Saturday, June 11, 2011

In broad daylight

This news report shocked me. The video coverage on TV showed the D-Mart near the place where he was shot. And a policewoman was cordoning off a small area on the footpath with yellow posts and tape, while her assistant were taking measurements from nearby electricity poles. The headline after the "Breaking News" part read: "Midday reporter J Dey shot".

Can you believe it? A 56 year old daring journalist rides out of his home on a rainy Saturday on his motorcycle and gets 3 out of the 5 bullets. Hiranandani doctors can't do anything about it. And all this happens in  broad daylight! The city is shocked and so am I. Him being an author of two books on the underworld and the oil racket might be a coincidence but it hardly seems so. Tweets, posts and messages from fellow media companies pour in. This particular post is I think gaining popularity. Its by Samir Halarnkar for the HT. He ends his article so beautifully:

Dey stayed relevant, writing two books on the mafia and, at the Mumbai tabloid MiD DAY, continuing to do what he did best - revealing a creature we thought had lost its teeth. As Dey's death proves, the mafia still bites.

His Wikipedia article was I presume created and removed today itself being deemed as being a copied newspaper article. Now, I do not know much about J Dey nor his legendary work. I am still searching for articles he wrote about the mafia, underworld, encounters, shootouts and other such terms. After reading a few, you seem to understand his love for old adages. His articles are filled with such apt ones, you tend to adore them and save them for later. Dey compared encounter specialists to eagles so well you have to read it here. He writes immense confidence about intelligence officers and the Maharashtra Police like a true journalist in his field.
His book sales will rise, Mid DAY will get huge publicity, the entire media comprising of other newspapers and TV channels will gang up against the authorities and atleast one of the administration will have to resign. All this might not be enough to take the spotlight off the ailing Baba who refuses to eat. But, its news, big, shocking and staring at your face with a big M, A, F, I and an A written all over it.

Are they back? Are the contract killings of anyone who raises a voice against the underworld again in fashion? We had gotten used to not being reminded of them by RGV's films every odd month. Company, D- Company, D, Satya, Shootout at Lokhandwala had all become films of a gone-past genre. We had stopped uttering words like "chindi", "peti" and "khallas". The killing serves as a rude reminder that all is not over in the mafia country. Maybe Mumbai is still the hotbed for such activities and that terrorism is not the only threat in this mad city. Terrorism had abased the local mafia to forgettable levels. But, Dey's killing only reminds us that the mafia's teeth just got a new coating. 

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