Mingling with men in the riders of power is falling common to all those who carry serious ambitions and have the will and dash to see it achieved doubly quick and preferably early in life. This habit has made and even marred the careers of all such who work within the fringes of power like journalists, lawyers, financiers, police officers, and even political touts. Police officers in particular have always managed to get themselves off the hook or stalled some political bigwig out to get them. Such games necessarily require the cooperation and even active connivance of not only those in political power but also their middlemen.
Such middlemen often have turned out to be journalists who win the trust of these power centers, and act as brokers for their business. Journalists have the virtuous advantage of being able to get entry anywhere in the corridors of power mainly due to the importance of the mass media and its ability to transmit the sound bites. Mention the camera and sound bites and there may not be a single politician of any hue able to resist the possible good repercussions of such a chance.
It is this cooperative spirit that has made the careers of many journalists and his many patrons. A sterling example of this game of ups and downs is perhaps the case of former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, once known to the fraternity of Mumbai scribes as an ace crime reporter. A job in a bank meant access to several bits of crucial information to act upon or even possibly trade upon. The job acted as a catalyst to his plans to make it big in life on his own steam, long since having refused to depend upon his reputed well to do family’s resources.
Finding himself in a courier company, he became an ace at extracting and even trading crucial bits of information sustained with uncomplicated evidence which could help his company rivals to steal a march over his own company.
From there, it was only a step away to journalism with the help of ambitious police officers who did not really have too many scruples about finding a sanctimonious way to the top of their careers. Among such officers were the encounter specialists who owed their long careers to sharp shooting cops. Tirodkar did not find himself alone there, but had company in another sharp shooting cop, Daya Nayak, who had gained fame.
Nayak’s association with a school based in native Dakshinkannada had already come in for scrutiny when Tirodkar blew the whistle on him and exposed his dealing with Chhota Shakeel. And, the course of history followed with Tirodkar in apparent moment of remorse at his own deeds and surrendered himself to the law, the custodians of which by then thought it apt to charge him with the stringent Maharashtra Control Of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA). Having made a clean breast himself of all his past deeds and misdeeds and even now in the midst of facing the flak for it, Tirodkar does not require any public acknowledgement but is a subject of this edit only due to his proximity with me as I closely observed his career in both its upward and downward swings.
Tirodkar has paid for his self-confessed misdeeds the balance installments via his uncertain life, but he stands as an example to all aspiring young journalists or even less actively disposed young people of the route a human being can take to the top. What he has done can be called criminal but one must at the same time think of several officers like the one mentioned above. Almost, all of them and even a long list of other Dirty Harrys not mentioned must be admitting in private that very often all that glistens and very brightly so is not profit. Of police officials, it must be said that they too are every bit as media savvy and of scheming nature to use their offices in an unconstitutional manner.
Anyways, now gang wars and crime stories of underworld have come to an end and is no longer projected by Mumbai media. Film directors like Ram Gopal Verma made few movies on Mumbai underworld, which has its own charm. Mumbaikars read news and is fascinated with films based on underworld. Players of the underworld too changed with time. Some hide themselves away from Mumbai, some are murdered and encountered, many fled away from the country. However, one is still here. He is in jail, challenging a system and running his empire with the help of his old loyalists. Soon, we will see a movie on his life.
Gawli returns to Mumbaikars’ life….