26/11 terror attacks: Exploring the man behind the uniform

Autograph please: Jui Karkare Navare (right) signs a copy of her book at Prerna Hall in south Mumbai on Monday.

Autograph please: Jui Karkare Navare (right) signs a copy of her book at Prerna Hall in south Mumbai on Monday.   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

Karkare’s daughter releases memoir on her father ahead of the 11th anniversary of the terror attack

On the eve of the 11th anniversary of the 26/11 terror attacks, in which 18 security personnel gave their lives, the daughter of one of them — former Anti Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare — released a memoir about her father on Monday.

The book, titled Hemant Karkare; A Daughter’s Memoir, is an attempt by Jui Karkare Navare to put forth a picture of the man her father was. She said while Karkare is now referred to as a braveheart and daredevil, few know that apart from being an upright police officer, he was also an active social worker and made wooden figurines in his free time.

Process of discovery

Speaking to The Hindu, Ms. Karkare Navare said writing and researching the book was also a process of discovery about her own father. For the research, she spoke to a lot of people who knew him and this helped her understand her own father better.

“I also understood a lot about his actions and thoughts when I was writing about my own experiences. I was 10 years old when he was posted in Chandrapur. We had just moved there and it was Diwali. I told him I did not have any friends to burst crackers with. He told me to gather all my crackers and assured me I would have a lot of friends to burst them with. He took me to an orphanage, where he distributed all my crackers among the children there. It is only now that I understand that he was trying to teach me the true spirit of celebration,” she said.

She added that writing a book for the first time was, doubtless, a challenging task. “I have always enjoyed writing and was on my school editorial board. My siblings and I used to write and discuss writing a lot, and my parents were avid readers of English literature and Marathi poetry. Because of this background, I could undertake this task. It was certainly daunting, and I also received some critical feedback, but this was my maiden attempt. I knew there would always be scope for improvement, but I had to finish it in time,” she said.

A full-time software development professional, Ms. Karkare Navare said she approached the task with the same outlook that she used while starting a work project.

Illustrious batchmates

The launch event, which was held at Prerana Hall in south Mumbai, was attended by Karkare’s family members, batchmates like K.L. Prasad, who took voluntary retirement in 2015, and Ankush Dhanvijay, who retired at additional director general rank as commissioner of police, Nagpur.

Deputy National Security Advisor D.D. Padsalgikar, also a batchmate of Karkare’s, was supposed to be the chief guest, but could not be present due to last minute engagements.

In a message read out by his wife, Aditi Padsalgikar, he said, “We always believed that Karkare would be the rightful claimant of the post of Mumbai police commissioner from our batch, but it was not meant to be. When I took charge of the post, I placed on my table a gift that I had received from him.”

Former Mumbai police commissioner Julio Ribeiro, who was also present, spoke about how a visibly upset Karkare came to visit him when he was under criticism while investigating the Malegaon blasts, where the concept of ‘Hindu terror’ was first exposed.

“I told him that his job as a police officer was to establish the truth and stick to it. That is a policeman’s dharma and as a Hindu, he should be true to his dharma. The test of a good police officer is whether people still talk about him after he is no longer in service. Medals are soon forgotten, but everyone who knew Karkare always talks about him positively,” Mr. Ribeiro said.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2020 12:20:18 PM |

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