He was the head of the Crime Branch in the mid-1990s when gang wars had peaked — Mumbai witnessed an astonishing 238 ‘encounters’ during D Sivanandan’s tenure, more or less breaking the back of the dreaded Underworld. It was a cat-and-mouse game, with almost equal parts of brute force and clever strategy, and the former DGP of Maharashtra claims he drew much of his inspiration from the undisputed master of the game, Chanakya. The distillation of his own experiences seen through the prism of the Arthashastra has now become the subject of a masterly tome called Chanakya’s 7 Secrets of Leadership. While it certainly must have helped to have Radhakrishna Pillai as a co-author — his deep research in the subject was evident in his first book, The Corporate Chanakya — Sivanandan’s larger-than-life signature is inescapable. One of the examples quoted by the former top cop while elaborating the need for a leader to “pick out a rotten apple and eliminate it from the system before it can cause severe damage” is, surprisingly, a gripping scene from the Bollywood potboiler Company. A police officer, played by Mohanlal, traps a fellow cop who is an underworld informer by tapping his phone — and ‘eliminates’ him. While we don’t need Ram Gopal Varma to tell us who Mohanlal’s character was inspired by, is does suggest that there’s a racy memoir hidden somewhere between the lines.
D. Sivanandhan is co- author of the book, Chanakya's 7 Secrets of Leadership, along with national bestseller Corporate Chanakya's author Radhakrishnan Pillai.