While the Bombay police are every day getting more efficient, like chasing robbers into buildings on Altamount Road, the Delhi police are getting more inefficient, like security men guarding Mr. Live Radu's house allowing him to enter it without recognising him. So the union home ministry has put forward a proposal that the Bombay police should be sent to Delhi and the Delhi police to Bombay.
I do not know how Delhi feels about this, but the criminal gangs in Bombay are all deliriously happy with the proposal and celebrating.
This morning, I was talking to a member of Bombay's notorious Ilu Ilu gang. He had evidently been working the whole night, escaping police bullets, or celebrating, because he looked like he had not slept. "Police took three more of our men last night, shot all three in the forehead with oen single bullet fired by a traffic inspector," he told me. "But who cares, yaar! Soon they will be gone and only Delhi police will be here. Then we will show them."
"You mean, you don't fear the Delhi police!" I said.
"What is there to fear from Delhi police, yaar," he said, sharpening his hatchet on a flat stone. "If they talk too much, we will drive them to the station, put them in a train, without ticket, and send them back to Delhi."
"That would be said," I said.
"Yes," he said. "The day the Delhi police are put in charge of Bombay's law and order, Dawood Ibrahim, Mr. Bhatti, and all the other kingpins of the underworld, who are now in Dubai, will come back to Bombay. Then you will see how we will rule Bombay. Now more rewards for brave policemen."
"Oh, dear," I said.
"All the Delhi police will be allowed to do is go about with their guns, guarding Maharastrian leaders. Nobody is interested in Maharastrian leaders, so it does not metter. We will meanwhile divide the city among different gangs, take protection money from people in our territories, supervise rackets, and occasionally have gang wars to capture one another's territories."
"The poor citizens of Bombay, their plight will become as bad as that of the citizens of Delhi," I said.
"True," he said. "But we will not go too far, otherwise there is always the danger of transferring the Bombay police back from Delhi to Bombay and sending the Delhi police to Delhi."