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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Dial D for Don – Inside Stories of CBI Missions by Neeraj Kumar



Neeraj Kumar I.P.S., the commissioner of police and Nirbhaya Incidence of December 16, 2012, may help many readers to identify the person who is an author of the book which is named "Dial D for Don – Inside Stories of CBI Missions".

The actual nature, quality and standard of the content of the book is well described by Suhel Seth in a comment given in the description of the book on the Amazon.

If a reader is interested in a more straightforward comment on the book, then the remarks of Ravi Shastri emphasises the entertainment factor of the book available where the previous remark appears.

Both the above-mentioned observations are provided in the Amazon portal itself at the selling page of the book. These are also included at the beginning of the book within the overall body of the content of the book.

The print length of the book is 297 pages for English edition. It was published by Penguin Random House India in 2015.

At the time of writing this commentary, there were 82 comments on Amazon portal on this book with the 4.2-star rating out of five. The remarks itself are fascinating reading. For any ardent reader of good literature and especially non-fictional works, it can be a learning course to evaluate the nature of the comments which a work obtain if it is actually substantial and useful work. Those who have given 1 star, their names are not revealed. But, their comments itself become intriguing. If a reader has an understanding of the inside stories of the power centres and people with higher authorities, then one may just smile at the thoughts of the jealous people who can be behind those comments. Secondly, as per the record of the Amazon, they have purchased the book. They have virtually foot the bill of the coffee which the writer might have consumed while writing the book. They are really quite generous in their act but unnecessarily exposed a baser side of their existence.

S. Hussain Zaidi's Role in making the book.
S. Hussain Zaidi, a more established author of the crime thriller non-fictional works, has played a role in bringing out this book. He had sought the help of Neeraj Kuma I.P.S. in his activities of promoting his new release and observed that the person whom he had involved was equally a prospective writer. It goes to the credit of Zaidi to introduce Neeraj Kumar I.P. S. to Penguin publisher as a potential writer without caring to create competition for himself in his own field. Zaidi earns the praise of his readers for this role for acting most unselfishly. It is duly acknowledged by Neeraj Kumar I.P.S in the preface of his book.

In the preface of the book, the author Kumar recollected that he found faults with the book by Zaidi. The book in question was Byculla to Bangkok by Zaidi which I have already discussed on this blog. I have expressed some dissatisfaction with the content of the text and the writing style of Zaidi. I believe that Kumar had used his 'punches' on those very points. As a reader of Zaidi, I have found the work of Kumar is definitely a couple of levels above than that of Zaidi. Zaidi, being a person with journalist background and success with his book and Bollywood, writes for the producers of the Bollywood more than for the readers. I have pointed out that feature in my reviews of his book. Kumar has written a true non-fictional work with a better quality of literature. His work will definitely remain a reference work in the field of academics regardless of the caution which the writer has used in revealing the documentary proofs. Zaidi's work will also remain important because his work was readily picked by Bollywood and secondly he had trodden into an unchartered territory which the Indian intellectual field had not explored in Independent India. It will not be a surprise if tomorrow the people learn that some Bollywood movies are produced using the contents of the work of Neeraj Kumar I.P.S.

Neeraj Kumar is an alumnus of St. Stephenson's College of Delhi University. The author has made his alma matter proud by adding a new feather in his cap by contributing to the literature.

Neeraj Kumar I.P.S claimed that he was a reluctant writer. He expressed some apprehension about the purpose of such a writing. He knew that the ex-officers from different cadres had been writing about their memoirs. He was also apprehensive about the response of the readers. It is a general feeling among every writer when the writer ventures to write something for the audience.

Writing is not a simple exercise. Neeraj Kumar I.P.S has shown the quality of his calibre by taking up this task but defining the sphere of his work by himself. One can not dictate him, and that is the message. The publisher had approached him to write his memoirs. However, analytic and professional training guided him to frame the nature of the task himself. Probably, as an ex-officer, he was not accustomed to receiving assignments. He had lived his life by allocating and directing people to perform the tasks. So how can a publisher dictate him to deliver a pre-defined task? If an assignment has to be achieved, it was to be decided by him. He decided the contours of the assignment. He did exactly that. He did not write his memoirs. However, he decided to perform a task. He decided to write accounts of police operations in which he participated during his tenure in the CBI. Thus, this book was framed and written. He had selected 11 episodes from the repertory of his professional experience. He had exercised his discretion in choosing the cases. However, he had not shared the rationale behind picking the specific cases. No doubt, all of them are somewhere associated with underworld with a single person bossing over it except one. There was one episode which was not associated with the underworld. It was related to Punjab and its separatist movement. However, if we change the fulcrum of the set, then, the selection was somewhere guided by the interference of a neighbouring country in India. Such an angle of the collection of the episodes might have caused some dissatisfaction with some readers. Some of the comments in the review section of Amazon are about the naming of the title as well as the formatting of the title. The silhouette of Dawood Ibrahim is too prominent along with other people from the underworld. That might have been the cause of the dissatisfaction among such commentators.

On the whole, the book is envisaged, decided and framed by the author himself. While writing, Neeraj Kumar did not make it a casual affair. His senior, Raja Vijay Karan, who had written the forward to this book, showed great administration for the ability of the writer to write everything from his memory. However, the writer had done some extra work to make his work meaningful and useful as a work of cerebral activity. He has provided some exclusive photographs which are not probably available elsewhere. He had sought the help of diagrams and illustrations which are work of a professional. Raja Vijay Karan had remarked that Neeraj wrote out of his memory. However, within the book, the writer had mentioned that he was quite possessive of his laptop and fiddle with it regularly. The laptops were made available during the tenure of Joginder Singh IPS. Rest can be guessed. 

The content of the book.

There are 11 episodes or cases which the author has selected.

His writing is too gripping and smooth that you glide through them without interruption. Some people have pointed out that he has written tough English. It is an amusing comment. If one reads it on the Kindle, then there is no issue of facing the problem of comprehending of any unusual word or term. A dictionary is built in. A mere click on an unfamiliar word will give a pop up with a meaning. All such words, when provided with a general sense, get fitted in the general narration that one may not face disruption in comprehending the whole scene. 

The writer has remarked that it is his first attempt. If it is the first attempt, then it has already crossed the highest level of perfection. The scenarios and milieus are created like an expert. The human feelings pull and pressures, angst and happiness on success are so correctly displayed through the words that it qualifies for the position of a masterpiece. The person is an alumnus of St. Stephen's College and held the highest post in the power echelons. The amount of drafting and reporting which he had done during his service, the varied experience at UN level and interaction with officers from different fields, culture, countries and professionals had already honed up his skills of writing. The issue before him was to address an equally varied panorama of readers. Every writer has this fear. He had the same. But, he had accomplished the task with perfection.


The forward is written by Raja Vijay Karan. The writer of the book definitely had a great admiration for the senior officer. Therefore, the author had invited him to embellish his work. The writer of the forward definitely provided a tone to the whole work. He had penned a glimpse of the constraints under which Neeraj Kumar, the author, had accomplished his task. He had also suggested in a hidden manner those hurdles in the system and jealousies of his colleagues which Neeraj Kumar had encountered during his service. Later, in chapter 8, the unmasking of Romesh Sharma and then in the last episode, Tracing of MK, the writer himself had shared all the turbulences and pains. It seems that he has taken his revenge in a very discreet manner by producing this work. Somewhere, it seems, that those who were behind the one-star marking, were actually such people.

However, one of the remarks by Raja Vijay Karan was very startling. He had called some of the underworld criminals as legendary. It is quite amusing if the police officer is rating them like this or is it a tongue in cheek remark? Probably, it is so, and the targets are someone else.

Raja Vijay Karan had also tackled the issue of a Caged Parrot and CBI. It seems as if he was rejoicing in the work of Neeraj Kumar and felt the satisfaction that the credibility and reputation of CBI had been salvaged by the writings and works of Neeraj Kumar. The jobs pulled out by Neeraj Kumar were definitely worth appreciating as they had long-term repercussions for the future diplomatic relations of the country regardless of the people who would frame the foreign policy of the nation.

Raja Vijay Karan remembered in great administration the work done by Neeraj Kumar in Prison reforms and making the police department more accessible to people through the use of the virtual world.

Raja Vijay Karan also emphasised the significance of police work for social and political policies of the government about maintaining the communal harmony.

Neeraj Kumar began with the preface. The plot of the book as framed by the author himself is already mentioned above. However, the preface is vital for learning about the working of CBI from a person who had worked in the department.

In the episode on Aftab Ansari, Neeraj Kumar discussed the role of American agencies in crime detection activities. Somewhere, while reading the contents, the blogger felt that the Indian police confidence level is overshadowed by the efficiency of the American police department. However, in the essay, he revealed that how did an Indian officer played intelligently on the ground when he managed the situation in foreign lands. He showed his astuteness in tackling the media also in foreign countries and thereby saving the nation from diplomatic embarrassment. In addition to that, in this very chapter, he had exposed the active role of Pakistan in the activities of India. He had shown in the case of Memon family that how Indian sleuths outwitted the Pakistani nefarious designs and organisations inimical to the Indian interest. However, it also raises a question that if our individual officers are so smart then why do we not contain the nasty neighbour.

In the episode of Aftab Ansari, he had brought out another angle of the problem of crime and terrorism in India. While revealing the development of Ansari career, he had exposed the role of the unlawful activities of the people from Hindu community wherein criminals like Babloo Srivastava and his coterie had grown. He had also taken up the contemporary issue of Kandahar hijacking case. Including all these issues, he had brought out a solution which required professional attention in South Block. He had talked about the synergy, mutual trust and cooperation mechanism. Probably, that is being now achieved through NIS.

In the second episode, Operation Desert Safari, he provided a glimpse in the working of the CBI and showed that how tricky and discreet activities are performed by the department. He had discussed the structure of the CBI also which could be useful for the uninitiated person if such a person knows only that much which the newspaper helps him to learn. However, he had talked about the archaic way of working of CBI, the lack of absorption of new technology and taking benefit from them. But, simultaneously he also showed that the officers of CBI officers are responsive and progressive also and quickly learn to get results from new technology. It is another thing, he had depicted a scene from last century. It is hoped that by now the scene may be entirely different.

In Operation Desert Safari, he had again shown that how police could achieve the result through synergy, cooperation and mutual trust. During the narration, he remembered some of the other illustrious officers like Mohan Chand Sharma, an inspector of Delhi Police, who was actually shown in wrong colours in a different case. The officer was shot in the course of active duty.

Dial D for Don, the third chapter which has imparted name to the book, may attract the attention of those people who were interested in the news reports when the author was in service. However, the transcript which the author had provided is different from the lingo which Zaidi had claimed to be the language of the person when he had managed to talk to him. Zaidi, in his Dongri to Dubai, recollected that he was highly taken aback by his sophisticated style of speaking. However, the police officer had given a transcript of the talk with the controversial person who talked to him in tapori or Mumbyia lingo and even taunted the officer on a phone when he was going to retire in 2013. A police officer could thoroughly explain how to judge these people. They come across such persons every other minute. Such criminals would never accept their fault and counter you with their questions which are usually a product of their distorted logic and justification.

In episode 4, the author had revealed another side of his learning and education. He seems to have good knowledge of Hindu scriptures. However, his way of explaining the shlokas is materialistic and influenced by Delhite intellectual world. Secondly, he had tried to reveal the deteriorating morality of the common man in Indian and mismatch of the Government version of the social values of the society.

In episode 5, the unmaking of Latif, which was being eulogised in the movie by Shahrukh Khan in Raaez, the retired officer had again shown the intricacies of the working of CBI. They could not be done according to the manuals of conduct. It is the intelligence of the officers on the field which matters more than anything else.

The episode 6 turns out to be the most fascinating chapter in the book. It is surprising to note that the author had given a short note to the book and tried to explain his case. However, therein, a real sensational transnational activity had been narrated. However, a question is repeated again that why are we not able to counter the activities of the inimical neighbour if we can outsmart them on different stages on the international level and continue to do that till this day?

The episode 7 is similar to the chapter 6 in nature and demonstrate the abilities of the people who run the CBI. I believe those who had given star one ranking to this book, could be people or organisation across the borders.

Devil Wears Khadi, the episode 8, is believed to be the most liked chapter by the forward writer Raja Vijay Karan and writer himself. It is about Romesh Sharma, the person who could buy a helicopter for ₹40000 and keep it at his farmhouse in Delhi itself. In this episode, the writer had tried to share his angst as well as settle scores with his adversaries. Probably, it is the chapter which had gained one-star rating to the book. If the author had watched those comment, he might have smiled at it fully knowing who they were. The author had hidden many names and the restraint could be appreciated because of the position which he had held in power circle owing to his organisation. Here, on the social media, his adversaries had hidden their real identities.

The episode 9, on Salim Kurla, brings out another feature of the personality of the author. It seems that he had intentionally written the chapter in the way he had narrated it. However, again, in this chapter, it is proved that everything cannot be conducted as per some manual of law maintaining rules and espionage. It is the personalities of the people which matters.

The episode 10, on Jagtar Singh Tara, is an odd selection. It is another thing that it also brings about the personality traits of the writer which he had demonstrated in the field, and he might have included it to share the real nature of the activities which are performed by the career officers. The only justification for its selection is that the case was also allocated to CBI.

The episode 11, Tracing of MK, is the episode which is spread of his career in CBI and his posting as a police commissioner of the Delhi Police. He had hidden the names of the different cricketers but openly revealed the name of Manoj Prabhakar.

In the acknowledgement section, Neeraj Kumar had given importance to the role of Sayantan Chakravarty who helped him to polish his manuscript. Neeraj Kumar in the Dedication section as well as in the Acknowledgement section is more emphatic to stress his affection for his granddaughter, and he feels more like a grandfather who wants to impress his granddaughter. Throughout the book, a police officer had revealed a different shade of human being who was out there to exercise his authority to accomplish the task assigned to him.

It is essential to observe that as a collective whole, the book is highly gripping and entertaining. In addition to that, the author has raised many issues concerning the police administration, law enforcing agencies and working environment. It is hoped that the Ministry of Personnel Affairs and the parent ministry the Home Affairs may evaluate it with the motive of improving the working of the law enforcement agencies. Many Universities have started Post Graduate Course in Police Administration. The book qualifies for being an excellent case study as well as a reference book.





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