ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Tough Law for Other People's Crime

The state that has enacted a fresh law to control crime syndicates in Andhra Pradesh is not an innocent victim of such syndicates nor a beleaguered administration frustrated by mafia gangs beyond its control. It is itself a major patron and protector of a variety of crime syndicates, notwithstanding the air of injured innocence it puts on when asked to explain its latest legislative adventure.

Hindu mythology knows of demons with instantly and indefinitely resuscitative heads, Ravana being the most numerously endowed of them. Chop them as energetically as you will, they are back again ere your sword is sheathed. The Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) is one such modern demon. It is perhaps in the fitness of the perverse logic of our times that its latest clone, an act for the control of organised crime syndicates or gangs, was passed by the Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly almost on the eve of Ramanavami, the festival which purportedly celebrates the final vanquishing of Ravana’s cephalic plenitude.

For Chandra Babu Naidu, however, the demon is not his legislation but the organised crime syndicates which he is determined to vanquish, so that the state may be the more attractive to prospective investors. After all, he is looking for upwards of Rs 30,000 crore of capital to flow into this state in the next 20 years, to realise his vision of a golden Andhra Pradesh, and he believes that an atmosphere free of gun-wielding extortionists and ghutka-chewing dons is a must for that.

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