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How Underworld Entered Bollywood – Part 2

Neither dreaded don Karim Lala nor Vardarajan Mudaliar were glamour struck. For them looking at other women was a taboo – well, that was the image they had arduously cultivated. But, not so for Mastan Mirza aka Haji Mastan, the man from Salem, Tamil Nadu. He was besotted by actresses. So much so that he financed quite a few movies with well-endowed stars. He was particularly infatuated by Madhubala. And in her memory, married an upcoming starlet Sona, a look alike of Madhubala. There are photographs of well-known film makers paying obeisance to Haji Mastan by touching his feet. It was fear and money. Mastan’s diktat ran large. There are stories of how well-known actors and actresses were forced to complete movies.  A top leading actress, on her arrival from London, drove straight from the airport to the set as she was confronted by Mastan’s men. Similarly a thespian actor was physically picked up by the goons from his bungalow taken to Hyderabad and brought back after completion of shooting. Parallely, even as Mastan was going about his filmy business, Dawood Ibrahim’s notoriety was fast rising for contract killing, gold smuggling, extortions, drug trafficking and real estate deals. After fleeing to Dubai he had corporatized illegal activities under the umbrella D Company, paid his henchmen monthly salaries. For D Company, which was spreading its tentacles, the film industry was the low hanging fruit. Of course, like all Dons he and his brothers too sought to have their own harem of heroines and starlets. A case in point is Mandakini of Ram Teri Ganga Maili fame. With the D gang entering the scene, stars started reporting to sets on time. Producers were happy. But, not Dawood. This protection money was small beer for him. He saw huge business opportunities in acquiring distribution rights in India, then he moved to acquiring overseas rights before becoming a producer. Of course, Dawood’s brother Noora penned songs for Hindi films TO BE CONTINUED – PART 3 & PART 4