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The cotton bubble burst in when the American Civil War ended and the British resumed buying American cotton. Madhya Pradesh. Would love to read a book wirtten on encounter cops of mumbai chronicling their lives but thats for another day. Your display name should be at least 2 characters long. I had keenly felt the absence of any literature on the Mumbai mafia.
Arun managed to complete matriculation. He was eager that his children acquire a good education. Rampuri and Illahabadi gangs. Rama Naik and Arun Gawli and the north Indian bhaiyyas was not based on regional prejudices. Once he had prejudiced the local boys against the S-bridge gang. It all began with territorial one- upmanship.
He started proclaiming that Gawli was an Ahir and that he was from Madhya Pradesh. Arun took up a series of jobs with various companies. Another sister. Though Sarmalkar was a Maharashtrian and the leader of the Byculla gang. He joined. The reasons are not known. Vijay Ahir. Sarmalkar was aghast. But Gawli was opposed to this. His mother.
He wanted a larger canvas and sought to call his bunch of thugs the Byculla gang. Babu Reshim. After his father left his job. Laxmi Chawl and Cement Chawl.
Bablya Sawant and Vilas Choughule. Babu Reshim was the seniormost among the three and the other two looked up to him. Once in. Byculla was just making its mark as the Palermo of independent India.
Arun and Rama never intended to join a gang — they would have happily run their matkas and liquor joints — but the raids made them furious. Kundan got into a quarrel with Arvind on the streets and slapped him. Babu Reshim and Arun Gawli to join hands.
It was also here that Rama Naik and Arun Gawli met. The Jaunpuri. His penchant for getting into trouble meant he had to leave school before completing matriculation. Byculla was the hunting ground of the Mumbai mafiosi. Kundan stabbed Umakant. This incident marked the beginning of a violent battle between the BRA gang and the Bhaiyya gang. Kanpuri and Illahabadi gangs were all big names in the area. It was their sense of frustration over the injustice that forced Rama Naik.
He dropped out after Class 6 and took with him other troubled and trouble-making youths like Ashok Chaudhary alias Chhota Babu. The selective crackdown by the police on their matka gambling dens only exacerbated hostilities. In It was at his suggestion that they named their gang BRA. It was at Crompton Greaves that Gawli first shook hands with the burly.
The internecine warfare between the S-bridge gang and the BRA gang escalated. Kundan was arrested by the Agripada police and jailed for a while before eventually being released on bail. It was obvious that the others paid more hafta to the police. They soon started terrorizing the traders of the Byculla region by extorting money from gambling. His exit did not affect his friendship with Arun Gawli.
Until then. Soon after his release from jail. Along with the other boys. Arun took to anti-social activities. He stepped in and soon a fist fight broke out between Kundan and Umakant. In the company of Sada. As Bollywod has shown us. With its history of gangs for more than fifty years. Kundan Dubey was a known acolyte of Parasnath Pandey. While in jail. This not only took Gawli by surprise. As the police could not intervene in such civil matters and did not get involved in settling financial disputes because of legal constraints.
Shashi was no more his friend. Gawli and other gangsters made a killing. Choughule and Chhota Babu. The BRA gang wanted to take over all the matka joints. These practices created a link between building contractors and gangsters. As expected. Gawli understood the requirement for — and power of — muscle in this business.
He demanded a flat 50 per cent fee for settling financial disputes or a certain number of flats in the newly constructed buildings. He started settling financial disputes and providing protection to his contractor friends. Many other dons in Mumbai tried their hand at the real estate and construction businesses.
Shashi Rasam at this point thought he should patch up the relationship between the BRA gang and the S-bridge gang. Lalbaug and Dadar areas of south-central Mumbai or Girangaon. He was also the first don to demand 50 per cent of the money recovered in financial disputes. Shashi tried to convince Rama to let bygones be bygones and bring closure to the Kundan episode by not testifying against Kundan in the Umakant Naik murder case. The gruesome killing not only shocked everyone but scared the other matka operators.
Rama ended up in jail after a fight with another gang and met Shashi Rasam. Arun Gawli had foreseen that real estate would be the next big thing and concentrated his energies in the Worli. Shashi was enraged. Kundan was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
The police arrested Rama Naik. Dawood came into the field much later. But Rama was in no mood for any such reconciliation. He told Shashi in no uncertain terms that blood was thicker than water and that Kundan would have to undergo punishment as dictated by the courts.
As it happened. This became their entry into the real estate business — Arun Gawli was the first don to dabble in land deals. Both were released in The conflict between the bhaiyyas and ghatis the bhaiyyas referred to the Maharashtrians pejoratively as ghatis continued to rage.
Haji Mastan tried very hard to get his fingers into the construction pie. With Parasnath dead and Kundan in jail serving his life sentence. This gave Gawli complete control of the area and he began to call the shots.
A paucity of issues had forced the Sena to reinvent itself around this time. Shiv Sainiks ransacked a railway recruitment office in Bandra. Before the exams that year. Mohan Gupta and others — also preferred to fade out. The central government was forced to delay the exams. Finding no new avenues. Babu Reshim and Rama Naik were tadipar externed from Mumbai for two years in Not that the system sided with Gawli. The family did not approve of their relationship. The wild propaganda and the police were doing what Gawli had always wanted.
The Shiv Sainiks thrashed every Bihari who had come to Mumbai for the exams — at Kalyan railway station. Sarmalkar decided to retreat from the arena. Zubeida came to Dagdi Chawl as Asha Gawli. In gangland. The Sarmalkar gang was gradually getting decimated by their rivals.
The remaining members — Hari Shankar Mishra. Kamala City was Kamala Mills. The social diversity is evident from Worli to Parel. India Bulls Sky was Jupiter Mills. Bombay Central and Byculla. Modern Mills is now Mahindra Belvedere Court. The denizens of these areas.
The British found it difficult to pronounce these names. For more than years. These are the signposts that now define what was once Girangaon. For the uninitiated. The Village of Mills The changing skyline of south-central Mumbai seems at odds with the lower-middle-class pockets that sit cheek by jowl with it. Matulya Mills became Sun Palazzo. In the next ten years. You can spot a Maharashtrian woman in an oversized cotton maxi buying vegetables next to a young woman headed to college or work.
Kamala City. Some died. Many committed suicide. For the post-liberalization generation. A majority of the eighty mills of south-central Mumbai are being transformed.
And the They are barely able to survive and there is no job security at all. They demanded to know from their countrymen ruling India why Indians were being allowed to set up their own mills. The textile industry is cyclical by nature. The first of these happened in By this time. In the year But in the late nineteenth century. The bleaching and dyeing of cloth was another long process. The textile mill boom changed the face of Mumbai to such an extent that the British put up a plaque at the Gateway of India.
They were sure that allowing Indians to have their own cotton mills amounted to hara-kiri. Two historical developments led to a major boost for the Indian cotton trade and mills: More than twenty per cent of the population was involved in the hand-spun and hand-woven cloth- making process.
The mill area stretched from Byculla to Dadar on the Central Railway side. Khataus and Goculdas. Both the British imperialists and the mill owners. Manchester and south England were furious. The first mill. Mumbai got its cloth from the charkha and handlooms. It was not less than 1.
The Bombay Spinning and Weaving Company. The other option was to buy cloth from the British. The Indians who owned these mills were the Tatas. The ruling class.
Prior to the advent of the composite mills.
By the year Mahalaxmi and Elphinstone on the Western Railway side. Most were Indians: Parsis and Marwaris who had made their millions from trade in cotton and other products during the boom. Transport speeded up the process of industrialization. Cowasji Nanabhoy Davar. Textile mills multiplied because the reformers of the time. Britain used to buy cotton from India as.
The workers at the mills initially worked twelve-hour shifts in the area that was called Girangaon. He wrote an editorial on the first textile mill in Pune in his newspaper Kesari. Before the civil war. They took cotton to Lancashire and Manchester and then sent cloth back to India to sell. When the mills came up in south-central Mumbai. The pro- slavery. Foreign-made cloth had stopped coming to India. When they came back. After the civil war broke out in on the issue of slavery.
Premchand Raichand went bankrupt too. Raichand was called the cotton king. Cotton became extremely valuable during the four years of the civil war.
This was the first boom time for cotton traders. Marathwada and four districts of Karnataka. In just four years. The great depression of did not help matters. Between and Egypt and India suffered huge losses.
They instead looked east to India and Egypt. Southern American states like Louisiana and Arkansas. During the First World War. The confederacy itself stopped cotton exports. A cotton-starved Britain was guzzling Indian cotton and the Bhatia community and other cloth merchants like Premchand Raichand became the biggest cotton exporters. Bombay had thirty-one banks. The next boom happened between and In his overzealousness to help the British.
At that time. At one point. The Nizam was horrified. He could not pay. So the British began looking at American cotton.
It came to be called the great Bombay bonanza. The cotton came mainly from the Vidarbha region. But by But Britain did not take the bait. Other construction companies cropped up overnight to reclaim land from the sea.
By January When the war ended in But the Indian cotton was not able to keep up with the gargantuan quantity of production that the newly invented textile machinery installed in Britain demanded. The cotton bubble burst in when the American Civil War ended and the British resumed buying American cotton.
He minted millions and eventually built the Rajabai Tower. By In July of last year. The war ended in and Europe got busy with reconstruction. As the textile industry was not making profits. A strike was declared in the middle of January. Their leaders. The Indian textile business now had great opportunities to boost exports.
The cotton mill workers are proverbially underpaid and overworked. All the mills of the district. They sabotaged every attempt to strike on the part of the latter. Around 65 per cent of the cloth produced in the organized textile industry — i. Their right to organise into trade unions was not legally recognised.
One hundred and fifty thousand mill operatives. The men did not heed the notice. The monthly wage of a Bombay mill operative is 35 rupees for men. Strikes were frequent. The government. Imports were halted and the textile mills made huge fortunes during the next ten years. This sum is insufficient to maintain their bodily health and strength. The cost of living has risen according to official figures 58 per cent since The composite mills were subjected to higher taxation.
The question at issue is the payment of the annual bonus to the operatives. For this reason. Most of them shut down and three lakh textile mill workers lost their jobs. Strikes took place all the time in the Bombay textile mills as the workers fought for fair wages. The Shiv Sena found its early cadres among the mill. Though the strike was blamed. Dr Samant had fought for workers in other industries.
She felt that if the textile industry workers got their way. In the early years. The strike got national coverage. The mills had begun a downward spiral long before Dr Samant called the strike.
The Konkan coast was very poor in those days and farmers had to fall back on one rice crop and mangoes. The government of the day refused to budge and the strike was never formally called off. By the advent of the twentieth century. He was convinced.
But the workers surrounded his house in Ghatkopar and refused to leave until he agreed. It was the communist leader S. For trade unionism. Javed Anand. Some closed because of the competition that was the result of globalization.
Many years later. Dr Samant had been a Congress supporter for a while. The fact that many companies which initially pleaded inability later agreed to pay more. They were tired of the official industry union. The textile workers. The eighteen-month strike.
The workers in these mills were predominantly Maharashtrians from south Raigad and Ratnagiri. Girangaon had become the next Kurukshetra. Historians talk of communalism breeding in these places and Dr Samant attested to this. Organized crime. South Mumbai was cramped and bursting at its seams and there was no place for expansion.
The big players like Dawood had aligned with the builders. One by one. The chawls and two-storey tenements. The money at stake ran into crores. Children lived and survived on their wits and often. To escape the squalid living conditions. Some mills were sold for Rs crore upwards and others were pegged at Rs to Rs crore.
Alcoholism was rampant. Most importantly. The real-estate mavens. There were also workers from other Indian states who eventually put down roots here. Everybody benefited. Bootleggers and matka dens thrived. The Bandra-Kurla Complex was being promoted as an alternative.
Girangaon had to make way for the new face of Mumbai. Gangster D. By the nineties. But there was something else that was bred here. And the new players. Gawli worked in Shakti Mills the now infamous mills where a young photojournalist was gang- raped on 28 August How many phones can they tap? Ashwin has distinctive mannerisms.
He talks about their religious beliefs and their lack of education. He speaks with peculiar pauses and with an unusual punctuation. His fingers are splayed on a white. He is staring at us and for a moment we are sure he has seen through us and our hidden motives and intentions.
He speaks of how ambitious they both were for their children and how they were determined that they should have the best education. In the centre of the room is a man in a wheelchair. There are lots of questions waiting to be asked. Ashwin had three siblings: He speaks about his parents at great length.
When our discussion veers towards his childhood and his parents. This is fifty- year-old Ashwin Naik.
Ashwin Naik became the don of the fledgling Amar Naik gang after the death of his brother in His face bears creases. It was only after a great deal of persuasion and cajoling that we were permitted into his sanctum.
None of his siblings managed to study beyond matriculation. Amar was gunned down by Vijay Salaskar in a famous police encounter on 10 August that year. Not everyone is allowed in. Ahir is an MLA. It left him permanently dependent on a wheelchair for movement.
Only Ashwin had the opportunity to study and earn higher academic qualifications. Upon a second look. Needless to say. On 18 April There are six telephones on the table.
When he sees us scrutinizing the idols. There is a photograph of a Shivling behind his table. He has a beard and his eyes are cold windows to his soul. God is always behind us. Contrary to popular opinion. His fascination for aeroplanes and his leaning towards engineering saw him study aeronautical engineering. Ashwin says he was obsessed with Bollywood since his childhood.
Ajit Naik shouldered the responsibility of his house and family. Race 2. This habit has remained with him until today. There is a TV in another corner and he keeps surfing news channels.
Despite the friction between the older brothers. We realize that we are also under the watchful eyes of CCTV cameras. But he confesses that he mostly just had fun because both his elder brothers treated him as a kid and pampered him. A stack of newspapers is bundled on a rack in one corner of the room. Amar and Ashwin got along well. He then went to London and graduated as a civil engineer. He meticulously noted every expense in his diary. As the eldest.
Ashwin recalls. Then Amar began working at the shop. Ajit tried to reprimand and reform him. When he sees our eyebrows rise in surprise. Ashwin tells us proudly. He used to bunk school to watch movies after saving his pocket money of 25 paise for over a week. He was a hardworking man. He loves Bollywood films. He was well-respected in the Dadar market. Ashwin has a few people with him today. He is planning to see an action thriller.
The crime branch cops have had a tough time cracking his encryptions. He makes notes in his diary that no one except him can decipher. They realized that a wrong move by any of them would propel the young man before them into action. Five burly men faced him: This presented a challenge. They had never worked for a penny in their lives. But Amar was faster.
He moved his chopper from his right hand to his left. He wielded the chopper like a vegetable knife. He moved quickly to attack the person who had come from behind. It was evident that this twenty-four-year-old was willing to kill or get killed. When Amar realized that none of his adversaries wanted to take the risk and meet his challenge. But the attacker who held on to his neck stymied him.
Ajit Naik began to rise. The onlookers were clearly nervous. Amar Maruti Naik meant business. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers. This gave his opponents an opportunity to make the first move. One of them pounced on Amar from the side. That was when he discovered that some amount of money seemed to be going. Bablya or Gawli gang. Diwali and Gokulashtami. Even in the seventies and eighties. A few such cases served as cautionary tales for those who were frustrated enough to think of raising their voices against the extortion.
They took hold of their injured friends and left the spot immediately. Ajit shook him out of his angry trance. They were not even sure which gang the men were affiliated to: Business was brisk here until the nineties.
He knew the men would return in bigger numbers and with more weapons. And the ever-hungry mafia gangs operating in the Parel-Dadar stretch realized that they could partake of a slice of these considerable earnings merely by terrorizing the traders and vendors.
Amar had been coming to the shop only for a few weeks now. The brothers reluctantly left the shop unattended. Amar had used that age-old trick: The Dadar vegetable market is just outside the Dadar railway station. It started off with the Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav community Ganesh pandals and continued with a string of other festivals like Holi. The next moment. But as they fell back.
The men returned as expected and when they did not find the Naik brothers. The Potya and Bablya gang began making the rounds of the market. Ajit was reluctant to leave his shop during business hours and without shutting it down. They decided to retreat. Those who protested too much were beaten up mercilessly. The wholesale market. But they continued to hand them their hard-earned money.
He looked at Amar. By now Ajit had come to his senses. This was how he began to assist his brother Ajit. A deep gash on the arm of one man and the horrifying howls of the other were enough to unsettle the goons. Then came a time when the extortions became routine. Then the summons began taking the shape of false cases slapped against him. Often Ajit had to intervene and save his brother from their wrath.
He realized that the goons came from various gangs and no one else was protesting. The other vegetable vendors were terrified. He could not live a life of subjugation. Amar had left obediently. The cops acted against the Potya gang but turned a blind eye towards complaints against the Gawli gang. The gangs were enriching themselves at the cost of the hapless bhajiwallas.
Rs every week meant that a shopkeeper ended up paying between Rs and Rs Amar was soon making the rounds of police stations as the police were constantly coming to his shop. But Amar was furious at this gross injustice. In keeping with the tradition of corruption and injustice in the Mumbai police.
Ajit had seen the Potya men on their rounds and quickly dispatched Amar on an errand. Once or twice. He was going to stand up and if that meant confronting the enemy.
How could a few men rule the market? He decided to stop paying vargani.
Ajit was evasive. Maruti picked up a lathi and beat Amar until Ajit came between them. They pushed him. Amar showed his brother. He decided to raise his voice and his hand. At home. The day that Amar used the chopper. Amar first tried to garner support against the gangs. But Amar was in no mood to listen. But when he realized Amar was not about to give up. Amar grumbled and was slapped hard or his kurta was torn.
One day. Amar felt that he had to end this torture once and for all. He began picking fights with the extortionists when Ajit was not around. He had appropriated the slogan of Dr Datta Samant. In true blue-collar labour-leader style. In his absence. He did not think his brother had any vices. Ajit told him not to think about it. He had to rob them of their livelihoods and wealth and break their backbones.
It was limited. It also earned him a handful of boys at his beck and call. Preparations were on for a full-scale attack when he arrived on their doorstep. Ashwin doted on Amar. Gawli and the Potya gang rightly presumed that there would soon be a mass mobilization of boys against them.
But back at the market. His only motive had been to fight the highhandedness of the Gawli and Potya gangs. There was great jubilation. It was time to rise. He was barely twenty years old then and understood that he was being used as bait in the bigger battle against his brother.
If Amar was allowed to get away with it. He had to do unto them what they had done to him. He spoke to his father and Ajit. Amar Naik started off by getting the boys on his side. They were his first targets. Matka dens and illicit liquor dens were big money in those days and they were run or patronized by the mafia. They had faced injustice and oppression.
The boy realized that the men would not harm him. He knew he had to do something before Amar was forced to submit himself to them.
They wanted to beat him publicly. So they decided to act. They did not know that revenge is a double-edged sword. If Amar was close to Ajit dada. They had dared to touch his family and if he allowed this to continue. It was better to take them on. Ashwin was kidnapped and taken into custody as a hostage. Their tacit approval was given. He thanked God and then took a momentous decision.
Vendetta was foremost in his mind. Back home. No exercise in self-defence is devoid of violence. The operation was handled by Razaq Shaikh. Taraman Ghatkar. The only other person in the vicinity who was both feared and respected by him was Rama Naik. Shridhar followed Shaikh to Dagdi Chawl. Parel and Lalbaug and of course Dagdi Chawl. Gawli had begun his operations here by employing a team for the black marketing of cinema tickets at Palace Cinema in Byculla in the mid-seventies.
Gawli finally surrendered to Zende. Ghatkar ran away. The police had arrested Gawli and his cronies. Zende was known to be a tenacious cop. Regular meetings and durbars were held at the chawl. In the blink of an eye. It is said that Arun Gawli joined Ghatkar in his vicious attack and helped stab Shridhar until he died.
After chewing on the idea for a month. Prior to the killing of Shridhar at Dagdi Chawl. And so it happened that. As is often the case in India. Shridhar hurled a volley of abuse at Gawli. The case was handed over to the crime branch and police inspector Madhukar Zende took it over. The ploy worked and Gawli appeared overcome by humiliation at the barrage of cuss words coming his way.
Zende would eventually track him down and the penalty would be worse. Shaikh had been a close friend of Shridhar Shetty.
Gawli had never been known to use weapons or lose his temper in public. The incident became too much for Shaikh to handle and he surrendered to the police. In time. By now. The money thus earned was used to pay gang members who ran errands. They asked these young men to form teams and visit hotels. Their exuberant celebration of festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi and Navratri extended to several days and included musical performances.
The scale was unimaginable. Arun Gawli returned to Dagdi Chawl to a huge welcome. Rajan became their ladder to the Dawood-Sabir gang in south Mumbai.
The gang then started sponsoring the orchestra or other events and emptied their wallets. Some say it was equivalent to a krantikari. It also helped propel Arun Gawli into the political arena. They had by now spread their tentacles to the matka and illicit liquor businesses.
Rama Naik and Babu Reshim had managed the gang efficiently. Rama Naik and Gawli then thought of an idea. It was also around this time. People gathered in large numbers and young men took days off from work or school to stay at home in their colonies and spend time together.
Their shops were ransacked and the owners so badly roughed up that others were thoroughly intimidated. The gang became richer and began drawing more people into its fold. Ghatkar and Razaq Shaikh — were acquitted. Even after three years. The demands ranged from Rs to Rs 1. This helped pump up the popularity of the Dagdi Chawl gang. Rama Naik. For them. Those who refused to pay or opposed the boys were taught a lesson. Chinchpokli and Lalbaug. The scuffle turned into a full-scale commotion outside the theatre.
Mithun continued his successful run at the box office with Wardaat and Saahas. But Nana was ready and on the prowl. He felt he could identify with the star. Herein lay his appeal. The constables posted on duty could not remain mute spectators. A small argument with other Mithun fans flared into a scuffle. But Nana could not bear to watch his boys being brutally beaten up. Assaulting a uniformed cop on duty was unheard of until the eighties — only lawless Pathans could get away with it.
The review by Mumbai Boss said:. But it seemed that those who made love to her were destined for certain death. MPositive described it as "alternately spine-chilling and moving". From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Byculla to Bangkok Cover art of the Book. Non-fiction Organized crime Terror. Mumbai Boss!. Archived from the original on 28 March Retrieved 27 March BooksClub India. Hussain Zaidi".
Current Books India. Retrieved 28 March From Byculla to Bangkok". Retrieved from " https: Books about Mumbai books non-fiction books Indian non-fiction books Non-fiction books about organized crime Crime in Maharashtra 21st-century Indian books.