A world apart

The other day, someone asked me why I never give up making movies about the underworld. The simple answer to that is, “Why should I?” And to that I would add, that the subject is inexhaustible. Just like love stories are.

In any case, I don’t really understand what a gangster film means. Films are primarily made on character conflicts and the issues which arise from them. The background just gives it a dimension. For example, the story of Company could have been set in a corporate set-up — with the outcome of conflicts affecting various individuals who are fired from their jobs — instead of being literally fired upon.
The underworld background gives a story revolving around conflicts, a sharp edge to make it more hard-hitting. Having said that I must also admit, like I have many times before, that normal, civilised, nice family people bore me to death.
Now coming back to my reasons for thinking of more underworld films after Department, and after 26/11 The Terror Attacks, is that in in the year 1997, when Satya was released, the statistics gathered by the police were really something to think about. It seems there were 108 shootouts related to the underworld then. But in 2006, there had been just five!
That did not mean that the underworld, as we know it, was almost extinguished. Instead, it had morphed into something much more dangerous. And in some instances, it had become a conduit for terrorist networks.
The reason why the terrorists would require this kind of support is because most of them would be from outside the country, and were primarily motivated by an ideology. They would require ground support, safe houses, local intelligence, sea rand land routes to bring in arms and explosives. And they would also strike deals with informants in the police department.
Since the underworld is a criminal business organisation it can easily collude with the corrupt elements in the police department which is inaccessible to a terrorist cell.And this the underworld provides, for either financial gain or in some cases because they sympathise with the cause.
The menace of this nexus has caused a complex problem for the various policing agencies of the country like the RAW, IB, CB, CID, Crime Branch and the Anti-Terrorist Squad. They can no longer afford to be secretive and are forced to share their information with one another which results in leakages. So higher the number of people in the know, more are the chances of information being leaked out.
This real world, different from love-thy-family and such fable oriented worlds, provides me far superior raw material for my movies. That world lives within me. And every once in a while, it leaps out to bite normal people’s backsides, just when they are not looking.

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