Daddy: The Arun Gawli Story

Daddy – The Only One Who Did Not Run Away


Bollywood is known for its fascination to delve deep into the underworld. Its connections with the underworld are also stuff of legend. Bollywood has made various movies based on either fictional or non fictional underworld characters and the latest is Arjun Rampal’s Daddy.

It all started with Arjun Rampal early in 2015 venturing out to meet gangster Arun Gawli at Mumbai’s state run JJ Hospital when he caught the eye of cops. Rampal was immediately summoned for questioning.

Rampal recorded his statement with the Mumbai Police where he admitted that he met Gawli. The idea behind the meet as per the discussion was that a movie was being made on the gangster turned politician.

Gawli serves a life sentence at a prison in Navi Mumbai in connection with murder of Shiv Sena leader Kamalakar Jamsandekar after conviction in August 2012. Gawli and eleven others were found guilty of Jamsandekar’s murder.

Rampal had then said that he met Gawli to scout for a location of his upcoming film Daddy – based on the life of Gawli.

This was the time when Rampal was gearing up for his release titled Roy. Arjun Rampal has been vigorously working on his next, titled, ‘Daddy’, a thriller based on life of  Arun Gawli, fondly called as Daddy.

Produced by Eros International, Kundalini Entertainment and Karat Entertainment, ‘Daddy’ stars Arjun Rampal playing the lead role and is directed by Ashim Ahluwalia.

The makers have released a 40-second video wherein the real Arun Gawli is sharing thoughts on underworld. With a thundering score in the background the booming voice of Gawli haunts in the promo.

Arjun Rampal as Daddy



Notorious as Daddy, Arun Gawli has been a much dreaded figure in the Mumbai underworld. Hailing from Dagdi Chawl in Byculla-Saat Rasta, Mumbai it was 2004, when he got elected as a MLA from the Mumbai Chinchpokli Constituency. Gawli’s distinction as a localite quoted by sources is what made him a cut above the non Marathi speaking dons.

At a point supported by Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray in politics, Gawli later actively carried out kidnappings and extortions.  Arun Gawli was one among many who arose from the fallout of the infamous Cotton Textile Mills strike of Mumbai in the 1970s.

The Dagdi Chawl syndicate was originally aligned with the Dawood Ibrahim gang, but subsequently split up after differences of opinion regarding the division of spoils.

Cops according to reports consider Gawli to be a shrewd gangster.

Later, in February 1999, the Mumbai cops declared Gawli a ‘tadipaar’ and threw him out of the city limits. He now went to Pune to stay with a relative. Despite several attempts to catch him and convict him red handed, not much headway was made. Eventually Gawli was finally convicted in a murder and sent to jail. He is now serving life term.

Close proximity of actors, or cricketers, with the criminal syndicates has always been a matter of concern for intelligence agencies.

Makarand Deshpande as Arun Gawli



Mumbai is a heady mix of Mafia and Movies. Over the years stories from Underworld have fascinated Bollywood. From time to time our Bollywood stars have been under the influence of underworld. Many stories of the connect have surfaced. Bollywood has seen it all and done it all.

Time and again filmmakers have taken up these subjects, passionately exploring the mysterious lives of Underworld Dons. The formula rakes in the Moolah at the Box Office.

Be it Don, Deewar, Vidhu Vinod’s Parinda or Agneepath each saw Bollywood portray a don in different shades.

It was Ram Gopal Verma who brought back underworld movies into fashion with Satya in the recent decades. He went on to complete the trilogy with Company and D. Satya was supposed to have been inspired by the friends-turned-foes gangster Arun Gawli and politician Mohan Rawle.

Company traced the fallout of Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Rajan.

The latest film to join the league is “Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai” which is based on the life of Haji Mastan.

Among the others in the genre are Shootout at Wadala, Black Friday, Sarkar series, D Day and old time classics like Nayakan and Dayavan.


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