It’s all about who you are – or pretend to be

Status matters in India. A lot. So I’m not surprised that a gang leader, disguised as a lawyer, could just walk past all the security checks at Rohini court in Delhi without being stopped. If he just looked like he entered through the lawyer’s gate every day without flashing his card, he for sure didn’t have much problems.

As the “Times of India” reports, the guy was wearing the black mantle of a lawyer, when he and nine other men set out to kill a rival gangster on the court premises. “He carried a couple of  ‘case files’ which contained two pistols and stood outside the courtroom waiting for the target,” the article reads.

But the police was second to none. “Around 11am, at least 100 men from the special cell armed with Glock pistols spread across the court premises. A few were dressed as lawyers, others as litigants, while some pretended to be ‘bad characters’, walking around with shirt buttons open,” the paper reports.

Sharing the story with my colleague, he tells me that while researching stories, he sometimes only says he’s “calling from Delhi”, when he tries to get an official or manager on the phone. The office assistances or secretaries then assume he’s calling from the headquarters or the branch in Delhi and transfer the call – which they otherwise often wouldn’t.

Every now and then, he also profits from some misunderstanding. More than once he correctly introduced himself as “calling from the German Press Agency”, and the call got transferred, him being introduced as someone “from the German Presidency”.

But back to the security guys: I also always look super-confident and if I knew where I was going when I enter business houses or civil servant’s offices. Most of the time, no guard stops me. Otherwise they would get out a huge big book where I have to write down all my details (including visa number) or, worse, ask for some permission from someone.

A diplomat friend even made it a point to ignore the ever-present metal detectors in front of hotels and other premises. She never placed her bag on the belt and just walked pass the body scanner. She always got away with it. But in case some guard would’ve taken his job seriously, she would’ve flashed her diplomatic pass, of course.


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