Recently, the trailer of Shahrukh Khan’s upcoming movie Raees was released. The movie is getting a lot of attention, mainly for two reasons: it has Pakistani actress Mahira Khan in it and the flick is based on a real life character - underworld don Abdul Latif.
Who is Abdul Latif?
OpIndia in a piece argues that Latif ‘played an important role in the decline of Congress and growth of BJP in Gujarat, the state from where the don hailed.’ Here is a brief summary from the piece.
Born in Kalupur area of Ahmedabad in 1951 in a poor Muslim family, Latif went on to become one of the most notorious figures of the underworld. He entered the world of illicit businesses as an apprentice but soon became a bootlegger himself, and that’s where his journey into the world of crime, politics, and terrorism started. He became involved in other crimes like extortion, kidnapping and even murders. He developed contacts in Pakistan too and formed his own gang. He cultivated a Robinhood type of image among poor Muslims. Politicians (especially from the Congress) then started using him to win elections and to settle scores with political rivals. Latif had became synonymous with crime and Islamic terrorism. He was also seen as the product of the policy of Muslim appeasement by Congress, which allowed such criminals to grow for petty political gains.
Long story short, BJP made the arrest of Latif an election issue. In 1995, BJP formed its own government and the same year later Latif was arrested in Delhi. He was lodged in Sabarmati Jail of Ahmedabad subsequently, and two years later, he was killed in an encounter when he tried to flee from the police custody.
And here’s what Modi had to say on the notorious don (tweet)