Journalists should ideally be honest fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information; ensuring accuracy, objectivity, balance and fairness. A Journalist needs to be free of any obligation, whether political or corporate or personal or personal gain. But in India, the condition of Journalism today can best be described in the words of the Irish poet Edward Eggleston – “Organized gossip”.
Take for example the story in Mid Day Mumbai on September 3, 2013 around QNet. Mid Day has lived up to its reputation of being nothing but a non-serious and sensational tabloid and a gossipmongers dream come true. Of course, the fact that journalism can fall to such a low in this country is shocking and a matter of grave concern. Lets look at why I call this story a gossipmongers dream come true. (sorry I can’t refer to it as a report or news article for the simple reason that a report or a news article has to be around facts while a story can be born out of fiction)
The story in the Mid Day is full of inaccuracies, misconstrued information, has factual errors, lies, contradictions, borders on the realm of a highly vilified imagination, has a lot of fiction and smells badly of bias and driven by vested interests. Why a journalist of the fame of Tarakant Dwivedi a.k.a Akela would drum up such a completely baseless story and how Mr. Sachin Kalbag would allow it to get printed just leads me to question the motive behind it… has Mid Day slashed salaries? Or has a different kind of Dalali started there as well??
Let me explain by getting into the story for a bit and go on point by point on how the story is full of gossip and blatant lies:
No. 1: The story starts by talking about how the EOW of the MUMBAI Police raided the offices of the company in BANGALORE and CHENNAI and arrested five of its officials and then released them after questioning as they obtained “anticipatory bail” – Truth is not a single official of the company has been arrested till date. How can someone be released on an anticipatory bail… Anticipatory Bail by definition is in anticipation of arrest… it can’t be used after an arrest… Lol!!! Yes, Manjunath Hedge was arrested but he is not a company official /employee but an Independent Representative.
No. 2: The EOW of the MUMBAI Police raided the company’s office in BANGALORE & CHENNAI. – I agree ‘ki kanoon ke haath lambe hote hein’ but the company doesn’t even have an office in Chennai!!! Ahem ahem…
No. 3: The story talks about the company being banned in countries like Iran, UAE, Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, Rwanda, Turkey, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. However, one has to get into facts and real stories behind such ‘QNet banned’ meme that breaks out online and offline every now and then.
United Arab Emirates (UAE) – Well in UAE the company for many many years has been operational with the blessings of the Royal Family there and is a registered company by the name of QNET Middle East General Trading LLC that manages the UAE operations with offices in Abu Dhabi & Dubai. See the pic on the side where for the opening of the QNet ‘s second office in UAE in Dubai on November 5, 2012, besides the various QNet officials including Dato Sri Vijay Eswaran, also present is none other than His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Bin Bandar!!!
Turkey – Hahahaha! Jab aadmi apna homework nahi karta aur kisi aur ke ishaare par kaam karta hai toh aksar yehi hota hai! QNet is very much operational in Turkey and that too with a local presence through its Franchisee – QNet Promosyon which has its office in Istanbul.
Indonesia – This one takes the cake. I mean, I read this in the morning, rubbed my eyes a few times, re-read it and rubbed my eyes again. Indonesia for QNet is the second largest market in the World, if not the largest!!! QNet has three offices in Indonesia at Jakarta, Bali & Surabaya. In fact at the annual conference of QNet (VCon 2012) was held in Jakarta in September 2012 at a special invitation of the Indonesian Government. Very recently QNet signed MoU with Indonesian State Owned Postal Delivery Service to efficiently and swiftly distribute its products in Indonesia.
Iran – Particularly in Iran, there were no charges filed against ‘GoldQuest’ for corruption or anything else. QNet is now in fact banned in Iran but so is every other MLM company… The industry in totality is banned and not just QNet. Now, that’s a fact!
Afghanistan – The Afghan Government had temporarily put the license on hold only to review the MLM industry. The government reinstated the license once the review concluded. The fact is QNet is free to do business in Afghanistan. If it chooses not to, then its their call!
Sri Lanka – There is no indication or evidence that Sri Lanka has actively sought to shut down any of QNet related companies.
Rwanda – The Rwanda Government had to modify its retail codes to house new channels like E-commerce. Once that was done and the company pledged to abide by the laws, it allowed QuestNet to do business in Rwanda. In fact, on August 24, 2013 QNet has started a Regional Office in Rwanda. See pic on the left of the official launch of the QNet Rwanda Regional Office.
Syria – The Syrian ministry ordered to shut down QuestNet office in Syria. That’s true. But it also shut down all other MLMs in the country. Now that’s the bigger truth.
Nepal – In the month of May in 2010, the government of Nepal banned all Multi Level Marketing businesses therefore by default QNet also falls under that ban!
No. 4: QNet has been banned twice in India – Ya right! And QNet is so immune to bans that despite “TWO” bans they continue to operate in India with every possible legal certification. They pay tax, deduct and deposit tax on the earnings of IRs, operate as a company that has the nature of its business in its name (Vihaan “Direct Selling” India Pvt Ltd) using a platform that is on the World-Wide Web. Sure it is true that the company was unable to operate in May 2008 because of the happenings in Chennai. But from end of 2008 several court rulings in favor of QNet, especially from the Supreme Court, have since removed any doubt about the legality or legitimacy of the company in India. If the company was banned in India twice, then there must be at least one document saying so… a court order, a government directive, a MCA mandate, a noting somewhere in some file, something, somewhere… Mr. Dwivedi… I’m sure in the extensive research you would have done before printing this article you had have got these documents in your possession… do you have any document saying GoldQuest, QuestNet or QNet is /was banned in India or are you just trying to misuse the power that has been vested in you as a journalist to print what you “feel” or want to print for reasons best known only to you??? I urge you to please print a copy of any such document that you may have in your possession or otherwise be a man and print a retraction.
No. 5: The story also claims that QNet has cheated 50 lakh people in Malaysia, Egypt and Philippines – Yeah true!!! And for cheating 50 lakh people the Malaysian Government has bestowed the title of Dato twice and Sri once on the founder of the company Dato Sri Vijay Eswaran. See the picture on your Right… Dato Sri is being conferred with the royal honour by his highness Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang. For the same purpose, i.e. to cheat 50 lakh people, the company has an 18 storey tower called the Qi Towers (Left Picture) as an office in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and another similar office in Philippines. Egypt, well if you ever go to Cairo and stand in Tahrir Square and say that QNet is a scam or QNet cheats people, the chances are that you will start another revolution in Egypt, but this one will not be against the government but you! The people of Egypt love QNet and swear by what it has done for the country but to discover that you will have to go to Egypt. Egypt today is one of the largest markets for QNet. But of course this could be a result of mass hypnotism, right!!! QNet is also a member of the Direct Selling Association Malaysia (DSAM), Direct Selling Association Philippines (DSAP), Malaysian Direct Distributor Association (MDDA) and Business Ethics Institute of Malaysia (BEIM) amongst other industry bodies. But of course the DSAM, the DSAP, the MDDA and the BEIM recognize and make members only companies that cheat in excess of 50 lakh people. Or Maybe QNet has also managed to hypnotise the DSAM, the DSAP, the MDDA and the BEIM officials! ROFL!!!
No. 6: The Parmeet Kaur /Gurpreet Singh Anand saga. There are many factual inconsistencies with the reporting of Mid Day about this case. Mid Day in its April & September stories has reported that Partmeet Kaur was “”hypnotized”” into buying a Bio Disc for Rs. 31,500 /threatened to pay a membership fee of Rs. 30,000… sorry what did she pay for… The “magical” Bio Disc or the membership fee for joining QNet??? The fact of the matter is that the complaint being referred to by Mid Day of Gurupreet Singh Anand was officially closed on May 18, 2013. The complainant, Parmeet Kaur (Gurupreet’s wife), vide a letter dated May 18, 2013 withdrew the complaint and submitted a letter to the Police Sub-Inspector of Oshiwara Police Station giving an undertaking in writing that she is not interested to press the case further against the Company. Almost after three months, the same case has suddenly and mysteriously resurfaced. In fact, till date, no financial transaction ever took place between Gurupreet Singh Anand or his wife Parmeet Kaur and QNet. They issued a cheque to another Independent Representative and also stopped the payment to that cheque before it could be encashed. The Oshiwara Police Station in its ‘B’ Report on May 18, 2013 said, “The complainant made a purchase of Mini MBA online education product from the Company and that the complainant did not pay the money for the same to the Company. On the contrary, the complainant bounced the cheque which was given. Hence, the complainant has filed a false complaint against the Company.” The same Mid Day story also mentions two individuals – Navjyot & Mercilla Dutta as the perpetrators of the above mentioned “crime” and claims that they are the Employees /Directors /CEO of QNet India. Sorry I’m getting a little confused here… Mercilla Dutta is an employee of QNet, no no, she’s a Director of QNet… arre baba, nothing doing… She’s the CEO of QNet India! Come on Mr. Dwivedi, lets first find out the true designation of Ms. Mercilla Dutta… you never know, she might be The President of the United States! By the way, the Bio Disc is priced at Rs. 24,148 (inclusive of taxes) and not Rs. 31,500 and there is no membership fee to join QNet in India. The story further claims that the EOW after investigations filed an FIR with the Oshiwara Police Station on August 16, 2013. So you are telling your readers that the EOW of the Mumbai Police filed an FIR with the Mumbai Police… Huh.. Come again… Let me explain… the EOW is a department / sub-set of the Mumbai Police and they cannot file a FIR… they can investigate a FIR if the value of the case if above Rs. 50 lakhs. So the facts are that the EOW is right now investigating a case of value of Rs. 31,500 when they do not have the authority to investigate a case under Rs. 50 lakhs. Gurpreet Singh Anand at the behest of a few “journalists” who are forever looking for a “scam” re-filed his complaint on August 16, 2013… the same complaint that he had withdrawn on May 18, 2013… why Mr. Dwivedi??? Readership for Mid Day going down huh???
No. 7: I WAS THREATENED, CHEATED, LOOTED’ — Abhishek Sahay the CA. I think CA stands for Con Artist. Lets look at Mr. Sahay’s inspirational story of how he was threatened, cheated and looted in his dreams… I think he is still “hypnotized”. Mr. Sahay registered as a QNet India IR on August 1, 2013. He made a part payment of Rs. 1 lakh via cheque and the transaction on his insistence after he saw and understood the business plan (of course under hypnosis) was made via a credit card of another IR. He promised to pay the balance amount on the next day but when he went back home and told his wife and father-in-law in Chandigarh about this and asked for the money from them to pay the balance, his father-in-law admonished him and refused to give him any money after which he raised a request to the company to refund the money of the transaction. Even during the refund process he asked the company to only refund the money of the product purchase and if possible keep his IRship alive. In his mail dated August 8, 2013, he wrote to the Company, “If there is no cost with IR ship, Let it be active for future”. On August 27, 2013, QNet India refunded the money for Mr. Sahay’s product purchase and also cancelled his IRship as per their Policies & Procedures. In the Mid Day report he claims to have been met for the first time on August 31, 2013, hypnotized on the same day in a public coffee shop and the subsequent night he was made to pay Rs. 2.61 lakhs through his credit card or by a cheque. That’s a few days after the company had already refunded the money for his product purchase made a month back. Mr. Sahay, maybe the effects of the hypnosis are still there… maybe you re-purchased the product after one month??? And he claims that the business is a money laundering scheme… as I said, I think the effects of the hypnotism he suffered are still there… I think hypnotism is also contagious… see how Mr. Sahay has managed to hypnotize Mr. Dwivedi into writing the story in Mid Day today. By the way I also checked in every police station in Gurgaon and didn’t find a single FIR /complaint filed by Mr. Abhishek Sahay regarding his case contrary to what is claimed in the Mid Day story. Maybe the entire Haryana Police has also been hypnotized by the QNet representatives to not file Mr. Sahay’s complaint… I don’t know how they missed out on Mr. Dwivedi and how he didn’t get hypnotized…
No. 8: ‘THIS COMPANY HAS DESTROYED MY FAMILY LIFE’ — by none other than an Ulhasnagar resident whose wife is a QNet operative. The whole piece is sic. Frankly doesn’t even deserve a mention here but for the uninformed, the Ulhasnagar resident isn’t anyone else but the infamous ex media personnel, the same guy who Bloomberg threw out for reporting drunk days together… Mr. D you’ve moved out of your plush Juhu house to Ulhasnagar… why? Need some financial help?? If your wife runs out on you then by blaming a company doesn’t absolve you of your shortcomings. Unlike you, we would not like to use public forums to settle personal fights and cover up on what you couldn’t do to take care of our own wife and kids. Frankly the whole story and the claims of hypnotism, ‘connecting with the spirit world’, ‘past life regression’ and ‘how souls meet’ are so, so far fetched that we have decided as a group to not respond to them. We will leave this on the intelligence of the readers to decide for themselves. Just think, a company which does a turnover in excess of $500 million needs Mr. D’s wife to collect money in Thailand for itself… ya right!!! And Mr. D, by the way when your wife was running away with your children, locking cupboards, stealing money, emptying bank accounts and all that, what were you doing.??? Ah yes, trying to get out of being hypnotized! The fact is that everything was in the name of Mr. D’s wife as being a financial journalist he is prohibited from trading in the markets as he gets access to insider information by virtue of his position and profession but he did trade and used the insider information to make money that he shouldn’t have but unfortunately for him all of that had to be in his wife’s name… Please understand Mr. D, that at no point are we justifying the actions of your wife or Mr. Manjunath Hegde, in fact as a community we condemn them and our heart truly goes out to your children who will have to suffer the most in this. But the simple fact of the matter is that this incident has nothing to do with QNet or any of the other QNet IRs or officials… it a personal matter between you, your wife and Mr. Hegde. So sort it out brother…
And lastly the lies about using the Mahatma to promote the business as alleged by Mr. Gurpreet Singh Anand. Well Mr. Anand, Mahatma Gandhi has been the company’s Corporate Icon not since 2011 but forever the company has existed. In fact Mahatma Gandhi is someone who Dato Sri Vijay Eswaran has modeled himself on long before he even started the company. Please read some of his writings before he started the company and that will confirm the fact Mr. Anand that Dato Sri is someone who truly follows the Gandhian principles. Just by shouting Jai Hind doesn’t make you a patriot Mr. Anand. It has to show in action.
Mr. Dwivedi, Mr. Sachin Kalbag (Mid Day editor)… hope you realize that by printing what you printed on September 3, 2013 you are just damaging the reputation you have as journalists, the reputation of the Mid Day and the Jagran Group. Because you also know that the truth will prevail, on that day where will you hide?
Finally, an appeal to the journalists of this country, please find a conscience and report what is right; report the truth. You have a responsibility.
Akhbaar becho, Kalam nahi!