In the course of life, we might have been hoodwinked by a swindler; we could have also possibly seen our things being stolen by the tame thief. Or, going further, we might have even been closely or distantly related to a murder offense as a non-doer, maybe by virtue of having being the witness, kin of victim or the murderer, friend of alleged killer etc. However, these have somehow been slotted in our daily lives — not by will but by force — since they are so omnipresent. But blatant and unrestricted felonies of the bloody kind roaming free on the streets sure give us the creep and disturb us from within. Even the thought that an armed bandit with either silent political backing or the lack of it coupled with the fear among the politicians to go for them, makes us quiver forcing us to be reticent either feigning ignorance or being bogged down by influential corners despite having youthful — sometimes naÃ¯ve — vigor to resist such barefaced criminalization of a civilized society. Yes, we are talking of mafias, dons and the likes — few would put up a smugly attitude and chuckle at the apparent might of the sinister world of mafias as we go about it.
The underworld is a shade similar to the gangland that these criminals add up to. The term mafia actually denotes anything that occurs under the table and opaquely under the influence of the high-ranking corrupt officials. It is open secret that several of our politicians are party to this menace. While a few have even played the leading role themselves others endorse it silently or give that preferred outside support. Needless to say, money is behind all of it unless some longstanding enmity of the bloodthirsty kind exists between two men. The nexus between the contractor mafias, police and politicians in the public construction sleazes are worth having a good look at. The contractor mafias have featured so much in the public constructions that little suspicions are left in ones mind.
With any luck, we are sure to recall Satyendra Dubey, who was the whistleblower in the NHAI (National Highway Authority of India) construction case. Innate involvement of the mafias in it had prompted him to write to the PM but when the powers themselves are influentially privy to these incidents and the crime bureau’s allegiance to the impious government acts as the windfall for the crooks there is little that the layman can do apart from sigh and censure. The Mafioso gets away lightly due to their forged alliance with the law enforcement (police). Recently a mafia of a different kind — the drug mafia — was reportedly involved with the police, something which was exposed by the responsible media, making it difficult for the Goa based gang to do business for sometime (although its just a mater of time till they resurface). In 2007, the UP state police report listed 280 mafia gangs operating of which more than 30 were criminal mafias while land and contractor mafias were more in numbers. Mulayam Singh unleashed a police crackdown just ahead of the then elections prodding justified opinions that no real motive existed in him and it was mere vote garnering tactic. The Bihar street mafia had allegedly lent out sophisticated weaponry — as technologically advanced as the AK-47’s — to the Uttar Pradesh criminal fÃªte to earn money a few years ago. The sordid black bazaar has roved its own web of dirty business of arms and guns which runs with all its might due to the safeguard provided by none other than the state run police departments obviously working under the overwhelming control of the highly dishonest and money-affectionate politicians who keep the mafia alive for once-in-a-while use of muscle power against the opponents or the rare citizens who threaten the serene running of the encrusted and clandestine criminal activities. These people, who blow the lid of the scam, are evidently the right men with their moral fiber intact who are petrified at the unchallenged corruption. It is, in any case, least expected that the people will shout from the rooftops, their consternation and repugnance against the perpetrators of such vices.
In terms of popular culture, there have been several Hindi movies which were anchored in mafias and such goon-gangs. These are to be seen as attempts by brave directors at bringing to the people the reality of a rampantly corrupt India that has got nothing to do with what meets the eye. It is also acknowledged that the mafia raj that existed in India only sometime ago and has the potential to stage a dramatic comeback unless the hooks are tightened and the police crack down heavily on the mafia.
The RTI is sure to curb possibilities of activities by the contractor mafia any further. If rigorous stand is taken by the CBI, the horrid nexus between politicians, mafia and police will be busted as well. In that case we will be less likely to see MLA’s dancing with girls in bars frequented by mafia dons and underworld victors, we will be less prone to getting news of police engaged in scandalous doings of the criminals, we will be less likely to watch video grabs of policemen making merry with the underworld goons, and lastly, India will more probably be freeing itself of the embarrassing position of 84th in the corruption scale rankings.