Published August 11, 2012 | 3:50 pm
MUMBO JUMBO : NEWSPAPERS FLOODED WITH MISLEADING ADS ISSUED BY OCCULT PRACTITIONERS
Daily news about various tantriks and socalled godmen duping innocent people notwithstanding, many people of Indian origin here are also being duped by self-styled tantriks, who claim to have a solution to all the problems under the sun.
Paradoxically, many local Punjabi and Hindi newspapers, which have a wide readership and are supposed to bring awareness among their readers about these fraudsters, are flooded with advertisements promising an instant solution to all problems relating to finance,
employment, love affairs, bad habits and marital discords.
Interestingly the local English media does not encourage such advertisements as these flout the advertisement norms and are
against the ethics of journalism.
But as the vernacular media is largely dependent upon these advertisements and escape eye of concerned authorities due to language, they bother a little about the ethics of journalism.
Apart from the dozen-odd newspapers, Punjabi and Hindi television programmes are also openly flouting the norms by carrying such advertisements.
A Punjabi youth, Gurpreet Singh, who was duped of 200 Canadian dollars by one such so called ‘godman’, rued that since this network was being operated through phone numbers of other countries, there was no way one could make a complaint against them.
Most of the solutions offered are just a phone call away. Once you make a call on the ISD numbers mentioned in the ad, they immediately ask for your credit card number for advance payment.
These so-called practitioners of the occult also claim to give lottery numbers in advance over phone. One of them had duped many Indians of lakhs of dollars a couple of months back, by promising to give them lottery numbers in eggs. The police are still on the lookout for the ”tantrik”, who is believed to have fled to India after committing the fraud.
Thousands of immigrants have lost their hard-earned money by falling prey to the attractive but misleading advertisements issued by these fraudsters. The business is flourishing, as seen from the huge advertisements published in a group of Punjabi and Hindi newspapers almost everyday.
These “tantriks” are much in demand among women, who are anxious about their love affairs and the careers of their children and husbands.”There is no dearth of women keen on taking revenge on their neighbours and relatives. It is commonplace to find ‘toonas’ (occult remedies) at intersections in Brampton and Mississauga,” said Navpreet Singh, a Brampton resident.
Most of these tricksters have been running their businesses from England, India and Pakistan and looking for the prospective clients in Canada since the British government implemented strict rules to curb the practice. Even in India, these advertisements are not given
space in the mainstream responsible media.
Some people feel that lack of trust in mainstream medicine and shortage of medical specialists and long wait times in Canada is also helping these tantriks” make a fast buck. After failing to get an appointment from a doctor, people often get disappointed and approach such occult healers.
Local NGOs need to raise a voice against these swindlers, who are using the vernacular media as their tool to dupe people.