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Reel vs Real: Know who's who from web series Scam 1992 - The Harshad Mehta Story

An interesting fact to know would be that “The Big Bull‘s” journey just started with a mere 40 rupees in his pocket with an addition of a number of odd jobs.

Reel vs Real: Know who's who from web series Scam 1992 - The Harshad Mehta Story
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It is a well-known fact that SonyLiv's 'Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story' is a web series based on the real-life incidents that transpired during the time of Indian Stock Market crash of 1992. It is said that stockbroker Harshad Mehta was instrumental in the bull run followed by the crash. The show has caught the attention of people for the in-depth analysis and realistic portrayal of the characters. Apart from the series’ storyline, netizens have also complimented the interesting star cast of the series. 

The character of Harshad Mehta, the stockbroker of GrowMore consultancy has been played by Pratik Gandhi. An interesting fact to know would be that “The Big Bull‘s” journey just started with a mere 40 rupees in his pocket with an addition of a number of odd jobs.

This SonyLiv web series, directed by Hansal Mehta, is being hailed as one of the best web series of the year.

The much-acclaimed series is adapted from the book The Scam: Who Won, Who Lost, Who Got Away by journalist Sucheta Dalal, and Debashish Basu. While the series is very close to life, the makers have tweaked the identity of various characters.

After the success of the series, many people have been wondering about who these characters are in real life and what was their role in the Harshad Mehta's story. One such person is the character of Bhushan Bhatt, who was shown as the right-hand man of Harshad Mehta, played by Chirag Vora, in the series.

Here is a complete rundown of real-life counterparts portrayed by the reel characters and some interesting facts about them:

  • Ashwin Mehta: The younger brother of Harshad Mehta and his business partner, Ashwin Mehta later became a lawyer and practices in Supreme Court and Bombay High Court.
  • Jyoti Mehta: Jyoti Mehta is the wife of Harshad Mehta. In 2014, she is said to have sued a Mumbai-based broker who owed  INR 6 crores to Harshad since the year 1992. In 2019, she finally won the case and was entrusted with the complete amount along with its interest.
  • Pranav Seth: A role inspired by Pallav Sheth, was one of many brokers whose names cropped up in the 1992 securities scam investigation. In the late 1990s, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed a charge-sheet against Sheth and other brokers in cases relating to Canbank Mutual Fund and Fairgrowth Financial Services. 
  • Manu Mundra: The character Manu Mundra is based on the life of the kingpin of the stock market in the 80s, Manu Manek, infamously known as the 'Black Cobra'. Interestingly, Manu Manek was never booked in any stock market scam, and no verified images of him are available.
  • Maheshwari: The character of Maheshwari is based on a businessman and an investor, Radhakisan Damani. He is the founder of DMart and he also manages his portfolio through his Investment firm, Bright Star Investments Limited.
  • Rakesh: The role in the series has been inspired by businessman Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, rumoured to be the 'king of stockmarket' in the present times. Apparently, the void that Harshad Mehta's arrest and downfall created in the stock market was taken over by Jhunjhunwala.
  • Bhushan Bhatt: Many believe that Bhushan Bhatt’s character is based on Ketan Parekh, who is a Charted Accountant by profession. Though there a few scenes which are adapted from Ketan Parekh and Harshad Mehta’s conversation during that time. It seems that Bhushan Bhatt was amongst the character used as a part of creative liberty to add some drama in the series. Being a CA, for Parekh it is unlikely to work as a jobber in the stock market.
  •  Swamiji: Swamiji was apparently Chandraswami. The astrologer who was also a close aide and spiritual advisor to the then PM PV Narsimha Rao. In his interview, Harshad had said that he was getting help from Delhi. Throughout the series he was seen communicating with Swamiji in Delhi when he was in trouble. However, Mehta was betrayed by him.
  • Sucheta Dalal: A prominent journalist and author, revealed the scam in 1992 while she was working with The Times of India newspaper. Later, she investigated and reported on several high-profile financial frauds. Currently, she is the executive editor at his husband’s magazine, Moneylife. Dalal has been awarded Padma Shri.
  • Debashish Basu: The co-author of the book - The Scam and Sucheta Dalal's husband. He was one of the journalists who investigated the Harshad Mehta scam in 1992. He currently runs Moneylife, a fortnightly magazine on investment.

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