A few days ago, I wrote about the unknown heroes of Pune, the ones who do not wear a mask and are invisible in the crowd. Today, I’ll talk about having a caped crusader to help fight crime in our city. Yes, we do need a Dark Knight, a Batman, to help fight crime. But will he be as successful as he is in Gotham? Will his technological edge and gadgets serve him in our city? Here are a few challenges Batman would face if he decided to “Save Pune”.
Now… before you lynch me for this, hear me out! The Batmobile and the Batpod (that’s the name for the amazing bike that can make an awesome 90-degree turn and make anyone go WOW!) are quite useless on our roads. I’m not talking about the potholes… these vehicles are designed to work on terrains worse than our roads (no, really!). I’m talking about the traffic situation. Can Batman really get from point A to B hitting the speeds he does in Gotham? He’ll be faced with traffic situations on every road, and even his top-notch GPS would conk off trying to find a route that is not choked with traffic. Maybe he should just take ‘The Bat’ (that’s the flying car if you are not into the cool stuff) for a ride for all situations in our city.
Lucius Fox does have the mind of a genius, (and voice of God thanks to Morgan Freeman) for coming up with something so amazing. Without The Bat, or the amazing flying car that can propel Batman to manoeuvre himself without worrying about traffic, I see him being just one of the police (one who reaches the scene after a crime has taken place, not in time to stop it). He may as well become a true Punekar, park it, lean on it and watch life go by!
Lack of a single powerful villain
Leaving aside politicians, terrorists and other obvious baddies, Pune doesn’t really have a supervillain. Like The Joker (if you are a tennis freak and have never watched The Batman series, this has nothing to do with Djoker or Novak Djokovic). Or even that masked fellow who almost got Batman. Or the Riddler. Bane. Any of the Dark Knight villains!
For Joker’s sarcastic laugh, click here: The Dark Knight Joker Laughing
I would like to clarify that I am not mentioning any name for obvious reasons. The crime scene in India is far more complex than in Gotham with criminals having links everywhere (they had meetings of all the top mafia dons and stuff, but their contacts inside the bureaucracy and within the police were nothing compared to our Indian baddies). There are corrupt officers and bureaucrats, gundas, bhais, political henchmen. Then there are dhongi babas, sick and crack-in-their-head religious leaders, terrorists, politicians and parties with their own agendas. Moreover, there are religious organisations that play with the minds of innocents to turn them into blood-thirsty barbarians. Oh, the list is endless! Batman would be confused whom to take on! He would be like a warrior surrounded on all sides, with no option but to go trigger-happy. And there will still be more coming up!
Plus, sadly, the Dark Knight does not kill villains (some might say he killed Ras Al-Gul, but he just did not save him! He never killed anyone). Thanks to the law system in India, most of the Dark Knight’s captures will be out and about in the city within no time, running out scot-free. He will probably be going out again and again, trying to bring justice to the city by capturing the same people again and again, and this would be a never-ending fight.
No space for the Bat cave
It’s not like Pune doesn’t have people with huge sprawling properties and palaces, but each one of those is a well-connected industrialist, businessman or politician. Bruce Wayne can be the inheritor of his businessman father’s big property (most likely he’ll be Ambani, Birla or Tata) but without connections to save him, he’ll have to face tax audits and IT raids for the most futile of things, unless he finds someone as loyal as Alfred and members of the board as loyal as Lucius Fox and others who supported the Wayne Legacy.
In India, that is hard to find, unless you can play the religion, region, or caste card to draw undying loyalty. With Pune’s ever-growing property scene, the Batcave will have to face problems from land-grabbers and builders too! Who knows, while Batman is out fighting crime, there will be some building being erected on his property and by the time he’s back, he’ll be fighting a case of forged documents and spend countless years going to and fro to the court. No time to fight crime when you are a victim of crime yourself! Worse, he may entrust the building job to a builder who will either muck it up or do some jugaad that lands Batman in the brig!
Lack of support from within
The key to Batman’s success is his relationship with Rachel Dawes (who is under-secretary to district Attorney Harvey Dent, who helps imprison and eradicate the crime in the city in just one trial) and Commissioner Gordon. Batman provides the evidence, helps capture people (the Chinese guy in Dark Knight) and proves to be an important ally, especially for Gordon. It is the strong resolve of both these characters to protect Batman’s identity and use his help meticulously, that he proves to be successful in his role as the saviour.
In Pune, Batman would have a hard time finding a trustworthy commissioner (even if he succeeds, there’s a high chance of him being transferred elsewhere, for our politicians hate an honest cop as much as they hate people who do not fit into any vote bank, thus, creating problems for Batman again). Moreover, with our legal system, he’s better off becoming a serial killer himself rather than trying to apprehend the guilty and bring them to justice! No Harvey Dent would ever survive the Shivaji Nagar courts!
I started out hoping to write a funny piece (like my article on Sheldon Cooper) but somehow, the flaws in our system and administration and the city in general hit me in a serious way. Yes, Batman would have a hard time in Pune or India in general, just like all our leaders (the real ones) have a hard time trying to reinforce a change. The crime, the corruption, and the unflinching attitude of Indians and Punekars to all these problems, is something that cannot be changed by one man, even if he’s a superhero. The only way Pune and India can change is if Punekars unite in a tryst to fight all that is wrong. If you observe, Batman too would be no good at fighting Bane in the end without the support from the police department, Commissioner Gordon, Catwoman and others who joined in.
Similarly, the only way Pune can change is if we change ourselves and encourage others to change with us! It is not high-tech weapons or expertise in martial arts that we lack, it is the Batman’s spirit of fighting crime and injustice even when everything is pitted against him that we lack. May the Dark Knight in each of us RISE!