The day of the don…On why justice should, can but won’t be done in the case of Dawood

First published on 02/05/2011


Unlike Forsyth’s book, The day of the Jackal, this blog won’t start with a cold morning. For, as we all know, the antagonist in this case does not get up till late in the afternoon. Dawood isn’t required to do so; he lives life in exactly the same way as any medieval Mughal emperor would do, for his empire of terror is as widespread and as opulent as any Mughal empire. I take a look at the paradox of how one of the world’s most wanted men is living in broad daylight and in exalted luxury while nothing is really done about it.

The anatomy of a fear factor

Dawood is nothing but that, a trader in fear. The empire deals wholly by intimidating weaker human beings in order to carry out it’s deals, negotiations and basically to get any regulatory mechanism out of it’s way. The aura of the company envelops it’s areas of operation in much the same vein that smog covers New Delhi; it is latent, yet omnipresent and omnipotent. Want a recheck? Watch a scene from the 2004 movie ‘Black Friday’ where a small time Mumbai smuggler meets Dawood face to face for the first time. I was scared shitless by just watching the movie. Wonder what that voice does to people on a telephone call from abroad!

Among his myriad of achievements, The singularly most remarkable one has been the successful running of a parallel underworld economy. And how!

And then, among the other feathers is the extensive network of information and communication made available to visiting terrorists, the organization of fun events for our friends from China, Burma and Nepal, the remote control that switches on and off the silver screen and so on (the list being non exhaustive).

Not that Pakistan is benefitting a lot from his divine presence there. A vicious snake would not spare even it’s own benefactors from it’s poisonous bite.

Vottareyaagi (‘on the whole’, a term made famous by TV 9), Dawood is India’s biggest threat and he and his empire must be brought down. Starting with his elimination.

The anatomy of a Donhunt

They spent the most of a decade in the search for Osama. But then, the search was carried out in the wild mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is difficult enough to find him if he were there; let alone when he was not even in the vicinity. The convincing(?) denials of successive Pakistani head buffoons that Pakistan will not harbor terrorists did not fool anyone, certainly not the wily Americans. And then, one fine May day, Osama met the bullet that was marked for him. Near a prominent military establishment. Where he lived for 6 years. And yet, the search took this long

Dawood is a different case. He has lived in the open till recently, is still carrying out his chosen profession with great success and still wields a huge influence over the city of Mumbai (at the least). This should make him easy to pinpoint (notwithstanding the many hideout homes he uses). He is supposedly living in Karachi, a trading hub and consequently a hotspot for information gathering. The reward for Osama’s capture was 27 million dollars. A matching reward for information on Dawood’s wherabouts could easily solicit information from hitherto unthinkable sources (not even the men from ISI could be insusceptible!). Money well spent;after all, he wrecks more damage on the nation’s economy in a single financial year.

I also believe that India has the resources to spy,and spy effectively on Dawood. With our present space capabilities, and some collaborating information on Dawood’s approximate location, we could conclusively isolate him as a target for further action.Even America, in the spirit of the preceding events could resolve to arm twist Pakistan into taking some action.

Then comes the operations part. This could prove a bit of a challenge as I am yet to hear mention of an Indian covert team which has successfully conducted operations deep inside enemy heartlands. The help of other professional teams like America’s SEALS, Israel’s 767 or the British SAS could be sought in planning, if not execution of such an operation. The consequent cover up would require some smart diplomatic play-making, which is not really impossible.

The anatomy of a nation’s reluctance

The saddest part in this story is the fact that the above mentioned factors become null and void in the absence of political will to take action. And again, our sick doctor is exactly the point in case for such a lack of will. His mindset only percolates upto the bottom.

India has missed many opportunities to push it’s neighbor into a corner on issues of security. We still try to garner the goodwill (if such a thing exists) of the Pakistani establishment in our efforts to counter terrorism. Mohali is a point in case. Our very own foreign minister hesitates to declare that Pakistan breeds terror. As if not saying that fact will somehow compel Pakistan to act in any other way.

There is another favorite Indian mindset which play spoil-show. I term it ‘ the flavor of the season’. People like Rajdeep, Burkha and Arnab (he will never stop shouting, will he?) will rant extensively on extended and ‘exclusive” prime time shows. Even Facebook and it’s siblings in various media will play host to a countless number of jingoistic statements from everyone and from everywhere. And then, we will all move on to the next big topic, perhaps another innovative corruption scam?. (Oh, by the way, whatever happened to Kasab? Is he still living merrily on our money?)

America could be guilty of a thousand nasty things, but we should bow down to it’s national and political resolve, which has been unwaivering over such a long period of time, to bring the guilty to justice. I hope that we Indians get to learn this from our friends in the west. At least, during my lifetime.

In Conclusion, but not concluded action

I could have talked about how Pakistan will now vent it’s anger towards us. But then, I do not expect or want Pakistan to change it’s behavior. Let us become the change we want in ourselves in order to repel the misdeeds of our nasty neighbors against us.

Again, unlike Forsyth’s book, the day of the Don is not yet over.


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