Over the last month or so, Anurag Kashyap has been dealing with a rather unconventional problem. The director of Gangs of Wasseypur is apparently getting calls from unknown numbers — possibly made by city goons, says a source close to the director.
But the nature of the calls is unique: far from being threatening, the callers seem to be complaining that Anurag’s film about the coal mafia of Dhanbad will take the limelight away from the Mumbai mafia. None of the callers is believed to have either threatened or spoken inappropriately to the filmmaker.
“They mean no harm. They seem to be local goons who might be related to the underworld. Their only grouse is over Anurag throwing light on the mafia in Dhanbad,” says the source.When contacted, the director didn’t deny this development, but stated that he doesn’t want to comment on it.
“Maybe a few people are anxious that with his new film, the spotlight might shift away from the Mumbai underworld,” the source claims. They were especially unhappy, it seems, about the film coming from the same man who wrote Satya (1998), a landmark movie on the Mumbai underworld.
Interestingly, Kashyap’s movie comes three decades after Yash Chopra made his multi-starrer 1979 blockbuster Kaala Patthar (starring Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor and Shatrughan Sinha), which showcased illegal coal trafficking in and around Dhanbad.
Anurag’s film, recently showcased at the Cannes film festival, will show that, after all these years, the coal mafia in Jharkhand still rules by the barrel of the gun. Unofficial estimates of the daily value of illegal mining by the mafia in Dhanbad is believed to be around Rs 100 crore. This mafia is one of the oldest in the country and is believed to be financially stronger than the Mumbai underworld. It has been operating since the start of mining activities during the British era.