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PNB Scam: Who is Nirav Choksi and what he is doing In the name of God?
- Team PT
PNB Scam: Who is Nirav Choksi and what he is doing In the name of God?



NATION WANTS TO KNOW that who is NIRAV CHOKSI?

Actually Nirav Choksi is the name of the protagonist in a thriller ‘In the name of God’ authored by former banker Ravi Subramanian. While the book was released in July 2017, now after the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam shook the country this crime thriller attracted renew interest of readers and it bounced back to number 2 on Amazon’s Crime, Thriller and Mystery bestseller list.

Interestingly, the name of prime accused in PNB scam is the billionaire jewellery designer Nirav Modi while the name of his uncle, who is also in the business of jewellery, is Mehul Choksi.

In this book, the bestselling author introduces Choksi as someone "the who’s who of Mumbai had on their speed dial” and who created customised jewellery for the wealthy the world over. "Nirav Choksi’s client list boasted the marquee names on the social circuit – politicians, wealthy Indian businessmen, film stars... A man with both contacts and influence, he was an extremely sought-after guy in the political circuit for skills which went beyond jewellery design,” writes Subramanian in the book.

Eight months after the launch of his book, according to a MumbaiMirror report, the author says nothing he encountered during months of painstaking research pointed to the banking scam that Nirav Modi, who his character is loosely based on, has pulled off. "Most people I spoke to in the diamond trade were cynical admirers of Modi. They acknowledged he was talented, but also said that, more importantly, he knew the right people,” said Subramanian.

"The sense I got was that, in many ways, no big diamantaire or jewellery designer in India is above board in how he or she operates.” What about the name of his character that also uses the surname of Modi’s uncle Mehul, who allegedly helped his nephew pull the wool over Punjab National Bank’s bleary eyes? "I was simply looking for a name that was distinctly Gujarati since the diamond trade is dominated by the community. It’s just an eerie coincidence that those two names were combined.”
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"It was completely coincidental that characters in the novel ‘In the name of God’ have a strong resemblance to the current scam involving PNB, Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi."
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Subramanian’s book revolves around a jewellery heist in Dubai and parallelly the discovery of a dead body on the grounds of Thiruvananthapuram’s Sri Ananta Padmanabha Swamy temple, famed for its storied, treasure-laden vaults. "There is an audit of the treasures at the temple, and Nirav Choksi is part of the audit team,” said Subramanian. 

Meanwhile, Ravi in an interview to Outlook said that it was completely coincidental that characters in the novel ‘In the name of God’ have a strong resemblance to the current scam involving PNB, Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi but the book does not have any mention of anything remotely like the PNB scam.

When asked why he named the protagonist as Nirav Choksi, Subramanian explained that, ‘‘when authors like me name a character in their book, what we normally do is look around for names which fit the personality of a character. The character of my book is a very popular jeweller, who dominates his trade.  Had to be a Gujarati, because most people in this trade come from that part of the country. So I settled on a name, Nirav Choksi. The name is flamboyant, stylish, sounds powerful and is easy for the reader to remember.”

The author, who had held leadership positions at several foreign banks and now heads a non-banking financial company, said that while the news of Nirav Modi was a bolt from the blue, he is not surprised at the rising instances of banks being scammed. "The Nirav Modi affair is just the tip of the iceberg. There are two ways to look at it, though. If banks followed all the rules regarding loans and such to the letter, they wouldn’t be able to function. But, at the same time, there is a sheer lack of due diligence at most banks.”

And what happens to Nirav Choksi in the end? Does he get his just desserts? Like all authors, Subramanian would like rather you read the book.
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

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