Abhijit BhaduriBook ReviewGuest Author

The Confidence Game: Book Review

By Abhijit Bhaduri 

In India we often refer to a confidence trickster or a con as a “420”. The term “420” comes from a reference to Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code is used in India to refer to a confidence trickster. Even in neighboring Myanmar, term 420 persists in popular culture to this date. Psychologist and writer for NewYorker.com, Maria Konnikova has put together a great read on how the cons operate and more importantly, what makes us fall for these cons? Have you ever been tricked? I have. But have you tricked anyone?

Robert Feldman, psychologist tells us that two people getting acquainted lie an average of three times in ten minutes. Some of these lies are also necessary social lubricants. When you fake interest in the boring life-story of someone or telling someone that you are pleased to meet them, you are merely doing what is socially expected. When the same behavior is taken a notch higher, we get the scams.

Mithilesh Kumar Srivastava, better known as Natwarlal was a noted con man who operated in the seventies and eighties in India. He was known for having “sold” the Taj Mahal, the Red Fort, the Rashtrapati Bhavan and even the House of Parliament to the rich and gullible. After being caught when the judge asked him how he managed to convince people to part with their wealth, he said, “Your honour, I charge a fee (guru dakshina) to teach people. Give me a hundred rupees and I will be happy to tell you the secret.” The judge gave him the hundred rupee note. Natwarlal smiled and said, “This is the method.”

Read On…



Abhijit Bhaduri is the Chief Learning Officer of Wipro, author & enthusiastic enough to try anything. Is a prolific writer, speaker and blogger. Has published books  like : Don’t Hire The Best & the MBA series. His works can be explored on his site http://www.abhijitbhaduri.com

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