I had agreed to make the trek into town, because it was a chance to meet the man in the news.
At first, he does not look at me and addresses only Santa. Slowly, he begins to address remarks to a spot between my chest and my shoulder. After I laugh 2-3 times, he begins to look me in the face.
He says he does not want to give any more interviews. He feels “nausea at the thought of the publicity. Every day I look at the paper and wonder what is being written about me.”
“The media latches on to one part of the story”, he says.
He says, “The Juhu party, 44 people tested positive for drugs. What does that mean? These drugs are not poor people’s drugs. Each gram costs thousands of rupees. Each person spent 15-20,000 rupees that evening. What is this amount? It can buy an average family’s rations for the entire year. This is the elite class. But I would say, it is the intellectual class.”
He looks at me and says, “this is nothing, there is so much I can tell you. They say, moral policing. What does it mean? 12-15 year old children are sold and bought, forced into prostitution. This is fun, party?
We say, you drink, smoke, take cocaine at home. We don’t care. But you can’t do it in a public place. You do it, your children look at you, they do it.
But we want to protect the children. We say, so what if they are your children? They are the youth of our nation, they are our property. We will not allow you to spoil them.
I say, what is wrong with implementing the laws? These are the laws. I am implementing them. People say to me, when they are caught, ‘Sir, forget today. We will follow the rules from tomorrow.’ Why tomorrow, I say, why not today?
This is the Social Services Cell. This is our job. We have always conducted raids. Maybe another police officer conducted 50 raids, I conducted 55. That is the only difference.
But the media follows me around, and then they twist things. They have been going on and on about my hockey stick. I have recovered so many hockey sticks, baseball bats, pieces of wood from behind bar and restaurant counters. They are used to beat up people in brawls. I recover them, so that the fights reduce.”
His own hockey stick stands up at a desk near his chair. There is a trophy in the shape of a hockey stick in one corner of the room, given to him by the Byculla Police Station. Santa asks him whether he used to play hockey. He laughs, and says he accepted the trophy because it was silver.