Haji Mastan, a gangster though, was definitely a different story from the actual definition of gangsters. He made big bucks through smuggling, but he didn’t compromise with his ideology ever. He had a humongous heart when it came to the needy and the underprivileged people. His image was like a ‘Principled don’. His main source of income was through his business of sneaking gold illegally from Dubai to Mumbai and other parts of the country during the 1970s.
His actual name was Mastan Haidar Mirza but was commonly known as Sultan Mirza, Haji Mastan was arguably the unchallenged ‘Don’ of the underworld of his era. Besides that, he was an avid social worker and was truly, deeply and madly in love with Bombay. His charitable acts can still find acknowledgement in the underprivileged regions of Mumbai, where Haji Mastan left a kind impress.
The likes of contemporary gangsters like Chhota Rajan, Dawood Ibrahim, Arun Gowli and Chhota Shakeel, were all trained by him. He was instrumental in their foundation, but he never could have envisaged the beast his students turned into.
Apart from smuggling, he was into film distribution business and made a huge impact in the Bollywood movies business. He started producing films personally as his stature in Bollywood grew with time. He had close relations with legendary actors like Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Sanjeev Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, and many others. He was instrumental in shaping former actresses like Helen and Parveen Babi’s revival in the film Industry.
He left smuggling and entered politics and founded his own front named ‘Laghumati Muslim Dal’.