Silence reigns in the long stretch of winding road known to Mumbaiites as Dalal Street. The brokers' screams have died, not because the din of traditional trading has long been replaced by online screen trading but because the 125-year-old Bombay Stock Exchange (bse), the country's oldest, has never faced such uncertainty since the 1992 Securities Scam.
This pall of uncertainty can lift only if regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) gets to the bottom of the current crisis and takes quick punitive measures against both bull and bear operator cartels who have been wreaking havoc on the bourses. SEBI has already sacked all broker-directors of the bse and banned them from trading. The next step will be to corporatise bse, on the lines of the National Stock Exchange (nse), where there is a clear demarcation between the exchange management and brokers—the umpires and the players.