07 December 1998 Books 10 Questions

G.R. Khairnar

Mumbais demolition man releases his controversial autobiography
G.R. Khairnar
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
Is Ekaki Zunz a demolition job in print?
Maybe. It speaks of the politician-bureaucrat-criminal nexus. It touches on my experiences in childhood and my career in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

Who all will have to run for cover?
I have exposed so-called big personalities like Bal Thackeray, Sharad Pawar, Manohar Joshi, Ashok Singhal, Vardarajan and Dawood Ibrahim, as also, good people like J.F. Ribeiro, B.G. Deskmukh and S. Tinaikar among others.

Do you anticipate a ban on the book?
I've just stated facts. So I think the chances of the book being banned are remote.

Does the book talk about your fallout with firebrands like Anna Hazare?
Yes. I have had the opportunity of working with Hazare, Seshan and Avinash Dharmadhikari. I found their public faces to be very different from their real faces. They want to use society for their own benefit, instead of working to benefit society.

At what stage is your one-man battle against the BMC now poised?
The case is on in the High Court. I'm given allowances but I can't resume duty.

Why has your war-cry against corruption waned?
I've tried hard but you can't succeed without soldiers. 60 per cent of our people are just trying to survive. The others are too timid to take on the powerful.

But people did believe you to be a bright crusading star.
At that time, people were emotionally charged, they saw me as an avatar. But reform can come only when emotion subsides and reason takes over. Corruption is so deep-rooted today that the people fighting it will be uprooted but not corruption.

What is your evaluation of Pawar's regime versus Thackeray's regime?
Pawar encouraged anti-social elements covertly, while Thackeray's men are criminals. The difference between them is, earlier the state was run by thieves, now, by dacoits.

Were you embarrassed when prostitutes themselves opposed rescue efforts?
I have rescued 550 girls in all and closed 250 brothels. Initially, my workers tried to pressurise girls who didn't want to leave. Now, we have a policy decision not to do so.

Finally, do you have any great expectations from your book?
The public demanded that I write a book. I hope it can bring about a change in society.

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