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July 31, 2000
A glimpse into Veerapan's psyche
Ramanand S in Talavadi
Veerappan abducted wildlife photographers Krupakara and Senani in October 1997. The duo spent 14 days with the outlaw and published a book, Fourteen Days in the Forest in Kannada about their experiences with him. This book provides an insight into Veerappan's psyche.
The duo gave a detailed account of his behaviour and argue that the man is a bundle of contradictions. They say he can be innocent, intelligent, compassionate, ruthless and has a devil may care attitude. His life is full of incidents of mind boggling cruelty. Once he beheaded a forest officer, known for his gentle behaviour. On another occasion he shot an honest and dare-devil police sub-inspector at point black range.
But with the photographers he behaved with utmost civility and even apologised for all the inconveniences.
He even spoke about his philosophy at length. He is a firm believer in fate, believing that it is responsible for every thing that happens in life.
Krupakar and Senani narrate a story that Veerappan told them during their confinement: Once upon a time God was living happily on earth with all the flora and fauna. When man took birth on earth, God was astonished by his cruel nature and hence decided to leave. When God was about leave, elephants arrived before God. But they refused to accompany him. They said they could not leave the beautiful earth with its forests, hills, rivers and the sky. And they felt that man could do no harm as he was too weak in front of them. The God became furious, and cursed the elephants to bathe themselves with dust everyday. That's why, Veerappan says, today elephants are working in circus companies and even if free do not have enough forests to roam around in.
The authors say the outlaw reads the Mahabartha everyday, and his favourite hero is Yudhistra. According to Veerappan, God is not in temples, but in one's heart. He starts everyday with a prayer. The authors feel that, Veerappan's mood swings are extreme. One moment he can be jovial, and furious with rage the next.
All that Veerappan wants is an outright pardon and to lead a normal life, say the authors.
Also while kidnapping Dr Rajakumar, he behaved in a very gentle manner. He assured the actor's wife of the safety of her husband. He told her he would not harm the actor as he to respected Dr Rajakumar. While departing, he is believed to have told her that all precautions would to taken to ensure the actor's safety.
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