Speak Asia clamp down on panelists sharing info
Ever since Speak Asia effectively shut down back in May and the company’s management began their exit strategy to disappear overseas with panelists’ money, the company has engaged in an increasingly restrictive public relations campaign waged by the senior panelists of Speak Asia.
These senior panelists through the Speak Asia Mobi club blog, Speak Asia Powers Facebook page and All India Speak Asia Panelist Association have sought to curb the asking of inconvenient questions and sharing of information between Speak Asia’s panelists.
Speak Asia know full well the only carrot they have left to dangle infront of their supporters is the promise of a return of funds invested into the company. As long as they have this, they know their members will blindly support them to any end.
Over the last week a series of events have put a serious dent in these efforts. As the discrepancies between the ‘all is well’ narrative Speak Asia’s top panelists have been pushing across these three information sources (SpeakAsia Mobi, AISPA and Speak Asia Powers), systematically over the past week the company, through these panelists have severely clamped down on the free exchange of information between its panelists.
Today we take a look at why this has occurred.
Our analysis begins with Speak Asia’s public management: Harendar Kaur, Manoj Kumar and Tarak Bajpai.
Speak Asia Global CEO Harendar Kaur, was last publicly seen in early 2011. She has not made an appearance since. Speak Asia sporadically puts out press releases with her name but there is no way to authenticate these as actually having come from her.
Harendar Kaur is allegedly hiding out in Singapore living on the retirement fund of over $100 million USD Kaur siphoned out of India in July.
Manoj has not made a public appearance since mid May 2011, shortly afterwhich he fled overseas to Dubai.
Kumar did promise to lead panelists and return to Mumbai ‘shortly’ in a video published in August following COO Tarak Bajpai’s arrest, but this was a lie that never eventuated.
Since May Kumar has not made any public appearances and remains in hiding. His last digital appearance was a video published to Youtube from an unofficial account early last month (October 2011) where he made a series of promises, none of which have eventuated yet.
After Manoj Kumar’s promise to return to India and lead Speak Asia’s defense turned out to be a lie, many turned to COO Tarak Bajpai to lead them.
Bajpai played the role of Speak Asia hero briefly (but to no effect) before he was arrested in late July. Shortly after being arrested Bajpai suspiciously required immediate surgery and spent the next few months hiding in hospital.
Upon Bajpai’s discharge in late October he immediately went into hiding again and has not been seen in public or heard from since. Whether Bajpai is even in India at this stage or has also fled the country remains unknown.
I have since read rumours that Bajpai wound up back in hospital to once avoid interrogation by the authorities, but I haven’t as yet seen any official confirmation of this.
At this point I will also make mention of Ram Sumiran Pal, who I’ve previously hypothesised is the actual owner of Speak Asia. Ram I believe last publicly appeared way back in 2010, when he featured in the April – May 2010 edition of ‘The Business Diary’.
Note that in the Business Diary article (available here) Ram is singled out with Harendar Kaur and attributed as being a ‘founder member’ of Speak Asia.
Last I heard Ram was hiding in a hotel in Mumbai with his brother following the collapse of the scam AdMatrix in October, which the pair also ran.
The current whereabouts of Ram Sumiran Pal and why, despite being a founding member of Speak Asia, he’s dissappeared from the public spotlight remain a mystery.
In any case, with Speak Asia’s public management clearly in hiding they sought to influence the opinion of panelists by dangling the payment carrot infront of them via legal proceedings whilst management and those at the top sought to destroy the paper trails linking them to the company.
This has been going on for months now but it is only recently that the narrative of ‘we are bound to win and we will definitely win’, a quote infamously attributed to Tarak Bajpai, by Speak Asia has started to disconnect from reality so much that senior panelists, charged with keeping the rest of the memberbase in check are struggling to keep their members from turning against the company.
As I mentioned earlier, up until now the three primary sources of information distribution for Speak Asia panelists has been the AISPA website, ‘Speak Asia Powers’ Facebook page and SpeakAsia Mobi club blog. Unofficially these three information sources have been the public mouthpiece of Speak Asia after their own website went dormant.
I’ll note that Speak Asia claim to have an official Blogspot blog, but that hasn’t been updated since November 10th and appears to have been abandoned. There is also the media, who sporadically provide updates on the criminal investigations into Speak Asia, but Speak Asia’s senior panelists consistently dismiss these reports as lies (for no other reason than because they say so) and urge panelists not to believe them.
If we focus on the three primary sources of information panelists use (SpeakAsia Mobi, AISPA and Speak Asia Powers), as the stakes are raised in the courts and the need to control what panelists think ever increases, an analysis over the past week reveals some interesting insight into the inner workings of Speak Asia.
Speak Asia Mobi – Our analysis begins with the Speak Asia Mobi blog, allegedly owned and operated by a ‘MV Naik’. Routinely the updates that appear on this blog are copy and paste updates from the senior panelists running the Facebook group, ‘Speak Asia Powers’.
Despite Naik not seemingly having a presence in Speak Asia Powers (unless it’s an alias), for all intents and purposes the SpeakAsia mobi club blog is just another syndicated mouthpiece of Speak Asia’s top panelists.
The admin of the blog does not publish anything that isn’t just copy and pasted from the Facebook group. One difference between the Facebook group however is that Speak Asia mobi has relatively relaxed comment moderation.
Instead of spam being moderated out, the blog routinely uses a use voting system which hides the spam comments (along with any criticisms of Speak Asia).
Last week on November 19th an interesting entry appeared on the Speak Asia Mobi blog;
This group is available in facebook and this group is dedicated to support SpeakAsia …
Team Mobi-club noticed this group from last 2-3 months, and we really appreciate this group…
Underneath that was a link requesting panelists to join the group and a list of the Speak Asia senior panelists or employees running it;
- Aman Azad (works closely with AISPA)
- Harsh Vora
- Deepanshu Varshney
- Afaq Shaikh
- Sandeep Gupta
- Vikas Mahajan
- Chander Jaireth
- Anand Prasad
- Vineet Tiwari
- Kamlesh Patel
- Harsh Pujar
- Sanjay Singh Sagar
- Sanjeev Khanna
- Piyush Upadhyay
- Manish Jain
Effectively, these admins have been operating as the unofficial PR mouthpiece of Speak Asia for some months now. All of them in one way or another have a vested financial interest in Speak Asia and consequently need to keep the company’s panelists under control.
Since this post appeared on the 23rd, whilst the owners of Speak Asia Mobi club haven’t abandoned the blog (that would be too obvious), there has been a noted increase in the delay of syndication of updates published on the blog compared to when they appeared on the Speak Asia Powers Facebook group.
This can be observed following the recent events surrounding the arrest of AISPA President Melvin Crasto. Previously Speak Asia Mobi would syndicate news within minutes of it being published on the Facebook page (strongly indicating one of the admins of the page was also the actual admin of the Mobi club blog), but in this instance the updates were hours behind.
No doubt future updates will also be purposefully delayed as the Speak Asia Powers admins push for panelists to abandon the blog in favour of their Facebook page.
AISPA – The All India Speak Asia Panelist Association website has up until recently been a reliable source of information from panelists. Updates to the AISPA website and commentary has come from AISPA Secretary Ashok Bahirwani.
AISPA itself is run by what they call an ‘ad-hoc committee’ made up of self-appointed Speak Asia panelists.
Whilst I do routinely point out the ridiculousness of some of Bahirwani’s analysis I nonetheless respect the fact that he is currently the only other person out there analysing what is going on, rather than simply publishing what Speak Asia want him to.
As of the 19th November, the AISPA website has remained static and has not published any updates from Bahirwani or from panelists in its previously routinely updated panelist blog and testimonial sections.
Prior to the 19th, Bahirwani made it a point to publish an update clarifying significant events surrounding Speak Asia’s legal troubles (both civil and criminal).
Two days ago on the evening of November 24th AISPA President Melvin Crasto was arrested by the EOW. This arrest appeared to come out of the blue and since then Ashok Bahirwani has not been seen or heard from in public.
Yesterday afternoon Anju Argarwal, a Speak Asia panelist who works with AISPA, made the following comment on Facebook;
Anju Agarwal: the eow is on the lookout for ashok bahirwani.
Since then however Bahirwani’s status remains publicly unknown.
Interestingly, news first broke of Crasto’s arrest on the AISPA website itself. A short message appeared on a scroller informing people that Crasto had been ‘picked up’ and that a full explanation would be published shortly.
Three days later and no such update has been published.
This is interesting because if we look at the history of AISPA, they have updated their website without fail when something like this has happened. Naturally it’s in their best interest to clarify things but when the head of their own association is arrested in relation to the EOW’s criminal investigation into Speak Asia, apparently not so.
In his last update on November 19th, Bahirwani warned panelists not to
waste your valuable time and money in calling me as I am not going to be discussing the SAOL matter on phone.
Since then no updates have been published on the AISPA website and then a week later AISPA President Melvin Crasto is arrested.
Could be, but personally I think the far stronger explanation is that the lack of updates and Bahirwani’s decision to cut communication by phone is a strong indication that AISPA and Bahirwani knew they were under investigation before Crasto’s arrest Thursday night.
How much they knew and when they knew is anyone’s guess. Analysing the behaviour of AISPA if I had to guess I’d say as early as Saturday the 19th November itself.
As it stands now Bahirwani is MIA and the AISPA website hasn’t been updated since Thursday the 24th. Instead, panelists have had to rely on the admin updates from the Speak Asia Powers Facebook group.
Speak Asia Powers Facebook Group – Run by the admins listed previously in this article, with the effective lack of or delayed communication on the Speak Asia Mobi club and AISPA websites, panelists have been funneled into relying on the Speak Asia Powers Facebook group over the past week.
Since the admins got the ball rolling on November 19th article on Speak Asia mobi advertising the page, and on the same day the Ashok Bahirwani announcing that he’d no longer be discussing Speak Asia over the phone, ove this past week the admins have systematically began restricting the information exchange between panelists.
It started with a notice published by admin Manish Jain on November 23rd (the day before Crasto was arrested),
PLEASE DO NOT PROMOTE ANY OTHER BLOG AND COMPANY , LAST AND FINAL WARNING
All of a sudden the Speak Asia Powers admins were getting upset that Speak Asia’s panelists were sharing and exchanging information not directly released by themselves. Prior to this they’d openly encouraged the sharing of such information.
Over the next forty-eight hours following the arrest of AISPA president Crasto, a flurry of activity occurred as the Speak Asia mobi blog dropped the ball with updates and AISPA remained officially silent on the events.
As the questions surrounding the activity from panelists mounted and the pressure to maintain their control on what information panelists had access to last night, the admins made the decision on the evening of the 25th November to officially censor their panelists from creating new discussion on the group.
Admin Vikas Mahajan wrote;
ew Post Box For New Posts : Please use the spcae below for your posts…..
Daily a New Post Box will Arrive here 🙂
* New Posts on the Group Has Been Banned for sometime to keep the Forum Clean n Green Forever….
The admins are still encouraging people to participate in the topics they themselves publish, promising to put anything of relevance in a new topic discussion of its own, but effectively they’ve begun to censor what information points are and aren’t discussed by panelists in their group – but only after AISPA has stopped updating and the Speak Asia mobi began funneling users to it.
Get the panelists using one medium and then clamp down on what they can do on it hard. That my friends is the latest ploy from the Speak Asia unofficial PR team.
But why now?
Well, this coming week (assuming nothing changes over the weekend) has three significant events that the senior panelist admins from Speak Asia Powers obviously recognise are of critical importance in keeping that carrot of ‘panelist payouts’ dangling infront of their members.
First we have the Lahoti Commission mediation meeting on Monday. Speak Asia Powers members have insisted this is unaffected by the Crasto arrest on Thursday, but this remains to be seen.
Personally I think it will go ahead, but obviously with criminal investigations and arrests still occurring – will ultimately prove fruitless.
Secondly on Wednesday is the next hearing for the Rajmani criminal PIL against Speak Asia. As the recent arrest of Crasto proves, despite the narrative pushed by Speak Asia’s admins, that the EOW criminal investigation is very much under progress and ongoing.
Finally on Friday AISPA President Melwin Crasto’s 7 day custody period is up and the EOW will have to appear with Crasto in court again. What the EOW will do I suppose depends on the reason(s) they have arrested Crasto and are holding him in custody.
Reasons not only the Speak Asia Powers admins (and the rest of AISPA) know, but are currently refusing to share publicly.
Looking forward, it’s clear that whatever the outcome of the Lahoti Committee mediation proceedings on Monday and the criminal PIL hearing next Wednesday, the most pressing concern at this point should be the lack of information circulated and clarified regarding Melwin Crasto’s arrest.
And indirectly, what exactly is going on with AISPA.
For starters, it’s ridiculous that the Speak Asia admins running Speak Asia Powers are claiming they don’t know why Crasto was arrested and on what basis the EOW convinced a judge that he was too much of a risk to release on bail.
You can’t simply arrest someone and hold them without a good reason, and given the precense of the admins at Quila Court yesterday and fact that he is the President of AISPA, it stands to reason that both the admins and AISPA know full well what Crasto has been charged with, and why the EOW are wanting him to remain in custody.
This is the information Speak Asia panelists should be demanding to know from their unofficial leaders.
That and what on Earth has happened to Ashok Bahirwani, along with an explanation as to why he hasn’t made any public communication since his AISPA update on the 19th November.
And where is Tarak Bajpai in all of this. Why hasn’t he made any public appearances since he went into hiding after his hospital discharge?
Yesterday Speak Asia’s admins were pleading with their members to appear at the Quila Court to show solidarity and unity following Crasto’s arrest. Despite reassurances that Tarak Bajpai is still in India, he failed to make an appearance.
But instead, now that they’ve funneled the panelists into relying on one source of information which they now retain totalitarian control over, these are the only updates the admins want people talking about;
Arrest!? What arrest??? Just think about rainbows, birthday cakes and trust us…
What a farce.
Footnote: Whilst I appreciate that Speak Asia’s activities mostly affect Indians in India, please respect that this is an English blog. Comments in Hindi will not be published.