By Arré Bench Oct. 09, 2020
Today, scams have almost become commonplace. In the 90s, the word was synonymous with Harshad Mehta. Hansal Mehta’s Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story follows the rise and fall of India’s most notorious stockbroker.
The word “scam” is so commonplace today that mention of it will usually get a response of “which one?”As the recent Netflix show Bad Boy Billionaires highlighted, there is no shortage of tycoons who have participated in shady deals of various natures, leading to massive financial gains for themselves and losses for the country. But in the 1990s, things weren’t so chaotic. Back then, after broker Harshad Mehta’s 1992 bank fraud came to light, it was the only scam worth talking about. Mehta’s dealings, which netted him somewhere between ₹1,000 to ₹4,000 crore, was the biggest financial scam at the time. Adjusted for inflation, that amount would ₹24,000 crore today. And as the trailer for the newly released series Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story shows, it shook the country with its audacity.
The SCAM 1992 trailer has gotten everyone talking!#SCAM1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story, based on the book, “The Scam” by Debashis Basu and Sucheta Dalal, and directed by #HansalMehta, streaming from 09-10-20 on #SonyLIV.
— SonyLIV (@SonyLIV) October 3, 2020
Mehta died young, suffering a cardiac arrest at the age of 47 while imprisoned in Mumbai in 2001. But his name is remembered even today as the man who orchestrated the illicit dealings that caused a massive crash in the Indian stock markets and gave us our first bitter taste of a financial fraud. While profiting off his ill-gotten gains, Mehta acquired a reputation for flaunting his ostentatious wealth. This proved to be his undoing, as his conspicuous fortune attracted the attention of journalist Sucheta Dalal, whose reporting on Mehta in The Times of India led to him being investigated and eventually charged for all his economic offences.
Here is the #Scam1992 Trailer!
Scam 1992 follows the life of Harshad Mehta, a stockbroker who single-handedly took the stock market to dizzying heights & his catastrophic downfall. Based on journalist Debashis Basu & Sucheta Dalal’s book "The Scam"https://t.co/Rf20Abl9KW
— Hansal Mehta (@mehtahansal) October 1, 2020
Mehta’s story, with its gaudy displays of wealth and shady displays of cunning, is one that captured the country’s imagination as it played out in the news. Now, close to three decades later, a new generation will get to see exactly how momentous the exposé was. Scam 1992 is a 10-part series, based on The Scam: Who Won, Who Lost, Who Got Away by Debashis Basu and Sucheta Dalal, has dropped on Sony Liv today and many on Twitter seem to be giving it a thumbs-up.
#Scam1992 is streaming already on @SonyLIV. Many years of research and work by @suchetadalal and @Moneylifers adapted by @SumitPurohit and @Commonstilt with dialog by @ofnosurnamefame and #KaranVyas, co-directed by @JaiHMehta. 3 yrs, 550 pages and a passionate team…# pic.twitter.com/uUkHzYxRp0
— Hansal Mehta (@mehtahansal) October 9, 2020
Now that’s my kinda show. Currently in the middle of it and all I can say is this is a really fantastic and extremely well made show. 👍 You have slayed it in your role as Harshad Mehta. Extremely badass! #Scam1992
— Dr. Eldred (@EldredV) October 9, 2020
Watched the first couple of episodes of #Scam1992 – This one is a slow burner which is waiting to bring on some heat and then erupt as a volcano. Long drawn episodes of nearly an hour each, the series is so far exploring the underbelly of the stock market. Set to catch the rest! pic.twitter.com/7r1ciLX9g9
— Joginder Tuteja (@Tutejajoginder) October 9, 2020
The series is not the only offering that delves into Mehta’s scam. The Big Bull, starring Abhishek Bachchan, is also based on Mehta’s life. Given how the fraudster was once called the “Amitabh Bachchan of the stock market”, Bachchan Jr playing him on screen is a neat touch.
Abhishek Bachchan’s next film is the financial crime drama The Big Bull. The film’s poster was released on Thursday and Abhishek’s intense look as a stockbroker immediately took social media by storm, as celebs and fans alike shared their reactions.https://t.co/mxI5nTxTFM
— The Telegraph (@ttindia) February 14, 2020
Harshad Mehta’s scam was a complex one that involved fraudulently acquiring money from banks that he would invest in the stock market for his own gains. The workings of the scam were complicated and almost baffling to laypersons, who were nonetheless captivated by the sheer magnitude of the amounts involved. Perhaps these new films and TV shows will finally lift the veil of mystery around this scandal.