By Sushil Kutty
Some people with their antics make you run to the dictionary. Like the Ranas, Navneet and Ravi Rana. They liked their stints in jail. They want to go right back to its precarious safety. Navneet Rana in Byculla jail for women, and Ravi Rana in Navi Mumbai’s Taloja correction unit. In fact, Ravi should thank his stars that he stepped out sporting his own skin. What if jailbirds there had mistaken him for gangster Ravi Pujari?
The point is gangsters are known to suffer from short-term memory loss. And Ravi Rana also has an uncanny resemblance to the clean-shaven Abu Salem, another gangster who likes Taloja’s ‘anda cell’. As for Navneet Rana, she went straight from jail to hospital, sick to the gills, but the minute she stepped out of hospital, it was like hubby Ravi Rana had stepped into Aamir Khan’s short-term memory loss character in the movie ‘Ghazni’.
Jail can do terrible things to human beings and their constitutions, and all Navneet Rana had with her to give her comfort behind bars was the Hanuman Chalisa! Of course, the gist of and purpose of the Hanuman Chalisa are that chanting it regularly the right number of times keeps ‘sankat’ at bay. And Navneet with short-term memory loss forgot that one of her bail conditions is to not talk to the media. The minute she stepped out of hospital, she was all over the media!
Some people just do not learn from experience. And Navneet Rana is a flesh and blood example. The lady forgot that challenges and Navneet don’t go together. It was her challenge to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray that she would, come hell or high-water, chant the Hanuman Chalisa outside his residence Matoshree that landed her in Byculla jail in the first time, and here she’s challenging the CM all over again; and that by breaking her bail condition not to talk to the media.
Come to think of it, not just is Navneet Rana a danger to herself, she appears not to care for her husband’s welfare, too. The bail condition not to talk to the media applies as much to hubby Rana as it applies to her. The first time she challenged Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Ravi Rana was collateral. This time she has challenged the CM to stand against her from any constituency and that she would rub his nose in the dirt of that constituency.
The court has been informed about Navneet Rana’s breach of the court’s order, and Ravi Rana may still meet Abu Salem in or around Taloja’s ‘anda cell’. Some wives never learn is not a cliché, it’s a reality. Chances are 50:50 that Navneet and Ravi may still win the right to be called ‘jailbirds’, which requires a mandatory two stints behind bars. The Ranas have labelled Uddhav Thackeray “vindictive”, and if he is, indeed vindictive, bet a five paisa busted coin, they will be behind bars a second time running.
The operative part is, why are the Ranas hell bent on testing the bars of Byculla and Taloja? Even otherwise India’s prisons are choc-a-bloc with less fortunate under-trials, refused bail time and again for endless “tariq-pe-tariqs”. The “Rana dampati” are doing a great disservice to the prison population by adding to the burden on the jail system. These are both public representatives, one a Member of Parliament and the other an MLA. They should be serving their constituencies diligently instead of flitting in and out of jail.
Come to think of it, the electorate in their respective constituencies should warn the couple to mend their ways and serve their electorates instead of serving the ambitions of Devendra Fadnavis whose only aim is to wrest control from Uddhav Thackeray and become a second time Chief Minister. The BJP opposition in the state has been doing everything it could to thwart Chief Minister Thackeray from carrying out his duties.
Nobody had heard of the Rana ‘dampati’ till the loudspeaker issue gained decibels, and now the couple is all that people hear of. The good thing is the Maharashtra government has run out of patience. Navneet Rana has plans to turn her incarceration into a Lok Sabha issue, her target, Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut of the Shiv Sena who has promised to bury Navneet Rana 20 feet under. Chances are she might go back to Byculla jail for her bravado which, says the dictionary, is not bravery, but only a put on show of courage. (IPA Service)