Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.

    SUBMIT

Thank you for
taking the pledge

Vote responsibly as each vote counts
and makes a diffrence

Disclaimer:

Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
CO-PRESENTED BY
LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English
»
3-min read

After Solving Murder Mysteries, Exposing Unsuitable Fiances, Indian 'Miss Marple' Turns Lens on Elections

In the world's biggest election ending on Sunday, Rajani Pandit and others like her are in high demand from political parties to dig up dirt on the opposition and make sure their own candidates are squeaky clean.

AFP

Updated:May 14, 2019, 9:53 AM IST
facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp
After Solving Murder Mysteries, Exposing Unsuitable Fiances, Indian 'Miss Marple' Turns Lens on Elections
In the world's biggest election ending on Sunday, Rajani Pandit and others like her are in high demand from political parties to dig up dirt on the opposition and make sure their own candidates are squeaky clean.
As India's best-known female private eye, Rajani Pandit has posed as crazy, blind and deaf to solve murders and unmask unsuitable fiancés. But election time is boom time for the woman dubbed "Miss Marple".

In the world's biggest election ending on Sunday, Pandit and others like her are in high demand from political parties to dig up dirt on the opposition and make sure their own candidates are squeaky clean.

"It's confidential but whenever a party finds one of its own candidates or an opposition candidate suspicious they ask us to investigate them," Mumbai-based Pandit told AFP.

"Often we are asked to look into their finances and how they have procured money to fund their campaigns. We try to maintain a low profile," the 57-year-old added.

- Inundated -

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is up against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in the world's largest democratic exercise, which is awash with cash. Some experts say the polls could cost $10 billion.

Pandit says her team has been busy "integrating" themselves into political parties since January, inspecting finances and attending rallies before submitting reports to their clients.

"There's usually a surge of cases ahead of the elections. We've been inundated with requests and were only able to take on a few," she said.

Kunwar Vikram Singh, chairman of India's Association of Private Detectives and Investigators, said "there's a lot of due diligence".

"(A candidate's) local reputation, influence, his stance in his own caste... all these things are looked into," Singh told AFP.

- Magnifying glass -

Private detective agencies are popular in India, with sleuths tasked with solving everything from petty household thefts to business deals gone wrong.

Pandit has been conducting covert operations across India for over 30 years out of her small office in the Asian giant's financial capital.

The investigator -- who does own a magnifying glass -- was dubbed India's first female private detective by media outlets when she began cracking cases in the early 1980s.

She has been featured in countless newspaper articles, often referred to as India's "Miss Marple" or "Nancy Drew", Agatha Christie's fictional spinster sleuth and the ever-evolving US amateur detective.

This has encouraged scores of women in male-dominated India to follow in her footsteps.

Several women-dominated investigative firms now operate in the country, such as Lady Detectives India and Venus Detective which are both headquartered in the capital New Delhi.

"Clients are open a lot more to having a female investigator. They feel we are more empathetic and that they can talk to us," Lady Detectives CEO Tanya Puri told AFP.

- A suitable boy -

Pandit first started snooping as a 22-year-old at college, informing the parents of a fellow student that their daughter was drinking, smoking and hanging out with boys.

Her most difficult case was when she worked undercover for six months as a maid for a woman who was suspected of poisoning her husband to death and then killing her son through a hitman.

She gathered evidence and handed it over to police who arrested the hitman and the woman.

Pandit has won numerous awards, written two books, and says she has completed more than 80,000 cases -- most of them pre-matrimonial investigations.

Parents in the ultra-conservative country seeking a suitable husband or wife for their offspring will ask her to investigate the potential spouse and their family.

She looks into whether they have the job they say they have and tries to find out if there is anything in their past that might be deemed to bring shame to the family they are marrying into.

Pandit has had to be the master of subterfuge to gather evidence, including donning "various disguises". But she says she received no formal training.

"Detectives are born, not made. I will keep doing this job until I am no longer alive," she said.​
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
Read full article
Next Story
Next Story

Also Watch

facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp
 
 

Live TV

Countdown To Elections Results
  • 01 d
  • 12 h
  • 38 m
  • 09 s
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results