IN 33 NOVELS and more than 50 of her short stories, Agatha Christie's detective Hercule Poirot is a man eager to reveal himself to anyone looking for a detective.
"He could pass as a detective to an outsider but not to a man who was a policeman himself," Christie described him in "The Erymanthian Boar," written in 1947, the same year when India's Intelligence Bureau was set up in its new avatar, shedding the Raj legacy that it had pursued since 1887.
This week, on Janpath, in the heart of Lutyens' Delhi, just yards away from India's National Museum and an even more famous 10-Janpath address, the personal security officers of the country's sleuthing expert caught four bumbling fools of the Intelligence Bureau.
While this may have triggered panic in the Alok Verma household, and a flurry of news television coverage of hefty men dragging other hefty men by their collars and waist belts inside the fortified Verma residence, it should actually worry people of India much more than Alok Verma.
Much like the 'terrorists' caught by police in India who conveniently carry some Pakistani currency, these IB men moved around with their Aadhar cards & PAN cards duly secured in their pockets.
The fact is that Alok Verma is actually one man who knows how the IB snoops — one reason his men simply rushed out and caught the four IB men, and made no claim that any fifth person escaped. (The Punjab Police routinely tells us that it caught two culprits at a naka at xyz point that was set up upon receiving specific information about the movement of anti-social elements, and it still claims that another two unidentified men escaped.)
Clearly, sleuths knew how sleuths work, and that's why we have a problem of four bumbling musketeers of Janpath on our hands.
The bigger problem is that now we know how sleuths work.
They are the most easily detectible, can be caught by four or five hefty men without use of any arms or weapons; in fact, without even a lathi. And much like the 'terrorists' caught by police in India who conveniently carry some Pakistani currency and a packet of moongphali
nuts marketed by some small time home-based entrepreneur in Lahore's Anarkali Bazar in aluminium foil packs with distinct Urdu markings and ‘Made in Lahore, Pakistan’ splashed in large font size, these IB men were hiding their identities by moving around with their Aadhar cards, PAN cards etc duly and firmly secured in their pockets.
Such is the fear of the Doval regime that India's IB sleuths prefer not to risk careers by being found without an Aadhar Card at any time, notwithstanding anything in the Supreme Court judgement.
We should all be very afraid now of the efficiency of our sleuths who have only swung between their description as one who gave instructions to 'Mona Darling' or the carrot-eating Karamchand.
While national television splashed the faces of these IB men, it is surprising how details of their particulars have leaked out. The picture of the details of stuff caught from their personal possession, being published here, shows the utter failure of Indian sleuthing expertise.
That such a picture was taken even as these details were being minuted shows the casualness with which the serious job of spying is pursued in Modi-Amit Shah-Doval raj.
Gross inefficiency is seeped deep in our legacy.
Two Haryana constables, Prem Singh and Raj Singh, were similarly caught snooping outside another building along the same road, the one slightly more famous: 10, Janpath. Inside used to live Rajiv Gandhi who opened his window on the morning of March 2, 1991, spotted the two Karamchands, and decided enough is enough. In the next 96 hours, Prem Singh and Raj Singh brought down
the Chandra Shekhar government with their bare hands. They were just having tea.
The picture of the details of stuff caught from their personal possession, being published here, shows the utter failure of Indian sleuthing expertise.
It is a pity journalists do not track down or interview Prem Singh and Raj Singh when movies like Jagga Jasoos or Bobby Jasoos are premiered — they could make for some great page 3 splash.
While the couple of minutes-long movie based on the actual working conditions of these four detectives of India's top internal spy agency has been running in a loop on multiple Indian television channels and people are lapping up the action-reaction drama from Arun Jaitley to Mallikarjun Kharge, you can form your own views on who was ‘Agent Vinod’ and who matched the 'Ek Tha Tiger' description.
As the accompanying photo of the details of their personal possession depicts, they were no 'Clyde Warren Beatty Barrow' of Bonnie and Clyde
fame. In fact, in these times of #MeToo and women empowerment, the IB should seriously consider recruiting some 'Bonnie Faye Dunaway Parkers' for such Sacred Games
along the Janpath. They'll probably be not as bumbling fools as these four musketeers.
P.S. Will the free bird IB now take steps to protect its reputation by buying its men better smart phone models than Chinese cheap popular versions? You know all these minor details now make it to the media and impact reputation. This is why and when the caged parrot sings, no Maya Angelou pun intended.
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