Haji Mastan

Haji Mastan

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Haji Mastan

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Haji Mastan Mirza popularly known as Haji Mastan or Bawa was a Bombay (Mumbai) gangster and smuggler in the 1960s and 1970s. Mastan became the first celebrity gangster of the city, expanding his clout in the film industry. As Mastan's influence in Bollywood grew, he began to produce films. He was also known for his links with the legendary actor Dilip Kumar. During the Indian Emergency he was imprisoned. In prison he learned Hindi. Haji Mastan became a Muslim leader in 1984. He formed Dalit Muslim Surakhsha Maha Sangh in 1985, Which had Doulatram Kawle as a corporator. Aslam Kiratpuri, a well known journalist, gave him ideas on how to speak in public meetings after which he became a good speaker. He died in Mumbai in 1994.

Early life

Haji Mastan was born Mastan Haider Mirza on March 1, 1926 in Panaikulam village near Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu. His father, Haider Mirza, was a hard-working but impoverished farmer, who came to Mumbai after failing to make ends meet in his village.Father and son reached the city in 1934. After trying their hand at odd jobs, they managed to set up a small shop where they repaired cycles and two-wheelers in Bengali Pura, near Crawford Market. Mastan soon realized that even after all the toil he could only make a meagre 5 a day.

As he would walk home to his basti (ghetto) from...
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