‘There will never be another don like Dawood’
Q Where does the underworld stand today, a time when homegrown terror has become a big challenge?
A The underworld has become sly and covert in their activities. They are still very much active in real estate, movie financing, cricket betting, horse racing and even the stock market. What they are keeping away from are violent crimes like brazen extortion calls, daylight killings, etcetera. In short, the mafia and the terrorists have clearly demarcated territories of work cut out for them.
Q Has Dawood lost his grip on Mumbai? Is he relevant now?
A I do not conform with the perception that Dawood has lost his grip on Mumbai. The day that happens, the ISI will know about it and he will be liquidated. The fact that he is well protected by it shows that Dawood is still relevant.
Q Does the underworld still find it easy to recruit now that homegrown terrorists are the new glamour boys?
A It is not so easy anymore. But errand boys and hawala messengers are still hired.
Q What was the biggest challenge you faced while writing this book?
A It was difficult to summarise the major events of the Mumbai mafia in the past six decades in such a small book. The task of choosing some and discarding [other events] was highly strenuous and challenging.
Q Has Dawood ever tried to contact you after that one talk you had with him, as mentioned in your book?
A No, Dawood has never tried to contact me and he never will.
Q Will the underworld die after Dawood? Or is there a new ‘bhai’ on the block?
A Organised crime will never vanish. There will be other gangs, less ferocious dons and splinter groups, but they will continue to survive.
Though I can safely predict that there will never be another don of the stature of Dawood.