India’s very own October surprise
In this age of terrorism and suicide-bombing, Veerappan’s sandalwood-smuggling, banditry and kidnappings almost make him appear like a 19th century highwayman. Like the thugs and dacoits he joins a constellation of past horrors who had their share of fame and notoriety. Towards the fag end of his career, Veerappan did try to diversify into the new business model — terrorism — but could’nt quite find the right sponsors in time.
It has long been surmised that Veerappan enjoyed political patronage that enabled him to elude the law. If so, the manner of his exit leaves no clues about his connections. But it is still good to see him sent off the field by a bullet paid for by the Indian tax-payer. For a time it looked like nature would claim him first.