“I’ve played a maidservant, a blind woman, pregnant woman, dumb woman—fear is not a word in my dictionary.”
That’s Rajani Pandit, India’s first female private detective. She has been in this profession for the last 25 years, handling as many as 75000 cases. With a team of 20 members, her organisation ‘Rajani Pandit Detective Services’ is always on the go to unentangle complex situations. She can boast of a wide variety of cases that she has dabbled her hand into in India as well as abroad. From murder to company espionage, from family issues to missing people, this Indian Miss Maple is a pro at all.
As they say, ‘genius is born not made’ turns out to be quite true for this lady. Though inspired by her father who was a CID inspector with the police, Rajani simply had it in her. Her first step in this direction was neither a planned career move nor can it be described as something extraordinary. But it definitely turned out to be her ‘Aha’ moment. When in college she spied on a girl who, according to her, was getting into the wrong company and taking to unwarranted habits. She took the matter to her parents and when the girl’s father asked “Aap jasoos ho?” she thought, why not?
Rajani, though a recipient of accolades and awards for her daring and high-risk enterprises, has her share of challenges to survive in a field that is yet not recognised as a legal profession in India. The Indian government does not provide a license to private investigators and this adds unprecedented threat to the profession. As Rajani points out “in the course of investigations, we have to undertake many tasks like stalking people or eavesdropping which involves risking police action”. She pines for legal permits to continue her work unhindered by any interruptions and hassles, like she said, “Licensing will also help us in getting permissions for tasks like mobile tracking or using other tracking devices”
Be it her father’s objection or the graver risks that she undertakes every day, her passion, determination and outstanding courage help her overcome the barriers on her path. Rajani firmly believes that “If you want to do something, you should do it. There should be no shame in doing any work you are passionate about.”