Dons who shook Mumbai – Varadarajan Mudaliar

April 28, 2010 Karupputhiravitan
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My friends, I believe that most of you had watched the Tamil movie of Mani Ratnam, “Nayakan”. The film was based mostly on the life of Varadarajan Mudaliar. In that film, hero (or anti-hero) Velu Naicker was called by some persons as Velubhai. Similarly, Varadarajan Mudaliar was called by his Marathi friends as Varadhabhai. I still remember the dialogue of the film, “Are you good or bad?”(Neenga Nallavara Illa Kettavara) and Velu’s reply,”I don’t know”(Theriyallieppa).

Now to the story of the man.

He was born on 1926, at Tuticorin of Tamil Nadu. Later he went to Mumbai. In the early 1960′s he worked as a porter in Victoria Terminus. He began his underworld life as a bootlegger. Later, he turned for contract killings, smuggling and dock thefts. He was at his height in early 1980′s. He ran a parallel judicial system within Tamil community. He also arranged Ganesh festival at Matunga. His word prevailed in Matunga and Dharavi areas, where Tamils were in majority. He was God for Tamil people. Most of the Tamils supported him. I remember reading a source saying that Varadarajan Mudaliar even participated in a function of awarding Doctorate to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.G.Ramachandran. (MGR was C.M at that time)

Mumbai was ruled by the trio Haji Mastan, Karim Lala and Varadarajan Mudaliar. The trio has the solid backing of their communities. Their word was law for the people belonging to their communities.

But by mid-1980s the police officer Y.C.Pawar targeted Varadarajan Mudaliar. Most of his gang members were eliminated or imprisoned. Varadarajan Mudaliar fled from Mumbai to Chennai. He died a natural death on 1988, when he was 62.

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