Bombay’s going to the dogs



In recent years, Chhagan Bhujbal has been Maharahstra’s toughest Home Minister, even willing to take on Bal Thackeray and throw the Sena supremo into the slammer. He brooked no nonsense from even top cops in the state and it was during his tenure that underworld gangs had to beat a hasty retreat from Bombay.

Yet, when the offices of Zee TV were attacked by some activists in 2004, his party boss, Sharad Pawar, was quick to seek his resignation. Now it has been almost a week since the murder of senior journalist Jyotirmoy Dey in broad daylight last Saturday. But all that we have had from Maharashtra’s current Home Minister RR Patil is cheap insinuations against Dey and just a repeat of his standard phrases when Bombay is under attack: we will not tolerate such nonsense and we will bring the criminals to book. But when has he ever done that?

Patil was also Home Minister when 26/11 happened and at the time all that he could say was, “aise bade bade shehron mein aise chote-bade haadse hote rehte hain (big cities should expect to face such big or small incidents)”. If he lost his job for that comment, that is because it suited Pawar very well at the time – he wanted to shame the Congress into taking similar action against then Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. For an election was due within a few months and, with Deshmukh at the helm, Pawar thought he would have very little chance at gaining the upper hand over the Congress (which he still did not – because Deshmukh, out of government, proved more dangerous than he would have been had he had a chair to protect).

How little Pawar thought of the need to have an effective Home Minister in the state and how much he had thought of only his personal gain when he had Patil removed as Home Minister in 2008 was amply evident when, despite designating Bhujbal as Deputy Chief Minister, he had Patil reinstalled as Home Minister in 2009 – as though 26/11 was of no consequence.

But Pawar has always thought more about himself than he has even about his own state. Despite the wide canvas that he paints on today (union agricultural ministry, cricket, etc), Pawar has always had this fear that his supporters in Maharashtra might grow bigger than him one day. When he first made Bhujbal the Home Minister, he had thought that, with his Other Backward Class background, Bhujbal would not upstage either Pawar or the other Marathas in the Nationalist Congress Party. Marathas have traditionally ruled Maharashtra even in the democratic set up and, while Bhujbal may have been unable to overcome this caste equation, he did prove to be a tough home minister who might have gone places. So, even a comparatively insignificant thing like an unarmed attack on a television channel’s office was good enough reason to dump Bhujbal into the boondocks. But with Patil being the most blindly obedient of Pawar’s supporters, and also the most ineffectual of home ministers that Maharashtra has had so far, the killing of a journalist in broad daylight or the return of underworld gangs to Bombay on his watch (as is evident from the armed attack on Dawood Ibrahim’s brother a month earlier) is not reason enough to sack Patil and replace him with a more effective person. Kyonki aise bade bade shehron mein aise chote bade haadse hote rehte hain, right?

Why Bombay is doubly cursed by the continuation of Patil on the job is also because of his poor control over the cops. The last time that the police had had such a free hand was when the BJP’s Gopinath Munde was in the job. But one could at least make the excuse for him that he was a greenhorn and still learning on the job. But Patil, now in his third term, has no such excuse: he is simply too dumb to see how he is being misled by the police and is always ready to toe their line rather than make his own independent judgments.

When Dey was shot dead on June 11, some top cops tried to “plant” some misinformation on the media – that Dey, who was as honest a crime reporter as they come probably fell foul of real estate sharks (they alleged he was into real estate deals for which there was no evidence) or that he had outraged some in the underworld for having an affair with a gangster’s moll (again, absolutely no evidence). Now, instead of asking the cops to verify those rumours and produce some concrete evidence to support both those allegations, Patil, just a day after Dey’s murder, was blindly parroting those unsubstantiated rumours to the media – it is only the media outrage against those statements and the demand for the dismissal of both Bombay’s police commissioner and home minister that they were silenced and did the probe begin in the right direction.

That kind of mindless behavior, amid pressure from the media, prompted Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to take charge of monitoring the investigations himself — that relentless pressure included a morcha, a relay hunger strike and a PIL in the Bombay High Court, accompanied by a demand that the case be transferred to the CBI because they did not trust the cops to do a fair investigation.

The last time that a chief minister had similarly intervened was when Vilasrao Deshmukh received a bamboo from the Prime Minister’s office demanding to know why no action was being taken against Raj Thackeray despite the beating up of so many North Indians by his party, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, across the state. That is when Raj was arrested and embroiled in so many cases that he has been unable to catch his breath ever since and, by and large, laid off the North Indians in Bombay.

Ever since, I have been making a case for the return of the job of the Home Minister to the Chief Minister. Bombay has been going to the dogs for years now precisely because of such dual authority in the state. The chief minister is the person at whose door the buck must stop vis-vis law and order. But having another man in charge, that too from another party and one who does not consider the CM his boss, gives room to the policemen to play one against the other. The bifurcation of the two offices was done during the Shiv Sena-BJP regime in the Nineties essentially because Munde, who belonged to the senior party, needed to feel equal to the CM, Manohar Joshi, who was from the Shiv Sena. When the NCP does not have enough efficient men to decisively command the police force – and it is this reason why there is a deep divide and factional wars between Bombay’s top cops, apparent during 26/11- there is no reason why the state should be weakened just because it suits a particular politician to have no one grow bigger than himself.

I believe this is the right opportunity for the Congress to seize the initiative and tell Pawar that the state is in need of an effective Home Minister and if his party cannot provide a suitable candidate for the job, the Congress might find one from it’s own ranks. At least that will solve the problem of dual authority and compel the cops to fall in line.

Then, perhaps, the police might be able to concentrate on the job of keeping law and order in the state rather than upstaging one another and attempting to solve cases through cheap innuendo and gossip, even as Bombay goes to dogs – and the underworld raises its ugly head once again, using faction wars in the Bombay police to divide a house against itself!

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  • http://- Rajeev

    Looks like Pawar ne Sujata ko kaafi dino se khush nahi kiya…Poor girl…

    [Reply]

    Raj Reply:

    Chalo, isi bahane tum toh khush huay…Smart Boy!

    [Reply]

    Rajeev Reply:

    mazaa nahi aaya…you fooled me. Smart :)

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    ram Reply:

    Hi Ms.Sujata,

    A very honest, methodical and transparent article! With incompetent and corrupt Congress-NCP leadership and remote controlled PM Who will save Mumbai???? With such rulers Pakistan has no reason to worry even if it launches several more terror strikes as the Dons & Bhais nurtured know Mumbai like the back of their had and continue to thrive under blatantly dishonest Congress regime.

    Ram
    Singapore

  • vsc

    did you mean “Mumbai is going to the dogs?” , well for firsts, indian journalists should show some responsibility and pride in their indian heritage, instead of sticking to colonial heritage….maybe learn something from the chinese(peking vs beijing) .maybe our country is going to the dogs ? as we did from 1857 to 1947

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  • Agnostic Monk

    VSC, Indian heritage!!!. More like linguistic/regional chauvinism. Mumbai Kona Chi – Maharahtra Chi (Mumbai for who, Maharastra), that was the name change campaign. So Sujata is entirely right in calling it Bombay as do many other Indians. Besides, our colonial heritage is part of our history too.

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    Vsc Reply:

    Keeping theatrics aside for a moment, and also the fanatical elements who abide to regionalism, think about the name Mumbai..its not a new invention, its always been Mumbai, Chennai has been Chennai…..as citizens of the same county, we should respect our ancestral heritage….if you think BOMBAY has been created by the British, you are mistaken….they were restricted as a settlement on the southernmost islands of Mumbai..before they took power….

    yes, colonial heritage is a part of our history, a gift of being secondary human beings that we should try to shake off, our forefathers fought for it..Look at USA, they were a colony of the British..literally so..they came from England…but talk to an American today and you will see the difference and be amazed by pride they have in how they are NOT British…they turn up the electric switch to turn on the power and if you come to America, you WILL drive on the wrong side of the road….

    For the world to look up to you, you have to look upto yourself first….we are a thousand year old culture…be proud…

    As far as calling BOMBAY …Mumbai, even though i may have different personal opinions, thats the legal name now…and we should learn to respect it…if you are in Maharashtra learn to respect Maharashtrians, they are as much Indians as you and me.

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    vsc Reply:

    Mumbadevi Temple dedicated to city’s patron Goddess Mumbadevi is located in Bhuleshwar, Mumbai. She is considered as Mumbai’s resident deity. The temple of Mumbadevi once stood on the site of the present Victoria Terminus in the central island. The present name of the city is derived from the Goddess Mumbadevi. The temple itself is not impressive but is an important landmark as it is dedicated to MumbaDevi, the city’s patron deity. It is from her that Bombay gets its local name Mumbai.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumba_Devi_Temple

    I guess you are fine with the British breaking down temples?

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  • ashok

    One wonders whether ” bamboo ” is a parliamentary word in a lady journalist’s column.

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  • Rajan

    Gentlemen,
    The Mad Man appears again, if you search any blog in the internet, you can see the comments of So called greatest scientist of India. If you discussing local sanitation work he will bring CIA there, like some high intellectual idiots refering I M mushriff’s book “who killed Karkare” even in cookery show

    [Reply]

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JRL42KKUAFYBZSO37F3KEBLEDM Shajan

    Super markets like big bazaar, food world, Reliance fresh etc have come up in many places. They did not displace the small shops. If Walmart/Tesco comes up, those who go to big bazaar etc will have an additional choice. BTW, farmers get 1 or 2 rupee /kg of onion/potato which are sold for 16 to 20 rupee in retail. Should middlemen eat away what should be due to the hardworking farmer?

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  • http://nuclearsupremacyforindiaoverus.blogspot.com/ Satish Chandra

    Indians as a rule are inferior Indian niggers unfit to talk about strategic matters, especially if it involves the White Master in any way, which it always does. That is why in his ‘Mein Kampf’ Adolf Hitler said “As for India, I would rather see India under the British than under any one else”. It is not just that a handful of the British from half way around the world ruled India for centuries; a lot of other people from various countries did that for a thousand years before that.

    A modern day Babar will start each day by killing a million Indians before breakfast every morning, though some think three million will be better (this number can be herded into fairly small extermination circles and then a neutron bomb exploded over them).

    I am an Indian, but as far above the other Indians as they may be above cockroaches.

    For more, see my blog titled ‘Nuclear Supremacy for India Over U.S.’ which can be found by a Yahoo/Google search with the title.

    RAW routinely posts abuse on what I say; ignore it; these criminals are guilty of the gravest treason, deserve the death penalty and that is what they will get. There are also pieces of dog-faeces, like the one named Dung who are bio-degradable and nature will take care of them

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  • Anonymous

    “Travel back in time. Reflect on what happened in Randhikpur on February 28, 2002, a day after yet-to-be-unidentified people torched a train bogey carrying kar sevaks (Hindu devotees) in Godhra.”

    The court has already convicted dozens of muslims for their role in Godhra train burning but our communal Zia calls them yet-to-be-unidentified people.

    Whereas not a single allegation thrown at Modi has been proven, Zia the bigot is asking for his head.

    Like all Jahil muslims this Zia fellow always feels muslims are innocent and hindus are guilty.

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    engrich Reply:

    90%of them are released by gujrat high court,remaining will be aquitted by supreme court.compartment was attacked by vhp goons to provide reason
    for riot,which was preplanned.

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  • engrich

    suddenly somebody saw a group of green and half moon flag wielding men with screams of Allah Ho Akbar

    .as per FIR pumps to extinguish fire were brought by muslims. they extinghuished the fire.this was election time,modi and his gang was the main benefeciary of this act.muslims had no reason to do this.they knew the result.

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  • engrich

    rajx this is lie.there was no mascare of hindus in kashmir .pundits were removed by jagmohan ,hindu nazi,to save them from the torture of non stop curfew.which continued for months,and to comunalize issue.still there are thousands of pundits living friendly and yatras pass peacefully.fire in godhra compartment was ignited by hindu zoinists,as they were the only beneficiary of this nefarious act.

    hindu zoinistsn also killed hiren pandya,a brhmn,for same purpose.

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  • Anonymous

    Well he is “low caste hindu recent convert”. So it is expected , he is more rabid muslim than the ones from arabia .THE SAME WITH ZAKIR NAIK, all
    low caste conversion syndrome , full of anger and malcontent

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    engrich Reply:

    bullshit challange if anything wrong.

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  • Kumars1

    Nobody can come close to Muslims in the victimhood game. Look all around in the world. Nigeria, Syria, Libya, Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Russia, Kosovo, Lebanon, UK, USA, Afghanistan, Thailand, Georgia, Pakistan, India, Sudan, Eqypt, Yemen and on and on. Who is to be blamed? Non-Muslims of course! Muslims? They are peace loving docile non-violent folk!

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    engrich Reply:

    all these countries u mentioned above are victim of cia-alqaida mafia game plan to control energy resources.

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  • Abu Ahmed

    Look, sectarian killings take place all over the world. However, most people realise the same to be inhuman, illegal and illegitimate. What we are seeing in India is just the opposite. In our case, its a bit different. Here, in 1992, Babri Masjid is demolished before the eyes of the whole world, live on TV, the biggest show of irreligious act on display – para-military forces, police and in fact the whole state administration and machinery is standing by helplessly, unable to maintain law and order. Twenty years have gone by, not a single person is convicted for an act carried out with milions of eye-witnesses, audio-visual records and what have you. National TV, international media, journalists, police and state administration officials, in short there is no dearth of evidence. Ten years later, the same story is repeated in Gujarat. Whatever evidenced is provided has not been considered by the SIT. Therefore, Modi is innocent till proven guilty. Whether it is 1992 or 2002, the state administrations of UP and Gujarat are responsible for a massive cover-up of the guilty. THIS IS THE DIFFERENCE – THE STATE ADMINISTRATIONS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR COVERING UP THE CRIME AND HELPING THE GUILTY, WHEREAS IN OTHER PARTS OF THE MORE CIVILIZED WORLD, THE CONCERNED ADMINISTRATIONS HELP THE CAUSE OF JUSTICE. IN MERA BHARAT MAHAN, THE GOVT & THE ADMINISTRATION IS HELPING THE KILLERS & THE GUILTY GET AWAY FROM LAW.
    BANEY HAIN AHLE HAWAS MUDDAYEE BHI, MUNSIF BHI
    KISEY WAKEEL KAREIN, KIS SE MUNSIFI CHAHEIN

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    engrich Reply:

    this is called hindu justice ststem which is meant only for poors.what india want is sharia.

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  • engrich

    In J&K, massive killing was done of Hindus

    tell me where and number of people killed which paper it was published.

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  • engrich

    hari u tell me

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  • engrich

    anothr feather in the cap of harday samrat,

    The Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned the Gujarat government for initiating a probe against social activist Teesta Setalvad for her alleged role in a case of illegal exhumation of the bodies of the 2002 riot victims, saying it is a “spurious” case to victimise her.
    “This is a hundred percent spurious case to victimise the petitioner (Setalvad),” said a bench of justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai.

    While criticising the state government for beginning the probe against Setalvad, it added, “this type of case does no credit to the state of Gujarat in any way.”

    “This case is hundred percent spurious. In other cases against petitioner, there may be something,” the bench said.

    Besides this case, the Gujarat government has also lodged criminal proceedings against her in other riot-related cases. The bench was of the view that it was not correct on the part of the Gujarat government to go ahead with the case.

    It asked senior advocate Pradeep Ghosh, who appeared for the Gujarat government, to go through the First Information Report (FIR) of the case and advise the government not to proceed with it.

    “You advise your client not to proceed with this type of case. You should show some responsibility and tell the government not to proceed with the case,” the bench said.

    While posting the matter for March 23, the bench asked the senior counsel to go through the FIR “passionately” and tell the court as to what does he feel about it.

    The bench also asked Gujarat government’s standing counsel Hemantika Wahi to go through the FIR.

    The bench was hearing a petition by Setalvad against the May 27 order of the Gujarat High Court, which had refused to quash the FIR registered against her at a police station in Panchmahal district of the state on exhumation of the bodies from a graveyard near river Panam.

    While making the critical remarks against the Gujarat government for initiating the probe against Setalvad in the body exhumation case, the bench said its interim stay, imposed on July 29, 2011 on criminal proceedings against Setalvad in the case would continue till the next date of hearing.

    “Interim stay to continue till the next date” it said.

    Responding to the apex court notice, the state government had in its affidavit justified its probe against Setalvad in the case saying she actually planned and executed the digging of the graves without any permission in 2006.

    It had claimed that during the probe into the case, it has emerged that “Teesta Setalvad, the petitioner herein, was the main accused, who actually planned and executed this operation of digging of graves near Pandarwada through her staff.”

    The government had said the other accused have claimed innocence and had blamed Setalvad for instigating them to carry out the exhumation, which is a penal offence.

    “Exhumation of the dead bodies without prior permission of the competent authorities constitutes an offence under sections 192 (fabricating false evidence), 193 (punishment for false evidence, 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), 120-B criminal conspiracy), 295(A) (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) and 297 (trespassing on burial places) of IPC,” the affidavit had said.

    It was alleged that in 2002, about 28 unidentified bodies of the riot victims from Pandarwada and surrounding villages in Khanpur taluka were buried in the graveyard.

    Earlier, the high court had declined to scrap the FIR, but had quashed the summons, which had termed her as absconding

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  • engrich

    u have converted india into jurrasic park and say that u are secular.paistan and bangladesh are far more secular than india.roads and shops are full of elephants monkeys and plus lnd.and u call india secular.ha haha.600 communal riots no one is punished and india is secular.

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  • Anonymous

    This is tribe of Zia…Jahil ganwaar..

    http://blogs.outlookindia.com/default.aspx?ddm=10&pid=2735

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  • RajX

    People like you are not blameless. You have unwisely turned your own community into foreigners in their own country by allowing ramphant arabization among your community which puts ummah above country and messes up their identity as Indian citizens. You have to lay in the bed you have prepared. The breakup of this country by fanatical Muslims in 1947 doesn’t seem to have taught any lessons to many Muslims in India. Your future is in India and not with the ummah. Learn to keep your religious identity subservient to your national identity and learn to look at the world as made up of humans and not as made up by believers and non believers. Groups like RSS and shiv sena are a response to Islamist fanaticism. You can’t have one without the other.

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  • Aman

    yeeeeee…jeep

    [Reply]

  • Mohit

    waiting for BMW 1.. looks awesome>

    [Reply]