When we think of a detective, we immediately imagine a lean and tall man, dressed in all-black attire, wearing a black hat with a sleek and trimmed moustache who enjoys puffing his cigar and keeps his magnifying glass handy.
The mere thought that women can also be detectives never crosses our minds because we never saw a female detective in movies or TV shows. But, here is this Indian woman who had been breaking workplace stereotypes and owning the profession that is often associated with men since many years.
Often credited as the first female detective in India, Rajani Pandit (60) was interested in investigating deeply into things since childhood. The desi Sherlock Holmes grew up reading mystery and detective novels in Maharashtra, reported The New Indian Express.
After completing her graduation, Rajani decided that she wanted to be an investigator. Even though her father was in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the local police department, he was skeptical of her career choice. But with the support of her mother, she dived deep into this profession and became a private eye.
Then in 1986, the lady started her own company, Rajani Investigative Bureau, and by 2010 she had employed a staff of 30 detectives. According to her website, in the span of 25 years, she has solved more than 75,000 cases solved at national and international levels.
The investigator swears by the saying, ‘A detective is born, not made.’ From investigating one’s pre-marital life or snitching on one’s extramarital affair to investigating missing persons, murders, corporate espionage, economic offenses, cyber crimes, bank frauds, and conducting background checks of political candidates, she has done it all.
Pandit has also authored two Marathi books on her experiences and has received several accolades for her work. According to reports, her company was hired by political parties during the 2019 Indian general election to conduct finance checks and background investigations on multiple candidates.
And since her profession involves risks and scams, she was also among several Indian private investigators arrested by the police in connection to an alleged scam involving the illegal sale and purchase of call data records back in February 2018. However, she was released on bail after 40 days and later cleared of all charges.
She is indeed a woman of substance for excelling in a male-dominated profession that too back in the day when society was even more close-minded and orthodox than it is today. These are the women who lead by example.