Look, who’s seeking the help of Muthappa Rai!?

Wired, the iconic tech magazine, has a long story, of all people, on “The Godfather of Bangalore“, underworld don turned champion of the downtrodden, Muthappa Rai.

Written by the investigative journalist Scott Carney, the article traces the role Rai plays in his (now) main line of work, real estate:

“When a foreign company wants to set up a business, they don’t know who to trust. They need clear titles, and if they go to a local person, they’re going to get screwed with legal cases. But if Rai gives you a title, it comes with a 100 per cent guarantee of no litigation. No cheating. It’s perfectly straightforward.

“On any given day, he says, 150 people make their way to his opulent mansion to seek his help. He declines to name clients—association with his name might be bad for their business—but he lets slip that he recently acquired 200 acres of land for the titanic Indian conglomerate, Reliance.

“A US firm looking to rent or buy might also go through Rai, but not directly. A facilities administrator in Bangalore—probably Indian—would work with a developer who, in turn, would contact Rai to secure a plot. “There’s no question of American companies coming to buy land,” Rai says.

“According to a lawyer who deals with land issues, the system works like this: Asked to intercede by a prospective buyer, Rai checks out the parcel for competing owners. If two parties assert ownership, he hears both sides plead their case and decides which has the more legitimate claim (what he calls “80 percent legal”). He offers that person 50 percent of the land’s current value in cash. To the other, he offers 25 percent to abandon their claim—still a fortune to most Indians, given the inflated price of Bangalorean real estate. Then he sells the land to his client for the market price and pockets the remaining 25 percent. Anyone who wants to dispute the judgment can take it up with him directly.

“Rai’s lieutenant, Sangeeth—who prefers to be identified as the boss’s “blue-eyed boy”—says that violence is almost never an issue. “All anyone needs to hear is his name,” he says. “If a rowdy won’t back down, then we go to the person who is behind him and cut it off at the spine,” Sangeeth explains. “In the hypothetical instance where it does need to come to violence, someone might need to be beaten up. The next day we would leave a message that we were behind it and that this was just a warning. The name alone has power.”

Link courtesy Arun Simha

Also read: A giant leap to stop the criminalisation of politics

On Ugadi, a brand-new Kannada warrior emerges

Why the Indian media does not take on the Ambanis

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32 Responses to “Look, who’s seeking the help of Muthappa Rai!?”

  1. Not A Witty Nick Says:

    Jaya KarnatakavE!

    Wonder what would Rai’s most trusted friend from the fourth estate write about this article!

    I bet that he will dismiss it as a superficial view of an outsider(a la the dissection of Adiga’s words in Outlook).

    I foresee comments referring to his brief stints in RSS and Congress (R) respectively. :o)

  2. MallaPottell Says:

    There is absolutely no grain of truth in the above story. Rai is a changed person and does not indulge in any anti social activities.

  3. oochara Says:

    We Indians are like this only. We keep our eyes closed about everything happening around us and blame the system. The moment someone talks about the system, we take side of the system and blame the author. We all know what we call them: outsiders, externals, NRIs, convent educated idiots.

    Scott Carney, definitely an outsider, does a fab job for whatever he’s paid for. But in his country an article like this would evoke immediate action. In ours, however, it is left at admiring the writer’s ingenuity.

    In journalism, I think, if whatever written is left at admiration/critique of the artist and not the art, the purpose of journalism is at failure. What good is it to bring the pen-huggers honed enough to arouse an erection with words, for a change we are not prepared to accept.

    All we churumurian candidates, scripting and commenting, I’m afraid, started of with a failure mission.

  4. oochara Says:

    Or are we just chroniclers of history? Like someone said journalism is a first rough draft of history!

  5. Vinay Says:


    How do you know????

  6. Anonymous Guy Says:

    I was reading somewhere that if the economic system collapses in the US, lots of systems will be replaced by semi-criminal ones.

    And people who run these operations wont wait for ‘permission’ from anyone to startup and grow.

    And anyone who cannot operate in the environment will be just left out.

    This is what happened in Russia when the communist government collapsed and privateers took over.

    In India we have had more and more corrupt and inefficient governments slowly being supplemented by these setups which dont really operate within the legal framework but yet get things done.

    In a way Muthappa Rai is like an old time palegara or feudal lord who is meteing out his own form of rough justice and keeping things running. He answers only to his own laws based on practical need.

    If we can, we should join them when the going is good, this is the future.

    BTW the article on the US and USSR:

  7. quizman Says:

    Scott Carney, definitely an outsider, does a fab job for whatever he’s paid for. But in his country an article like this would evoke immediate action. In ours, however, it is left at admiring the writer’s ingenuity.

    And that, my friend, is the comment of the year. Well said.

    An aside, I thought that the comments in the Wired article were interesting. Some Indians seemed offended by the article. We Indians get quite offended whenever a non-Indian points out issues within India. Conversely, we get tremendously flattered whenever a non-Indian praises something about India.

  8. MallaPottell Says:

    Scott Carney was paid by someone to write a article on Muthappa .(It could be Muthappa himself., to get publicity). There are several things in the article that don’t make any sense.
    1. Muthappa doesn’t own a bulletproof vehicle nor does his bodyguards carry AK47 sort of guns
    2. Muthappa was living in Dubai not because he was a fugitive. If you recall, there was a GSB law officer in Mumbai (Julius Rebeiro) who was heading the death squad at that time. His aim was to eliminate the underworld. Muthappa and many like him who were branded as underworld dons had to flee for their life.

    3. If Muthappa has billions of dollars, where does he hide his money?

    I can go on and on.

    The article written by Scott Carney is sensational but total fiction.

  9. bangaloreraja Says:

    Dear Mr. MallaPottell., go and ask Vasu vance who has troubled so amny because of his associatiionw ith Muthappa Rai.
    He has done lot of papa in Rai name than rai himself.

  10. Azamgarh Says:


    You seem to be a avid support of MR. If that is the case why can’t Abu and Ibrahim have Robinhood images too.

    You cannot have selective amnesia when it comes to this.

  11. Dr. Sree Reddy Says:

    Yes, some times people get branded without any reason.
    Media tries to portray and pepetuate such images at the behest some vested interests.

    Why media keeps silence on italian woman’s wealth and her connections with arms/drug dealers? I am told she has amassed wealth equivalent to what Bill Gates has.

  12. Fazlur Rehman Says:

    Dr. Sree Reddy,

    who is this italian woman . Sonia Gandhi ? are you some accountant in a bank , so you know about her money. do you have any proof?.

  13. Dr. Sree Reddy Says:

    yes i was counting for her the other day in a swiss bank bcoz the note counting machines were not working.!!

    WHY are you sure that she does n’t have? Do you have any proof?

    Do you have any proof on Muthappa Rai?

  14. Dr. Sree Reddy Says:

    Recently she has become great champion of minorities in India, whereas in 1980’s her party sent goons to salughter Sikhs in Delhi in 1980’s.

  15. Sandesh Says:

    Enu guru … sonia- ammana mele tamage ishtondu preeti ;)

  16. kannadiga:) Says:

    >>If you recall, there was a GSB law officer in Mumbai (Julius Rebeiro) who was heading the death squad at that time. >>


    What do you smoke when your write such absurd comments :)

  17. Tarlemaga Says:


    It’s a known fact that Soniabehen is supporting Ottavio Quotrocchi.. His bank account details have been confirmed by Swiss Bank. These are the proceeds of Bofor’s scam.

    CBI mishandled the case after he was captured by Interpol. Thanks to UPA govt.

    Congress Govt is synonymous to corruption in the Country. They had ruled over us for 48 years, but could not get rid of Corruption. Inspite of having absolute majority.

    Rahul Gandhi is being paraded as Yuvaraj and SCION of Gandhi family by Congress shenanigans.

    Unfortunately for Congress the demography of the Country has changed a lot. They cannot rest on their past glory any more.

    There are trying to learn coalition politics which has become the order of the day.

  18. Poli Kitty Says:

    There is element of truth in this artilce. I have couple of people whom I know from real estate business also say the same thing.
    Rai is inviolved in real estate business.

  19. Anonymous Guy Says:

    If it was not Muthappa Rai, would have been someone else. At least he runs his business with some class…

  20. etvraviraja Says:

    If a company wants to operate in any part of Karnataka, they would have to face opposition from Environmentalists, Intellectuals, Lobbyists, NGO`s citing silly reasons…and courts take thier own sweet time to settle these issues…then the answer is “alternative justice”…It should be legalised!
    (example: In Udupi, road widening faced nearly 100 cases in the court in the form of stay orders for work…and it took nearly 14 months to clear the hurdles…however when a private party wanted land for airport near Udupi, they got the land through “alternative system” without any hassles: 1500 acres of land!)…Even governments can outsource the land aquisition to these “alternative system” rather than facing silly stay orders or opposition from lobbyists.

  21. Anonymous Guy Says:


    Very interesting thought.

    As you have pointed out, the alternative justice is just a reaction to failed government systems.

    Mr. Rai is just an entrepreneur (in his current avatar) who has managed to rise up in this system by keeping things organized.

    Instead of keeping it under the wraps and illegal, it should be cleaned up to some extent and made legal. After all what is the use of laws if they hinder day to day life instead of helping out.

    But for the useless and inefficient bureaucrats this system suits them better. If the working system is legalized, they wont be able to collect anything no?

  22. Eliya Pottel Says:

    as bhagban Krishna himself said fighting evil is one’s dharma. violence is necessary to bring sense and order into the unreasonable minds who feel and understand only when they get physically hurt. does anyone know that even the famous rajarshi of mangalore district has his own methods of ensuring shikshe to dushtas… he just directs his younger brother to deal with the issue. LONG live the Don and his ways!

  23. V.Prasana Says:

    I want to meet Mr.Rai

  24. sairam Says:

    Hi all,
    I have a lot of things to say. Firstly, one cannot rubbish the above article. Though it’s sensational and tries to glorify Rai, it does have some truth in it. It is an open secret in real estate circles that Rai shows particular interest in properties under litigation.
    There is nothing in his work we should be proud of. He was a criminal, now legally clean (we all know how the judiciary functions). He uses his name to amass fortunes. And, if you think he is a social worker!, you are wrong. Jai Karnataka and for that matter all of the many vedikes want power in a growing, rich Bengaluru. Many of them are wannabe Bal Thakerays. They do not have a clear cause to fight for.

  25. Sharath.R Says:

    i needed to speak with muthappa rai, urgently.

    can you please help me contacting him..

  26. jai vinayak Says:

    HELP! Save my Life!

    Real Estate Gangsters along with Bangalore Police are after my life to kill me!! please read whole story with pictures on my website blog above

    This is not a joke and if you can help me get MR’s contacts then please help me connect with him as bangalore police is themselves supplying classified phone jamming equipment in order to stop me from calling friends for help!!!

  27. Dr Jayaraman Nambiar Says:

    What I have heard from people is that Muthappa rai is agood man Hes polite helpful and helps the poor I like his ideas and I am sur eGod will help to help poor people and bring upliftment of poor people

  28. srinivasa prasad Says:

    Rai Anna i heard some many things about you which include bad and good. but i belived on that you will help for the people. you born for the people. this politicians wil not do anything for people. i am trying to meet you from some many days i need to talk with you, its my life humble please make the way to contact you directly. please anna i am waiting for you reply. please consider this request i am begging you. i hope u will do and make the path & way for me to contact you. my sweet anna.

  29. Naveed Says:

    My name is Naveed the joint sec for Jayakarnataka!
    JAYA KARNATAKA is a not-for-profit organization that aims at improving the quality of life ofthe people of Karnataka. A truly democratic, non-political organisation that has originated inresponse to the ever increasing problems of the people of this state.The disparities in our society, the widening gap between the rich and the poor, a corrupt and ineffective political system , a government that has ignored the woes of the common man, the disillusioned farmer, the homeless laborer, the desperate diseased, schools without teachers, hospitals without doctors and medicines, Commercialization of Higher Education – the list is endless. And the solution is with-in the people themselves. JAYA KARNATAKA aims at empowering the common man tofight for his Rights, to say no to corruption, to say no to exploitation, to demand and to get what rightfully belongs to him.
    More Info u can reach me @ 9902824506,9620313506
    The Official Community link.

  30. karthik Says:

    rai anna i want 2 b a part of jai karnataka and i like u a lot anna
    i wana see u …..i hope ill join jai karnataka as soon as possible…i ll b waitng 4ur reply anna………….bye tc

  31. hari Says:

    I want Rai sir address and phone number plesae.

  32. sridhar Says:

    hi sir
    nanu obba kannadiga kannadakagi yenannu bekadru madlu sidda adakoskara nimma asirvada mathuu nim bembala beku dayavittu nanu kuda nimma jothe seralu avakasha kodi
    . nimma abhimani sridhar
    jai karnataka mathe

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