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The term Indian mafia refers to certain criminal organizations found in some of India's major cities.

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Mumbai underworld

Mumbai's first recorded bank robbery was committed by a man with a fake name:'Anokhelal'. He came to Mumbai from Delhi after seeing the American movie Highway 301. He formed a gang of local criminals and committed the robbery after doing two rehearsals at the bank which were not noticed by the staff. The movie was later banned in Mumbai. The Bank attacked was The Lloyds bank at Fort area in Mumbai. Rs. 16 lakhs were stolen and the security guard was killed. The police solved the robbery based on information about a 10,000 rupees worth "Chaddar" that was laid at HajiAli durgah.

The first of mafia elements, or syndicates, perhaps had their origins in the gambling and bootleg liquor dens set up by a criminal named Karim Lala[1] in the 1940s.Bada Rajan 1970-83. Currently the biggest such underworld leader is Dawood Ibrahim, who lives in Dubai and other places.

Due to heavy migration from the Bihar and Uttar Pradesh regions of India there are many Bihari mafia gangs operating within Mumbai and surrounding regions. These gangs are involved in activities ranging from contract killing and prostitution to car theft and weapons smuggling[2][3]. These mafia groups specialise in the human trafficking of Nepali girls into India, who are then forced into prostitution in the city of Mumbai, where they are highly prized in areas such as Kamathipura[4]. The increase in migration from rural areas of Bihar has led to an almost neverending supply of footsoldiers for these mafia groups leading to numerous shootouts and feuds[3][5]

Activities

India is a major transit point for heroin coming in from the Golden Triangle and Golden Crescent to Europe. India is also the world's largest legal grower of opium, and experts estimate that 5-10% of the legal opium is converted into illegal heroin. The pharmaceutical industry is also responsible for a lot of illegal production of illegal mandrax, much of which is smuggled into South Africa. Diamond smuggling via South Africa is also a major criminal activity, and diamonds are also sometimes used to disguise shipments of heroin. Finally, a lot of money laundering takes place in the country, mostly through the use of the traditional hawala system, although India has criminalised money laundering as of 2003.[6]

Bengalooru Underworld

Bengalooru’s underworld dates back to the late 1960s, when Kodigehalli Mune Gowda became the first underworld don.In the beginning he controlled all of Bangalore, and his basic revenue source was hafta from brothels and arrack shops. In the ‘70s, Kotwal Ramachandra and Jayaraj entered the field. Wine shops.massage parlours,game parlours were added to the list. They had political affiliations.The scene changed in the 1980s and ‘90s, when young turks entered the field like Muthappa Rai, Sridhar(Agni Shridhar), Boot House Kumar or Oil Kumar, Bekkina Kannu Rajendra, Srirampura Kitty, Jedarahalli Krishnappa, Pushpa, Kala Pathar and Ele Naga emerged.

At the same time, the slum underworld became active, with Abu Shair, Koli Fayaz, Tanvir, Ishtiyak, Sajjad, Nazir,hibbath, Tarakari Khaleel and Chappal Hamid. Bangalore was virtually a battleground, as these operators stretched their businesses to all possible revenue earning sectors. [7]

Bangalore mafia and Movies

A movie called Om was made, which exposed the underworld activities of Bangalore with its realistic narration. Later many followed it. Recently Aa Dinagalu which centred around Bangalore underworld of 80's was a big hit among the people.

Indian mafia in popular culture

Crime films revolving around the Indian mafia, particularly the Mumbai underworld, have been common in Indian cinema since the 1950s, evolving into a distinct genre known as Mumbai noir in the late 1990s.[8] The genre has its origins in the 1950s, with the Raj Kapoor films Awaara (1951) and Shree 420 (1955) being some of the earliest films involving the Mumbai underworld. In the 1960s, Shakti Samanta's China Town (1962), starring Shammi Kapoor and Helen, dealt with the criminal underworld that existed in Chinatown, Kolkata, at the time. It was the earliest film to introduce the plot element of a look-alike working as an undercover agent impersonating a gangster, an idea that was used again Don (1978) and many later films inspired by it.[9]

In the 1970s and early 1980s, many of the most well-known classic Bollywood movies were based around themes of fighting criminals and corruption at a time when crime was rising and authorities were powerless. Classic Amitabh Bachchan films depicted the underworld and the protagonists attempting to overcome it, including Prakash Mehra's Zanjeer (1972), Yash Chopra's Deewar (1975), Manmohan Desai's Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), Chandra Barot's Don (1978) and Vijay Anand's Ram Balram (1980). In particular, Deewar, which Danny Boyle described as being “absolutely key to Indian cinema”, was a crime film pitting "a policeman against his brother, a gang leader based on real-life smuggler Haji Mastan", portrayed by Bachchan.[10] Most Bollywood crime movies at the time were fairly unrealistic with the masala style of action and plots. In Parallel Cinema on the other hand, the Calcutta trilogies of Bengali film directors Mrinal Sen and Satyajit Ray, particularly the 1976 film Jana Aranya (The Middleman), dealt with the Calcutta underworld in a more realistic manner.

In the late 1980s, Parallel Cinema filmmakers began producing more realistic Bombay underworld films, with an early example being Mani Ratnam's Tamil film, Nayagan (1987), based on the life of the Bombay don, Varadarajan Mudaliar, portrayed by Kamal Haasan. Nayagan was included in Time Magazine's "All-Time 100 Best Films" list, issued in 2005.[11] The Bombay underworld was also depicted in Mira Nair's Academy Award nominated Hindi film Salaam Bombay! (1988). The underworld was also depicted in several other National Film Award winning films, including Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Parinda (1989) starring Anil Kapoor, Mukul S. Anand's Agneepath (1990) starring Bachchan, and Sudhir Mishra's Dharavi (1991) also starring Kapoor.

Movie poster for Ram Gopal Varma's Satya (1998), considered the beginning of the Mumbai noir genre.

In the late 1990s, Ram Gopal Varma's Satya (1998) marked the introduction of a new genre of film making, Mumbai noir, of which he is the acknowledged master.[8] The critical and commercial success of Satya led to an increased emphasis on realism in later Mumbai underworld films. Varma's next Mumbai noir film was Company (2002), based on the D-Company, a real-life criminal organization. Satya and Company both gave "slick, often mesmerizing portrayals of the Mumbai underworld", and displayed realistic "brutality and urban violence."[10] Satya won six Filmfare Awards, including the Critics Award for Best Film, while Company won seven Filmfare Awards. A prequel to Company was released in 2005, entitled D (2005), produced by Varma and directed by Vishram Sawant. Varma's three films Satya, Company and D are together considered an "Indian Gangster Trilogy", comparable to the Godfather Trilogy or Infernal Affairs trilogy.[12] Varma also directed an Indian adaptation of The Godfather novel in a Mumbai underworld setting, called Sarkar (2005), and has more recently filmed an original sequel called Sarkar Raj (2008).

Mahesh Manjrekar's Vaastav: The Reality (1999) is another film that depicts the Indian mafia. Anurag Kashyap's Black Friday (2004) is based on S. Hussein Zaidi's book of the same name about the 1993 Bombay bombings, which involved the underworld organization, the D-Company.[10] Vishal Bharadwaj's Maqbool (2004) and Omkara (2006) are modern-day Indian mafia interpretations of the William Shakespeare plays Macbeth and Othello, respectively. Farhan Akhtar's Don - The Chase Begins Again (2006) is a remake of Barot's original 1978 Don with Shahrukh Khan taking Bachchan's place in the title role. Apoorva Lakhia's Shootout at Lokhandwala (2007) is based on a real-life 1991 incident involving Commissioner Aftab Ahmed Khan and the Lokhandwala Complex. Waaris (2008) is an Indian television series on Zee TV with the Indian mafia as its background. The Mumbai underworld has also been depicted in Madhur Bhandarkar's Traffic Signal (2007) and Rajeev Khandelwal's Aamir (2008).

Danny Boyle's Academy Award winning film Slumdog Millionaire (2008), based on Vikas Swarup's Boeke Prize winning novel Q and A (2005), has also portrayed the Indian mafia, under the influence of earlier Mumbai noir films.[13] Boyle has cited previous Bollywood portrayals of the Mumbai underworld in Deewar, Satya, Company and Black Friday as direct influences on the film.[10][14] The Hollywood film Shantaram, based on Gregory David Roberts's Shantaram novel, also features the Indian mafia in its storyline. The film is being directed by Mira Nair and stars Amitabh Bachan in the lead role.

Indian mafia was widely potrayed in 2009 Bollywood's 2009 critically acclaimed film Kaminey.

Bollywood connections

The Indian mafia is notoriously heavily involved in Mumbai's Bollywood film industry, providing films with funding and using them as fronts for other activities.[citation needed] Although in recent times police investigations have forced mobsters to make their activities more subtle, for most of Bollywood's existence stars openly displayed their mafia connections, attending parties with mafia dons and using their help to gain new roles.[15]

See also

References

  1. ^ The Hindu, Karim Lala is dead, February 20, 2002
  2. ^ http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-3192579,flstry-1.cms
  3. ^ a b http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_city-gangs-target-up-hitmen_1269383
  4. ^ http://www.asmita.org.np/Trafficking/chapter_2.htm
  5. ^ http://www.india-today.com/itoday/04051998/bihar.html
  6. ^ [www.loc.gov/rr/frd/pdf-files/Nats_Hospitable.pdf Nations Hospitable to Organized Crime and Terrorism - Library of Congress report]
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ a b Aruti Nayar (2007-12-16). "Bollywood on the table". The Tribune. http://www.tribuneindia.com/2007/20071216/spectrum/main11.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-19. 
  9. ^ CineGoer.com - Nostalgia - Bhale Thammudu
  10. ^ a b c d Amitava Kumar (23 December 2008). "Slumdog Millionaire's Bollywood Ancestors". Vanity Fair. http://www.vanityfair.com/online/oscars/2008/12/slumdog-millionaires-bollywood-ancestors.html. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  11. ^ "Time Magazine All time best 100 movies". Time Magazine. 2005. http://www.time.com/time/2005/100movies/the_complete_list.html. Retrieved September 2, 2008. 
  12. ^ Charlie (2005-08-24). "D: Final film in Indian Gangster Trilogy a Must See". Cinema Strikes Back. http://www.cinemastrikesback.com/index.php?p=562. Retrieved 2009-02-22. 
  13. ^ Christian Jungen (April 4, 2009). "Urban Movies: The Diversity of Indian Cinema". FIPRESCI. http://www.fipresci.org/festivals/archive/2009/fribourg/indian_cinema_chjungen.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-11. 
  14. ^ "All you need to know about Slumdog Millionaire". The Independent. 21 January 2009. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/all-you-need-to-know-about-slumdog-millionaire-1452119.html. Retrieved 2009-01-21. 
  15. ^ BBC News - Analysis - Bollywood and the mafia http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/3152662.stm

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