Grand Tamasha

The Rise of the "Scams Raj"

Episode Summary

Recruiters charge job seekers for expensive trainings in promise of a career that never materializes. Call centers pose as IRS agents to extort gullible Americans. Students cheat their way through exams with the help of professional test takers. Milan talks to Snigdha Poonam about the rise of scams in India.

Episode Notes

Milan talks with Snigdha Poonam, national affairs reporter for the Hindustan Times, on the startling rise of truly outrageous scams across India. Through a series of eye-popping investigations, Snigdha and her colleagues have mastered the art of exposing extraordinary scams involving ordinary people in India. They have uncovered call center scams, insurance scams, exam scams, fake jobs scams, and other scams that you did not even know existed.

Snigdha is the author of the book, Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing Their World, and has a knack for getting deep inside the psyche of the Indian heartland. Milan speaks with Snigdha about her journalistic exploits, the personal toll of investigative reporting, and what is powering the proliferation of scams in the “New India.” Here is their conversation, recorded in the Hindustan Times studio in New Delhi last summer.