Moneylife – fighting a lone battle against NSE, with no support from media

Readers of OpIndia.com are aware of the lies and spins propagated by the mainstream media to support their ideologies and/or political parties. A section of media has a cosy club and we know them as the Lutyens club; this just being an euphemism for a “newstrader” or a “presstitute“. If any member of this group is shown the mirror, their comrades jump into defend them – however absurd the charge may be. However, one news organization, which does not seem to belong to this club is – Moneylife.

Moneylife magazine published a copy of the letter it received from one of its patrons from Singapore about potential issues in “algorithmic trading” at the National Stock Exchange, the NSE (this letter was originally written to SEBI). You can read the letter here. Moneylife’s founder Sucheta Dalal wrote a piece with the title “Blowing the Whistle on Manipulation in NSE“, where this issue was highlighted. Algorithmic trading is a pre-defined software based trading strategy, where a tool analyses market dynamics, processes the information and deploys trading bets in stocks and/or in indices. This leads to sudden changes in dynamics in a counter, where unexpected liquidity can lead to increased volatility. Algorithmic trading, per se, is a well established practice across the world. However, in this case, the whistleblower alleged NSE of “market manipulation, which allowed certain vested brokers to get market price information ahead of the rest of the market”.

Following this story, the good people at NSE were clearly shaken by how a small magazine can question their credibility. NSE promptly slapped a Rs 100 cr defamation lawsuit against Moneylife magazine. Luckily for Moneylife, the Bombay High Court chided NSE by saying “NSE cannot use defamation to gag the press. How is it defamation when Ms Dalal sent you questions before publishing the article and you (NSE) chose not to respond to the query?” Moneylife has also agreed not to republish the report till the verdict is out. As per news on social media, Subramaniam Swamy has agreed to fight for Moneylife in this case.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

There are two areas of concern in this case. Firstly, NSE’s high-handedness and secondly, mainstream media leaving Moneylife to fend for itself.

NSE has been notorious in silencing writers when something negative is written on them – through lawsuits or through sheer force. Here is another example. In November 2014, mumbaiwalla.com had written a piece on how NSE bullied big media houses like Economic Times and Mint to drop their stories on BSE complaining to SEBI about NSE’s malpractice. In this piece, NSE’s Divya Malik Lahiri accepted that NSE forced Mint to drop the story against NSE and at the same time, threatened mumbaiwalla to take down the story or face legal consequences. In that instance too, Sucheta Dalal questioned Mint editor Sukumar Ranganathan about the dropping of story. He accepted that Mint had dropped the story, but was not convincing in the reasons for doing so. Interestingly, there was also a historical link to this – Ira Dugal, who headed the Mumbai bureau of Mint and Divya Malik Lahiri, who was NSE spokeswoman – both broke their bread together at NDTV, earlier in their career. Whatever the background, it was evident that NSE’s high-handed approach had worked and Mint had removed the story.

One may wonder why NSE has to resort to these legal fights. One easy answer is that they are mighty scared of skeletons falling out of their cupboard, if they acknowledge something is amiss. However, let us not get carried away. Another answer to this may be its “brand value”. NSE is certainly the biggest bourse in India in terms of turnover and it also has many trading products to its credit. However, as Times rightly says, they lag behind the BSE’s “Sensex” in terms of brand value. So, any negative story will hurt their credibility further and hence, NSE tries to silence voices that question. It is time for NSE to “decline politely” or “rubbish allegations” or “clarify later”- than to be in news for wrong reasons.

Now, let us see the list of mainstream journalists who have expressed support to Moneylife in its fight against NSE – after all, this is about “free press” – a favorite subject for the liberal media. If you are expecting an exhaustive list, you are in for a surprise. Sucheta Dalal herself tweeted that she hasn’t received any support whatsoever from her colleagues.

She also gives the reason why she may not be getting that support in the near future:

It is not that this Gang of 37 do not meddle in others’ affairs – even in vain. Here is an example:

When Rajdeep Sardesai showed his bravado at the Madison Square Garden, Shekhar Gupta was out of the blocks in a flash.

Any apology for this tweet, when truth came out? You must be kidding…

Now we do not wish to reproduce all the tweets where MSM has come out in support of one of their own. However, as folks who look up to free and honest media for our news, we would be delighted to see the journalistic fraternity and others come out in support of Moneylife magazine in its fight against NSE. Our journalists and other eminent personalities are quick to stand up even if some celebrities are trolled by abusive handles, yet when a media organization is facing a Rs 100 crore lawsuit, no one comes ahead!

Mind you! We are NOT for a moment saying that Moneylife cannot fight its battles and Moneylife has NOT sought our help either. We think it is only appropriate to support honest and true journalism. If anyone of you think, Moneylife does not deserve OpIndia’s support, do let us know. We will consider your views.

Global Citizen, Kannada roots, Indian values, Man United spirit, Fiscal conservative

Share and Support:
Support OpIndia by paying for content

Most read articles recently

Activist opposing Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal contract thinks ‘Brahmins obstruct India’s development’

The Akshaya Patra has come under criticism recently for not including onion and garlic in its mid-day meals for school children.

Mumbai Police teaches a lesson in humility to ‘special’ Sonam Kapoor

Actor Dulquer Salman clarified that he and Sonam were sitting inside a car that was rigged to a truck and hence were not breaking traffic rules.

Rafale: SC examined the pricing details closely, ‘did not rely’ on CAG report as claimed by Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi has claimed that the Supreme Court verdict on Rafale was based only on the CAG report, while it is not true

Church of South India Archbishop Dyvasirvadam arrested in church fund scam, reports Times of India

According to the report, archbishop Dyvasirvadam was allegedly involved in misappropriation of church fund for over a decade

Here is what connects attack on Akshaya Patra, French NGO against Rafale and demonization of Amarnath Yatra

The web of foreign-funded NGOs that demonised the Amarnath Yatra, French NGO that complained against Rafale in France and the demand to remove Akshaya Patra from midday meals contract

Uttar Pradesh: Eight cattle smugglers arrested in Bahraich with arms and ammunition

The smugglers even tried to trample the police personnel with their vehicle.

Double whammy for Congress in court: After Rafale verdict, Rakesh Asthana’s appointment as special director gets SC approval

The Supreme Court's verdict is being seen as the second major embarrassment for both the Congress party and Prashant Bhushan, as the Supreme Court had earlier rejected a plea on the issue of a probe concerning the Rafale deal.

Zee News issues defamation notice of Rs 1000 crore to Congress leader Navjot Singh Singh

Sidhu had allegedly threatened the Zee News when he had said “nani yaad dila denge” after Zee News had shown a video ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans were raised at an election rally

Congress friendly journalist wishes death upon BJP Delhi spokesperson Tajinder Bagga

During the run-up to Gujarat assembly elections last year, Trivedi was caught spreading morphed images with Amit Shah's fake quotes on Patidars

Pro-Congress troll resumes fake news website, makes outlandish claims on Rafale targeting Modi

Abhishek Mishra has been associated with the website which spreads fake news and Islamist propaganda

Latest articles

Connect with us

125,692FansLike
98,050FollowersFollow
6,178SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these