Title: Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand
Author: K. Vijay Kumar
Genre: Non-fiction, Biography
Narrative of the how the reign of terror of the dreaded bandit Veerappan ended.
A slick narrative of how the Special Task Force led by the author, K. Vijay Kumar, managed to finally hunt down Veerappan, the dreaded bandit – who had spread his reign of terror for over two decades across the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
The best thing about the book – the author keeps his focus on Veerappan. Every chapter, every anecdote builds up towards the end. Crime finally does not pay, even though criminals take a lot of toll on the state machinery. And everyone’s luck finally runs out even though they may have survived many close brushes with fate.
The book keeps the narrative taut and avoids all controversy trying to focus on the facts as much as possible. Leaders are shown in positive light or not mentioned at all. (The contrast between Jayalalitha & Karunanidhi in this case). Even the nefarious elements of the society are not named (Mr. X). Instead the focus is solely on the STF personnel who waged decades long operations, making huge personal sacrifices in the process. We get a glimpse of the hardships faced by these extra-ordinarily brave men who put everything in line for their mission, in return getting meager rewards.
My favorite line from the book – “Activity should not be confused with progress”.
Another bit I liked is the use of relevant anecdotes from situations around the globe to compare with the hunt in the jungle. However, the bits when the author gives an insight into conversations and thoughts of Veerappan is a bit jarring – I mean how would he have known, unless there was a telepathic connect! But overall a great narrative!
Previously on BookMarks: Born in the Purple