Crime, intimidation, and politics

That’s the title of a recent review of When Crime Pays by Atul K. Thakur in the Kathmandu Post. Thakur calls it “a book that is extraordinary and purposeful—which despite being centred on Indian politics is universal in its application.”

But the author also raises a few quibbles with the book that are valid and useful. The first is that the book does not delve into “the misuse of media or of public relations during elections.” Thakur writes:

Never in the history of parliamentary democracy has conventional and new media been misappropriated as it is now. In a world ruled by opportunists, truth continues to be distorted beyond recognition, influencing voters with an avalanche of non-issues instead.

Thakur’s second critique is about the very nature of criminality:

[T]he definition of “crime” in itself needs to be revisited, as modern-day crime is so well-organised and thoroughly proofed that merely classifying it as “money and muscle” only paints half the picture

Thakur’s review is well worth reading. You can find it here.