the stock market to take a tumble since it was propped up on misleading share prices. Ketan Parekh was later implicated in the 2001 securities scam and is serving a 14-years SEBI ban. The tactics employed by Harshad Mehta and Ketan Parekh were similar, in that they found a loophole in the system and took advantage of it to accumulate an obscene amount of wealth.

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Call it greed, addiction or smarts, the 1992 and 2001 Securities Scams, for the first time, revealed the magnitude of white collar crimes in India. To fill the gaps exposed through these scams, the Securities Laws Act 1995 widened SEBI’s jurisdiction and allowed it to regulate depositories, FIIs, venture capital funds and credit-rating agencies. SEBI further received greater autonomy to penalise capital market violations with a fine of Rs 10 lakhs.

Despite an empowered regulatory body, the next white-collar crime struck India’s capital market with a massive blow. In a confession letter, Ramalinga Raju, ex-chairman of Satyam Computers convicted of criminal conspiracy and financial fraud, disclosed that Satyam’s balance sheets were cooked up to show an excess of revenues amounting to Rs. 7,000 crore. This accounting fraud allowed the chairman to keep the share prices of the company high. The deception, once revealed to unsuspecting board members and shareholders, made the company’s stock prices crash, with the investors losing as much as Rs. 14,000 crores. The crash of India’s fourth largest software services company is often likened to the bankruptcy of Enron - both companies achieved dizzying heights but collapsed to the ground taking their shareholders with them. Ramalinga Raju wrote in his letter “it was like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten”, implying that even after the realisation of consequences of the crime, it was impossible for him to rectify it.

It is theorised that white-collar crimes like these are highly rationalised. The motivation for the crime can be linked to the strain theory developed by Robert K Merton who stated that society puts pressure on individuals to achieve socially accepted goals (the importance of money, social status etc.). Not having the means to achieve those goals leads individuals to commit crimes.

Take the case of the executive who spent nine years in McKinsey as managing director and thereafter on the corporate and non-profit boards of Goldman Sachs, Procter & Gamble, American Airlines, and Harvard Business School. Rajat Gupta was a figure of success. Furthermore, his commitment to philanthropy added an additional layer of credibility to his image. He created the American India Foundation which brought in millions of dollars in philanthropic contributions from NRIs to development programs across the country. Rajat Gupta’s descent started during the investigation on Raj Rajaratnam, a Sri-Lankan hedge fund manager accused of insider trading. Convicted for leaking confidential information about Warren Buffet’s sizeable investment plans for Goldman Sachs to Raj Rajaratnam, Rajat Gupta was found guilty of conspiracy and three counts of securities fraud. Safe to say, Mr. Gupta’s philanthropic work did not sway the jury.

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The people discussed above have one thing in common - each one of them was well respected and celebrated for their industry prowess and social standing, but got sucked down a path of non-violent crime. The question remains - Why are individuals at successful positions willing to risk it all? The book Why They Do It: Inside the mind of the White-Collar Criminal based on a research by Eugene Soltes reveals a startling insight. Soltes spoke to fifty white collar criminals to understand their motivations behind the crimes. Like most of us, Soltes expected the workings of a calculated and greedy mind behind the crimes, something that could separate them from regular people. However, the results were surprisingly unnerving. According to the research, most of the executives who committed crimes made decisions the way we all do–on the basis of their intuitions and gut feelings. They often didn’t realise the consequences of their action and got caught in the flow of making more money.

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The arena of white collar crimes is full of commanding players with large and complex personalities. Billions, starring Damien Lewis and Paul Giamatti, captures the undercurrents of Wall Street and delivers a high-octane ‘ruthless attorney vs wealthy kingpin’ drama. The show looks at the fine line between success and fraud in the stock market. Bobby Axelrod, the hedge fund kingpin, skilfully walks on this fine line like a tightrope walker, making it difficult for Chuck Rhoades, a US attorney, to build a case against him.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Hotstar and not by the Scroll editorial team.